This awe-inspiring 3D print is a scale model of a gas plant in Chile. The real plant was built by Linde AG, and the model was made by i.materialise. It measures 130 cm long by 100 cm wide by 75 cm tall, so it was printed in seven sections, glued together, and spray painted silver.
As incredible as this print is, I’m more impressed by whoever made the 3D model. All those pipes . . .
Keep reading after the jump for detail images of the model along with two more examples of extreme 3D printing! (more…)
Two new developments connecting 3D printing and medicine.
A working recipe for 3D printed bone was recently developed by Open3DP. They began with a mixture of powdered bone meal, powdered sugar, MaltoDextrin, and their usual binder solution, but this mixture resulted in extremely fragile parts.
After five weeks of testing and experimentation, they settled on Urea-Formaldehyde resin (UF resin), a much stronger adhesive. If you want to try this yourself, they used a ratio of 4-5 part powdered bone meal and 1 part UF resin.
While the goal of this project was to make models, 3D printed bones have huge potential for bone replacement or repair. Personally, I’m intrigued by the inclusion of powdered sugar in the initial recipe . . .
Read about 3D printed implants after the jump. (more…)
Fashion design students Naim Josefi and Souzan Youssouf worked with Materialise to make the Melonia shoe. They use a 3D scan of your feet to make these custom-printed shoes. In spite of their skeletal, almost fragile look, they are strong enough to walk on, as was demonstrated by models on the fashion runway.
Shoes like these could be made in a closed loop. In other words, old shoes could be recycled and turned into new shoes in a zero-waste process.
Last summer i.materialise received an order to 3D print a device that looked a lot like an ATM skimmer — a faceplate that can be attached to ATM machines to read bank cards and collect personal information.
i.materialise spoke with the customer and declined the order. They followed with a blog post sharing the incident, saying “The 3D model of the device was very well designed, and we would like to urge everyone to be aware and take extreme caution when dealing with ATM machines.”
As digital fabrication becomes more and more popular, we’re bound to hear a few more stories like this.
Get ready for the collision of ethics and on-demand manufacturing.
The rise of digital fabrication and the revolutionary potential behind this increasingly accessible technology were the topics of a recent panel held by the UK’s National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts.
Three experts including a Fab Lab manager, a 3D printer inventor, and a start-up founder in the toy industry talk about how on-demand manufacturing technologies like 3D printing are creating an environment for a new wave of inventors and entrepreneurs.
Alice Taylor left her job in educational programming at UK’s Channel 4 to start Makieworld.com, an online site for creating 3D printed, biodegradable dolls.
She talks about the closed world of the toy industry in contrast to the open world of gaming and why it’s time for that to change.
Taylor calls 2011 the year for personal manufacturing services taking note of major players like Shapeways, iMaterialise, and Ponoko and adding that there will be several new companies making their way to the market.
As for her own foray into the consumer world of digital fabrication? “Makieworld is brand, brand new. … I’m looking at how we might be able to produce dolls that come up to toy safety standards in a couple years time.” (more…)
Can it be improved? Download the file for free and see for yourself.
Improving a design as enduring as a paperclip sounds impossible, but i.materialise may have pulled it off. The Infinite Clip can clip onto things in four different directions and serve as a hook. It can clip onto thin and thick things, which has always been the weakness of normal paperclips.
The 3D file can be downloaded for free from Thingiverse if you want to try it for yourself with your favorite 3D printing service. Unfortunately, they claim it probably won’t work with a Makerbot since the curve needs to be supported.
The world’s first service to offer titanium 3D printing to consumers.
Titanium has an undefinable coolness factor that few other materials can match. 3D printing is one of the coolest ways to make things, so 3D printed titanium is just plain awesome. Thanks to i.materialise, this awesomeness is now a reality.
3D printing in Titanium uses Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS). Here’s how it works according to i.materialise:
1. A thin bed of titanium powder is laid down in the 3D printer.
2. This layer is then sintered by a very powerful laser and will become the bottom layer of your part.
3. A new layer of powder is applied and the process repeats itself.
4. Your part is taken out of the 3D printer and any loose unsintered powder is removed.
5. In most cases your part will have support structures 3D printed on and around it out of titanium.
6. These supports have to be removed manually using very powerful circular saws and other tools.
7. Once the supports have been removed manual polishing is required to remove evidence of the supports.
8. Then a post finishing step may be required such as polishing the entire part.
On a related topic, the world’s first 3D printer capable a printing directly in gold was built recently. Unfortunately, it’s not yet accessible to consumers.
The world is full of great ideas, and never before has it been easier to turn those ideas into real, physical products. The thrill of holding something in your hands which you created is something quite special.
Here at Ponoko we love helping everyday people make extraordinary things and we relish our part in the renewed ‘maker movement’ which has taken off over the past few years.
To help you become a part of it too, we have drawn up ten steps to creating a successful custom product. We hope they’ll help to inspire you to start making – and hope to hear about your experiences of doing so!
1. Create a clear design brief for your product
The best thing you can start with is a very clear design brief, or outline. The key questions here are “Why?”, “Who?” and “What?”.
Firstly, identify the problem your product will solve, and the constraints you want to work within. For instance, instead of deciding you want to make a set of shelves – start with the fact you need to organize your books, and the constraint is that it needs to fit between your desk and your bed. This will widen the scope of what you may create, and ensure that it’s meeting a clear need.
Clarifying who you’re making the product for will help you in a multitude of ways – from how you will make it in the beginning through to how you will promote it to others. (more…)