The Form 1 is notable both for its wildly successful Kickstarter campaign and the subsequent lawsuit by 3D Systems against both Formlab and Kickstarter. But lawsuits aside, this is a remarkable machine for the very reasonable price of $3299. The Form 1 ships in May.
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…)
Ever wondered what it’s like to get a shipment from Ponoko? The video shows Garland West, an artist/crafter outside of Charlotte NC, unboxing her recent lasercut order featuring a variety of materials and sheet sizes.
You can see her peeling the protective paper and popping out her designs including bamboo business cards, acrylic jewelry, and a big red octopus.
SparkFun is running a Kickstarter campaign for a national tour promoting electronics education for elementary, middle, and high school students. They will add a stop to their tour for every $3000 raised up to a maximum of 300 stops in all 50 states. The location of their backers will help determine their route, so if you want Sparkfun to help promote electronics in your state, be sure to help support the tour.
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.
Using a moving print bed for large-scale printing.
Phantom Geometry, winner of the new Gehry Prize thesis award, is a project by students from the Southern California Institute of Architecture. It was developed in the Robot House, a facility where students have acess to advanced robotic arms, under the guidance of Peter Testa and Devyn Weiser.
The original article on FastCo appears to suggest that the innovation in the project was to use a projector and UV cured resin to produce 3D prints. I hope that’s not what the prize was for, considering that this has been done severaltimes already.
That confusion aside, this is a fascinating project. With typical UV resin 3D printing, the only movement of the print bed is to slowly lower, letting the project light cure one layer of resin at a time. In this case, both the print bed of resin and the projector are attached to robotic arms. This allows the machine to print structures many times larger than the print bed itself. It’s difficult to describe, so please watch the video.
The low cost stereolithography 3D printer reached almost 30x its funding goal and broke the Kickstarter record.
The Kickstarter campaign for the Form 1 stereolithography 3D printer beat all expectations and then some. It ended with $2,945,885 in funding, almost 30x the goal of $100,000. It had $1M in funding in the first day, and before the end it broke the Kickstarter record formerly held be the Oculus Rift of $2.4M.
What make the Form 1 special is that it is the first laser-based 3D printer available at an affordable price. While most stereolithography printers cost tens or hundreds of thousands, the Form 1 was offered for as little as $2299 for the first 25. It is aimed at (and price for) the professional market, but this price is still shockingly low compared to equivalent printers currently on the market.
Read more about the printer in our earlier post announcing the beginning of the Kickstarter campaign.
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…)