Oct 30, 2014

How to create 3d printable QR code from images using Blender

danleow posted a detailed guide on how to convert 2d image files of QR codes into 3d models ready for 3d printing using Blender.
Different color on the top can be applied with market or by changing the color of filament near the final few layers.

Detailed step-by-step tutorial is at:


Oct 27, 2014

3d printable TALK device enables disabled to communicate with breath

Robo (aka. Arsh Shah Dilbagi IRL) has developed this 3d printable communication device for severely disabled that uses persons breath for input. The device is cheap to make at some 72 USD for the working prototype.
Great project!

Project summary:
People suffering from Developmental-Disabilities like LIS, ALS etc. are almost entirely paralysed and this disables them to communicate in any way except using an AAC device. Estimates show that approximately 1.4% of world population suffer from such disorders which is more than the entire population of Germany. The Life Expectancy of such people is estimated at 20 yrs below average, mainly because of lack of expression. Current AAC Devices cost thousands of dollars and are slow, bulky and not generic. I decided to find a better solution - An AAC device which is affordable, faster, portable and generic.
Talk expects a person to be able to give two distinguishable exhales (by varying intensity/time) for converting into electrical signals using MEMS Microphone. The signals are processed by a microprocessor and labeled as 'Dots' - for short exhales and 'Dashes' - for longer exhales. These are further interpreted as Morse Code, converted to words/sentences and sent to another microprocessor for synthesising. Talk features two modes - one to communicate in English and other to give specific commands/phrases, and 9 different voices.
Talk has made two major breakthroughs by increasing speaking rate and becoming the world's most affordable AAC device. I got predicted results by testing the device with a person suffering from SEM and Parkinson's Disease. In future I would like to add auto-predictions to my Computing-Engine and integrate Talk with modern technology like Google Glass to make the world a better place to live people with Developmental-Disabilities.
Project homepage with much more details:


I'm still not sure if the project was made available to public and open sourced, but it should be relatively easy to replicate ...

Photo credit: Components of Talk’s final design / Arsh Shah Dilbagi’s Google Science Fair project

First FDM 3d printed graphene battery

Graphene 3D Lab Inc. from New York presented first FDM printed graphene based battery.

I couldn't find much additional information about energy output and capacity, but it looks scalable and something that could be reproduced and refined ...

Small step forward to new energy frontiers ...

TRiBOT will give you 3d printing, CNC milling and injection molding in one machine

TRiBOT is a world’s first 3-in-1 manufacturing machine that allows you to 3D print, CNC mill and injection mold and it's developed by Luminar Products. It looks like a heavy duty home manufacturing machine that could enhance capabilities of hobbyist, professional home craftsman or even small company.
The concept of all-in.one machine has both supporters and critics, advantages and disadvantages. It's up to you to decide.
The price is in the 8000 USD range so it will definitely not be in everyone's garage.

TRiBOT technical specifications from Kickstarter page:
The TRiBOT Machine Includes:
  • The Base 130 pound base mill converted to CNC with a www.stirlingsteele.com 3 axis motion control kit
  • Enhanced 11 x 5 x 11 travel area
  • 3 NEMA 23 steppers 
  • 4 axis step and direction controller/driver & DC power supply 
  • 0.200 pitch Z axis ball screw 
  • X and Y Lead Screws 
  • Extruder 3D Printer head which includes a 70 oz/in NEMA 23 gear-head stepper motor, Stainless steel feed tube with 1.5 inch tall copper, heater block 100 watt heater cartridge, Thermocouple and cooling fan 
  • Filament injection mold head Includes a 120 oz/in NEMA 23 gear-head stepper motor Stainless steel feed tube with 4 inch tall aluminum heater block 280 watt heater cartridge Thermocouple and cooling fan 
  • 2 PIC digital temperature controllers boxed in an electronic enclosure 
  • 3D printing stage plate 
  • Sample pack of 3mm diameter PLA printing filament 
  • Tooling package including: Vise, 6 piece end mill set, collet set, parallel set, 0-1/2” drill chuck, assorted wrenches, T-Nuts, mounting screws, bar clamps and step blocks 
  • Wheeled steel service cart with 2 shelves
  • Power strip with built in circuit breaker 
  • Desktop computer with Linux OS, Linux CNC, MeshCAM, Slic3r, and FreeCAD 3D drawing software all pre-installed and ready to use. 
  • Computer monitor - key board - mouse - cables
  • One set of blank aluminum mold plates 

3D printer specifications:

11x5x11 build area. Capable of printing multiple plastics at temperatures up to 400 degrees C. Luminar Products super extruder print head with gear head stepper, very strong solid aluminum print head body, copper heater block with stainless steel feed tube and brass nozzles. Prints up to 75 mm per second. 3 amp 4 axis motion controller with 8 micro steps for 1600 steps per motor revolution

CNC Milling Machine specifications:

11x5x11 XYZ travel All cast iron, dovetailed ways heavy duty X2D mini-mill shipping weight about 140 pounds R8 spindle taper accepts common tooling Variable speed DC spindle motor T slotted cast iron table 1 inch drilling capability , 3/4 inch milling capability The CNC converted milling machine also retains its ability to be used as a manual mill when needed

Automatic injection molding machine specifications:

Can inject single or multiple cavities of equal or different shot sizes. Molded parts can be created from a 1 kilo (2.2 pounds) spool of plastic plastic weld rod or printer filament. This means no filling with pelletized plastic in between each part. Plastic weld rod or filament is available in many plastic types and colors. computer programmed in g-code for automatic injection molding Powerful NEMA 23 200 in/oz stepper motor driven gear head mounted to a Luminar Products super extruder print head with an enlarged 300 watt powered heater block for rapid shot recovery. controlled with g-code so shot size can be programmed for each mold cavity.

TRiBOT is on Kickstarter:


Luminar Products home page:


Oct 26, 2014

Learn Marlin 3d printer firmware and become advanced user with tutorials by Thomas Sanladerer

Become Marlin expert with excellent tutorials by Thomas Sanladerer. Thomas is well known 3d printing vlogger and his channel is well worth following. It has some great content including testing, guides, how to-s and  reviews.

Here is part 1 with introduction and basic concepts such as installing, hardware and firmware:

Here is part 2 where you will become power user and Marlin guru, it covers:
  • Power-user tips
  • Advanced options in Configuration.h
  • Even more advanced things in Configuration_adv.h
  • Bending the electronics to your will with pins.h
  • Using custom temperature sensors with thermistortables.h

great work, thank you Thomas!

How to power your 3d printer with car battery

James Bruton shows us how to use a car battery to power a 3d printer.  His test shows that you could print the entire day with charged car battery. This could be useful, even more so if you can attach some solar panels to the setup.

He used his Lulzbot:

Repstrap 3d printer that is easy and cheap to make with timber pieces structure

Here is very simple, low cost and easy to make wooden Repstrap 3d printer presented on Thingiverse developed by user "skeat". It has a relatively small print volume (120mm x 120mm x 100mm) but it was designed as very simple and cheap machine to produce 3d printed parts for your "bigger" machine.
You will need only few common hand tools and materials. The structural frame is made from 12.5mm x 24mm wood pieces and 6mm plywood held by screws and liquid nails.

The design is based on Prusa i3, so the vitamins needed are:
  • 6x smooth rods 
  • 1x M5 threaded rod 
  • 11x LM8UU linear bearings 
  • 4x stepper motors 
  • 2x 608 ball bearings 
  • pulley and belts 
  • 1x coupling
Only 3d printed part is the extruder.

I love the design style:

Here is video of it in action:

All the details and building instructions can be found at:


To see more wood frame printers, with some that need no 3d printed or cnc cut parts, go to:


MSF 3d printer is work of a Repstrap genius

This wonderful DIY 3d printer was made by peterthinks and it is a work of a Repstrap genius with its improvisations, innovations and rough design. The entire machine cost around 120 USD and it will get even cheaper.
I'm a big fan of wood frame machines and building stuff with anything you got available.

Here is the presentation of MSF 3d printer (you will find out what MSF acronym stands for later on in the description ...):

Here is MSF moving:

From project description:
This is not a kit. This is an introduction to the Monkey Shit Fight repstrap RepRap. It is seeking it's end-stops as it prepares to print a louse. That's me mumbling in the background trying to not sound like a crazy shut-in.
It's super easy to put together and I want to make a laser cut version. I've eliminated almost all the parts associated with traditional RepRaps. Not including the base I have the entire machine frame down to 10 wood parts. I will have the kit down to about 7 laser cut parts and 4 of those will be exactly the same dimensions. Pretty simple stuff!
I built this for about $120. That includes all electronics, motors and materials. Eliminating one of the Z axis motors really lowered the part count and increased the Z resolution. The V grove pulleys do double duty in that regard. They multiply the lifting force of the motor and increase the number of steps required to move up a millimeter. All the design changes I have made to improve this RepRap including fixed drive belt sections attached to metal edging, using Kevlar to tension the frame,
The blind nut adjusters for the Z axis smooth rod leveling, The flying gantry X carriage, The single motor Z axis pulley and carriage bolt Kevlar suspension system for the X carriage and the silicone tubing tensioning idler for the Y axis are all free to use for private non commercial use under the GPL licence. So if you wanna use these improvements on your own personal machine feel free. If you want to use these in a kit or sell upgrades for commercially available machines you'll need permission.
The build area is about 250 by 350 by 200 millimeters but I got it dialed down to match the heated bed till I can make a bigger one. All work was done with simple hand tools. The most exotic tools used were a Dremel a cheap drill press and a ancient one speed hand drill.
MSF Repstrap parts list:
1 Sheet of plywood for base
2 Y rod wood ends
4 wood screws to attach Y rod ends
2 sections smooth rod for Y axis

2 Z rod wood ends
2 wood screws to attach Z rod base
2 hose clamps to secure Z rod top
2 sections smooth rod for Z axis

2 wood adjustment horns for top of Z axis
2 blind nuts
2 bolts
2 wood screws to attach horns to top of Z axis
1 washer
1 screw
2 bearings
1 V groove bearing cover

1 Z axis motor
1 long hex nut drilled to take a pin
1 pin
1 nut
1 carriage bolt
1 carriage bolt end guide
1 bracket
2 wood screws to attach bracket to bolt guide
1 wood brace for Z string idlers
2 Z string idlers
2 screws to attach Z string idlers
1 length 150 pound Kevlar for Z axis string
1 counterweight for end of Z string
(Most of the Z axis top assembly will become 1 laser cut part later)

1 base for Y axis
1 Y axis motor
1 motor pulley gear
1 set screw
1 length of belt
1 length of aluminum molding
4 linear bearings
12 wood braces to box in the four bearings
4 screws
4 washers
4 springs
1 heated bed
1 sheet of glass
4 spring clips
1 length silicone tubing
2 screws to attach tubing to brackets
2 brackets to attach tubing to Y axis base

1 base for X carriage
4 linear bearings
4 sticks to brace bearings
8 zip ties to attach bearings
3 screws
6 bearings
3 V groove bearing covers
1 length of belt
1 length of aluminum molding
3 lock nuts

4 stepper drivers
1 ramps
1 arduino
3 endstops
2 thermistors

1 hotend
1 hotend heater

1 extruder motor
3 base parts for extruder
1 screw
3 bolts
2 nuts
4 washers
1 extruder gear
1 set screw
1 bearing
1 bearing arm
1 bowden tube
1 bowden end
1 bowden end bracket

2 lengths 150 pound Kevlar string for bracing
2 turnbuckles
4 wood screws

Crazy glue

Oct 25, 2014

Kinect for Windows gives you direct 3d scanning into 3d Builder app

Microsoft is getting stronger into 3d printing with this new integration of Kinect for Windows as 3d scanner into their 3D Builder Windows application.

In their promotional video they are showing Kinect being use as a sort of family oriented imaging device, a kind of 3d camera. I would like to see it being used to 3d scan some sort of small mechanical part, since this function more suits my hobby needs. Hopefully we will see more DIY oriented reviews or tests in the future.

Kinect for Windows has developer SDK platform available for independent developers so 3d scanning and input into more 3d printing or CAD software could be available in the future.

You can manipulate 3d scanned object in 3D Builder by touch controls on Microsoft surface tablet 

Kinect for Windows home page:


And this is probably just a beginning ... 3d scanning could be integrated in all tablets and smartphones in future ...