Jan 24, 2015

DIY computer based on MOS 6502 CPU with 3d printed enclosure

Dirk Grappendorf made this DIY computer based on 8-bit MOS 6502 CPU that was used in many popular home computers of the 1970s and 1980s like the Commodore 64 or the Apple II with 3d printed case.
He has detailed documentation so you can go step by step and make it yourself.
Very cool!

Project homepage: http://www.grappendorf.net/projects/6502-home-computer

All the files and code needed for this project can be found here:


If you find this interesting check out the Pi Top project.

SemiFlex is new member of NinjaFlex 3d filament family made by Fenner Drives

Fenner Drives, the company who created NinjaFlex, released their new filament named SemiFlex which is more rigid.

Here are the features from the product page:
  • High level of detail
  • Contain intricate parts
  • High resolution text
  • Unsupported vertical printing
  • Shock-absorption needed
  • Requires less flexibility than NinjaFlex Original 3D Filament
  • Filament hardness of approximately 85A (NinjaFlex) and 98A(50D) SemiFlex
  • REACH and RoHS 2002/95/EC Directive Compliant
  • recommended extruder temperatures are around the 210-25°C range, recommended platform temperatures are in the 20-50°C range, and recommended print speed should be 30mm per second
Since it is a new material there is no tests or reviews, but since the NinjaFlex was a success, SemiFlex will probably find its market place.

Here is the comparison chart:

How to make animated .GIF image from openSCAD model

Les Hall created this tutorial on how to make animated .GIF images from openSCAD.

3d printed prosthetic hand animated GIF exported from openSCAD

Get and share optimal Slicer settings with SlicerShare

Ever needed some slicer settings for a printer or material you are not familiar with? SlicerShare is a webpage dedicated to shearing various slicer settings.
It looks like a cool idea and I hope that the user base will grow and more people will contribute ...
There are some 30+ slicer settings shared currently on the site.


Thank you Jay King for the tip!

Jan 21, 2015

UberBlox construction modules for your home manufacturing machines

UberBlox are modular building blocks for any type of machine ranging from wheeled robot to CNC mill. You can create anything you want.

Pick and Place delta robot made with UberBlox

UberBlox description from the company page:
UberBlox is a new high-quality metal construction set and prototyping system for makers to build rigid structures and automated machines.

At the heart of the system is a new single-connector locking mechanism which uses a common small tool to quickly and precisely lock each block to the next. The firmly connected blocks provide accurate, strong and rigid frames for a wide variety of structures and complex machines such as robots, CNC machines and 3D printers.

In addition to the basic blocks, the system includes a growing catalog of compatible and reconfigurable parts, including moving components, sub-assemblies, motors, electronics and controllers based on popular boards such as Arduino and Raspberry Pi, for a complete solution to the building needs of today's sophisticated maker.

Here is short video overview of UberBlox:

UberBlox homepage: https://uberblox.com/

They will be on KickStarter soon ...

The Kiosk by Bruce Sterling is dark vision of future and 3d printing

"The Kiosk" is an EXCELLENT must-read (or listen) science fiction novella by Bruce Sterling which deals with the dystopian future and 3d printing.
Bruce Sterling is a master SF writer famous for his work in fiction and technology theory and he currently lives in Serbia which is in my neighborhood and was once part of Yugoslavia.

The novella is clearly influenced by culture and history of Ex-Yugoslavia which makes it even more appealing to me.
It deals with life of kiosk owner Borislav from East Euroslavia who gets a "Fabrikator" machine. I will not spoil your enjoyment of the audiobook but it gets dark, violent, interesting ... there are 3d printed bullets printed with carbon particles and other 3d printed appliances ... the whole society of main protagonist is shaped by 3d printing...

You can download it here for free, it is read by Peter Cavell and starts around 10:30 into the podcast:


It is hour and a half well spent, I listened to it while walking my dog ...

FYI: it is not an optimistic work ...

For a similary themed dystopian short story you can also check out Printcrime by Cory Doctorow:


"The Kiosk" inspired a project:

‘KIOSK’ explores a near future scenario in which digital fabrication is so ubiquitous that we see it appear on our
street corners. With KIOSK the user can ‘appropriate, sample, remix, improve, up/downscale or copy new objects
and 3D-print them on the spot.’ KIOSK operates as a portable 3D copyshop capable of producing a ‘custom made
fix for your broken shoe, materialise an illegal download of Starck’s Juicy Salif orange squeezer that you modified for better performance or quickly print out a present for your sister’s birthday.’ For The Machine Unfold, in collaboration with Indianen, created a new creative digital copy station.

A project commissioned by Z33, House for contemporary art and MU Eindhoven.
With the support of Bits from Bytes and Jo Van Bostraeten.
A collaboration with Indianen.

Draken DLP SLA 3d printer is new challenger in affordable stereolithography market

Draken by 3DFacture is new DLP based LSA 3d printer that wants to enter affordable stereolithography market segment.

Key features from KS page:

  • Traditionally, 3D printers fall into two catergories: high resolution printers costing thousands of dollars, or low resolution ones costing under a thousand. The Draken prints at 37 microns on X-Y axis and can print down to 10 microns on the Z axis, which results in printing features as fine as a strand of hair.
  • Draken prints  up to 8.66" tall with a 3.86" x 7.09" build base at 90 micron XYZ resolution, the largest and tallest among all personal SLA printers.
  • Because 3D printers can take several hours or longer to complete taller builds, it's important to reduce the noise pollution as much as possile. Draken makes almost no noise.
  • Draken is one of the fastest personal SLA printers in the market today.  For other SLA printers to print a 6.5 inch Statue of Liberty with 100 micron Z resolution, it takes anywhere from 6 to 8 hours. With Draken, it only takes 3.6 hours.
  • The inner printer frame is made of an integrated piece of high-quality steel, the outer shell is a single piece of aluminum alloy sheet, which assures the stability and precision of the printer.
  • Draken is so flexible that you can easily take out the commercial-grade high definition projector and use it to project HD movies.
  • The patent-pending passive peeling technique in the build platform reduces the adhesion  force at each layer separation and increases the printing speed dramatically.
  • For most SLA printers on market, the resin vat needs to be replaced every few months, because the silicone coating on the vat might get cloudy after extensive usage. In Draken, we bonded a thin Teflon layer on top of the silicon coating, which greatly extended the lifetime of the vat. You won't need to worry about frequent replacement of the vat anymore.
  • Draken supports all third-party resins. We have tested several stable resins for Draken with various properties. MakerJuice, MadeSolid, FTD, and even Formlabs resin work perfectly with Draken. Furthermore, Draken's materials development team has created our own resin, priced lower than all the others on market.

 Draken technical specifications and comparison to other 3d printrs on the market:

3DFacture company homepage: http://www.3dfacture.com/

Draken is on Kickstarter now, where you can still get it at the moment for $1099 (without the projector):


Here is video presentation of this printer:

Jan 19, 2015

From DIY 3d printing history 4 - Mattel's Electric vacuum plastic toy maker

While this is not exactly a 3d printer but a sort of plastic vacuum molding machine it shows that there is a long history of using heated plastic to reproduce 3d objects for everyday usage.
This is a photo of a Mattel Electric VAC-U-FORM children toy maker. Today would be probably prohibited due to dangers of letting kids play with molten plastics and very hot elements.
It is probably a grand grand granddaddy of modern home 3d printers. Maybe. Or a strange elderly and distant uncle ... still interesting ...

Source or copyright of the picture is unknown ... age also ... anyone knows more?

Update: It is form the early sixties and here is video of the TV commercial:

For other posts on the subject and curiosities for the paste start here:


Second space 3d printer to be sent to ISS by ESA

European Space Agency is also sending a 3d printer to International Space Station. It will be the second 3d printer in space. The printer is named POP3D and it's developed in Italy. First ISS 3d printer is already working on ISS and was developed by "Made in Space" and delivered by SpaceX.

From the source article:
Europe’s very first 3D printer in space is scheduled for installation aboard the ISS next year.
Designed and built in Italy, it will be put to the test as part as ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti’s Futura mission, and is set to reach orbit in the first half of next year. Samantha herself will be launched on her six-month Station assignment on 23 November.
The POP3D Portable On-Board Printer is a small 3D printer that requires very limited power and crew involvement to operate,” explained Luca Enrietti of Altran, prime contractor for the compact printer.

The unit is a cube with 25 cm sides and prints with biodegradable and harmless plastic using a heat-based process.

“Part of the challenge of designing a 3D printer for the Station was to ensure its operation does not affect the crew environment,” added Giorgio Musso of Thales Alenia Space Italy, principal investigator for the project.

Funded by Italy’s ASI space agency, POP3D should take about half an hour to produce a single plastic part, which will eventually be returned to Earth for detailed testing, including comparison with an otherwise identical part printed on the ground.

“There is big potential all along the value chain, to save cost and mass,” noted Reinhard Schlitt, heading OHB’s Engineering Services.

“But right now the way parts are being produced in various different ways. As a satellite manufacturer, we need common standards in place so we can compare competing supplier parts on a like-for-like basis.

“Europe does have a lead in this technology – the latest laser machines are coming from here for export to the US and China – so we should build on that.”



POP3D space based 3d printer developed in Italy (Source: ESA)

Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, source: ESA