Nov 30, 2012

Sinterhab - 3d printed lunar module

Looks like there are some more concepts for  large scale printing on the Moon with local material. 3d printing entire lunar colonies.


From the site:

This project describes a design study for a core module on a NASA Lunar South Pole outpost, constructed by 3D printing technology with the use of in-situ resources and equipped with a bio-regenerative life support system. The module would be a hybrid of deployable (CLASS II) and in-situ built (CLASS III) structures. It would combine deployable membrane structures and pre-integrated rigid elements with a sintered regolith shell for enhanced radiation and micrometeorite shielding. The closed loop ecological system would support a sustainable presence on the Moon with particular focus on research activities.
The construction method for SinterHab is based on 3D printing by sintering of the lunar regolith. Sinterator robotics 3D printing technology proposed by NASA JPL enables construction of future generations of large lunar settlements with little imported material and the use of solar energy. The regolith is processed, placed and sintered by a the Sinterator robotics system which combines the NASA ATHLETE and the Chariot remotely controlled rovers. Microwave sintering creates a rigid structure in the form of walls, vaults and other architectural elements. The interior is coated with a layer of inflatable membranes inspired by the TransHab project.

WSU scientists develop 3d printing from Moon dust

Chopper - Princeton's framework for partitioning 3d printing models

Abstract from the project site:

3D printing technology is rapidly maturing and becoming ubiquitous. One of the remaining obstacles to wide-scale adoption is that the object to be printed must fit into the working volume of the 3D printer. We propose a framework, called Chopper, to decompose a large 3D object into smaller parts so that each part fits into the printing volume. These parts can then be assembled to form the original object. We formulate a number of desirable criteria for the partition, including assemblability, having few components, unobtrusiveness of the seams, and structural soundness. Chopper optimizes these criteria and generates a partition either automatically or with user guidance. Our prototype outputs the final decomposed parts with customized connectors on the interfaces. We demonstrate the effectiveness of Chopper on a variety of non-trivial real-world objects.
You can find the paper, video and more details on:

Nov 29, 2012

3d printing ceramics

Figulo is doing it. This level of quality is still far away from diy 3d printers, and they use high performance ceramic 3d printing materials and some custom technology.

They are fundraising to develop the technology further. I hope they make it. Their campaign:

From the campaign page:

Quick Pitch
Figulo 3D prints ceramics for consumers, artists and businesses. We are revolutionizing the design and production of ceramic objects.

Who We Are
Figulo Corporation is a manufacturer of custom designed ceramics made using advanced materials and 3D printing technology.

Our Vision & Lightbulb Moment
I was at an engineering conference and an artist spoke about the difficulty of realizing her digital art. I realized that we could do this using 3D printing.

Our Product/Service, The Problem We're Solving
Figulo changes the design parameters for ceramics and frees the designer from the constraints of the mold and potters wheel. We have developed a unique 3d printing technology that redefines the way that ceramics are made. We open the world of ceramics to anyone with a computer, a design and access to the internet.

What We've Done So Far
We have created a 3D printing manufacturing facility in South Boston where we print, fire and glaze ceramic objects for customers all over the world. We have a staff of dedicated 3D printing experts and ceramic artists, where we work at the intersection of engineering and art.

Our Business Model - How We Make Money
We manufacture uniquely designed, functional, decorative, custom ceramic objects from our own collection and from files uploaded to our website and other channels. We sell these designs directly to consumers and businesses.

Why We're Raising Funds
We are raising funds to expand our marketing efforts and outreach to consumers and develop next generation of the 3D printing manufacturing process.

Nov 28, 2012

Multi colored RepRap Mendel printing

Here is a video by THE Adrian Bowyer showing multi headed Mendel printing in three colors and challenges when CAD modelling it.

RepRapPro Multi-material Printing from Adrian Bowyer on Vimeo.

Prusa Nozzle - new full metal 3d printing nozzle

New RepRap hot-end with amazing properties:
  • No PTFE or PEEK (can't be molten)
  • Food safe Stainless Steel
  • Using powerful heat cartridge
  • Prints ABS and PLA
  • Ready to print Polycarbonate, PEEK & Nylon[1]
  • Easy to mount (M6 thread)
  • Open Source once ready to sell
  • Made by designer of Prusa Mendel
  • 70€ fully assembled including nozzle, heater block with heater cartridge and thermistor, wade compatible ALU mount plate.

Nov 27, 2012

Ultimaker print farm

I don't know who this guys are but they have a sweet setup. Twelve Ultimakers in a farm printing at very high speed, controlled on mobile phone (possibly web interface) and automatic removal of finished models. Cool.

WASP printer / mill video presentation

WASP from Italy combines 3d printer and cnc mill, like wasp that digs out and constructs hive by layering mud.

Test your models online with

This is sooooooooo useful!  You take your model and test it online! No more failed prints, and you can do testing anywhere. Without your 3d printer.

So what can Willit 3D Print do?:

  • Test if your part has features that can be 3D printed or not
  • Visualise the surface roughness of the printed part
  • See where support is needed
  • Estimate the build time and the cost of your part
  • Calculate the carbon footprint of your part
  • Reorientate, rescale, and reposition your part
  • Export your changes (in STL or AMF)

Update: I gave it a short test. In my latest version of Firefox it failed to load file, probably a bug on my side. It works perfectly in Chrome. It still needs more simulated printers and print materials. Great tool!

New printer prototype - Delta Forge

Here is a new design concept and printer prototype the Delta Forge. It looks similar to Rostock Deltas but with some twists, solutions, with less electronics and no steppers. It is still in development and testing phase.

More details and video:

Nov 25, 2012

Ultimaker controlled with inbuilt tablet PC

Jarkko Moilanen didn't want to carry PC and printer together so he merged them. He can now control his Ultimaker with old Win 7 Exo PC tablet (UltiController), download models, slice them and listen music, and everything is built in as one unit. Ingenious idea! I can see this as new standard for 3d printers. There is enough cheep tablets floating around. He states that slicing is somewhat slow, but I think it can be solved with some optimization on software side.

Full story and more details on:

New low-cost 3d printer: Portabee

And it is LOW-cost! Priced at 480$ it is very affordable as entry in 3d printing world.

From the product page:

The Portabee has been the first conveniently portable 3D printer in the world. It is easily collapsible in a matter of seconds and fits into a laptop bag, making it transportable 'on-the-go' - bring it along with you when taking a bus, a train... even on a bicycle in a haversack on your back! And since it's lightweight - weighing in at 2.8kg (6.2lbs) - you can bring it around anywhere with you!

And with a slightly larger 'l
aptop luggage' style bag, you can put the Portabee into the same bag as your laptop computer, along with some feedstock filament, power supplies for both devices (the Portabee uses a laptop-type power supply), some instant coffee sachets, cookies... you get the idea.

The Portabee opens up numerous possibilities which were previously impractical - designers and design engineers can now offer to print out a sample of their design solution at the client's premises, on the spot and with applied design changes, for quick evaluation. Educators can loan Portabees to students for a time period to complete a school assignment involving 3D printing, be it an arts, design, or engineering discipline. An artist can walk into her favourite cafe, suddenly get in a creative mood, whip out the Portabee and a laptop and start designing something and print it out, all while sipping her usual cuppa and enjoying some cheesecake.

The Portabee is available as an unassembled kit form with a colour illustrated step-by-step assembly guide. Assembled and tested Portabee 3D Printers are also available.

  • 135x135x120mm build volume
  • T2.5 New! 2GT (GT2) belts and machined pulleys
  • Full linear bearings on all axes
  • All stainless steel hardware where applicable, hardened steel linear rods (smooth rods)
  • Single board solution Gen6.d electronics with integrated fan and SD card support
  • Heated platform (printbed) included as standard
  • Uses common, tried and tested Ø 3mm* feedstock filament, commonly PLA and ABS materials
  • 0.5mm standard nozzle*

They also provide files for printing of support elements. 

3D model surface restoration

Excellent mini tutorial by youtube user maxamillionschnell on how to restore and repair 3d printed model bottom surface that has white "ugly" finish on it. If you use acetone on it it will be shiny, and not to mention that acetone is toxic. He uses heat gun to get rid of white stuff and get nice mate finish.

Nov 24, 2012

High-end 3d metal printing

I was looking around to see what's there on industrial side and found two interesting videos on metal 3d printing:

Direct Metal Laser Sintering - DMLS

(with some nice engineering nerdy humor)


Rapid Prototyping and Digital Sand Casting

Some heavy duty 3d printing of sand molds and aluminum/iron metal casting.

Nov 23, 2012

New diy 3d printer - miniFactory

Yet another low-cost printer is coming from Finland: miniFactory

Specs are:
  • Build area: 140 x 150 x 140 mm or 5.5 x 5.9 x 5.5 inches
  • Layer thickness: 0.1 - 0.3 mm with miniFactory™ original nozzle
  • Speed: Up to 80 mm/s
  • Nozzle diameter: 0.35 mm
  • Positioning precision: 0.0004 mm on Z axis and 0.016 mm on XY axes
  • Material: 1.75mm PLA
  • Printer dimensions: 42.0 (L) 33.5 (W) 33.5 (H) cm
  • Printer weight: <10 kilograms
  • Electronics: 4 Stepper motor controllers, 2 temperature sensors, end-stop switches for XYZ axes, 2 heater outputs, 1 extra output for example fan controlling
  • Price: EUR790 / USD1,010 / GBP635 (not included taxes and shipping costs)

Nov 21, 2012

DIY volumetric 3d display for 40 euro

Here is a cheap volumetirc 3d display you can make with your 3d printer and Dremel tool. It still needs some development, but I think most of the parts could be 3d printed. Cheep 3d projection device. Very cool!

Via Hackaday


Michele has a new version of this 3d display that is combined with a projector:

Details can be found at:

The OrcaM Sphere

Nov 19, 2012

Working 3D Printed Automatic Transmission Gear system

Created by thingiverse user emmett. Great working model.

From the video description:

This is an automatic transmission model I designed and 3D printed (you can download the design here: This type of gearing arrangement is common in automatic transmissions in cars, though the clutches and brakes and hydraulics that control them are far more complex than modeled here. Also missing is the torque converter.

These gears are known as herringbone, which are not generally found in real transmissions because they are too difficult to machine. However, they are easy to print, and they have the advantage of being self-centering.

Nov 13, 2012

Mixing 3d printed and real objects

It is just cool in an artsy way! Also melting away borders of real and 3d printed objects. It probably uses high-end industrial multicolor printers, but it is still cool ...

A sandstone block built from lego, blending real objects with 3d prints from Greg Petchkovsky on Vimeo.

Made for the "Make it real" challenge on Instructables,

Nov 12, 2012

Silent Runner blimp with 3d printed parts

Silent Runner is Arduino powered hobby blimp with key structural elements printed on 3d printer. If you want to build it yourself everything is open-sourced and can be found on link bellow the videos.

Metal casting in 3d printed mold

Bismuth alloy casting a metal model in 3d printed plastic mold and then dissolving the mold in acetone.  There are some safety issues, so check guidelines before doing it yourself.

Nov 11, 2012

3d printing furniture out of recycled waste plastic

This video shows the real potential of 3d printing technology. It is refurbished old industrial robot upgraded with 3d printing extruder which uses recycled plastic waste. It prints usable furniture out of garbage. Possibilities for this concept are enormous. You can scale it up for large waste centers, or scale it down for home use.

Untitled from Dirk Vander Kooij on Vimeo.

Pensa DIWire Bender - 2d and 3d metal wire shapes

I want one!

The DIWire Bender from PENSA! on Vimeo.

The DIWire Bender is a rapid prototype machine that bends metal wire to produce 2D or 3D shapes.
Wire unwinds from a spool, passes through a series of wheels that straighten it, and then feeds through the bending head, which moves around in 3 dimensions to create the desired bends and curves. Vector files (e.g., Adobe Illustrator files), text files of commands (e.g., feed 50 mm, bend 90° to right…) provide DIWire’s instructions.

It’s essentially a 3D printer that describes lines, instead of volumes, in space, and it could be used for anything from prototypes to customized products.


Created by cathalgarvey, Dremelfuge enables you to use 3d printed part in combination with Dremel to use it as high speed centrifuge. It is for standard microcentrifuge tubes and miniprep columns. It is licensed under Open Source Hardware license.

Update (26.3.2014.):

Here is interview with the creator and more details on field use:

Nov 10, 2012

3d printed purse - Zip Top Bag

Very practical and ingenious design by PrettySmallThings.
It is 3d printed bendable purse/container/wallet/pen box. You print out the parts and assemble them in few simple steps. I think I'll print one out for my girlfriend

Nov 7, 2012

3d printing with your mind

Ok, it looks like science fiction NOW. Or not. I don't know any more. Interfacing thoughts and 3d printing surely makes you go (to quote one commentator of this video): SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY NOW!!!!!

They are using Emotive EPOC headset (299$) which is a high resolution, neuro-signal acquisition and processing wireless neuroheadset.

Nov 5, 2012

3D printing 4th dimension

3d printed puzzle that represents four dimensional space shapes. I don't have a slightest clue how to explain it, but maybe some of you can figure it out.

More detailed text on:

3d printing featured in Dilbert

I just saw this :-) This must be a major milestone for 3d printing if it's featured in Dilbert :-))))))))

Source and copyright owner: Update, new Dilbert comic:

Nov 1, 2012

Video of Printrbot speed build

Great video of Printrbot speed build by youtube user HammerFET. In ten minutes you will see in detail how his Printrbot is build from scratch to fully operational. It has xbox power supply and few other customized parts.
Video description is:
Printrbot featuring my minimal direct drive extruder and xbox power supply!

Whosawhatsis' MK7 replacement:
My extruder carriage:
Toggle switch holder:
Two part printrbot base for easy printing: