Oct 30, 2014

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

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

Detailed step-by-step tutorial is at:

Oct 27, 2014

3d printable TALK device enables disabled to communicate with breath

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

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

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

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

First FDM 3d printed graphene battery

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

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

Small step forward to new energy frontiers ...

Oct 26, 2014

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

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

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

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

great work, thank you Thomas!

How to power your 3d printer with car battery

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

He used his Lulzbot:

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

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

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

I love the design style:

Here is video of it in action:

All the details and building instructions can be found at:

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

MSF 3d printer is work of a Repstrap genius

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

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

Here is MSF moving:

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

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

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

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

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

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

4 stepper drivers
1 ramps
1 arduino
3 endstops
2 thermistors

1 hotend
1 hotend heater

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

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

Crazy glue

Oct 25, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

Kinect for Windows home page:

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

Oct 24, 2014

DIY 3d printed tray for professional pick and place machine

Parker Dillmann needed a custom tray for electronic components to be served to his DP2006-2 Madell pick and place machine, so he designed them and 3d printed them on MakerGear M2 in PLA.
The tray works under realistic conditions.

Static electricity could be a problem on such PLA plastic tray, so solution would be to paint it with some antistatic coating or use different material. Maybe some type of conductive ABS treated with acetone smoothing to reduce fine electronic parts getting caught in the layers.

Similar trays could be probably adapted for different types of pick and place machines and probably all types of electronic components. This would be great opportunity for companies in the field to cut the cost or deliver 3d tray models with their machines or components.

Project homepage with stl files:

Oct 23, 2014

Retro Populator open source kit will turn your 3d printer into pick and place machine for home manufacturing

Retro Populator is an open source project by Eric Boyd that developed a kit for your 3d printer to convert it into pick and place machine suitable for small scale home electronics manufacturing.

Project description from
A jig and software for allowing a 3D printer to do electronics pick-n-place assembly. It populates boards, by retrofitting a 3D printer, hence Retro Populator.

Motivation: surface mount soldering is great, but the process of placing parts is tedious and requires great manual dexterity as well good vision. Doing a few boards by hand is practical, but doing more than about 20 is hell on earth. Yet it's not practical (read: affordable) to pay industry to do it until about 500 boards - the setup charges just kill you. So there is this huge chasm between what's doable for hobbyists by hand, and where industry can take over, and this volume is commonly desired in the maker community - a small run of 50 to 100 boards is in fact typical. Thus, the desire to build machines that hobbyists can own to do electronics pick-n-place. Our cost-saving idea is to retrofit similar machines that makers already own: 3D printers.

Rob Gilson
Adam Evenden
Charles Hartlaub
Eric Boyd
There are several versions of Retro Populator being developed:
Version 1.0 : Essentially complete now. CNC milled acrylic base plate, with milled tape holders. Vacuum syringe for picking up parts, vacuum supplied by SMT rework station. Milled nozzle mount which attaches to the side of the existing extruder. Z-axis rezero jig to easily change re-zero height. 3D printed cam-lock parts to holds boards in place on 10mm peg-grid base. Code parses a yml file for board & tape placement info, and then an eagle .brd file directly for part types and locations. It generate a gcode file which goes from pick to place location for all of the parts which can be populated. Support for
multiple boards.

Version 2.0: currently in planning/design. Addition of tape advancement, including plastic cover peeling. Addition of a second nozzle which will do solder paste dispensing. Software will have 'position confirm' feature where it will move to the corner of each board, and the first component on each tape, so that you can verify key locations directly before running the entire job.

Version 3.0: part rotation. Numerous other things we'll learn about as we do V2.0, no doubt...

Detailed information and instructions:

Mind map and overview of the project in pdf format:

Maybe we will soon have thousands of small electronics factories in garages competing with corporate sector ...
But first who should be afraid of this competition are companies like Adafruit ... they are in the same market as those "hobbyists" ...

Oct 22, 2014

Hacking your 3d printer into home manufacturing solder paste dispenser

"Jake" and "hzeller" developed a project where KiCAD (open source electronics board development software) files are converted into g code to enable solder past dispensing with a DIY 3d printer on electronic boards.

They hacked a Type A machines printer into home manufacturing solder paste dispenser. The dispenser uses solder paste (aka. solder cream) applied trough syringe with air pressure. The team behind the project still has not released hardware specifications and details.

This project is interesting since it could enable anyone to make low cost desktop home manufacturing station and produce series of electronics boards.

The syringe dispenser pressure unit can be done at home workshop, here is a different project for reference:

Solder paste is heated after dispensing on electronics board surface to melt and fuse the conection closing the electric circuit.

Here is the original code for solder paste dispensing that converts KiCAD files to g-code:

the project is further developed to include pick-and-place capabilities:

Now you can start your own small desktop electronics factory :-)

Airwolf3D releases Wolfbite ABS chemical print surface adhesive

Airwolf 3D released their chemical ABS filament adhesion product that is applied on glass print bed and vastly improves its ABS "stickiness". My impression was that the technology is moving away from adhesives in juice, glue or spray form and towards more high tech print surface materials. Still, there must be a market niche for this even in the future.

From video description:
Airwolf 3D is proud to announce a new solution for adhering ABS straight to the glass on the bed of most 3D printers. No more warped, cracked or peeling parts. Apply one thin coat to the glass and it will last several prints. Water soluble, so cleaning is easy. Use Wolfbite to get better adhesion to the glass with ABS, and also to easier release parts from the glass when done printing
There is no information on the composition or ingredients of the Wolfbite.

It is priced at $19.95


Airwolf just released Wolfbite Nano for PLA:

Oct 20, 2014

RepRapWeb open source software will control your 3d printers remotely via Raspberry Pi

RepRapWeb is a fully functional open source 3d printer controller software UI which runs over http web protocol on Raspberry Pi.  It is developed by Andrew Hodel. It has some interesting features.
RepRapWeb features:
  • Free - Licensed under the Affero General Public License (AGPL)
  • Includes Slicing Software - Convert STL -> GCODE all within the same interface using CuraEngine or Slic3r
  • Nothing to install on your computer - Runs completely on Raspberry Pi, use any computer from anywhere to control it
  • Wireless Networking - Ethernet and 802.11 Wireless Connectivity for your printer
  • STL Visualizer - View your prints before you print them
  • Multi Printer Support - Control as many printers as you have USB ports all within the same interface
  • Complete Printer Control - Pause and unpause your prints in realtime, set and view temperatures and control movements
  • Auto Level Support - Includes support for printers which support Autolevel.
  • Fast - Quick and responsive interface, almost immediate slicing with CuraEngine

GitHub repository:

How to cast pewter metal objects in 3d printed molds

Here are two examples and guides on how to cast pewter metal parts in 3d printed molds.

The first detailed guide is on Instructables and involves Lumi Pocket DLP printed mold:

Detailed guide is at:

Here is a different method presented in video by Ian Garrett who made a powder based mold on z-corp 350 3d printer:

Oct 17, 2014

Make your own 3d printed syringe pump for DIY science projects

Syringe pump can be expensive piece of scientific equipment that pumps out or pushes exact amount of content in unit of time from a syringe. With help of Open Sustainability Technology Lab you can now make this tool yourself for much lower cost with 3d printer and Raspberry Pi for control. This DIY syringe pump design is released under open source license.

Some version of this could be used also for medical purposes ...

Project homepage with all guides, files and code:

Form more information about open source DIY lab equipment go to:

Oct 16, 2014

FULLY 3d printable acoustic guitar that you can make on your home machine

Solstie developed fully functional acoustic guitar that is FULLY 3d printed (body AND neck) and which can be printed in parts on your home FDM 3d printer WITHOUT any supports and then glued. Only non-printed parts are strings and tuning machines.

It is playable and sounds reasonably well for a music instrument that will cost you 30 USD to make.

This is a great step forward for DIY music since most 3d printed guitars until now were electric guitars where acoustic properties of a body material don't matter and were printed on commercial machines. Necks were rarely printed.

All files are available on Thingiverse:

You don't own a 3d printer but you want to 3d print something? Now you can with 3DPrinterOS!

As a part of pre-release promotion and testing the people behind 3DPrinterOS enable everyone to use 3d printer of one of the team members via their software web interface.

From their release:
Prior to the full release of 3DPrinterOS, you can sign up and test out our software.

For those without 3D Printers who want to try 3D Printing, Aaron from our team made this walkthrough for requesting access to his 3D Printer (Makerbot Replicator 2) he has in Brooklyn, NY.
We will be posting some of these prints on our site and our twitter (@3DPrinterOS).
Relevant links:
To sign up: download current software: request Aaron's printer: aaron (at)

I'm not sure how long will this action last, but I'm sure that 3DPrinterOS will have success in the future.

Oct 12, 2014

Materia 101 3d printer is open source child of Arduino and Sharebot

Arduino and Sharebot, both based in Italy, partnered up to develop and deliver new open source printer: the Materia 101. Arudino is a major major player in open source hardware community and their name on a 3d machine will draw some major attention.

  • Printing technology: Fused Filament Fabrication
  • Printing area: 140 x 100 x 100 mm +/- 5mm
  • X and Y theorical resolution position: 0,06 mm
  • Z resolution: 0.0025 mm
  • Extrusion diameter: 0.35 mm
  • Filament diameter: 1.75 mm
  • Optimal temperatures with PLA: 200-230°
  • Tested and supported filaments: PLA
  • Unsupported but tested filaments: Cristal Flex, PLA Thermosense, Thermoplastic Polyuretane
  • (TPU), PET, PLA Sand, PLA Flex
  • External dimensions: 310 x 330 x 350 mm
  • Weight: 10 kg
  • Usage: 65 watt
  • Electronical board: Official Arduino Mega 2560 with Open Source Marlin Firmware
  • LCD display 20 x 4 with encoder menu
  • Preloaded with PLA printing presets
  • Extruder block with filament pressure regulation
  • Price: under 600 euros ($755) in kit form, and under 700 euros ($883) assembled.

I don't understand why is the print volume so small? Why? 

Materia 101 on official Arduino blog:

Here is video of it in Italian:

The Bug is a new kind of DIY 3d printer that prints with fiber composites

Sebastian Morales developed a new kind of 3d printer inspired by fiber composites found in nature and named it "The Bug".

The printer uses fiber soaked with UV curable resin and then extruded trough toolhead with UV lights.

Sebastian writes:
"Think of this machine as a very friendly sculpting spider."

Here is the extrusion head solidifying the UV resin:

Prints are still a very rough but the concept works and is under development.

Here is Instructables page with much more details on The Bug:

Also check out Sebastians homepage with many other cool projects :

Oct 11, 2014

In GE they know what is the future of work and there are probably no human workers in it

What else can it build? ... a world without work ...

Here is a new promotional video from General Electric where they show a "factory" with 3d printers and robots. Video ends with the question "What else can it build?".

Once upon a time, a factory built one thing. Now, a factory can build as many things as there are people to imagine them.
GE works on things that matter. The best people and the best technologies taking on the toughest challenges. Finding solutions in energy, health and home, transportation and finance. Building, powering, moving and curing the world. Not just imagining. Doing. GE works.

I see human workers in this video as decoration and corporate marketing

Theoretically there could be a large robotic factories in internationals waters without any workers and in tax-free regime ...
Humans are not even needed for design ...

Will it cause global dystopic favela or utopia of technoprogressive heaven ... or both like in Elysium ...

Another question that comes to my mind is can new factories even be called "factories". They are basically just a one big large fabrication machine ...

Future will be interesting ...

DIY 3d printers controlled with Raspberry Pi ONLY

I will get a Raspberrry Pi soon so I wanted to see what can bt done with it beside using it as a server, so I found that you could use a Pi and its GPIOs to directly control the stepper drivers, fan, heater and other aspect of a 3d printer without any additional processing electronics. So, entire 3d printer is controlled by a single Raspberry Pi only.

First project I found was the one by  Owen Jeffreys who actually calls it "The World's First Raspberry PI 3D Printer" and it was reported on many 3d printing blogs.

Owen's project description:
This video briefly outlines the building and testing of a unique, home-built, 3D printer which uses a Raspberry PI as its "brain" or CPU.
If you Google (or Bing!) Raspberry PI 3D printer you will find several people who claim to have made "Raspberry PI *Powered* 3D Printers", but if you examine them in detail, they are not actually *powered* by the Raspberry PI at all. These people use the standard firmware which comes with the 3D printer and replace the PC interface with the Raspberry PI - hence the PI is not controlling/powering the printer at all, but simply sending buffered GCODE commands to the pre-built printer and acting as a neat user interface to display print progress etc. This unique 3D printer is not like those; the PI actually controls every part of the machine including, but limited to the motors, heaters and temperature sensors. The 800MHz PI runs the time-critical (virtually real-time), dedicated program with great ease making it possible for a 3-dimensional, plastic (ABS or PLA) model to be printed layer by layer.
This 3D printer was designed and built as an individual, level 3, engineering project, chosen by me as I owned a PI and wanted to do something useful and unique with it which would help people who dismiss the PI to realise that it is capable of a lot more than they could possible imagine. It was a very challenging task covering a whole range of engineering fields. Almost every part of the 3D printer was made from scratch, including, but not limited to, the circuit board, the aluminium framework, the drive system and the C++ program to run on the PI.
The PI can be hooked up to a HDTV or laptop to display the print progress and other useful information, or it can run completely stand-alone. The 3D printer runs at around ¼ speed compared to a typical, hobby 3D printer (e.g. RapMan, Cube or Touch), taking around 25 hours to print a 60mm high chess piece – the speed only limited by the stepper motor choice and gearing.
It took approximately eight months to complete and would not have been possible without the help from family, friends, teachers and instructors. In particular, the help from an exceptional teacher and project supervisor, Laurence Hyett, was invaluable and very much appreciated. Although this 3D printer works, the project is not entirely complete - there is still room for improvement. One such improvement which is underway is to modify the interface board used to connect the PI to the 3D printer from a hand-etched, double-sided PCB to a compact “shield” which will stack neatly on top of any PI. Faster print speeds and a twin print head are also being considered.
Any common 3D CAD package can be used to create a 3D model which can be sent to the PI to be printed, alternatively a 3D model from a collection of many thousands can be downloaded from Thingiverse for free. The test piece in this video was designed by me using a professional 3D modelling package widely used in the CG film world, but there are a number of cheap or even free packages which are just as good. I'd personally recommend "Blender" for those that are interested, as it is a completely free, open source, community contributed project which is unbelievingly powerful
Owen has not yet released any code with his project.
In response to this claim, Colin aka. "Wallacoloo" commented that there are probably three projects developed earlier and one of them is his called the Printipi.

Printipi is well documented on GitHub with all the code available:

Printipi project description:
Printipi is a software package designed to bring 3d printing to the Raspberry Pi. It takes on all of the roles generally given to dedicated microcontrollers (interfacing with stepper drivers, temperature control of the hotend, and cooling fans) while also running under an operating system. This means that the same device that is running the firmware can also perform other tasks while printing, such as hosting a web interface like Octoprint.
Although called Printipi, it is not necessarily limited to running on the Pi. The Example machine can compile and run on most Linux machines, as a proof of concept (it does no electrical I/O), and new machines can be supported by implementing a handful of interfaces (see the section below for more info). 
Printipi also aims to support a multitude of printers including typical cartesian printers, delta-style printers like the Kossel, or polar-based printers - without the messy use of hundreds of #defines, some of which may not even be applicable to your printer. Instead, each machine type gets its own file and C++ class under src/drivers/machines that exposes its coordinate system and peripherals through a handful of public member functions and typedefs. In this way it is possible to add support for a new type of printer without digging into the guts of Printipi.

Third project is piPrint by Ian D. Miller and Kenan Bitikofer

piPrint is well documented on GitHub with all the code available, but it is under heavy developemnt:

and fourth project is by Dado Sebo but no further information is available:

Using Pi is not an optimal solution but it is interesting project, there will probably bi more developments in the future.

Oct 10, 2014

Simple desktop DIY CNC mill with detailed construction guide

If you made your own 3d printer you will nbe able to make this simple and small desktop cnc mill that will expand your tool options. It can engrave and make PCBs and any other thing you can imagine.

The project is developed by Instructables user liquidhandwash and it is made with 3d printed plastic parts, Arduino Uno, lasercut acrylic plates for frame (hand cut wood looks doable also), NEMA style motors and other simple parts. The spindle motor was recycled from an old cordless drill. There is no exact price but it looks very affordable.  

Very detailed construction guide, software and all the files needed can be found at:

So much interesting projects, so little time ...

FlatFab software lets you design in 2d surfaces to make 3d objects for CNC cutting

FlatFab is a new CAD software that lets you intuitively design with two dimensional surfaces which you can then combine in 3d objects. It looks ideal for designing furniture or objects for CNC cutting.

I'm really getting interested in CNC cutting and milling since you can make larger functional objects like furniture from cheap materials like plywood.

Here is a simple FlatFab tutorial:

FlatFab homepage where you can download the software: 

There is no information on price or open source availability. It looks like it is in early stages of development so new features and improvements can be expected. It is available for Windows, Mac and Linux.


Here is a response from FlatFab team member:

"hi, flatfab is not open source at the moment, but it is FREE, and we intend to keep it that way. we also plan to grow with our user community so try it out and keep your feature requests coming."

Nice job FlatFab!

FlatFab user interface

Small pencil holder made with FlatFab


here is flatfab UIST 2014 presentation "Interactive modeling with planar sections":

German guy made a large 3d printed toy gun that folds and shoots paper planes

A German guy made a 3d printed "machine gun" that folds and fires paper planes! Now, how cool is THAT! It is powered by cordless screwdriver from China.

The youtube channel is : Papierfliegerei

The homepage is: and there are some nice paper airplane designs! It is in German but the wonderful people of Google gave us Google Translate ....

Kerbal Space Program DIY 3d printed game controller based on Apollo guidance computer

Reddit user KK4TEE made this awesome must-have 3d printed game accessory if you are Kerbal Space Program fan. It is a custom designed game controller that lets you read flight data and pilot your in-game spaceship. The device is powered by Arduino and communicates with Telemachus module inside the game. The design is based on original DSKY Apollo guidance computer.
I tried playing Kerbal Space Program some time ago and loved it but I lack time and concentration so I left it ... maybe sometimes in the future I'll have all the time I need ...

Great work KK4TEE!

Reddit thread about enclosure build:

and here is a thread about construction of electronics board:

All the files needed for 3d printing the enclosure:

All the code and instructions needed for Arduino to communicate with Telemachus module inside Kerbal Space Program:

All images from the project:

Oct 8, 2014

Jon's homemade CNC router converted into DIY 3d printer

If you want to see another homemade CNC machine converted to 3d printer go and see Jon's project

He still controls this cnc 3d printer with Mach3 software. Since it has heavy aluminum gantry and was designed for routing, it is lot slower when 3d printing.

Here is his machine in action printing a whistle:

This is Jon's home made CNC router before conversion:

And here is the 3d print head attachment after it:

To learn more about Mach3 used for 3d printing and cnc to 3d printer conversions start here:

Oct 7, 2014

How to upgrade your Velleman K8200 3d printer into CNC mill and drill

Velleman K8200 (or 3Drag) is 3d printer type with many users and with developed upgrade ecosystem. Here is a detailed guide on how to upgrade it into desktop CNC mill / drill machine ideal for PCB milling with simple alterations and attachments to basic model machine. Mill is usually a Dremel or similar multitool.

Detailed guide with all the steps and softwarecan be found at:

YT user under alias DCM made similar DIY modification to his Velleman K8200 making it into CNC mill and drill with air cleaning and here is video and forum post demonstrating it:

Oct 6, 2014

ROBOpuppet low cost 3d printed control unit for industrial robots

"Robots are hard to drive. ROBOPuppet exists to make them easier to drive." This is a first sentence on ROBOpuppet "About" page and it explains this project perfectly.

ROBOpuppet is basically a miniature copy of full size industrial robot that you can move and use it as simple low cost control unit. All the movements of the ROBopuppet are followed by the big robot.

This teleoperation control unit can be made for as low as 85 USD.

You can make this robot control unit yourself. All the files and instructions are published at:

How to make a solar water desalination and purification still from a plastic bottle and 3d printed ring container

CreatorLes made this interesting project which uses waste plastic bottles and simple 3d printed part to make a solar still that can be used as an cheap water desalinator or purifier. The water inside bottle evaporates in sun and looses salt or microorganisms and is made good for human consumption.
His idea is to use it in emergencies or developing countries without adequate access to clean water.

I would like to see further testing in realistic conditions and also the economics calculations of large(r) scale deployment. How much water can it clean or desalinate under which conditions? I messaged Les and his estimate is that it will take about dozen bottles for one person per day.

Used plastic bottles can be found even on remote uninhabited islands and DIY 3d printers are also emerging in the poorest of countries made from electronic waste.

Good project Les!

He also presents a method of ppurifyingwater without need for 3d printed parts and three (glass?) containers:

All the files and instructions can be found at:

In addition here you can see a simple solar still made from a plastic bottle and an aluminum can you can make without any machining and purify water. The video is made by Thomas Kim.

This is not a first project for water purification on small scale that uses 3d printing.

The first project that I know of is WaterMaker by Cem Schnitzler, which uses more complex and larger cone structure and industrial grade 3d printers and high tech materials.

The STL for Water Maker files can be found at:

It works like this:

Here is a different still, the WaterCone that uses similar principles but it is made with traditional production methods: