May 22, 2017

Aleph Objects and IC3D Develop First Open Source Filament

Aleph Objects, makers of the LulzBot brand of desktop 3D printers and parts announced a partnership with IC3D to develop the first open source filament. The main goal is to democratize manufacturing.
The filament is Open Source Hardware Association (OSHW) certified.

Video of the talk at the 2017 Midwest RepRap festival:

GitHub repository with filament specifications and other materials:

Lulzbot is also selling the filament at 35USD per 1kg spool:

Source news release:

Cytosurge FluidFM µ3Dprinter is world’s first sub-micron metal 3D printer

Cytosurge AG, based in Zurich Switzerland, presents their revolutionary FluidFM µ3Dprinter which is world’s first 3D sub-micron direct metal printing machine.
This 3D printer could be used as an advanced tool for development of many new scientific and engineering applications from biology to nanorobotics.
It is one of the first steps towards practical manufacturing of parts for nanobots floating in your body to repair the damaged cells.

From the video description:
At the forefront of nanotechnology, additive manufacturing, life sciences and single cell biology, Cytosurge FluidFM µ3Dprinter is the world’s first 3D printer capable of delivering sub-micron resolution in direct metal printing, while offering scalability and good prospects in both production cost and speed.
The FluidFM technology opens a new world for metal object manufacturing and enables research opportunities in fields such as microelectronics, semiconductors, surface modification, microbots, sensors, material science and many other fields. Virtually any design can be offered to the system, including overhanging structures with 90 degree angles, without support structures or post processing steps.
High-precision surface modification processes can also be executed by printing ultra-thin or structured objects and by depositing multiple metals at the target surface. With the FluidFM µ3Dprinter various metals like Cu, Ag, Au, Pt can be printed.
The printing of other metals (Sn, Cd, Cr, Ni etc.) and various alloys are under investigation.

Company homepage:

May 21, 2017

TriDInnov 3D Prints Electronic Components on Plastic Surfaces

Looks like TriDInnov from France has a working technology that prints conductive electronics on plastic surfaces. 

Technology description:
Startup company TriDInnov provides additive metallization for plastic and composite materials electronic packaging, is linked through a closed partnership with equipment manufacturer Kelenn Technology, launching the new Kelenn Technology DMD 100, an off-contact digital dispenser which deposits the TDI thick film formulation EOPROM (primer formulation for metallization process) showcasing their prototype circuits which have been manufactured with the DMD 100, depositing their EOPROM thick film formulation on molded device.
TriDInnov's technology brings to the electronic packaging market a new manufacturing process which repositions the MID towards new business areas such as to add value to composite materials especially in the automotive area. They are to invest in a technology platform in order to manufacture MID prototypes circuits for their customers in order to push their technology acceptance in the marketplace.

BlackBelt 3D printer works with conveyor belt print surface

BlackBelt is a new 3D printer that uses a carbon fiber conveyor belt as build surface. As it prints at an angle it can produce really long objects.  It can make many different objects in series or one big object.
Due to geometry and angle, some objects will need a "starter" object or support to hang on to.
It is also possible to print support-free overhangs!

BlackBelt specifications:

  • Industrial linear guides
  • Build volume of 13″ x 13″ x infinity
  • Adjustable print angles: 45° is the default, but some parts come out better at the lower angles of 15°, 25°, and 34°
  • 1.75 mm filament diameter
  • €9,500 for desktop version, €12,500 for large system with standing supports

This machine looks very interesting, but what gets me suspicious is a lack of video material. There are only a few short videos and no reviews, tests or extensive presentations.

Detailed Guide On How To Build Ultimaker 2 Extended Clone

You really want to have an Ultimker 2+ Extended but don't have the money? You support open source and hold a grudge against Ultimaker for going closed source? Well, here is a perfect project for you.
Betrue3d site has a detailed guide on how to make an open source version with all the details you will need.
Great work betrue3d!

Here is the link to the first post in the series:

May 20, 2017

3D Printable DIY Rotary Tool aka. Dremel Clone

Makernaut developed and published this great 3d printable rotary tool or Dremel. It looks easy to make even with entry level electronics skills and has three 3d printed enclosure parts.

It is powered by 12V DC motor (listed as 6000 rpm, RS-550S motor, diameter~37mm), it has PWM DC motor controller (3A) and mini chuck / collet set for 3.17mm shaft to hold the tool bits.

Here is the build guide video with a short demonstration:

Full Instructables with STLs and parts list can be found at:

You can also go and see Makernaut's youtube channel:

New 3D Printed Airplane Seats Could Make Huge Savings

Autodesk researcher Andreas Bastian used advanced generative design to make a new type of lightweight airplane seat that could make huge savings on fuel and money if applied in future aircraft.
Due to complex geometry, the seat was made on Cronus 3D printer with 5 printheads and then cast in metal.

Project description:
The structure was 56% lighter than the conventional aluminum seats. With 30% calculated to be purely down to the generative design.
Autodesk believes these weight savings could rapidly reduce fuel emissions and thus drastically save costs. Calculating the projected cost savings, the team evaluated the weight savings into fuel savings.
By doing so, the project cites an estimate of $200 million USD in possible reductions over the lifetime of a fleet of 100 aircraft. Additionally, the team calculates fuel emission savings that could compare to removing 80,000 cars off the road for a year.


DIY Mobile Laser Cutter in 3D Printed Frame by Josh Hughes

Josh Hughes is developing a DIY handheld mobile laser cutter and engraver in 3d printable housing. In theory with this device, you would not be limited by a surface and it could work on a battery power.

Here is a design study:

Here is a model of 3d printable enclosure body, the design is now more refined with more ergonomic side handles:

Here is a prototype working with, what seems like, salvaged laser diode and optical drives:

You can follow the process on developers YT channel:

Laser engravings made as a test 

May 17, 2017

Three Hyper Cool 3D Printed Chairs

Here are three 3d printed chairs that look very futuristic and HYPER cool. They will probabyl find their place in some modern art gallery or in a tech billionaires mansion.

Voxel chair v1.0 by the Bartlett's Design Computation Lab

Source and more info:

Lilian van Daal's  Biomimicry chair

Source and more info:

Jungsub Shim's Connect chair made by hand with 3d printing pen

Source and more info:

Well, they look cool, but are they comfortable? I doubt it. I'm actually pretty certain that they are almost unusable. I like my cheap Chinese faux-leather lazy-boy copy, chewed out by my dogs, where I can chillax with beer and chips in front of the TV.

Design thin PLA objects and make them strong in your oven

"CNC Kitchen" published this great video on how he designed gardening clips for his raspberries. He focuses on how to design thin-walled object in Fusion 360 and how to make it more weather resistant and stronger by annealing them in his oven.

Here is the video where you will learn a nice and easy design flow process and see several tools in action:

Here is the clip STL:

Here is the CNC Kitchen YT channel:

And here are the PLA clips in the oven at 80C for 1 hour:

How to reduce rattling noise on your 3d printer

Tech2C, an Aussi 3d printing youtube, made this video where he shows how to eliminate and reduce the noise, vibration or rattling for his 3d printer.

He uses a HyperCube 3D Printer but his guide is applicable for almost any machine. Used upgrades are rubber feet, foam insulation, stepper motor dampeners or shock absorbers and TMC 2100 stepper drivers with stealthChop mode.

There is a great comment thread under that video with many additional ideas.

Tech2C YouTube channel link:

Astrosyn shock absorber for NEMA17 used:

Amazing Laser Cut and 3D Printed Art by John Edmark

John Edmark creates the most amazing art pieces inspired by fractal geometry, spirals and natural organic shapes using laser cutting and 3d printing.

The laser cut movable tentacle gripper from plywood is something I would like to make...

The art of John Edmark is described in depth in this talk by Paul Dancstep:

Artist's homepage with detailed presentations of many sculptures:

May 7, 2017

SelfCAD is a new browser based CAD and slicer software

SelfCAD is a new browser based CAD and slicer application with many powerful features but focused on simplicity and usability. It has has a subscription based model with a free trial and has a very tempting cost/benefit ratio.

Here is how SelfCAD is described:
SelfCAD 's mission is to make 3D designing and printing accessible to everyone, including professional designers, as well as hobbyists and students who have little to no prior expertise using CAD/CAM software. One of the greatest achievements of SelfCAD is its simplicity and a low entry price point. Advanced shapes can be created within minutes using various shape creators.
SelfCAD is an online browser-based CAD/CAM platform which allows the you to model, sculpt, slice and print online. With SelfCAD, you do not have to spend months learning complex software and pay hundreds of dollars for the privilege. SelfCAD is about simplicity, affordability and accessibility. Learn, create, and print objects in a fraction of the time required with traditional CAD/CAM software.

SelfCAD introduction video:

Here is one of the feature demonstrations focusing on 3d screw generator:

Slicer video tutorial:

You can check it out at:

SelfCAD has a very active YouTube channel with many tutorials and feature demonstrations:

SelfCAD on YouTube

Here is an interview with the CEO and founder, Aaron Breuer:

Podcast interview on 3D Start Point:

SelfCAD user interface

May 6, 2017

3D Printable DIY 600 Watt Halbach Array DC Motor

Christoph Laimer, well known for his 3d printable motor designs, developed a new and more powerful DC motor. It has 600 Watts of output power and performs with more than the 80% efficiency. The magnets of the rotor are arranged as a Halbach array and the motor runs with a standard ESC widely used in different RC applications (plane, drone, car etc.).

This project is a perfect example how you can use 3d printing for some ver powerful and practical printable objects. This is not just another fidget spinner, THIS ROCKS!!!

Presentation video:

Construction tutorial video:

Testing with the propeller attached:

Project homepage where you can buy the files for 10 USD (well worth when you see how effective this design is):

Very detailed step-by-step Instructables page:

ESA 3D Prints Moondust Bricks for Space Colony Construction

Space colonies will be built with 3d printers. We will never see bricklayers and construction workers in space suits.

Technology description:
Bricks have been 3D printed out of simulated moondust using concentrated sunlight. This ESA project took place at the DLR German Aerospace Center facility in Cologne, with a 3D printer table attached to a solar furnace, baking successive 0.1 mm layers of moondust at a temperature of 1000°C. A 20 x 10 x 3 cm brick for building can be completed in around five hours.
DLR Cologne’s solar furnace has two working setups: as a baseline, it uses 147 curved mirror facets to focus either actual sunlight into a high temperature beam, employed to melt together the grains of regolith. But this mode is weather dependent, so a solar simulator was subsequently employed as well – based on an array of xenon lamps more typically found in cinema projectors.

ESA project homepage:

May 5, 2017

Make Your Own Fixed Gear Electric Bike With 3D Printing

Tom Stanton developed a 3d printable system that converts a regular bicycle into an electric powered one. Biggest 3d printed parts are the motor mount and wheel pulley system.
He modified the "Vilano Rampage" fixed gear fixie single speed road bike. The motor used this project is the Turnigy Aerodrive SK3 - 6374-149kv brushless outrunner motor with 6s 5000mah li-po battery.

Presentation video:

Here is the Q&A video about the bike electrification:

All the project files, BOM and instructions can be found at:

May 4, 2017

Marlin 1.1 released!!!

The new Marlin 1.1 firmware has been released with many new features and upgrades!

Here is the description from github site: Marlin 1.1 Release Notes

"Marlin 1.1 represents an evolutionary leap over Marlin 1.0.2. It is the result of over two years of effort by several volunteers around the world who have paid meticulous and sometimes obsessive attention to every detail. For this release, we focused on code quality, performance, stability, and overall user experience. Several new features have also been added, many of which require no extra hardware.

The code has been significantly optimized in several areas, leading to fewer stutters, better delta performance, more reliable USB/Serial communication, and more consistent and deterministic results."

Key improvements are:
  • More consistent configuration with sanity-checking.
  • Many more boards supported, with sane defaults for most common features. Improved thermal protection, enabled by default with tight margins for error.
  • Improved Auto Bed Leveling with Bilinear Mesh and probeless operation.
  • Unified Bed Leveling™ – Combining all forms of bed leveling in one package, plus tools like G26 Mesh Validation to improve leveling accuracy even further.
  • Option to "fade" leveling compensation out over several layers to save computes on long prints.
  • Support for up to 5 extruders with different geometries.
  • Support for mixing and switching extruders. Linear Advance compensates for viscosity and pressure to reduce ooze and improve surfaces.
  • Dozens of languages including Japanese, Galician, and Simplified Chinese.
  • Significantly improved UI performance, especially Graphical Display.
  • Display rate adjusts dynamically to prevent print stuttering.
  • M600 Filament Change, Nozzle Clean, Nozzle Park, Auto Park on Pause, etc.
  • Improved support for Bed Leveling probes and Manual Probing.
  • Support for Trinamic steppers, i2c control, steppers as endstops.
  • Endstops can use pin interrupts for improved performance.
  • M43 Pins Debugging to report about, test, and monitor pins and endstops.
  • Print Job Timer
  • Sorted SD Card file listings.
  • Improved host integration, extended capabilities report, keepalive messages, auto-report temperature, and more!
  • Integrated I2C Bus allowing Marlin to interoperate on multiple boards.
  • Support for Case Light, RGB LED, LED Strip. Printer events feedback.
  • New features too numerous to list here. Read the config files for details!
For complete Marlin documentation and downloads go to the Marlin Homepage:

GitHub repository:

Apr 30, 2017

New Rapid Liquid Printing 3D Printing Process from MIT

Very smart people from MIT developed a novel 3d printing process called "Rapid Liquid Printing" where a material is injected into a gelatine cube medium that acts as a support. It increases the speed and you can get complex geometries.

You can see it in this video:

Process description:
In collaboration with Steelcase, we are presenting a new experimental process called Rapid Liquid Printing, a breakthrough 3D printing technology. Rapid Liquid Printing physically draws in 3D space within a gel suspension, and enables the creation of large scale, customized products made of real-world materials. Compared with other techniques we believe this is the first development to combine industrial materials with extremely fast print speeds in a precisely controlled process to yield large-scale products.
3D printing hasn’t taken off as a mainstream manufacturing process for three main reasons: 1) it’s too slow compared to conventional processes like injection molding, casting, milling, etc. 2) it’s limited by scale – although it’s good for creating small components, it’s not possible to produce large scale objects 3) the materials are typically low-quality compared to industrial materials.
Rapid Liquid Printing addresses all of these limitations: it is incredibly fast (producing structures in a matter of minutes), designed for large scale products (you can print an entire piece of furniture) and uses real-world, industrial-grade materials.

It looks interesting as a concept, but practicality is questionable. It takes a lot of gel support material, there are various foces, hard to design geometry due to the medium, the extruder "needle" effects the object geometry, materials need to be easy to separate... Still, it looks very promising for some future advanced applications and bioprinting.

MITs Self-Assembly Lab page:

Detalied article on Dezeen:

Apr 29, 2017

TrussFab Builds Complex Structures with 3D Printed Hubs and Bottles

Researchers at Hasso Plattner Institute developed TrussFab system which enables you to design and build large complex structures like furniture, boats, and buildings. Hopefully, they will open source the software.

Project description:
TrussFab is an integrated end-to-end system that allows users to fabricate large-scale structures that are sturdy enough to carry human weight. TrussFab achieves the large scale by complementing 3D print with plastic bottles.  TrussFab achieves the large scale by complementing 3D print with plastic bottles. It does not use these bottles as “bricks” though, but as beams that form structurally sound node-link structures, also known as trusses.

TrussFab presentation video:

Project homepage with more information about it:

Full scientific publication in PDF:

3d printed structural hub holding the bottle trusses

Apr 27, 2017

3D Printable Hand Saw Made from HTPLA Carbon Fiber Filament

Josh Hughes 3d printed a somewhat functional hand saw from carbon fiber filament. It is made from Protopasta HTPLA carbon fiber material and it can cut tough small pieces of soft wood but the laers separate due to cutting forces.
Josh notes that it could be prevented by applying a cyanoacrylate coating.

Josh has a currently small YouTube channel, but I think it will be worth following:

Apr 23, 2017

Cool 3D Printable MGA Speaker with Laser Cut Plywood Grill

Here is another cool 3d printable speaker with modern design and the front cover that is laser cut from plywood with different design patterns. It is driven by RaspberryPi and you could probably install any compatible media center software.

Creators describe it as:
This 3d printed speaker is designed at the course Mechatronics Design at the Technical University of Denmark, in collaboration with Bang&Olufsen Create.
In a group of five: Karoline Gustaffson, Mads Olesen, Frederikke Foss, Christian Lundberg and Nicoline Hvidt, we designed, printed, cut and build the speaker, with guidance from our teachers and cooperates from B&O.
The speaker is meant for the kitchen where it can be put on the wall or laid on a table. It is designed so that the front cover can easily be taken on and off so the speaker reflects the specific mood. It is also a great opportunity for customizing the speaker.
Time-estimation:Print-time: 2x15 hoursAssembly-time: 10 hours

Thingiverse page:

Here is the project page with detailed construction guide:

Apr 22, 2017

DIY 3D Printed No 2 Pencil by Josh Hughes

Josh Hughes 3d printed a fully working No. 2 pencil. He used a type of wood PLA with a standard graphite insert. 

Josh wrote:
Next time I will use an electric sharpener. I was worried the heat from sharpening it with and electric sharpener would melt the plastic.
Anyhow, The body of the No. 2 pencil is HatchBox Wood PLA, and the eraser connection is Protopasta's HTPLA Carbon Fiber.
The "No. 2" was laser-engraved on the face of the pencil after it had finished printing, and all of the components were superglued together.

3D Printed DIY 1/16 Ratio Gearbox for DC Motors

Tomi Malkki made a 1/16 ratio 3d printed gearbox that he uses to modify torque and RPM of salvaged DC motors.

Project description with gearbox specs:

This gearbox has the ratio of 1/16. With this 12v motor it can lift around 3,5kg (straight from the shaft.) 2 washers should place between each gear (see details in video). It reduces heat between plastic parts when 2 washers are rubbing each other. Adding lots of bearing grease between everything is essential. Depending on your printer tolerances you might need drill out some holes bigger. Motor mount should be standard size.


  • layer 0.2
  • infill 25%
  • perimeters 3
  • bottom layer 2, top 3


  • Layer 0.3
  • infill 20%
  • perimeters 2
  • bottom layer 2, top 3

Here is the assembly video:

He also cleaned all the surfaces with oil and dirt cleaner, then added a layer of primer, 2 layers of surface paint and 2 layers of clear lacquer, he is using acrylic spray paints.

This is a very useful DIY project that can power many small projects like RC vehicles or robots.

All the files and instructions can be found at:

Thingiverse page:

Apr 21, 2017

Printrbot Smalls New Low Cost 3D Printer

Printrbot just introduced the Printrbot Smalls! It is a new low cost entry level 3d printer from a well known company. It is priced at $298!

Here is the presentation video of the last beta model, final production design will be more polished:

Tech specs:

  • Model: 1704
  • Build Volume (X-Y-Z): 100mm x 100mm x 130mm (apx 4″ x 4″ x 5″ / 80 cubic inches)
  • Print Resolution: 100 Microns
  • Print Speed: 80mm/sec max recommended
  • Filament: 1.75mm PLA (sample included)
  • Extruder: yes
  • Auto Leveling: Auto-Leveling Probe works with software to calibrate Z axis height (see video)
  • Print Bed: Not heated – 1/8″ 6061 aluminum (0.3mm level tolerance)
  • Construction: _
  • Belt: GT2
  • Z Lead Screw: Acme 4 Start
  • Pulleys: 20 tooth, dual flange GT2 aluminum
  • Electronics: Printrbot Rev F5 Printrboard with USB B connection and micro SD card slot for untethered printing
  • Software: Printrbot does not provide software, but recommends Cura v15.04 – available for free download.
  • Power Requirements: 12V (6 amp) laptop power supply (included)
  • Motors: NEMA 17 stepper. 
  • Overall Footprint:  16.6″ x 13″ x 11″ (L x W x H)

The Smalls is a small, portable, and versatile 3D printer kit for the hacker, maker, or student on a budget …not afraid to build a kit and engage in our community forum for support.  Build volume begins at 4″ x 4″ x 5″ (X-Y-Z), but the possibility to expand is there with our upgrade kits (coming soon) or your own design whimsy.
The Smalls is perfect for customization.  Paint the stock metal.  Print your own parts out of any filament you like.  Install almost any existing upgrade and/or accessory in the Printrbot store.  Get the idea?  Make the Smalls your own!
Construction decisions were pragmatic, using the right fabrication tool for each job: Pristine machined aluminum, water jet 5052 and 6061 aluminum plate, and just a dollop of 3D printed parts to give it that “reprap flavor”.
Okay, so how does it print?  Since this is a kit, the results are largely up to you, but make no mistake.  In the hands of an experienced user (like the ones we have here at PBHQ), the Smalls can produce results comparable to the Play, Simple, or Plus.
This absolutely is the lowest priced 3D printer we’ve ever released!  (except for one other laser cut wood kit with fishing line instead of belts and sandpaper pulleys instead of real pulleys that was only available for a limited time until we corrected both price and some design problems …but let’s just keep that between us).   It is definitely the least expensive printer that we will EVER, EVER release  …that we know of. …for now.
We are pretty sure it is the most affordable American-Made 3D printer.   Definitely the most economical Northern-California-Made 3D printer.  Totally the most budget-friendly 3D printer manufactured in Lincoln, CA.  Not “cheap”, just inexpensive.

Printrbot Smalls homepage:

Sub 300 USD market segment is certainly getting more interesting. Competition is a great thing!

We are still waiting for third party reviews and tests but Printrbot has a proven track record of making solid designs.

Here is a Facebook presentation by Brook Drumm:

Apr 17, 2017

Amazing RepRap Helios with Sequential 3D Printing

RepRap Helios is a SCARA 3d printer with some great features combined with unique movement mechanics and design approach.

Introduction video:

Key specifications as described by the developer:
  • It is highly printable.
  • 153mm arms similar to RepRap Morgan
  • Gear reduction similar to RepRap Morgan
  • Same kinematics as RepRap Morgan (Well...this can change arm modes but we won't start doing that until after we get some prints.)
  • Fits in a 200x225x250 box
  • Can print objects that are up to 600mm long
  • All four motors (400 steps/rotation) are static while providing a structural support and their own wire-management.
  • Prints directly on a tape covered table
  • Planning on using an IR depth probe
  • Could probably print all the parts for a self-replication run in one go.

Here is the sequential printing on a flat table surface with some blue tape demonstrating the advantage of this machine:

Great work by Nicholas Seward! Since this is a project in development we can expect much more improvements.

RepRap forum development thread:,760198

Google+ Helios page with further details including very good print results:

Apr 14, 2017

Add DIY electric power on your longboard with 3D printing

Yow Hwui Low used 3d printing to add DIY electric motor drive to his longboard. He documented and published the entire process.

Longboard specs:
  • This board can reach speeds of up to 42 km/h and has a range of over 16 km. The average pace of daily rides is around 15 - 20 km/h. It weighs around 8 kgs.
  • Fully 3D-printed drivetrain with built-in idler system in ABS. Tested over 150 km as of March 2017.
  • Max. Speed: 42 km/h
  • Range: 16 km
  • 6374 3.3 kW BLDC Motor
  • VESC
  • 8S LiPo Set Up
  • 2 Ch 2.4 GHz Control

Project video:

Here is the drivetrain demonstration:

Full build guide and all the files can be found at:

Thingiverse page:

For a similar project you can check a electric longboard by Saral Tayal:

Apr 4, 2017

DIY 3D Printed 30W Generator

Even Erichsen developed a 30W DIY electricity generator which you can 3d print name "The Beest". 
The Beest is powered up by hand (or other mechanica source) via the series of gears: ‘1:2 + 1:4 + 1:3, so one turn rotates the rotor 24 times. The rotor is set up like a 3 phase axial flux generator, with three stators and six rotor plates with a total of 96 neodymium magnets.
Very cool project, but full instructions are not released yet. If you have some knowledge of electric generators, you will be able to recreate this.

Here is the project description by the creator:
This is a working hand cranked power generator.
The rotor, in the picture, spins up to 1500 rpm, and produce about 30 watts.
I recommend building the rotor as seen in the fbx-file, for more power.
Needless to say – this is a huge print! Minimum 200+ hours....
On the hardware side you need 96 neodymium magnets (25mm diameter x 10mm),
about 1,3kg of enameled copper wire, preferably six steel plates, a pile of nuts & bolts, electronics - including an Arduino nano, display, bridge rectifier(s), diodes, capacitors, resistors, voltage regulators etc.
If you want to etch the PCB yourself, you will need a blank 160mm x 100mm copper board and your preferred chemicals.

Generator in action:

Thingiverse page with all the files:

There is also a much simpler 15W version at:

Project homepage:

Here is the Beest fully assembled:

Apr 3, 2017

New One Arm SCARA 3D Printer from Nick: RepRap Helios

Nicholas Seward is developing a new type of SCARA 3d printer with one arm. It looks interesting. 

Nicholas wrote:
This 3D printer is a work in progress. I am currently printing parts and have all the components.
This printer can print items over 24 inches long if shaped correctly while being able to fit in a 10inch cube. My plan is to print directly on a tape covered table. I think it will be possible for it to print all of its own parts at once.
I am working on a name. Feel free to drop some suggestions. Current names: Copernicus, Helios, Homer, ScARMa, Tyr (Tyr is a 1 handed god.), One Armed Bandit

Go see his channel for other developments:


Here are the firs movements of RepRap Helios:

3D rendering of Helios in development phase:

Some Good Upgrade and Slicing News from Prusa

The Prusa team announced two great little upgrades in slicing software and hardware.

Slic3r Prusa edition has new smooth variable height layer option and new support optimization.

Here is the presentation video for SLH:

You can read about it, in more detail, here:

Prusa i3 MK2 is now upgraded into MK2S

MK2S is being rolled into production and it comes several improvments.

Key MK2S features:
  • Better LM8UU mounting on Y axis
  • Better LM8UUs and smooth rods
  • Better P.I.N.D.A. probe mount
  • Improved cable stress relief on the extruder
  • Better electronics cover
No more zip ties!!! Yeah!!!

Metal U-bolts now hold things fixated

For users with old version upgrade kit comes at 49 USD.

Full tech specs with pictures:

Mar 26, 2017

Using 3D printing pens for art

I'm not a huge fan of 3d printing pens (probably because I draw on pre-school level) but here are some people who use them to make some fine 3d pop art.

The apex of modern civilization: Pokemon figurines...

... and some useful things like this T-Rex skeleton:

Check their YT channel:

Their Facebook page:

MakerBot MinFill

Makerbot presented their new software innovation that enables you to minimize and optimize the infill to save time and material. It can reduce material and time for some 30%. You will lose some structural integrity, but it is aimed at prototyping applications.

MinFill presentation video:

Makerbot news post with more detail:

Here is the Minfill description:
Now you can bring your ideas to life faster for less with this major breakthrough in MakerBot Print. We’re proud to introduce MakerBot MinFill, a dynamic new Print Mode that is the first of its kind in 3D printing. Short for “Minimum Infill,” MinFill uses an intelligent algorithm to determine the absolute minimum amount of support needed for the inside of any 3D print.
As we’ve learned from professional users, not all prints need to be durable, dense, or heavy. When surface quality and print speed are more important, MinFill is a far more efficient option — especially for prints with a large internal volume.
Based on our testing, MinFill typically prints 30% faster using 30% less filament. With especially voluminous models, like spheres, we’ve seen MinFill print up to 80% faster. For professionals, that means faster early concept modeling, faster form studies, and more iterations in less time.
MinFill’s Benefits at a Glance
  • Professionals can accelerate early concept modeling, form studies, and iterations.
  • Educators can serve more students and classrooms while saving time and money.
  • Based on our testing, MinFill typically prints 30% faster using 30% less filament.*
  • The greater the internal volume of your print, the more time and money you save.
  • Compatible with MakerBot Replicator+, Replicator (5th Gen), and the Replicator Z18.

I'm still waiting to see some tests and reviews by independent sources. I also hope that this will be implemented on other platforms. Does anyone know of anything simillar?

Mar 22, 2017

Using Common 3D Printers for Hard Science

Here is a great example on how simple 3d printers are being used by scientists to make low cost specialist equipment in field of chemistry. 
Team of researchers form University of Helsinki used 3d printers to develop a chemical microreactor.

Gianmario Scotti, one of the researchers, published this video and the description:
In this video abstract we present a 3D printed polypropylene microreactor with an integrated stirring bar and nano-electrospray needle.

The nano-ESI needle is the ion source of our microreactor, and is used to couple it directly to a mass spectrometer. The microreactor is used to analyse chemical reactions with the mass spectrometer. The reaction is analysed as it happens.

We used polypropylene to 3D print the microreactor, because polypropylene is a very refractory polymer in the sense that it is neither affected by strong acids or alkaline solutions, nor by the great majority of solvents used in chemical synthesis.

This is the first 3D printed microreactor with an integrated ion source. It is also the first 3D printed microreactor with an integrated stir bar. These enable us to monitor the chemical reactions in real time.

Here are links to full research paper:!divAbstract

Here is the printed reactor connected to a spectrometer and held with 3d printed jig

Mar 19, 2017

Proton and Neutron Open Source 3D Printers

Layer One, creators of Atom3D printer, have released two open source RepRap 3d printer. Proton and Neutron. They are open sourced under Creative Commons licence.

Proton has total volume of 38 cm x 28 cm x 37 cm, assembled weight of 4.25 kg and printing volume of 18 cm x 18 cm x 15 cm.

Proton assembly video:

Proton Thingiverse page:

Neutron is a delta configuration 3d printer. It has total volume of 32 cm x 33 cm x 54 cm, weight of 3.75 kg and printing volume of Ø14 cm x 20 cm.

Neutron video:

Neutron Thingiverse page:

You can also find both 3d printers on MyMiniFactory Atom3D page:

Full details on both printers can be found at company webpage:

How to Convert Direct Feed System Into a Bowden Setup

Joe Mike Terranella published a video tutorial on how to change your direct feed extruder system into a Bowden 3D printer.  He used his Hictop Prusa clone to change it from direct feed to a Bowden setup but you can see many useful tips that can be used for other machines also.

Here is the full tutorial video:

Full parts list is on the video description but he used this Bowden conversion thing:

Here is Joe's Twitter where you can follow him:

Mar 15, 2017

DIY rotational casting machine made from wood and 3d printed parts

If you want to expand your home manufacturing arsenal, here is a very useful machine that will enable you to make hollow objects from various types of resin.
This machine is easy and cheap to make from 3d printed parts and 15mm MDF sheets cut on a CNC machine. It was published on Instructables by Jorge Dorantes.
It is hand cranked, but it could probably be easy modified to run with a simple electrical motor.

All the files and instructions can be found at:

If you are not sure how this machine works, here is a demonstration video of a different rotational casting machine by TGS Props where they use two piece silicone mold and Smoothcast 65D resin to make, well ... raptor / alien  eggs!

Mar 12, 2017

Thomas reviews 12 different bed leveling sensors

Herr Sanladerer performed a serious testing run with 12 automobiling sensors and made a video with the results.

Tested sensors were:

  • M8, 2mm inductive sensor (5V)
  • M12, 4mm inductive sensor 
  • M16, 8mm inductive sensor 
  • M16, adjustable distance capacitive sensor 
  • M16, 20mm capacitive sensor 
  • David Crocker's IR sensor 
  • SHARP analog sensor 
  • Microswiches 
  • BLTouch 

Here is the testing video:

The conclusions were:

  • If you have an aluminum bed, I'd go for the 2mm inductive type
  • For a glass-only bed, the BLTouch is a good option
  • With a PEI sheet or other stick-on bed surface, David Crocker's differential IR sensor is also a great alternative
  • The capacitive sensors are too sensitive to use seriously, and the SHARP type is not precise enough. 
  • Inductive sensors with larger trigger distances also work really well, but will need circuitry for adapting to 5V and are much larger than the 2mm type.
Detailed report with many interesting details can be found at:

Lulzbot TAZ6 3D Printer Reviews Compilation

Lulzbot TAZ6 is a flagship machine and it comes at 2400 USD price point. Since I'm interested in it, I made a compilation of reviews so you can also check it out.

TAZ6 tech specs:
  • Print Surface: Heated borosilicate glass bed covered with PEI film
  • Print Area: 280mm x 280mm x 250mm (11.02in x 11.02in x 9.8in)
  • Top Print Speed: 200mm/sec (7.9in/sec)
  • Print Tolerance: 0.1mm (0.0039in) in X and Y axes. Z axis is dependent on layer thickness
  • Layer Thickness: 0.050mm – 0.50mm (0.002in – 0.02 in), Dependent on nozzle size
  • Capable Materials: ABS, PLA, HIPS, PVA, wood filled filaments, Polyester (Tritan), PETT, bronze and copper filled filaments, Polycarbonate, Nylon, PETG, conductive PLA and ABS, UV luminescent filaments, PCTPE, PC-ABS, and more every day
  • Usable Filament Sizes: standard 3mm (0.1in)
  • Prints best with MatterControl and MatterControl Touch for a truly standalone experience

Here is Joel's review:

Here is MatterHackers review:

Here is a review by Thomas Sanladerer:

Review by XRobots:

Here is the TAZ6 homepage:

Mar 11, 2017

Angus 3D Prints Big And Rugged Robotic Rover

Angus from Maker's Muse YT channel 3d printed this big and rugged robotic rover for off-road driving. It looks really great and can run for over an hour on LiPo batteries which drive 4 cordless drill geared motors!

Sure, it is a sort of promotion for Polymaker PC-Max filament but still it is very well executed project.

Files for this robot can be found at:

3d printed flexible springs make it jump over some obstacles

R-CNC DIY CNC Mill with 3D Printed Parts

RoMaker from France developed and published the R-CNC mill plans. It is made from 3d printed parts and aluminum structure elements. It looks easy to make with well documented build instructions. The cost of it should be relatively affordable and cheap to make. Eletronics is based on Ramps 1.4

Other key features:
  • It also has 4 rubber pads at each angle, anti-vibration and anti scratch.
  • The electronics are integrated into the machine and it has a front USB port to connect a computer to the Ramps 1.4 if necessary without dismantling everything.
  • Clean installation thanks to dragchains
  • The pressure of all bearings on the square tubes is fully adjustable
  • Very high torque for Y moving thanks to a nema motor 23 multiplied by 3 with pulley 20×60 teeth
  • Integrated LED lighting
  • Easy mounting with printable drilling templates
  • Tested successfully on wood and plastic at 700mm / min and passes of 2mm, the measurements are perfect at 5 / 100th of mm, the diagonals of the squares are equal, the round ones are round!

Thingiverse page:

Project homepage with detailed descriptions and instructions:

Mar 9, 2017

Cool vintage omnidirectional speaker design you can 3d print

While checking out new designs on Youmagine, I found a 3d printable copy of vintage omnidirectional Harman Kardon HK-25 loudspeakers. Each speaker consists of a top and bottom part. The bottom is designed to hold a 50mm "metallic" driver speaker that can be found in many cheap "iPod" speaker docks.

This will probably bi my next 3d print for a small home sound system.

Here is the link to Youmagine where you can find the files:

Speakers were designed by Jason J. Gullickson:

It makes me wonder what is the copyright law on industrial design?

Mar 8, 2017

Steve Builds a DIY Enclosure for His Prusa i3

Steve published his build instructions for plywood and acrylic enclosure to encase his Folger Tech Prusa i3.  The overall size is 19.5" wide x 22" tall x 23" deep.
Very useful DIY project for noise reduction and temperature control.

Here is the video of the construction process:

Instructables page:

Steve's homepage:

Finished enclosure:

Mar 7, 2017

Upcycle your old Prusa into a laser cutter

Jon aka. Dr3vil used a parts form old Prusa Mendel and made a close chamber DIY laser cutter / engraver. He documented his project on Thingiverse.

Jon writes:
I wanted to add a laser cutter/engraver to my shop and decided it would make a good design challenge based on recycling a Prusa Mendel - Essentially a frame of 5/16” threaded rod and 8mm rod with LMU88 bearings. The CAD models had to be simple to print, make what you can, buy what you absolutely must, and source locally. Ultimately this project is a primer for building gen III of my 3D printer and a larger gen II laser of many watts. As such I’m sharing an ‘as-is’ , ‘it got me to operational’ dump of the project STL’s, sanding and part prep will be required.

Firmware is Marlin configured for CoreXY. It was helpful to set a dummy thermistor value as this allows using the print bead and hot-end outputs as switches from gcode (M104 S100 and M140 S100, send S0 to turn off). The fans and laser power supply are switched, as usual fan PWM modulates the laser through M106.

Gcode generation is either by Jtech Inkscape plugin or 305 Engineering’s raster generator. For engraving PCB’s I ended up modifying 305’s code, borrowing a page from Jtech. The first change was having laser off moves run at full speed, since acceleration is handled in firmware this shaves a lot of time off the job. The second change was to have a pause when turing the laser on or off as to allow the edges of the burn to be more defined, 200ms was enough. Finally adding pre and post geode safe the machine when done and get in position.

For files and instructions go to:

Keep in mind that it is a work in progress...

3D Printable Flexible Memory Structures by Peng Jin

Peng Jin used NinjaFlex filament to produce flexible structures with memory effect that can be used for various applications from architecture to art. 

Project description:
Taking advantage of the TPE (specially formulated thermoplastic elastomer), I did a series of study with my Printrbot Simple Metal, testing out both the limit of the material and the printer. Such as printing larger volume with a relatively smaller printer which could offer better accuracy, and print flexible material with bi-stable units to create shape-memory structure. I applied all the ideas from these studies to my architecture design afterwards, creating products and spaces with flexibility and adaptability, as wells as new ways of interaction between human and product, even more, between individuals with these potential produces.

You can find full project info at:

Mar 6, 2017

Can you make a DIY 3D printed car engine belt?

Mike designed and 3d printed the engine belt for his car. It took him several attempts.

Did it work?

Here is the full video:

It basically works for a minute on low RPM before it disintegrates, not practical for driving but nice experiment. Someone could probably improve on this idea and try different materials.

Mike's blog:

How to develop your 3d printer by Diego Porqueras

Here is an interesting talk on how to design and develop your own 3d printer. You must watch it if you are interested in a process since it is very informative.

Talk summary:
Diego Porqueras invented the Bukobot and Bukito 3D printers. Bukobot’s wildly popular Kickstarter campaign raised four times the requested funds, helping Diego open a Southern California hackerspace store, Deezmaker.
But how do you design a 3D printer? Where would you even start? In this talk, Diego discusses the hardware design space of 3D printers, associated software challenges, and the basics of 3D printer operation.

Here is the video of the talk:

Make your own DIY vacuum thermoformer

DajoM from Instructables published all the files and instructions needed to make a low cost DIY vacuumformer / thermoformer that fits on your desktop. You can use it to make plastic molds or patterns for production of larger series of objects.
It is made from laser cut plywood and uses ceramic plate for heating. Several parts are 3d printed.

Video demonstration:

All the files and instructions can be found at:

Feb 26, 2017

Apis Cor 3D Prints a Fully Livable House

We have seen 3d printed buildings before but most of them were prototypes, built off-site or not used afterwords, but nothing compares to this house built by Apis Cor.

Apis Cor used a unique house 3d printing machine they developed and made an on-site house in 24 hours for the cost of some 10000 USD. It has surface of 38 square meters (409 square foot) and has been built in Stupino town, Moscow region, Russia.
The finished house is fully livable with all the appliances. Very cool!

Here is the very interesting presentation video:

Looks like 3d printing houses is a technology that has fully matured now. It will have interesting effects on housing market.

Source news post with full technical details: