Sep 30, 2014

Make your own 3d printed DIY chorded keyboard

Chorded keyboard is a computer keyboard where you get characters by pressing several keys at the same time.
This input method should improve speed, make your keyboard one hand usable, smaller and mobile or just make you look like ultra cool elite hax0r.

There are many different projects and now there is a Chordy KEY project with 3d printable case.

Chordy KEY combinations. Well, there is a learning curve if you want to be cool ...

Project homepage on hackadayio :

GitHub repostiory with all the details and STL files:

From project description:
Chording keyboards have been around for a while, but appear to not be taken seriously. Although you can see many data entry methods throughout science fiction but usually involve hundreds of buttons that require the user to look at them and appear to be hard to work in adverse conditions or with bulk such as gloves.
The chording keyboard can take on many different shapes and easily used with one hand. The keys can be easily acquired without the use of pips and build with proper spacing to be used with gloves. The lower amount of keys used makes the manufacturing of the device cheaper and simpler.
This project is a completed left hand proof of concept chording keyboard that currently has all functionality of a standard keyboard minus function keys and plenty of combinations to add them and many macros. The base microcontroller is a ATmega32U4 packaged as a sparkfun pro micro, 8 buttons and 6 indicating leds the case is 3d printed and backed with craft foam.

For standard 3d printed keyboard look at:

New chorded keyboard project:

Collection of Blender 3d printing design tutorials from beginner to intermediate level

I want to learn how to use Blender more for my 3d printing modeling  needs. Here is collection of tutorial videos I found you may find also useful.

Here is simple Blender 3d design for 3d printing tutorial by Jim Craig:

Here is one slightly more complex and detailed made by EcTechTime:

Tutorial by Benjamin Morgan on basic model and Blender setup preparing it for 3d printing:

Here is the entire playlist with many detailed Bender tutorial videos if you want to get into it deeper created by Jason Welsh:

Here is a detailed tutorial by i.materialise about preparing and checking 3d models for 3d printing:

Enjoy learning!

Sep 29, 2014

How to make printable 3d models from complex datasets of water and sewage systems

Scott Kildall has several projects involving complex data sets processing and transforming them into 3d printable objects for information visualization.
He made and interesting tutorial on how to make 3d printable data crystals and now he published two tutorials on how to make 3d printable models that are three dimensional maps made from geospatial data of complex sewer and water city systems.
How to guides are treasure if you are into 3d visualization of complex data sets and map making.

Here are links to Instructables tutorials with detailed workflow ans software used. The entire process is not too complex and can be done even if you are novice:

San Francisco sewers:

San Francisco water system:

BTW: do remember that the map is NOT the territory ;-)

WirePrint wireframe 3d printable models for faster prototyping by Hasso Plattner Institute and Cornell University

Researchers from Hasso Plattner Institute and Cornell University developed WirePrint software for faster prototyping. It basically custs down the time needed to 3d print an object by replacing solid volumes with wire frames.

A question comes to my mind: if this is publicly funded institute will the release the code under one of open source license? Public money should provide public with some tangible goods and services ...
I don't know much about how this sort of institution operates, gets funding and disseminates knowledge form applied research ...

Update: here is some sort of similar code on GitHub, inspired but not related to this project but creates wire frames:

From video description:
WirePrint is a low-fi fabrication technique that prints 3D models as wireframe previews. By extruding filament directly into 3D space instead of printing layer-wise, we achieve a speed-up of up to 10x compared to traditional 3D printing.
This project is a collaboration between Hasso Plattner Institute and Cornell University.
More Information:
WirePrint is a research project by:
Stefanie Mueller,
Sangha Im,
Serafima Gurevich,
Alexander Teibrich,
Lisa Pfisterer,
François Guimbretière,
Patrick Baudisch,

This institute had a previous faBrickation project that uses Lego blocks for volume replacement in rapid prototyping:

Sep 28, 2014

PETG 3d printing filament

PETG is a 3d printing filament made from PET-G which is Glycol-modified PET, the modification is done by adding a second glycol during polymerization.
The resulting molecular structure is irregular and the resin is clear and amorphous with a glass transition temperature of 88 C (190 F).
Filament made from it gives good combination of toughness, clarity and stiffness

More about PET-G:

Here are videos from Mihai Oltean showing actual 3d printing with PETG and object properties:

Here are links to his blogposts about his PETG experiences with more details:

From his experience PETG doesn't stick to blue tape or to cool glass printbed.

Detailed post about testing strength of PLA vs. PETG printed objects:

Looks like PETG doesn't break but bends at much higher weight loads then PLA which breaks relativity easy.

Sep 27, 2014

First space 3d printer delivered to ISS by SpaceX Dragon riding on Falcon 9 rocket (including launch and docking video)

First 3d printer designed for microgravity and space station environment is successfully delivered to International Space Station by SpaceX Dragon capsule.

The space 3d printer was developed by "Made in Space" company.

Here is the video of SpaceX Falcon rocket launch:

Here is video of docking procedure of SpaceX Dragon on ISS and robotic arm capture:

I always watch videos since I'm space technology fan since the earliest childhood.
We are living in interesting times ... private companies developing space replicators and launching rockets and space capsules ... wow ...


Sep 25, 2014

Cerberus Gigante big Delta 3d printer made by Steve Graber

Large custom Deltas seem to be very popular recently. Here is a new Ceberus Gigante 3d printer made by Steve Graber and used by artist Kevin Caron to make big sculptures.  It is made out of CNC cut aluminum. It can 3d print 34" in diameter and 4'6" in height (metric is superior guys) and uses 3 mm filament (that's better).
Nice work Steve!

Here is Kevins website:

3d printing directly on aluminum surface

Radusava posted this video showing printing directly on heated aluminum print bed treated only with hair spray.
I'm not sure if its is heated or not and what exact material he is using, but the model looks like it is sticking solidly to the surface.

Easy method for acetone smoothing an ABS 3d printed model

Make has made a simple guide on how to smooth ABS 3d printed objects with acetone.


Sep 21, 2014

RepRapPro Ormerod 2 3d printer just released

RepRapPro just release Ormerod 2 3d printer which features many improvements over the first version and the lower price.

Oremerod 2 tech specs:
  • Full open-source self-replicating RepRap
  • New 32-bit Arduino-compatible Duet electronics enable control via a web-browser
  • Wiring loom for simple plug-in connection – no soldering
  • IR probing for self-aligned printing – no bed adjustment required
  • Build volume: 200x200x200mm
  • Overall size: 500x460x410mm
  • Weight: 6 Kg
  • Printing materials: ABS, PLA, 1.75mm diameter thermoplastic.
  • Build surface: PCB-heated bed to reduce complexity of assembly and to ensure parts do not warp.
  • Computer interfaces: USB and Ethernet
  • X-carriage: Three Z-adjustable deposition head mounts; one head supplied
  • Motion: Linear ball bearings on X, Y and Z axes.
  • Pre-soldered electronics with built-in microSD card slot for standalone printing.
  • Enhancements to the printed parts to improve the ease of assembly of the X and Y axes

There are many improvements over first Ormerod 3d printer:

  • The Y carriage belt location and retention are improved by using printed parts rather than the laser-cut parts. This makes for easier belt tension adjustment. 
  • The Y motor is now the same way round as the other two axes, which means that the Y axis can be zeroed more simply (previously the axis was designed with a high-end stop switch). 
  • The heated bed support is a three-point support which makes bed level adjustment easier. 
  • The infra-red Z/Bed probe is now differential, meaning that readings are taken with the IR LED on and then subtracted from readings with it off. This gives much less interference from ambient light and it is more accurate.
  • The extruder has much better access for cleaning and it has a locked drive stack that improves reliability. 
  • The power supply is for worldwide universal voltage and is integrated into the machine compactly so there is no power distribution PCB needed, and there are no trailing wires other than the mains lead and the communications. 
  • There are better integrated and simpler wiring looms, so still no soldering, but even easier wiring assembly. 
  •  There is an improved web interface, and you get even higher quality prints from better motion control. (All the new software is backwards compatible with Ormerod 1 so Ormerod 1 owners benefit from that too.)
  • There is simpler assembly and the build instructions are even more detailed.

  • Ormerod 2 is priced at £449 plus VAT (if applicable) for the full kit and £389 plus VAT (if applicable) for the the hardware only kits.

    Press release:

    All the documentation, assembly guide, calibration guide and operation manual can be found at:

    THE original 3d printer (humor)

    ... the origins of 3d printing are mysterious ... also, there was no Play-Doh in my country when I was a child (yes yes, the socialist darkness) and I have never seen it in real life (maybe it is similar to stuff we call "plastelin") ... ah well, I'll just believe the random internet meme ...

    Source: unknown, I don't own the image or copyright to it

    Or is it?

    DIY ultrasonic distance sensor and tape measure by Adafruit

    And it comes in 3d printed enclosure resembling fictional weapons from Dune universe.

    If you don't know what Dune is or are unfamiliar with Weirding Modules, you should really do some reading and movie watching. The design is based on Beast Rabans pistol. Those DAMN Harkonnens ... I can only wish that Adafruit makes something Atreides or Fremen based ... just to bring more balance ...

    As all Adafruit projects it comes with detailed instructions and documentation.

    If you want to build one or learn more about ultrasonic distance measuring go to:

    ... spice must flow ...

    3D Printshow London 2014 video compilation

    I wish I was able to go there ... maybe one day ... I'll look for sponsors next year ...

    Here are some videos from it:

    There were some big machines there:

    Sep 20, 2014

    Ben Heck answers 3d printing questions and shows us some tips and tricks

    Interesting video from Ben Heck with useful information for both beginners and experienced users. 20 minutes worth watching.

    From video description:
    Ben responds to viewer’s questions about 3-D printing by delivering a full tutorial! He covers the kinds of printers available as well as the basic parts and costs of building your own printer.
    Ben also demonstrates how to find existing designs to print and gives examples of software for designing objects from scratch. After printing some objects, he shares tips and tricks on how to create the best prints possible.

    Ben Heck is known for many of his 3d printing projects. There are two I find the most interesting:

    How to build portable box 3d printer:

    and his double-decker 3d printer:

    How to setup ORD Solutions MH3000 liquid cooled 3d printer

    Here is a detailed video guide on how to setup and put in function ORD Solutions MH3000 3d printer.

    Botler 3d printer - larger print volume for lower price

    Another "new" printer on Indiegogo:

    Key features: larger print volume at lower price and slightly better resolution

    Botler 3d printer technical specifications:

    • Build envelope: 315 mm x 315 mm x 315 mm (12.4x12.4x12.4in)
    • Print precision: 0.1mm
    • Layer thickness: 0.1~0.4mm
    • Z axis max peed: 100mm/s
    • Positioning resolution: x,y axis: 0.02mm / z axis: 0.005mm
    • Printer size: 24.4 x 20.2x 29.1 in (61.9 x 51.3 x 73.9 cm)
    • Material support: ABS and PLA
    • Extruder: Single
    • Software format: STL, Gcode
    • Warranty: 12 months

    Botler is on Indiegogo:

    Botler 3d printer at prototype stage without final outer box design, there is a sturdy metal frame construction

    Botler 3d printer technical specifications compared to Replicator 2

    More detailed Botler technical specs and resolution detail

    Sep 19, 2014

    SpeakerGen customizable 3d printable DIY speaker boxes

    SpeakerGan is a OpenSCAD / Thingiverse Customizer script that enables you to design your own custom speaker enclosure.

    It can:
    • Generate a box of any desired volume / ratio / wall thickness
    • Determine optimal sealed box size for any driver using Thiele / Small parameters (Qts, Vas and Fs)
    • Include cutouts for speaker / terminal (and screw holes)
    • Include a bass port of any dimensions

    SpekerGen is focused on small speakers because of size limitations of most 3d printers, but could be theoretically used for larger boxes.

    Here is the version on Thingiverse where you can directly open it in Customizer:

    SpeakerGen homepage:

    Sep 18, 2014

    The cheapest automatic print bed leveling system made by Josef Prusa

    Josef Prusa made an innovative ultra-low cost automatic printbed leveling mechanism for his RepRap.
    It is made out of two glass plates and four micro switches (one in each corner) activated by printhead pressure.
    The setup costs some 20 cents, so it is probably the easiest to make and cheapest system around.
    Only limitations are that the switches get pressed if you print an object heavier then 300 grams and that you are limited in using heated bed.

    Avi Reichental TED Talk on future of 3d printing

    3D Systems Avi Reichental presents his view on future of 3d printing on TED Talk.

    ... with 3d printed watch and custom 3d printed eye glasses 

    Sep 15, 2014

    Prototyping Pi Top DIY laptop with 3d printing

    Pi Top is DIY laptop kit based on Raspberry Pi and aimed at education and students. The team used 3d printing to prototype the casing. Maybe they could release the files and open source the project for the people who want to build it completely on their own and not buy it in kit form.

    Pi Top features (from the project page):
    • Free Hardware Innovation Lessons: Pi-Top is where it starts. We will be building new content for Pi-Top users.Learn to 3D print, design PCBs and create your own products from start to finish. 
    • No Compromising on Quality: Mobile designs often use Bluetooth keyboards, that took away from the user experience. Enjoy using Raspberry Pi with a fully integrated laptop keyboard and track-pad with extra ports.
    • Easy Component Access: A clear sliding panel allows access to the Raspberry Pi. Kickstarter DAY 1 editionPi-Tops will feature a lazer-etched panel design, as well as the standard clear panel.
    • Raspbian Operating System: Once built your Raspberry Pi is ready to go. Start learning to program on the latest Raspbian OS.
    • 6 - 8 Hour Battery Life & Wifi enabled: Battery time 6+ hours. Wifi enabled out of the box, Pi-Top is truly mobile. 
    • 13.3" Screen: No compromising on screen size. Enjoy using your Raspberry Pi with a 13.3" HD screen.

    Pi Top homepage:

    Reddit thread where they presented their 3d printed prototype:

    They used the following setup:
    • Printer used: Rostock Max V2 kit - with E3D full metal hotend
    • Filament: PLA 1.75mm nozzle: 205 Bed temp: 55 Speed: 70mm/sec
    • Print time: 3 prints total (two pieces together and the two larger pieces seprately) roughly 160 hours of printing
    • Support settings: KISSlicer with medium support, at 45 Degrees with a horizontal gap (from object) of 1mm.
    • De-string Settings: Prime 5.5mm Suck: 5.4mm Wipe:5mm Z-lift: 1mm
    • Notes from the creators: "PLA really keeps its shape well. We had to use floating beams in the STLs to achieve a rigid enough support structure so the model wouldn't wobble after 10 inches tall and ruin the print. We found KISSlicer worked the best in terms of support structure."

    Desert 3d printing in Morroco with WASP clay Delta

    WASP from Italy is making some big Deltas that 3d print in clay mixtures. Here is a video of them in deserts of Morroco exploring some traditional earth construction buildings and clay mixtures. They make a traditional construction mix from local materials and use it in their machine to make some pottery or construction elements. In the future they will probably enlarge their Delta and 3d print entire homes.

    I live in a house that is almost 100 years old and it's made from clay / earth sun dried bricks mixed with hay. Walls are almost one meter thick and it is very well insulated. I would like more application of old techniques in the future. Concrete boxes are just boring and sterile.

    Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate filament from Stratasys

    Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate or ASA is a new FDM filament from Stratasys which is very strong and UV resistant. Could it replace ABS?

    ASA is an all-purpose material used for the production of prototypes, manufacturing tools and finished products. Manufacturers in the automotive, electronics, commercial, sporting goods and construction industries will benefit from ASA’s strength and durability. Applications include jigs and fixtures, electrical boxes, recreational vehicles and outdoor tools
    Compatible with the Fortus 360mc, 400mc and 900mc 3D Production Systems, ASA thermoplastic surpasses the capabilities of ABS, offering UV resistance so parts will be durable and resist fading even with long-term exposure to direct sunlight. Considered to have the best aesthetics of any FDM material available, ASA offers an exceptional surface finish - details such as printed text and other features are greatly improved by ASA’s matte finish.

    I wonder will this new type of filament come to DIY machines...

    Here is the tech specs PDF sheet:

    And here is ASA vs. ABS PDF paper:

    ASA homepage:

    Sep 6, 2014

    How to make 3d printable functional Pip-Boy 3000

    Christopher Hoffman made this working Pip-Boy 3000 he will wear at DragonCon 2014. If you don't know what a PipBoy is, stop reading this post.

    It uses 3d printed hand bracelet and embedded smartphone with external battery as an interactive display. I like it.
    It is printed in 15 pieces and the print job takes some 25 hours. Well worth it.

    It looks like the source model is developed by Yvo de Haas, the same guy who developed Plan B powder 3d printer.

    Detailed instructions and files can be found at:

    How to make 3d printable Daft Punk helmet

    Adafruit people have published a new project. It's a functional, 3d printed in PLA, blinky-LED strips-robot helmet usually worn by some guys who call themselves Daft Punk.

    Detailed instructions are on Adafruit learning system:

    You can find it on Thingiverse:

    On personal note: I hate Daft Punk and childish noises void of any emotion they make and call music ... but if you are a fan, more power to you!

    Sep 5, 2014

    How to make servo powered 3d printed valves for air or fluid flow control

    Mikey77 known for several projects like the conductive printed electronic circuits posted his new work on 3d printable servo powered valves.  The PLA printed valve can be used to menage air or fluid flow for any purpose you need it, the electronics are easy to put together and are controlled by Arduino or Picaxe. Servos used in this project are Futaba S3110 micro-servos.

    Here is the 3d printed valve controlling the 3d printed robot muscle with air pressure 

    From project description:
    The 3D printed valve is actually two valves that are controlled by one micro servo. When the cam (gray) is rotated to center, both valves are closed. From there, either one can be turned on, one at a time. The cam followers (black) push on the silicone tubing to compress it and create simple pinch valves.
    The servo is quite efficient in that it is about the same volume of two 12 volt solenoid valves that handle the same pressure. It works efficiently at 20 PSI of air pressure and it has been tested at up to 30 PSI. It has also been motion tested and after more than 4300 on-off cycles it did not show significant signs of wear on the moving parts.
    It is also considerably lighter than two solenoid valves and uses much less energy to operate. Once actuated, the valves can be left open or closed without using power.

    Detailed construction guide, electronic schematics and files can be found at:

    Sep 4, 2014

    F3D DIY food 3d printer with integrated halogen oven

    F3D is food RepRap derived DIY 3d printer. YES it will print and COOK your food. It uses halogen bulb as a sort of improvised oven. Food in a form of paste is extruded trough a syringe nozzle. The entire device costs in 1200 £ range.

    From F3D homepage:
    ‘F3D’, pronounced ‘fed’, is a prototype RepRap derived automated kitchen. It was developed part-time over 6 months as a third year project by 4 Mechanical Engineering students (Hillel Baderman, Jacob Watfa, Francis Nwobu, and James Clarke) at Imperial College London. The project was supervised by Dr. Connor Myant.
    ‘F3D’ can print and cook a multi-ingredient meal using food pastes in pre-filled syringes autonomously. The user is required only to insert the syringes into the machine and ‘press print’.

    You can get all the details about the F3D in very extensive PDF report:

    F3D homepage:

    How to 3d scan your prescription eyeglasses lens and design a 3d printable frame

    Aaron Porterfield created two tutorials which I as a eyeglasses wearer appreciate. He (and I) often brakes his glasses so here is a solution if you can use some CAD software and have some equipment.

    Here is detailed tutorial on how to 3d scan prescription eyeglasses lens by taking photos of a lens covered by masking tape:

    When you have a scanned lens (or lenses) you can design your custom 3d printable frame:

    There are a few simple(ish) steps involved, but nothing an average user can't master ...

    And here is the final result:

    You can print the frame on your home FDM machine but the results will be more rougher. For best quality use a SLS or PolyJet 3d printer.

    Great work Aaron!

    Sep 3, 2014

    Arduino controlled pen plotter attachment for your 3d printer

    James Sesler posted this video featuring Arduino controlled pen plotter attachment for your 3d printer. I hope he release more information soon and makes the plotter design and code publicly available. Kudos James!

    There are many pen plotter attachment projects on Thingiverse:

    This will probably be one of my future projects. Can you guys recommend some more resources on how to make everything work base don real experience?

    How to make a manual heated bed temperature controller for your 3d printer

    Hiv0ltage developed a DIY manual heated bed temperature controller and created a construction guide. It looks easy to assemble and implement. It is a work in project and the guide will be updated.

    It is based on 555 PWM controller

    Detailed construction guide:

    Sep 1, 2014

    Development of KORUZA 3d printable laser wireless system

    KORUZA is open source laser wireless communication device. It can reach 1Gbs network speeds on 100m range. The casing and mount are 3d printable.

    Here are the updates and call to participate in worldwide experiment:

    If you want to participate in development and testing:

    Project homepage:

    First post about KORUZA:

    You go Musti! And YOu dear reader go and help my Slovenian neighbors!

    Musti uses TroubleMaker 3d printer, which is improved Ultimaker derivative.