Jun 29, 2014

3d printed moving contraption aka. walking robot

It's just a simple 3d printed mechanism that enables this construction to move by changing the balance. Inside the cylinder there is a small geared motor powered by a couple of watch batteries which drives a lead weight around the perimeter of the cylinder causing it to roll. The concept could be used in some other movable structures.
It was designed and made by Alexandar Maund

Using carbon fiber and titanium 3d printing in production of Koenigsegg ultra performance sports cars

Christian von Koenigsegg explains how his company uses 3D printing in prototyping and production of amazing hypercars. They use it in everything from prototyping of car seats and foot rests to titanium 3d printed main structural car parts. Performances they achieve trough innovative technologies are incredible.

Their cars are real high-tech beasts. One:1 model has ratio of one horsepower per one kilogram.

3D Weaver loom makes woven structures from cotton, wool, paper and silicone

3D Weaver is weaving machine that layers natural fibers including cotton, wool, paper, and then binds them with silicone to maintain the structure, material / spatial properties in three dimensions. It is basically 3d loom with advanced yarn materials fed through two tubes and wrapped around a grid of vertical poles. Woven 3d structures can be used for many purposes ranging from shoe soles to custom high level packaging.

It was developed and constructed by Nigerian American designer Oluwaseyi Sosanya for his The Structure of Protection graduate project. He has a patent pending on this technology.

3d Weaver project homepage:

3d waved shoe soles. Source: Dezeen 

Woven 3d matrix structure.  Source: Dezeen 

3D Weaver additive manufacturing DIY loom. You can see the layering frame and spools of material.

Jun 28, 2014

Free online 3d model file type converter

Alexander Gessler made this free and useful online tool to convert many different 3d model file types.
It is a handy tool to convert 3D models from one file format to another (i.e. FBX to OBJ or OBJ to STL for 3D printing, DAE to JSON for use with WebGL, ..).
Supported input file formats include 3DS, FBX, Blender, OBJ, DXF, LWO, STL, PLY and more than 25 others. Output formats include Collada, 3DS, X, OBJ, PLY, STL (Text and Binary), JSON (Assimp2Json) and more. You can upload up to 5 files with a total size of 50 MiB.
This service is forever free.

Jun 25, 2014

How to make the Microwave sub-100$ color 3D scanner for small objects

Microwave is very simple and cheap DIY 3d scanner that anyone can make for under 100 USD designed by sfaryne. It uses your smartphone to take burst photos of the object, homemade lightbox and couple of purchased items like simple turntable display.
For the lightbox you can use laser cut acrylic with a LED light panel but almost any type of a box that is white will probably do like junk microwaves or painted FedEx cardboard boxes. The LED lightpanel goes on top.
The photographs are then processed trough 123D Catch (free) or Agisoft ($179) to get final 3d model.

Detailed build instructions, operating guide and build files for lasercut lightbox are at:

New SCARA 3d printer design by Sean (a.k.a. CLaNZeR) from UK based CNC Design Limited

SCARA 3d printers are not so common, but there is a new machine under development by Sean (a.k.a. CLaNZeR) from UK based CNC Design Limited. The prototype is currently in version MK3 with physical size of 25 x 25 x 40 cm and is expected to reach a theoretical resolution of 0.007 mm.

Mk3 prototype forum:

Here is the SCARA configuration in test phase:

It uses Nema 17 motors with integrated drivers and 50:1 gearboxes in the arm joints.Using custom electronics, firmware and signal drivers the stepper motors can get up to 5000 RPM.

Jun 24, 2014

RepYourCity street art challenge by Thre3D

There are some prizes in this people! Go and make stuff!

New larger size 1mm nozzle sold by German RepRap

German RepRap is selling new 1mm hot end nozzle which can cut in half the printing time. The trade-off is rougher surface finish and more visible layers. So, the target audience is someone who needs more speed and less detail. The ideal setup would be some kind of dual extruder with extra fine nozzle for details and larger diameter nozzle for infills.
It's compatible with X400, the X400 CE and PRotos V2, but could probably adapted for other extruders.

It is priced ad 18,99 euro.

Product page:

Jun 23, 2014

New method of DIY 3d printing aluminum with alumina wet paste extrusion

Italian WASP is experimenting with new method to 3d print in aluminum. It uses wet mixture of alumina (Aluminium Oxide Al2O3)  extruded trough syringe extruder.
Alumina powder is mixed in different mixtures with water, denatured alcohol and glycerin and deposited on print surface.
After drying it can be heated to 1300/1500 Celsius to harden it.

More information is needed but it could work ...

Source, in Italian (use google translate):

3d printed human organs that generate electricity for medical implants from Uni of Iowa

Bioprinting is advancing rapidly, with many obstacles ahead, but at University of Iowa they are already planing to make "enhanced" 3d printed "superorgans" which also produce electricity that could be used for implanted (medical) devices.

Here is interview with Dr. Ibrahim Ozbolat, co-director of the University of Iowa's Advanced Manufacturing Technology Group.

Ozbolat told HuffPost Live's Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani that while current research is focusing on replacing failed organs, he's also interested in the prospect of developing a "brand new organ" that doesn't exist in nature but which could be transplanted to "enhance the functionality of the human body."
And he's thinking big. One possibility is an organ that generates electricity inside our bodies.
"For complicated organs -- for example, if the heart fails -- then you need a pacemaker. The pacemaker runs with batteries, and when the battery needs to be replaced, surgery is needed," he said. That procedure could be eliminated by creating "an organ that is going to be part of the human body and generate electricity that can run the heart."

Source: HuffPo -

There is still long way to go before fully functional organs

You will not be able to shoot lightning bolts from your hands anytime soon ... but one day ... one day ...

Jun 22, 2014

Robohoand claims biggest 3d print farm in the world with 53 machines but Lulzbot has one with 109

Robohand is a great project for low cost prosthetics and they claim that they operate world's biggest 3d printer far with 53 machines:

However LulzBot has a record with 109 machines running:

I guess it's not important who is the biggest, the important thing is that the technology is advancing ....

Here is the video interview about the farm with Jody Callahan regarding education around 3D Printing technology at the College of the Ouachitas:

RepScrap DIY 3d printer from salvaged InkJet parts made by Michael Ball

Michael Ball decided to make a 3d printer from discarded printer and scanner parts like some people before him. His build process is very well documented and very educational especially about motor and electronics configuration.  One of the projects goals is to create a 3D printer using DC motors and the salvaged Optical Encoder strips.You will also find his Arduino driver code on the project site.

The total cost of purchased parts for the build is around 355 USD. There are some low cost printers available for the same or lower amount, but this one has bigger print surface and the joy of building it.

Great work Michael!

Here is a video of RepScrap X-Axis DC Motor and Linear Optical Encoder repurposed from an old InkJet Printer. Arduino Pro-Mini is running the DC motor, and reading the high resolution Linear Optical Encoder for positioning.

How to create mold for rubber objects with 3d printing

Rachel Yalisove created great step-by-step tutorial on Instructables on how to create 3d printed mold for rubber objects.

You can see it here:

Jun 19, 2014

Local Motors shows the first drive of their 3d printed electric car Strati

While there is no new information about Urbee 3d printed car, Local Motors is advancing their technology and they just released video of their vehicles first drive.
Only the inner passenger compartment and chassis is 3d printed while electric motor, batteries, suspension, transmission and wheels are not 3d printed but there is probably work to increase number of 3d printed components.

First powered drive video:

Here is a video of 3d printed chassis part:

Here is the video of their design challenge:

And here is the link to a page with submissions, there are some great automotive designs there:

Local Motors 3d printed car design challenge winner 

You can learn more about the comapny an their 3d printing efforts to build printed car here:

Update (21.9.2014.):

The Strati is finished and it is showcased in many places. Here it is presented by the CEO Jay Rogers at MakerCon

More details from this interview can be found on:

Here is some more test driving and details on the Strati by Mashable:

First (almost) fully 3d printed RC vehicle made by Michael Curry

Michael Curry developed and built fully 3D printed RC vehicle. The car weighs about 70 pounds and required $700 of PLA filament to print, it was printed over the time frame of five months. The majority of the vehicle is 3d printed PLA plastic with some obvious exceptions like: the electric motor, some metal pieces, and the Delrin ball bearings. I wonder if the batteries are also 3d printed?
Also: could it be enlarged and driven by a person?

Hacking used cars with 3d printed custom air intake parts

Someone posted a video that shows how he uses 3d printer to make a custom car part to do some automotive hacking. The part connects air intake and carburetor of two different car types. It links VW Syncro air box and Toyota 4Y carburetor into functional unit. It is a sort of car hacking. You use incompatible non-operational parts to make something new and functional.

Recently I paid 25$ for simpler and much smaller air intake plastic part for my Mercedes A class from 2001. Since it is an older car I had to search several used car parts salesman. Since Croatia is EU such car parts are easier to find now, but some years ago it was much harder and more expensive. I didn't even thin about printing  the par myself since it didn't even cross my mind. next time I'll know better.
There is booming used cars markets in developing countries that also need many spare parts and this is where 3d printers could be of some assistance.


Fully functional RC plane made with 3Doodler

We already saw functional quadcopter made with 3d drawing pen, now there is fully functional flying RC plane made with 3Doodler by Matthew Butchard from the United Kingdom.

I had my suspicions about usability and application of 3d drawing pens like 3Doodler but projects like this prove me wrong.
Project homepage:

3d printable dog bowl water bottle carrier

This is very practical! We have two dogs and we carry water bowl when we go to nature. This is much better! I'm making this on weekend!

Fully mechanical and analogue 3D printer

Daniel de Bruin made this fully mechanical and analogue 3d printer. No electric motors or electronic controls. Only weights, gears, chains, sprockets and pulleys will 3d print with clay paste and produce an 3d object.  Once operator raises the wight the printer is powered for some ten minutes by the wight moving downwards. The shape is "programmed" by bent wire guide.
The printer costs only €150 in materials, but required a lot of time milling, drilling and metal spinning, all by hand without the use of any CNC machinery.

3d Bioprinting introduction, possibilities, problems and current state of technology

All you wanted to know about bioprinting and 3d printing with living cells summarized in 20 minute video. Must-watch if you are interested in the topic. Wei gives great overview of the field and current state of bioprinting technology which is truly amazing with incredible future possibilities (and problems to be solved).

Speaker: Prof. Wei Sun, Tsinghua University / Xin Innovation Workshop,

Presentation held at Tel Aviv University, 19 - 20.5.2014.

I found presentation by Prof. Wei Sun in PDF format similar to the one in the video which is great reference material on bioprinting:

Conclusions are important and probably there are many scientists working on it right now:

In future we need the following to ensure 3d printed organs:
  • A new generation of biomaterials - Bio-Ink: go with cells (structure as cell delivery medium), grow with cells (support as cell ECM) and function with cells (as biomolecules); 
  • Developmental Engineering (vs. Developmental Biology) to fill the biological knowledge gap; 
  • Bio-3DP manufacturing tools: viable, reliable and reproducible, and capable of making heterogeneous structures; 
  • 4-D 3DP model: embedded time into Bio-3DP model: printing Stem Cells with control released molecules for complex tissues, Organs, Cellular Machines and Human-on-a-Chip devices

Molten3D TIG welding DIY metal 3d printer by Steve Delaire

Here is new DIY 3d metal printer based on a TIG welding  (Tungsten Inert Gas) process created by Steve Delaire. It is still under development but the project is very interesting as is any attempt to make homemade fully functional metal 3d printer.

It uses cheep standard MIG steel wire you can buy anywhere, it maybe even cheaper then the plastic filament.

The output objects are still very rough shapes but the technology is advancing. TIG molten wire is more similar to water then molten plastics, it creates beads so continuous fine layers are much harder to achieve.

Print results from Steves blog. Still very basic but I'm sure he will improve it. 

Project homepage with much more information:

We have seen similar concept based on MIG welder and inverse Delta kinematics:

Jun 17, 2014

Airbus is strongly going into 3d printing parts for aerospace applications

Big USA players like Lockheed Martin, Boeing and GE are already heavily into additive manufacturing, and Chinese are already printing big parts of jet fighters. European main aircraft producer Airbus is also now promoting themselves and their technology 3d printing advancements.  
Airbus is at the start of an innovation revolution using 3D printing technology. 3D plastic parts are already flying on a commercial A310 and an A350 XWB test aircraft. Metal parts for wing slats, a section of the tail wing and door hinges have also been made with 3D printing. In the coming years the technology will allow manufacturing costs to fall while lighter parts will mean less fuel burn for airlines.

Minibuilders - coordinated small robots 3d printing big buildings

A research group at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (, based in Barcelona set on a goal of reelaborating 3D printing techniques so as to overcome existing limitations of this technique in large-scale.

The objective was to develop a family of small scale construction robots, all mobile and capable of constructing objects far larger than the robot itself. Moreover, each of the robots developed was to perform a diverse task, linked to the different phases of construction, finally working together as a family towards the implementation of a single structural outcome. Hence, instead of one large machine, a number of much smaller robots working independently, but in coordination, towards a single goal.

Currently there are three types of robots:
  • The first robot, the Base Robot, lays down the first ten layers of material to create a foundation footprint. Sensors mounted inside the robot control direction, following a predefined path. Traveling in a circular path allows for a vertical actuator incrementally adjust the nozzle height for a smooth, continuous, spiraling layer. 
  • To create the main shell of the final structure the second robot, the Grip Robot, attaches to the foundation footprint. Its four rollers clamp on to the upper edge of the structure allowing it to move along the previously printed material, depositing more layers. Controlled by custom software the robot follows a predefined path, but can also adjust its path to correct errors within the printing process. Rotational actuators control height above the previous layer to maintain a consistent layer
  • The data derived from the structural analysis is then translated into paths for the third and final robot, the Vacuum Robot. Using a vacuum generator this robot attaches to the surface of the previously printed structure. Moving freely over the first shell on its tracks, depositing material on the surface of the shell, enhancing its structural properties. This task can be performed by one robot, or a swarm of robots working in co-ordination.

Project homepage with more information:

Project credits:

Minibuilders is a project of IAAC, Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia,
developed durning Open Thesis Fabrication in 2013 by:
Researchers: Shihui Jin, Stuart Maggs, Dori Sadan and Cristina Nan
Faculty: Saša Jokić and Petr Novikov
Sponsored by: SD Ventures

3D printed NYLON permanent coffee filter

You can use nylon based filament to print functional permanent coffee machine filters or simple hot water filters. I'm not sure you could use PLA or ABS for it. Nylon is probably more heat stable and food safe with some water permeability properties. Here are some images of:

Instructions available at:

Here is the design of the filter:

Here is the different type of filter:


You can also use more complex 3d printing techniques to make your own DIY electric coffee maker:

Jun 16, 2014

3D Systems presents Cube EKOCYCLE 3d printer that works with filament made from recycled PET bottles

Revolutionary machine or marketing hype? You decide ...

New 3D Systems Cube 3d printer is just presented by under Ekocyle brand and it seems like it is using new type of a filament made from 25% PET or 3 recycled PET bottles called rPET.

Partnership with Coca Cola is involved in production of this machine, which makes sense, since Coca Cola is probably the biggest producer of PET bottles that are burden on environment and economy of waste management. It is better to make something out of those bottles then to just bury them in a landfill.

Personally I don't like printers that work only with propitiatory filament cartridges that are usually more expensive then generic filament, but this model gives more incentive to buy for consumers who are motivated by environment protection.
I understand that they want to sell their machines, but if you really want to improve environmental impact of Coca Cola why not sell the filament directly for lower prices?
Also I couldn't find the prince of filament cartridge itself.
One thing is sure: 3D System continues to lead in front of Makerbot-Stratasys who seem to stagnate.

Interesting development, video is only available on youtube with no information on 3d Systems pages. More to come soon ...

Here is official 3D Systems press release:

Here is what they write:
As explained by 3DS’ Chief Creative Officer, the goal of EKOCYCLE is to "partner with the most influential brands around the world and use technology, art, style and inspiration to change an entire culture. We will make it cool to recycle, and we will make it cool to make products using recycled materials. This is the beginning of a more sustainable 3D-printed lifestyle. Waste is only waste if we waste it.”
Each EKOCYCLE cartridge is made in part from post-consumer recycled 20oz PET plastic bottles. New to home 3D printing, rPET is a flexible filament material that retains full durability. Cartridges for the EKOCYCLE Cube are available in a curated color palette of red, black, white and natural.
The EKOCYCLE Cube 3D printer is a plug and play consumer 3D printer for everyday use, priced at $1,199, and will be available at 3DS’ online consumer hub Cubify™. EKOCYCLE Cube printers are expected to commence commercial shipments during the second half of 2014. To sign up for updates, please visit Cubify.
  • Setting a New Standard for How We Make: Each EKOCYCLE Cartridge turns the equivalent of 3 used bottles into your next wearable fashion, music accessory or desktop décor. Users will receive a free collection of 25 fashion, music and tech minded accessories, curated by, to have fun 3D printing immediately.
  • Remade Print Experience: Prints in beautiful 70-micron high resolution at fast speeds and up to 6” cubed in size, with ultra-fine supports for complex prints and a choice of easy auto settings or advanced settings. Auto-leveling ensures quality printability every time.
  • Unlock the Limits of Style: EKOCYCLE Cube prints in simultaneous, dual color recycled plastic in a curated color palette of red, black, white and natural.
  • Instant Load Cartridge: Instant material loading is now easier than changing an ink cartridge. Moisture-lock cartridges ensure extended shelf life and total material usage, improving print quality and sustainability. The cartridges are easy to load and store while preserving the life and quality of the materials.
  • Convenience in the Palm of Your Hand: Enjoy the freedom of mobile printing direct from the Cubify app for iOS and Android. Find new things to print in the curated brand collections or browse the Design Feed for inspiration to add to your Shelf. Prep and print from your smartphone direct to the EKOCYCLE Cube.
  • Easy to Use, Sleek Design: Building on the iconic Cube, the EKOCYCLE Cube features a color touchscreen with an intuitive user interface and sleek LEDs highlighting prints in action, and is equipped with faster Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, an auto-leveling print pad and easy supports removal for complex prints. holds a PET bottle that is recycled to make filament which is used to print smartphone case

BuildersBot 3d printer and CNC hybrid with welded steel frame

BuildersBot is new 3d printer / CNC hybrid with welded steel frame and big print volume.

Here is video overview of the machine itself and the main technical specs:

It has strong stainless steel MIG welded frame with aluminum rails which is the main fueature. It is controlled by Arduino Mega and a ramps 1.4 board. 3D printing volume is big at 500X600X200. Power is provided by four Nema 23 motors, and on the working end there are 0.5mm J-head and Kress 1050 Spindle MFE for CNC.
BuildersBot is developed by Aldric Negrier.

Construction guide and more details can be found at:

Formlabs Form 1+ is new flagship SLA 3d printer (update: now with test and review)

Fromlabs released their new Form 1+ upgraded printer. It still has the same print volume as the previous version but performance is significantly improved.

The upgraded Form 1+ features:
  • A higher-power second-generation laser system for faster print speeds
  • A redesigned galvanometer control system for more precise and accurate control
  • Re-engineered mechanical components for better wear and durability
  • A light-blocking injection-molded resin tank for better print consistency – allowing you to store your tanks outside the Form 1. The tank also comes with a stackable lid, helping you manage multiple resins more easily.

Together with it there is a new Preform software in version 1.5

Here is video overview of what's new in Preform 1.5 (manual supports and new materials):

Preform update includes:
  • Form 1+ support (as well as backward compatibility!)
  • Updated EULA reflecting our new warranty information
  • Manual support editing capabilities
  • Black resin material settings
  • Improved print time estimation
  • Improved resin volume estimation
  • .form files now preserve viewing angle
  • handfuls of improvements to make PreForm faster, smarter, and more agile

Formlabs also has new black resin, because, ya know, black is a cool color. It will be priced at $149/liter. It is specially tuned Black to be ideal for models with delicate features and fine details. It may print up to 30% more slowly than other Formlabs resins at the 100 micron setting with the increased cure-time, but the results should be BLACK.

Formlabs has also partnered with UK-based Express Group, a company that will help sell and service the Form 1+ printer in Europe. The printer will be priced at €2,799 in Europe or at $3,299 for USA market.

Update (24.10.2014.):

Here is review and test of Form 1+ by Tested and their 3D printing columnist Sean Charlesworth:

Jun 15, 2014

Will 3d printing remain legal? The future of 3d printing legality discussion at Stanford may provide some answers and guidelines

One thing is sure: there will be much more litigation in the future ...

From the video description:
Three dimensional printing turns bits into atoms. The technology is simply amazing. These machines draw on programming, art and engineering to enable people to design and build intricate, beautiful, functional jewelry, machine parts, toys and even shoes. In the commercial sector, 3D printing can revolutionize supply chains as well. As the public interest group Public Knowledge wrote once, "It will be awesome if they don't screw it up."
The age of publicly accessible 3D printers and printing services is finally here, but are our legal doctrines up to the task of protecting the public while not screwing up a fantastic new tool? Stanford Law Professors Mark Lemley and Nora Freeman Engstrom, the CEO of Shapeways, the founder of Printrbot, the president of Airwolf 3D, and CIS Director of Civil Liberties Jennifer Granick discuss the product liablity and intellectual property issues surrounding this innovation.
  • Mark Lemley - William H. Neukom Professor of Law at Stanford Law School
  • Nora Freeman Engstrom - Associate Professor of Law at Stanford Law School
  • Peter Weijmarshausen - CEO of Shapeways, 3D printing marketplace and community
  • Brook Drumm - Founder of Printrbot, a desktop 3D printer you can build in a couple hours
  • Erick Wolf - Intellectual Property Attorney and President of Airwolf 3D, an affordable, durable, and easy-to-use 3D printer
Jennifer Granick - Director of Civil Liberties at Stanford CIS
May 16, 2013
Stanford Law School
Hosted by the Stanford Center for Internet and Society

Spidey open source DIY robotics platform with 3d printed structure parts

Spidey is an open source DIY robotics platform with 3d printed structure parts. It is designed in OpenSCAD and all parts are available in 3D parametric designs with a list of electronics parts (featuring ROBOTIS XL-320), instructions and control firmware.  
The total cost is about 350 € / 500 USD for the 12 D.O.F version that is on the video.

It is customizable and it can be reconfigured in size and number of limbs:

Spidey homepage:

GitHub repo with all the files and manuals:

Slight creepiness is unavoidable I look at it move ...

Here is an older T8 spider 3d printed robot.

First successful flight video of Nomad fully 3d printed UAV

This is the third attempt and it was a good one. The Nomad modular 3d printed UAV is now airborne which is a great step forward for the project and DIY drone community!
Since the Nomad is scalable and modular, bigger versions with more interesting payloads could apper in the future.

Thnx Goig3D for sharing your work!

Long exposure and 3d printer mounted LED create 3d light painting

Ekaggrat Singh mounted a LED light on his Delta printer's extruder, tweaked the g-code and used camera with long exposition (probably “Bulb mode”) to take a photograph of a three dimensional light painting. He calls it Sliced Light. Cool.

Future of custom parts high-speed manufacturing by 3D Systems (or how will they make Project Ara smartphones)

Ultra fast, with full customization of each piece by continuous additive manufacturing on industrial scale.  3D Systems shows their vision in this video with Project Ara being the real-world example of this technology in application.

3D Systems alos claim that they have broken the "magic" barrier of 3d printing being faster then traditional injection molding:

Those are some major changes in industrial scale production!

Jun 13, 2014

Presentation on design of 3D printed mathematical art by Henry Segerman

If you are mathematics geek, love advanced geometry, four dimensional space, fractals, knots and art you will enjoy this presentation. One hour worth watching of Henry Segerman from Oklahoma State University giving presentation on design of 3D printed mathematical art during Symposium on Computational Geometry 2014.

The presentation in PDF format can be found here:

You can see Henrys four dimensional puzzles in action here:

Jun 12, 2014

How to make low cost linear actuators for your 3d printer or CNC machine

Lukas Hoppe made this tutorial and designed components that can be 3d printed or lasercut to make cheap DIY linear actuators. It is a set of brackets and endblocks to mount NEMA 17 (or other motors with adapters) motors on linear rails. The result look good.
You can always rely on that German engineering. Gut gemacht Lukas! Danke fur dieses projekt.

Guide and all STL files can be found at:

ShapeDo will help you escape Thingiverse with easy migration tool

Thingiverse has had some issues with copyright of users 3d models and MakerBots attempted patenting of open technologies. That made some users angry and looking for new communities. ShapeDo saw the opportunity and developed easy migration tool that will take your models from Thingiverse and move them into ShapeDo. Well done ShapeDo!

GE will 3d print internet-of-things components into machines with Direct Write technology

GE has many advanced 3d printing projects, this is a new one. Direct Write technology will 3d print sensors and components to enable machines to form internet-of-things or industrial internet.  

From the source:
If you feel that the world has become a buzzing beehive of connectivity, wait a few years. A recent report from CISCO estimates that only a small fraction of the devices that could be talking to each other - 10 billion out of 1.5 trillion, or just 0.6 percent - are actually connected. CISCO estimates that the number will jump to 50 billion by 2020, potentially transforming the way we live and the global economy.
Many of the connected “things” will be intelligent machines equipped with myriads of tiny sensors harvesting data and sending it over to the cloud for processing. Scientists at GE Global Research are now experimenting with a technology that could speed up the transition to link up machines and put sensors where they've never been before.
The technology, called Direct Write, allows machine designers to use special “inks” to print miniature sensors directly inside jet engines, gas turbines and other hot, harsh and hard to reach places. “We can use it to print sensors on 3D surfaces,” says James Yang, engineer at GE Global Research who is leading the project. “One day they could be anywhere.”
Yang and his team are using a computer-controlled syringe filled with a special ink to print the sensors (see video below). One ink type uses a conductive mix of fine silver, copper, platinum and other metal particles. A different set of printing liquids resist electricity and use metal oxides instead of pure metals. Yang says that this is handy since “changes in resistivity can give us information about changes in the part.”
The Direct Write technology emerged in the 1990s when DARPA, the Defense Department’s research agency, was seeking a way to print electrical circuits on flexible surfaces. The method is currently being used by the electronics industry to manufacture cellphone antennas.
Yang and his team are using Direct Write to print 3D sensors that can withstand 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit and handle high mechanical forces. The sensors could help engineers better understand what happens inside machines and come up with better designs. They could also allow customers to harvest data they could not access before, optimize machine performance and spot problems before they get out of hand.


GE is gigantic corporation but still this reminds me of one much cheaper wire embedding project:

Jun 11, 2014

CreoPop 3d drawing pen that uses UV light for ink solidifying

Creopop is new 3d drawing pen that uses UV light for curing of the gel ink material. It doesn't produce any "dangerous" heat but the ink is more expensive then the standard filaments (which you can make yourself in filament extruder even more cheaper). Types of ink include elastic, magnetic, glow-in-the-dark, scented ink, body painting inks, ink that changes color with temperature and ink that conducts electricity made for school science classes.CreoPop is battery operated and charged through micro USB, I wonder if the battery is user replaceable.

It will be on Indiegogo soon.

Here is the CreoPop review by Mashable:

Jun 9, 2014

ServoStock Delta 3d printer powered by servos and Bowler protocol

This Delta is heavily modified Kossel derivative which uses DC motor powered servos instead of stepper motors developed by team led by mad.hephaestus.

On each axis is a small board containing a magnetic encoder, and a continuous rotation servo. With this setup, the makers are able to get 4096 steps per revolution with closed loop control that can drive the servo to with ±2 ticks.
The electronics and firmware are fully redesigned configuration when compared to the usual 3D printers. The motherboard uses a Pic32 running at 80MHz. In parallel with hardware, the communication between the host and printer has been completely redesigned, instead of g-code, the team is using the Bowler protocol for sending packets over serial, TCP/IP, or just about any other communications protocol you can think of.

The final aim is to create much cheaper powerful 3d printer that would cost in 200 - 300 USD range.

Project on

GitHub repository:

There is lot of discussion on the project page and on hackaday about viability of this technology. I don't know much about all the stuff they use, so it will be lot of new stuff to learn. Maybe it will be the standard in the future.

Here is a video about closed vs. open control systems:

Here is a link about differences of DC vs. servo vs. stepper motors:

Jun 8, 2014

Do YOU want to be a 3d printer? Human 3d printer!?

At first I was like : "whaaaat" then I got it :-) It is a project to load a STL file into laser guide that will outline a shape on a surface and then a PERSON will manually deposit hot glue or some other material. Layer by layer, 3d "printed" object will be completed. So it is a HUMAN 3D PRINTER!!!!

Yes, you will be human 3d printer

Overview of the whole idea 

Prototype of the laser that will guide you in your  manual human operated 3d printing

The project is under development, all the details can be found here:

It doesn't get more DIY than this :-)

I hope it will be successfully finished and documented :-)

... or maybe it is a joke / prank / statement about technology ... hmmmm ... we will see ...

PS: the term "sculptor" comes to mind ...

Update (9.10.2014.):

Full tutorial for this project is released, now you can make your own laser guide that will make you into human 3d printer :-)

All the details can be found at:

Project is developed by Laura Devendorf and it is an articulated laser pointer that draws g-code output path which can be followed by human operator and filled with various materials to create a 3d object.