Monthly Archives: August 2016

Laika uses 3D printing to create a 16-foot tall skeleton puppet for Kubo and the Two Strings

When we heard that Laika Studios’ latest animated film Kubo and the Two Strings was taking the box office by storm and receiving high praise from critics and audiences alike, we here at 3Ders were anything but surprised. Not only has the Oregon-based animation studio made a name for itself with its original, inspiring, and on the whole extremely charming films, which include Coraline (2009), Paranorman (2012), and The Boxtrolls (2014), but they have also become recognized for their unique hybrid animation technique, which combines traditional stop-motion (made all the more excellent with the help of 3D printing) and digital CG technologies. Kubo and the Two Strings, for its part, has taken Laika’s animation to a whole new level, with such features as a fully 3D printed character and a 16-foot tall stop-motion skeleton puppet–possibly the largest stop-motion puppet ever made.

Hack Rod brings Mad Max cars to life with 3D printed dune buggies generated by AI

3D printing is rapidly taking over the automotive industry, especially as a prototyping tool and even for the occasional 3D printed interior. And of course Local Motors is developing the real deal: the world’s first road-ready 3D printed car. But they are by no means the only player to bring 3D printing into the actual manufacturing realm, as a team of LA-based hackers called Hack Rod is currently 3D printing custom 3D printed dune buggies. And they are actually taking an even more hi-tech approach, as their 3D printed chassis are generated by AI and are constantly adapted for optimal performance.

CAS researchers build 3D printed self-driving mini vehicle with deforming liquid metal wheels

Who says metal needs to be solid to be functional? A team of researchers from the Institute of Physical and Chemical Technology (of CAS, the Chinese Academy of Sciences) and Tsinghua University have just proven that the opposite can be true as well. As part of their studies on wire oscillation effects and liquid metals, they have harnessed a liquid metal jumping phenomenon to build a self-driven miniature vehicle with deforming liquid metal wheels.

Recycling in space Tethers Unlimited to test plastic grinding 3D printing system aboard the ISS

3D printing in space has actually been a reality since 2014, when Made in Space first tested their zero-gravity 3D printer aboard the ISS. Since May of this year, you can even order parts that will be 3D printed on demand on their second generation zero-gravity 3D printer. The benefits of this technological breakthrough are obviously huge, as transportation costs can be significantly reduced if NASA only needs to send up basic 3D printable materials. But at the same time, all that plastic creates another challenge: waste. While you could just shoot it out in space and hope that the sun will take care of it, Washington-based Tethers Unlimited is working on a 3D printing and recycling solution.