Monthly Archives: September 2015

MakerBot and TOM challenge makers to design better 3D printed assistive technology devices for people with disabilities

Each week, there are huge technological breakthroughs in robotics, aerospace, medicine and manufacturing, however it’s often the smallest inventions that have the biggest impact on our daily lives. Yes, NASA’s 3D printing concepts might one day get humans on Mars, but for Kim Lathrop, an amputee with no arms, her biggest concern is getting dinner on the table.

This article MakerBot and TOM challenge makers to design better 3D printed assistive technology devices for people with disabilities is first published at 3ders.org.

Cork 3D Printing Filament, Now from colorFabb

By Michael Molitch-Hou

After Kai Parthy opened up the world of desktop 3D printing to the wonders of printable wood and stone, Dutch manufacturer colorFabb took the specialty filament ball and ran with it, creating a long list of filaments made from various woods and metal composites. Their newest product, announced today and available for pre-order, is corkFill.

corkFill is made up of a combination of cork particles and colorFabb’s own PLA/PHA by FKuR in Germany, who also work with the Dutch company on its woodFill and bambooFill filaments.…

The original post Cork 3D Printing Filament, Now from colorFabb appeared first on 3D Printing Industry.

3D printed soft robot hand can pick up and identify just about anything

When you picture robotic hands, the image that most likely comes to mind is a cold, hard metallic claw that clamps onto its target and crushes the life right out of it—regardless of weather the object is a titanium rod or a helpless teddy bear. Now, a new generation of modular, 3D printed soft robot grippers can easily pick up over 70 everyday times of different weights and sizes, ranging of stuffed animals to eggs to a single sheet of paper, without damaging or dropping them. The robot was designed by MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab, and could eventually allow robots to not only pick up, but actually use a variety of tools designed for human use.

This article MIT's 3D printed soft robot hand can pick up and identify just about anything is first published at 3ders.org.

The M3D Micro, the First True Consumer 3D Printer

By Ryan George

After the most successful 3D printing-related Kickstarter ever ($3.4 million), M3D recently announced a fully-fledged retail version of their Micro 3D Printer. This past weekend at the Maker Faire NY, I had the opportunity to meet with co-founders Michael Armani and David Jones and have a hands-on demonstration with the new printer. Armani says that this is the first true consumer 3D printer to hit the market and, after seeing this machine in action, I’m inclined to believe him.
The consumer 3D market has three major obstacles that no company has been able to fully address: price, user-friendliness, and machine quality/maintenance.…

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How To: Get The Best Results out of Laser Cut Cardstock

Useful tips to ensure optimum cut quality from this versatile material

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Cardstock is such a handy material for laser cutting. The versatile combination of lightweight tensile strength, fast cutting/etching and low unit cost means cardstock is a wonderful choice for greeting cards, business cards, model making and packaging. A number of popular cardstock options are available from both NZ and US Ponoko making hubs.

Cardstock cuts slightly differently from other materials in the Ponoko catalogues, so there are a few useful things to know to get the optimum cut quality for your project. Some of these tips are mentioned in the Ponoko material pages, such as designing around small light pieces that can shift during cutting. We always strongly advise that you carefully read material information to get a clearer idea of what results to expect. Material samples are another handy reference, although we stress that every project is different, and prototyping is the only way to ensure the best outcome.   

Something to keep in mind is that many of the mass-produced, intricately cut card products on the market are not laser cut but stamped out with a die – kind of like a cookie cutter.  A laser cuts by burning material away, so some discoloration can be expected around cut marks.  This is an inherent part of the laser cutting process and can be seen in the catalogue material photos.  

Because cardstock is thin and not particularly durable, it can not be masked with protective tape, unlike other materials.  Protective tape shields the material from heat flare, and no tape means that the underside of the card will have discoloration marks.  These are more obvious on light colored card.  The example below shows the underside marking at its worst, although there is no discernable discoloration on the “design” side – it looks great despite the intricate detail.

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And the underside detail:

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So with this in mind, here are a few tips to design for laser cutting card stock:

• Choose black cardstock for a double-sided design
• Mirror your design, cut right and left and then laminate (glue) the two sides with the undersides together to conceal them
• Line your cut card with a blank sheet of material as a design feature
• Incorporate raster and/or vector engraving into your design to add detail without cutting through the material

The black card is an example of lining with a mirror design, while the white card shows contrasting blank lining.

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Cardstock is a popular material in gift packaging, such as wedding favors, etc.  istockpack is a handy resource for free packaging templates. We will be adding some Ponoko-ready packaging files into the showroom in the future. When designing anything that requires folding, incorporate score lines into your design.  If you’re using thinner cardstock, medium vector engraving will produce a clean fold. For thicker card, such as the NZ Box Board, heavy engraving will work better. Cardstock engraves beautifully – check out the material catalogue photos.

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When folded or assembled into a 3D form, card will be much more rigid and stable. The placeholder below holds its shape perfectly with a clean score line, and it can be cut from any cardstock. The table that looks like a Madebydan coffee table is, in fact, a miniature version measuring only 66mm square. The level of detail is impressive, and this will work well with the Box Board.

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One of the great features of cardstock is that you don’t need any specialised adhesives for assembly. The most useful, readily available options include: double-sided tape, glue sticks, spray adhesive and PVA glue. You probably have at least a few of these in amongst your stationery supplies already. Experimentation with different options is encouraged, just remember that you don’t need anything fancy; pretty much any water-based adhesive such as wood glue or craft glue will work well. Be sure to practice your adhesive technique first as it can get messy if you’re not careful.

In this article we have taken a look at some of the key considerations when designing for laser cutting in cardstock. Incorporate these into your own workflow, and you’ll soon see how rewarding this most versatile of materials can be.

Photo sources: butterfly favor boxfall favour boxesbutterfly.  Rest – Ponoko.

This content originally appeared in the Ponoko Support Forums.

The post How To: Get The Best Results out of Laser Cut Cardstock appeared first on Ponoko - Blog.

MIT multi-material MultiFab 3D printer could be used by U.S. military manufacture missiles on battlefield

The U.S. Department of Defense’s official science blog released details of a powerful and versatile new 3D printer that can print up to 10 materials at once and embed electronics, circuits and sensors directly into the object, allowing it to create a finished products, from spare parts to war missiles, directly in the field. The printer, known as the MultiFab, was designed by researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) and would retail for just $7,000—significantly less expensive than comparable multi-material 3D printers.

This article MIT's multi-material MultiFab 3D printer could be used by U.S. military manufacture missiles on battlefield is first published at 3ders.org.

Magical Castle Snow Globes Made Possible by 3D Printing & Hand-Craftsmanship

By Pawel Ślusarczyk

The users of low-cost 3D printers can be divided into two groups. The first group treats 3D printers as works of art, spending countless hours on their calibration, improvement and development, and making the 3D printing process the essence of the printer’s existence. In short – for them, the 3D printer is a value itself. The second group approaches a 3D printer they would any other tool that allows user to create new things that, without it, would be much harder to make.…

The original post Magical Castle Snow Globes Made Possible by 3D Printing & Hand-Craftsmanship appeared first on 3D Printing Industry.

Cartesio and BOFA develop 3D PrintPRO Fume Extraction Systems specifically for 3D printers

With 3D printers invading schools and living rooms, it is probably a good thing that people are starting to look into health related issues as well. After all, we’ve all smelled the fumes coming off molten plastic, and if plastic can kill animals, what does it do for our lungs? While there is no such thing as oversight on toxic particles in 3D printable filaments, 3D printer manufacturers Cartesio and fume extraction and filtration system developer BOFA have already joined forces to develop the 3D PrintPro Fume Extraction System to make 3D printing healthier for all those involved.

This article Cartesio and BOFA develop 3D PrintPRO Fume Extraction Systems specifically for 3D printers is first published at 3ders.org.

Museum of Design Atlanta Unveils All-Star 3D Printing Exhibition

By Tyler Koslow

Recent years have continued to prove the formidability of 3D printing technology; we have seen the additive manufacturing process making its way into our homes, jobs, products, and it has now even found its way into an exhibition within the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA). MODA will be hosting their 3D printing exploration exhibition from September 20th up until January 10th of next year. The museum will reportedly present a mixture of both viewable and hands-on experiences with 3D printing technology, and will be looking at multiple facets of potential 3D printing applications, such as space exploration, architecture, and prosthetic devices.…

The original post Museum of Design Atlanta Unveils All-Star 3D Printing Exhibition appeared first on 3D Printing Industry.

UF Scientists Find Perfect Medium for 3D Printing Complex Jelly-Soft Objects

By Davide Sher

All paste-based pneumatic extrusion 3D printing processes (a type of 3D printing that is rapidly becoming a stand-alone sector for its many different possible applications) share the same challenge: finding the correct viscosity for the paste material to be fluid enough to be extruded, and, yet, thick enough to solidify once extruded in order to support the material’s own weight. This is true of cement extrusion, as well as any food-paste extrusion, silicon, alginate, resins and, yes, cellular hydrogels for bioprinting.…

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