For all those who get excited about digital manufacturing, October 2012 is a great time to be in The Netherlands during Dutch Design Week.
Setting out to showcase just what is behind the fierce growth rate in the 3D printing industry, a series of linked activities will unfold under the banner of the 3D Printing Event.
Featuring an impressive collection of participants ranging from industry heavyweights through to noteworthy newcomers, the event will explore four identified trends:
• The established industry is not only introducing new professional 3d printers with more and more functionality, but has started to bring low end 3D printers as well.
• The open source community works hard to create 3d printers which can be used in personal and professional environments.
• The biggest bottleneck is still the 3D software for making great designs easily.
• 3D Printing services are playing a very important role in creating new business and new business opportunities.
Not only does the seminar series boast over thirty speakers, the accompanying exhibition is host to a display of 3D printing in its current and future formats and there is also a 3D printing design competition in collaboration with Grabcad. Enter your design for a chance to win a Leapfrog Creatr 3D printer!
Head over to the event website to register your attendance, and follow the latest event related news on their 3D printing blog.
Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief of Wired, has written a new book on the maker movement. Makers: The New Industrial Revolution addresses open source design, 3D printing, and amateurs and enthusiasts who are leading what has been dubbed “the next industrial revolution.”
Formlabs announced today the release of the Form 1, their “prosumer” desktop printer that uses stereolithograpy to produce highly detailed models.
“The Form 1 marries high-end stereolithography (SL) technology and a seamless user experience at a price affordable to the professional designer, engineer and maker.”
A common complaint of current desktop printers like Makerbot, Ultimaker, and RepRap that use FDM extrusion technology, is that the print quality is too low. The Form 1 tackles this head on and the high quality results speak for themselves. Another printer in the “at home” printing market is great news for consumers too. The Form 1 promises to be “An end-to-end package. Printer, software, and post-processing kit that just works. Right out of the box.”
The price is affordable though the regular retail price has not been announced. At $2499 it is comparable to the price of the Replicator 2.
They have a kickstarter campaign to manage pre-sales and generate funds to ramp up production. The machines are selling fast! They have reached their goal of 100K in 2.5 hours.
Formlabs is a Boston-based start-up founded by a trio of MIT grads with impressive backers like Eric Schmidt and Mitch Kapor. They’ve also enlisted Dragon Innovation, a manufacturing consultancy, to assist with the production of the printers and hopefully avoid the kinds of hurdles we’ve seen other successful kickstarter campaigns face.
The much-lauded maker of 3D printers for amateurs goes pro.
As we mentioned in our recent coverage, MakerBot has just released a brand new 3D printer, the Replicator 2. It boasts a range of new features and upgrades that I won’t repeat here. It also boasts a new $2199 price tag. I doubt anyone will complain about improved print quality and larger build volumes, and, frankly, the new printer looks gorgeous. That being said, this blogger sees the Replicator 2 as a new direction for MakerBot. They have clearly and specifically labeled it “professional-grade,” a first for MakerBot. This is not necessarily a bad direction, but it is a marked change from how they began. (more…)
Unique CNC drawing machine: Is this the shape of things to come?
There is no shortage of DIY CNC and 3D printing devices, and although some do stand out from the crowd, they all tend to follow a geometry that is becoming quite familiar. Setting out to change this paradigm, Canadian techno-sculptor David Bynoe conceived of a CNC plotter that is focused around polar coordinates.
The Center Pivot Pen Plotter has only one arm that spins on a base, and moves in and out from a central point.
“It gives you a very large drawing surface with a minimum of moving parts compared to a standard x,y Cartesian plotter.”
Drawing inspiration from the notable dual polar Eggbot and Polargraph examples, David has gone one step further in simplifying the mechanism by using only a single polar coordinate system. This creates special challenges, but the code that drives the Arduino-equipped device has been written to compensate for geometric distortions. As the video after the break shows, he’s done remarkably well…
“The goal was to get it working and then worry about making it pretty, which I will get to eventually.”
Here’s a great opportunity for the thinkers out there. As a part of the GE Garages initiative in collaboration with New York’s Chelsea-based retailer STORY, the call is out for entries to the Making Things Competition.
The goal is to conceive of a spatially stunning window installation that makes use of rapid prototyping technology. This will then become a part of a new GE Garages pop-up store in New York City, where open workshops are to be held in an advanced lab for technologists, entrepreneurs and everyday makers.
It’s a quick-thinking event, with entries due by September 20 and the winner will be announced four short days after.
“The fabrication will start immediately thereafter and continue up until the installation deadline, October 4. Not only will the winner receive a highly-publicized commission, but will get $20,000 to make it happen.”
An opportunity for a look inside a little-known world.
Hackers have been a common topic on the news in the last couple years, but they are usually portrayed in a one-sided and, almost exclusively, negative way. Events surrounding Wikileaks, Anonymous, and Pirate Bay have all attracted intense scrutiny by governments and police. Film collective RåFILM wants to create a full-feature documentary film about the world of hackers and hackerspaces.
This film will crash land in the middle of the conflict currently taking place between those who want to keep technology and the Internet free and those who want to control it. We want to make this documentary and release it under a creative commons license so that everyone can see the film. But for this to happen we need your help.
There is a fantastic series of posts from Alex over at the ProtoParadigm blog featuring practical things you can do with a 3D printer. This isn’t about wowing people with the latest high-tech advances. It’s all about getting down to the nitty gritty and using that 3D printing versatility to get things done.
So let’s get practical with our printers and extend the function of those ubiquitous glass jars. Documenting each solution with a brief but informative summary, Alex kicks things off himself with some easy-to-open, watertight lids. He then turns to Thingiverse for inspiration, and follows through with bank lids, a fly trap, a sprouting lid for growing seeds, straining and shaking lids, and even a fermentation lid that allows for exchange of gases.
Further exploration on Thingiverse will uncover an even greater diversity of canning jar accessories, from sippy cups to funnels and more. Check them out, and build some of your own!
With a soft spot for drawing and a special place in my heart for all things robotic, it’s kind of understandable that the Drawbot gets me excited.
Rather than leaving Drawbot users to fiddle around changing pens, this 3D printed clamp will make switching over to a new Magnum felt-tip quicker and easier than ever. It’s a simple pen holder modification, but one that makes a noticeable difference to the Drawbot’s process.
The image above is a working prototype printed on a Makerbot by Michael Audette, and boasts the following features:
* Pinch to release
* Rubber band for spring tension
* Holds a 20mm marker, can be scaled to hold a Sharpie fine point marker
With the Drawbot featuring as a part of the Robots for Schools campaign on Indiegogo, this modification couldn’t have come at a better time.
Makeshift Magazine is a new publication “about people, the things they make, and the context they make them in.” It’s one of 3 titles available from Analogue Digital, a group dedicated to supporting grassroots innovation especially in resource-constrained areas around the world.
I’m holding the latest issue of Makeshift Magazine in my hands — an issue investigating the changing nature of resistance as a result of street-level technology and grassroots movements.
The articles — ranging from homemade weapons in Libya to technological disobedience in Cuba to repurposed explosives in Laos — are well written and thoroughly illustrated with infographics and photography. My favorite set of photos show a reviving neighborhood in Haiti’s Port-au-prince.