Blender to include more 3D print support!

The Blender 2.67 release includes a feature packed 3D printing toolbox

Blender has long supported the .STL file format used to export for 3D print and it is very welcome news that there will be additional support within the software to help modelers. As a popular, free and open source 3D modeling software package, these new features will greatly help save users’ time in finding issues with their models.

The new toolbox looks set to have features useful for printing models both with online services such as Ponoko, and also with RepRap or Makerbot kitset 3D printers. Models for 3D printing need to be perfectly watertight, so all their edges need to meet to enclose a volume. For most users this can cause issues from time to time, trying to find where a tiny hole might exist. (more…)

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Makertorium event in Wellington

Exhibition to showcase New Zealand maker culture

The first event celebrating maker culture in New Zealand will be held at the national museum Te Papa o Tongarewa on April 27th from 10am to 6pm.

There will be over 50 Exhibitors, installations and competitions across eight zones. Special guests and makerspaces will be showcasing their creations including a 3D printer petting zoo, flying machines, robot wars and much more.

If you’re in Wellington on the 27th, come and check out the event.


David is an industrial designer from New Zealand. He contributes a weekly article on personal fabrication for Ponoko. Follow him on Twitter!

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Opensource Craft Camera

Build your own DIY Arduino camera!

The Craft Camera is a collaboration by Coralie Gourguechon, electronics engineer Stéphane Delbruel, Graphic Designer Laura Messaglio, and maker-space Tetalab.
The project is based on the theme Low-Tech Vs. Hi-Tech, in response to in-built obselence in many consumer products to limit the product life-span to encourage consumers to continually upgrade. Rather,  the materials used and accessibility of open source design encourages Craft Camera users to repair and upgrade the camera themselves rather. (more…)

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The Deconstruction event

Makers keep this coming weekend free!

The Deconstruction is an open global event and runs from February 22 to the 24th, starting at 8PM PST. Teams of makers, artists, students, programmers, problem-solvers, designers, performers, filmmakers, etc are invited to register and deconstruct the world around us.

Being an experimental event, the premise is very open and there is no topic given, although some broad challenge criteria will be released during the event.

“The goal of The Deconstruction is to bring people together from all over the world (physically and digitally) to share ideas, collaborate, create, innovate, and most imporantly have fun. The event is open to anyone, anywhere, of any age and skill level.” (more…)

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Filabot winds toward closed loop recycling

Filament making machine winds its way toward finishing its Kickstarter campaign rewards

Filabot ReclaimerWe last looked at Filabot, the plastic extrusion filament maker for Makerbot and RepRap style 3D printers when Tyler McNaney was in the middle of his Kickstarter Campaign, that ended up successfully raising $32,330 and was more than 320% funded.

The Filabot is a desktop machine that aims to help reduce the cost of 3D printing for filament based and reduce plastic waste by turning it into “ink” or filament for 3D printers that print by depositing and fusing plastic together.

The Filabot Reclaimer has recently had a lot of development work from McNaney, whose working hard to fulfil his Kickstarter rewards orders by the end of the year. He, recently revealed the design for the production Filabot Reclaimer on his website. The case is made from folded CNC plasma cut steel. (more…)

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Kickstarting a landmine detonator

Mine Kafon: a low cost, wind powered mine detonator

Of all the maker projects I saw in 2012, Massoud Hassani’s Mine Kafon stands out in my mind as the most valuable contribution to global society.  Hassani grew up in Qasaba, Kabul in Afghanistan, he is now an industrial designer living in Eindhoven in the Netherlands. In his studies at university, Hassani recognised that the current means of land mine removal hasn’t had a lot of development in the last 60 years, it is still a labourous, dangerous, slow and expensive operation.  Mine Kafon is designed as a low cost solution to the problem of old, but still active, land mines. It is a land mine detonator inspired in part by childhood toys that Hassani and his friends crafted from cheap materials. (more…)

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Self taught teen from Sierra Leone invited to MIT Media Lab

Youngest visiting practitioner at 16 years old runs a radio station he built himself
At 16 years of age, Kelvin Doe or DJ Focus is the youngest person ever to be invited to MIT Media Lab as a Visiting Practitioner. Even more remarkable is that Doe lives in Sierra Leone, an African nation on the path to recovery from civil war, and he’s already an accomplished, self taught maker. Prior to his visit, he had never traveled more than 10 miles from his town.
Doe was given the opportunity to spend three weeks at MIT as part of their International Development Initiative program, after becoming a finalist in Innovate Salone. Innovate Salone’s a contest started by fellow Sierra Leone local and PhD candidate at MIT David Sengeh to challenge and stimulate young people to solve many of the complex issues of their country which has recently emerged from a decade long civil conflict. (more…)

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Make Your Own Laser Cut Toy challenge winners announced

Amazing toys in this laser cut design competition!

An impressive number of creative and thoughtful toys were tough competition for the seven judges including Ponoko CEO Dave ten Have of Solidsmack’s ‘Make Your Laser Cut Toy’ Challenge. It is clear that people went to a lot of effort with their toy designs with quite a few generating photo-realistic renders or actually getting them laser cut. Many of the entries also included well resolved mechanical components to aid moving parts. But the grand prize went to Andrea Garuti who created Castle attack, an expandable medieval village. (more…)

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Autodesk 123D Design released

Solid 3D modelling on Mac, Windows, iPad and on the web!

Last week Autodesk released 123D Design, a free 3D modelling application aimed  towards digital fabrication for makers.

The beta version of 123D has been available for Windows PC for some time. The surprise announcement to me was that Autodesk 123D Design not only works on Windows and Mac, but also iPad and a web app! The web app version is still limited to MacOS 10.6.8+ and Windows 7 users, however. (more…)

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3D printing to help restore and protect marine life

3D printing sustainable ocean blocks

3d printed reef units

An Australian company Sustainable Oceans International, has become the first in the world to develop artificial reefs using large construction size 3D printers.

Demand on global fish stocks, pollution, increasing ocean acidification and climate change are all making their impact on ocean life and reef systems around the world. Notable in Australia, is that the Great Barrier Reef has already lost half of its coral. As reefs provide an important home for marine life in the world’s oceans there is an increasing awareness of the need to protect these unique systems. (more…)

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