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…)
One Just One is a new company using Kickstarter to launch a collection of procedurally-generated 3D printed jewellery. The idea is to generate a series of base designs, tweak each one into a thousand unique models, and then sell each of those only once.
That takes advantage of one of 3D printing’s big strengths — that everything can be a unique object — without also incurring the full penalties of scale. It’s an approach that might not work (or be necessary) in every situation, but it seems like a great fit for fashion.
Another interesting bit is that all of the base designs are test printed ahead of time. As long as the variations of those designs stay within certain tolerances, customers should be able to feel more confident in ordering something that doesn’t technically exist yet. Some test prints: (more…)
If funding is successful, the combination phone stand/tripod mount/windshield mount will be manufactured through traditional means. But during development, Spatial Studios used one of the great strengths of 3D printing: iteration. That enabled creator Randy Ganacias to make changes over and over until the design was declared finished.
What’s neat is that although many use cases have been planned for (such as book scanner, above), it’s the unplanned ones that are most intriguing. The MilliMount has space to accommodate metal rings, elastic bands, and bolts… All in service of connecting up whatever odd thing you can think of.
The PandaBot 3D printer launched on Kickstarter earlier this morning, coming in an initial backer price of USD$800. Panda Robotics, the company behind the PandaBot, hopes to entice new users by providing friendly software and sturdy, attractive metal construction not normally seen at that price point.
I visited the Toronto office of Panda Robotics yesterday to have a look at the prototype unit and see some test prints. I’ve taken part in some events with Panda in the past, but I’d never really had time to sit down and watch their printer in action.
Here’s a comparison shot of how the resolution of the prototype’s prints has improved over time: (more…)