Mar 4, 2015

OpenHand 3d printable open source robotic hand is a strong and flexible gripper for you robot

3d printed robots are not toys anymore and very serious open source projects are emerging like strong DIY 3d printable robotic arm or small DIY robotic production cell.

We could see very soon home based robotic mini factories where robots, cnc machines, pick-and-place machines and 3d printers make anything you can imagine.

If you want to develop your own project you can use this robotic hand developed at Yale.

It comes in several configurations with different number of fingers. Finger grippers are made from different combinations of flexible and hard materials moved by fiber tendons. The resulting movements show that it can manipulate many different types of objects.
OpenHand is an open source projects so all the files are available publicly even including a code to modify the design.

OpenHand in three finger configuration

Here are some video of different OpenHand version manipulating objects:

In this video they show Hybrid Deposition Manufacturing (HDM) production process of OpenHand components where different materials are used to create object with functional properties. The process is easily replicated at home workshop:

Here is a OpenHand page:

OpenHand GitHub repository:

More extensive PDF document with many technical details on OpenHand:

PDF paper on Hybrid Deposition Manufacturing, a must-read if you want to recreate similar robotic hands:

Mini Metal Maker is ready to go to production

Mini Metal Maker is a small metal clay 3d printer developed by David and Lindsay Hartkop. It extrudes special metal clay which is then air dried and fired in a kiln to get metal objects. Ideal for jewelry makers and other small fine metal specialists.
The first version of Mini Metal Maker had a very successful Indiegogo campaign in 2013. Now the new version if fully matured and is on Indiegogo again to move the production of the machines from their home to real factory..
They have developed it from a wooden proof-of-concept to a sturdy production-ready machine ready for this specific metal clay 3d printing market.

Technical specifications:
  • the print bed currently allows for prints up to a 3.15 in cube (8 x 8 x 8 cm)
  • XY resolution: 10 microns
  • Z resolution: 2 microns
  • Extrusion resolution: 250 micron traces with 22 ga. nozzle
  • The device prints with a commercially available jewelry product known as "metal clay." This material is a pre-mixed emulsion of metal particles in a water soluble organic binder. When heated to 1550˚F(600˚C-900˚C) in a kiln, the binder burns away as the metal particles fuse together.
  • The Mini Metal Maker measures 9 in wide, 12 in deep, and 18 in tall (23 cm x 30 cm x 46 cm) 
  • Electronics / software: Arduino Duo with modified open source Sprinter firmware
  • USB port
  • Price: starting from 2100 USD on Indiegogo

Bronze metal parts for ReRap Wades extruder

Here is a well produced presentation video:

Go and check their Indigogo campaign:

Mar 3, 2015

Cody Wilson is offering 15000 USD bounty for Mark One carbon fiber 3d printer

It's hard being Cody Wilson. With all the controversy and media attention, FedEx declines to ship his legal Ghost Gunner CNC and now MarkForge refuses to sell him Mark One carbon fiber 3d printer.
Because they know he will 3d print a gun with it. Which is as far as many sources claim also legal in the USA as long is it made from metal and not sold.
So what did Cody do? He put a 15000 USD bounty on Mark One machine.

You can think whatever you want about Cody Wilson but he certainly knows how to use the media. Things are getting interesting in 3d printing :-)
We will probably see first carbon fiber 3d printed gun very soon...

Mark One

ExtrusionBot EB2 modular and fast filament extruder with cruncher and spooling modules

ExtrusionBot has new flagship filament extruder model: the EB2. It features high extrusion speeds at 6,5 feet per minute and modules that can be attached to it like cruncher that will shred 3d printed objects for recycling into new filament and spool winder.

Technical specifications:
  • automated touchscreen user interface
  • expanded materials (Nylon, HDPE, LDPE, HIPS, PET, plus ABS and PLA)
  • filament cooling mechanism
  • universal power adapter
  • embedded pellet hopper
  • 2 USB ports for smart module attachment
  • Price: 899 USD

Spooler module will ensure that the extruded filament is properly coiled up

Cruncher module will crunch your failed or unwanted 3d printed objects and make new filament from them

ExtrusionBot EB2 homepage:

Here is a video of Cruncher module destroying plastic clamshell packaging.


Finally something useful you can make with them.

If this is too expensive for you and you have some mAd Sk1Lz you can build your own filament factory:

Eucl3d will 3d print your Kerbal space ship

You are a huge fan of Kerbal Space Program? You already made your 3d printed Kerbal controller? You want to 3d print your ship? No problem! Just upload your .craft file and Eucl3d will do the rest ...
I don't know what is the price but it looks cool!

Link to the service:

3d printed extruder for continuous clay shapes

Scot A. Brown published a post on 3d printed extruder that produces continuous stream of clay objects. The rotating parts of the extruder form a mold when they are closing together.
Interesting concept and example of mold+extruder being made by with 3d printed parts. I think it could be used with other pasty materials or even food.
I have not found any design or technical documentation.It would be interesting to see the mechanism of power transmission that turns the six mold wheels.


How to remotly control ATX power supply modes with Raspberry Pi and OctoPrint

Standard ATX power supply unites are widely used to give electricity to 3d printers. Instructables user "mfoster" published a very useful tutorial on how to use RasPi and Octoprint to remotely control ATX power supply and enable you to put it in different power modes like standby mode.
The hack is easy to perform even by novice users, you need do use some code and conect some wires from Raspberry Pi GPIOs to ATX wiring.

Detailed instructions and the code can be found here:

Mar 2, 2015

High grade aluminum DIY syringe extruder by Liam Gilbertson

DIY syringe pumps and other syringe devices are used in different 3d printing projects for depositing various materials from living cells to solder paste dispensers.
Liam Gilbertson posted a very detailed tutorial on how to build your own syringe extrude from MendelMax 2.0 or any other 3D printer based on 2020 extrusion rails.
Be aware that this is not a novice level project since the extruder is very sturdy and may require some machining knowledge and more specialized tools like laser or water jet cutter able to cut 3mm aluminum.

Step-by-step build guide, all the files and code can be found here:

GitHub repository:

How to design 3d printable eyeglasses with Blender and free pince-nez library

There have been some guides on 3d printing DIY eyeglasses in the past but Jenny made a dedicated Blender library that will enable you to create high quality 3d printable frames from SVG (scalable vector graphics) images of commercial glass frames.
The library will allow you to adjust all the parameters to get a perfect fitting frames where you can insert your prescription lenses.

Here is a video of how you insert the lenses in a frames designed with this method:

She made two post detailing the process:

You can download her eyeglasses Blender library here:

Great work Jenny! As a life long glasses wearer I salute you!