Uformia MeshUp

Purpose built 3D modelling software for designing 3D models for printing

MeshUp is a purpose built 3D modelling application for 3D printing. At first glance, MeshUp appears to have similar mesh mixing capabilities as Autodesk meshmixer. However it includes much more powerful and 3D printing specific features. Developed by a company called Uformia, they claim – “MeshUp is the first real volume modeler for meshes. We want to make life easier for 3D printing and for creators. At Uformia we envision a very different experience for users, where without effort, a creator can be sure that their models are always ready for 3D printing.” (more…)

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Manufacturing product beta?

Manufacturing development emulating the software worldDesign studio Teague recently showcased 13:30, a pair of headphones at Makerfaire. They are currently experimenting with applying the concept of releasing products in ‘beta’ to manufacturing. For Teague, John Mabry designed a pair of headphones entitled 13:30, for print on a professional grade FDM 3D printer using commonly available electronic components. (more…)

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Eventorbot new open source 3D printer

Kickstarter’s latest and very promising RepRap derivativeEventorbot

The latest and professional in appearance RepRap based 3D printer was developed by Duy Dang to have a rigid construction yet retain the low cost and ease of assembly aspects that RepRap owners and builders enjoy. (more…)

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Software to detect structural defects

Because gravity, isn’t always a 3D modeller’s best friend

When you build small intricate 3D models in a virtual environment for 3D printing in the real world, you quickly learn 3D modelling isn’t always easy, especially if you’re making miniatures with tiny parts. Sometimes these delicate pieces can break. The key is to know which parts you need to scale up, both for structural reasons and for enhancing the contrast of small details. Unless you have a background in engineering this is usually a trial and error process.

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MIT’s Neil Gershenfeld speaks with RadioNZ

Director of MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms speaking about digital making

Professor Neil Gershenfeld, director of Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center for Bits and Atoms and author of Fab: The Coming Revolution on Your Desktop–from Personal Computers to Personal Fabrication, is visiting Wellington, New Zealand.

He’s in town for the FAB8NZ conference next week at Massey University, and recently spoke with Kim Hill of Radio New Zealand, about personal fabrication and the Fablab movement.

You can listen below or stream/download from RadioNZ.

If you’re interested in attending Fab8NZ, you can find registration info here.


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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3D printed exoskeletal support

Exo-Skeletons no longer mere sci-fiMagicArms 3D printed exoskeleton

In the realm of science fiction (Aliens, Halo, Iron Man, etc) exo-skeletal suits have long enabled humans to exert super human force and endure arduous conditions. But for Emma Lavelle, a young girl that was born with a condition called arthrogryposis – wearing a 3D printed external support structure is a reality to enable her to carry out everyday tasks that able bodied people would perhaps take for granted. (more…)

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Variable speed bike sprocket

Give your single speed bike a boost with some parametric goodness

If there was an award for parametric design that made riding your single speed or fixie bike usable on gradients greater than 5 degrees for people other than Olympic athletes, then Jason DeRose would surely take it out with his variable ratio mechanical gear design.

DeRose, a software developer used Python and employed mathematics and geometry to work out the position of the sprocket teeth to craft his design. As part of DeRose’s design process, he then extruded the linework into 3D in Blender. He has also released the project files as open source on launchpad to allow others to build upon it. (more…)

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FoldaRap: portable 3D printer

A 3D printer suitable for secret agents?

This is the first 3D printer I’d consider worthy of Ian Fleming’s Q character in the world of 007. The FoldaRap is a derivative of the RepRap project, the first to be a truely portable 3D printer. It is designed to fit within a tough travelling case. (more…)

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Make magazine’s MakerCamp

Make magazine’s virtual maker camp!

Make magazine is currently hosting a free online DIY makercamp on their Google+ page. MakerCamp is aimed at teenagers, although it looks like there will be interesting projects for people who haven’t grown out of being a kid as well. Each weekday a new project video is posted on youtube packed with demonstrations, instructions and a list of materials. There has already been how to make compressed air rockets. This week’s features include making animated GIF images, sculpting with modeling clays and more. Make promises the series will emcompass the broad spectrum of maker projects. (more…)

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Performance enhancing 3D prints!

Footwear for sprinters made with selective laser sintering

With the London 2012 Olympics not far away, the world’s attention will soon be drawn to the spectacle of elite athletes competing for glory. London based French designer and engineer Luc Fusaro has recently designed a pair of prototype 3D printed footwear to give sprinters the edge, for his masters degree final solo project at the Royal College of Art.

The shoes are designed at least in part by the athlete’s themselves. Using 3D scans of a sprinter’s feet Fusaro is able to personally customise the shoes to match the exact contours and form of every athlete’s foot. Fusaro based the design in part on research conducted by Dr Daniel Toon from Loughborough University’s Sports Technology and Additive Manufacturing Research Group.

“Scientific investigations have shown that tuning the mechanical properties of a sprint shoe to the physical abilities of an athlete can improve performance by up to 3.5%, when an improvement of 0.7% can already make a significant difference in a sprinter’s chance of winning a particular race.” (more…)

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