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.
Get 15% off conference passes
Join powerhouse 3D printing companies, professionals, industry leaders, and hobbyists to discuss the 3D printing revolution at Inside 3D Printing.
Inside 3D Printing is April 22-23 in New York City, and Ponoko fans will save 15% off gold conference passes with promo code: P15
You’ll hear keynote presentations by leaders in the field: Avi Reichental, President and CEO of 3D Systems; Peter Weijmarshausen, CEO and Co-Founder of Shapeways; and Terry Wohlers, Principal Consultant and President of Wohlers Associates, Inc.
How Professional Investors Are Playing the 3D Printing Boom
A panel of venture capitalists, including professionals from T. Rowe Price Associates, Lux Capital, RRE Ventures, and Piper Jaffray, will explore where investors are placing their bets. You’ll learn what types of startups VCs are interested in funding and where to invest your own money in this emerging industry.
You’ll be able to meet with professionals from 3D Systems, Autodesk, MakerBot, Mcor Technologies, Stratasys, Leonardo, NRI, sculpteo, ZoomRP, GoMeasure3D, Solidoodle, and Ponoko’s own director of manufacturing, Dan Emery.
Register here and save 15% with promo code P15.
Affordable Canadian 3D scanner sees strong demand
As 3D printing has grown in accessibility, the demand for simple content creation tools has grown as well. With the success of their recent IndieGoGo campaign, Toronto-based company Matterform has tapped into that demand via 3D scanning.
Photon, the home 3D scanner that Matterform has campaigned to produce, aims to make importing physical objects into the digital world as simple as placing an item on a turntable. Once in place, an object is set rotating while lasers map out its surface. The object is then saved as a file that can be edited or 3D printed at will.
Since I live in Toronto, I was able to check out Matterform’s studio last week and see the Photon first-hand. (more…)
Filament making machine winds its way toward finishing its Kickstarter campaign rewards
We 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…)
The newest desktop 3D printer from 3D Systems.
3D Systems has announced their newest entry into the desktop 3D printer market: the CubeX. The most notable thing about the new printer is the unusually large build volume of 1030 cubic inches or 10.8” x 10.45” x 9.5”. By comparison, the Makerbot Replicator 2 has a build volume of only 410 cubic inches, although that is still respectable.
The most advanced MakerBot yet.
MakerBot CEO Bre Pettis announced the Replicator 2X 3D printer at the CES technology event. The new printer is equipped with a heated build platform, dual extruders for multiple colors, the ability to print both PLA and ABS, and a 100 micron layer print resolution. It also has a fully enclosed build area with clear plastic windows (that oddly don’t appear to be shown in the above image).
This is arguably their most advanced 3D printer yet. It’s also their most expensive at $2799, clearly reinforcing the transition of MakerBot as a company from inexpensive hobbyist 3D printers to more professional-level machines.
The blurry line between professional and hobby 3D printing.
Ford intends to equip many of their engineers with new Replicator 3D printers from MakerBot, according to GigaOM. The video shows one of Ford’s engineers explaining how he uses an older MakerBot in his work, so Ford has apparently been using these printers for awhile now.
3D printers have been used by major companies for, quite literally, decades, but only recently have 3D printers become inexpensive enough for individuals to own. What is interesting here is that this shift towards low cost 3D printers is also changing the way that large companies use the technology. Instead of only having a few large, expensive 3D printers for an entire company, Ford has elected to provide their engineers with individual, less expensive printers.
Festive and edible!
Want to make some cookies with a more personal touch? Tutor Ralf Holleis and some students at Designlab Coburg have set up a 3D printer that makes cookies, ready to bake.
The unit uses (as far as I can tell) an air compressor-based system that extrudes cookie dough from a nozzle. Sort of similar to how the old MakerBot Frostruder works, but with what appears to be a wider sort of nozzle.
The process is same as most other 3D printers. Start with a design on the computer: (more…)
Another 3D printing company attracts investment.
Sculpteo has received an investment of $2.5 million from XAnge Private Equity and business angels. Sculpteo’s specialty is providing integrated 3D printing solutions with smartphone apps, web apps, embed-able virtual stores, and, of course, 3D printing services.
3D printing has rapidly gone from niche to mainstream and now attracts the large investments and acquisitions one might expect in any other major industry. After MakerBot received $10 million in investment it began to expand rapidly, opening a New York City Store and reorienting its product line towards professionals. I will be interesting to see how Sculpteo changes and expands with their new funding.
3D Systems sues the maker of the Form 1 3D printer and Kickstarter for patent infringement November 22
What will this mean for low cost 3D printers and crowdsourcing?
Formlabs, maker of the Form 1 3D printer that was a runaway hit on Kickstarter, is being sued for patent infringement by 3D systems. 3D systems is also suing Kickstarter for promoting the project on the grounds that Kickstarter had a financial stake since they take a 5% cut.
The Form 1 raised $2,945,885, a remarkable feat, because it offered low-cost stereolithography printing. Other low-cost printers like the MakerBot and RepRep use a plastic extrusion technique, but the Form 1 uses UV cure resin, allowing for much higher resolution prints.
This brings us to the main issue. 3D Systems has an extensive patent on the use of stereolithography for 3D printing, and they are claiming that Form Labs violated it. Specifically, 3D systems is claiming that Form Labs infringed claim 1 and 34 of U.S. Patent No. 5,597,520.
This will be a case to watch. Regardless of the outcome, it could have a large impact on the future of low cost 3D printing and crowdsourcing.
Via Tech Crunch