Jan 31, 2015

Robert Cicetti claims he made first hemp based 3d printing filament

Robert Cicetti claims he made worlds first hemp based 3d printing filament.
His pictures look cool but there are no details about the material or how its made. It is still cool, hemp could be very cost effective and environmentally sustainable filament source.
Since I have not found any additional information, the filament could be type of plastic polymer derived form hemp or some standard plastic like PLA with hemp fibre added. Both could have uses for 3d printing.
Hopefully Robert will publish some more data on his invention!

Hamp has some fiberous properties and it is not the first plant material used for making a 3d printing filament. Potato waste (Solany) and soy (FilaSoy) based filaments were made in the past.

Hemp is used to make high quality plastics for different purposes, you can read more about it here:

Jan 28, 2015

Simple algorithm to prevent oozing problems on dual extruders

James Yong developed a small g-code algorithm to help prevent oozing in dual extruder printing by producing a small barrier to scrape off the oozing filament.

Here is the g-code he uses:
Layer change G-code:
G92 E0;
G1 E-0.5 F1200;
G92 E0;
G1 X96.450 Y60.8 F5000;
G1 E1.5 F1500;
G92 E0;
G1 X96.450 Y36.650 E0.07476 F1500.000;
G1 X96.950 Y36.650 E0.08390;
G1 X96.950 Y65.150 E0.23935;
G1 X96.450 Y65.150 E0.24850;
G1 X96.450 Y60.813 E0.32782;
G1 X95.950 Y60.813 F5400.000;
G1 X95.950 Y36.150 E0.41309 F1500.000;
G1 X97.450 Y36.150 E0.44053;
G1 X97.450 Y65.650 E0.61427;
G1 X95.950 Y65.650 E0.64170 F1500.000;
G1 X95.950 Y60.888 E0.72879;
G4 P200; wait for ooze to slow
G92 E0;
G1 X174.750 Y61.9 F5000;
G1 E1.4 F1500;
G92 E0;
G1 X174.750 Y37.750 E0.07476 F1500.000;
G1 X175.250 Y37.750 E0.08390;
G1 X175.250 Y66.250 E0.23935;
G1 X174.750 Y66.250 E0.24850;
G1 X174.750 Y61.913 E0.32782;
G1 X174.250 Y61.913 F5400.000;
G1 X174.250 Y37.250 E0.41309 F1500.000;
G1 X175.750 Y37.250 E0.44053;
G1 X175.750 Y66.750 E0.61427;
G1 X174.250 Y66.750 E0.64170 F1500.000;
G1 X174.250 Y61.988 E0.72879;
G4 P200; wait for ooze to slow
Tool change G-code:
G1 X80 Y40 F4000;
G1 X130 Y40 F4000;
G1 X130 Y55 F4000;
G1 X190 Y55 F4000;
He uses Prusa i3 with double extruder, Slic3r, Marlin firmware and Repetier Host.

On the left you can see a "barricade" that binds oozing filament and on the right the dual 3d printed object that looks very good.

Here is a detailed video of algorithm in action and it really does prevent oozing remains on the printed object and increases print quality:

Here is a video showing a similar purge - wipe wall feature in Makerware but with much higher walls and more filament spending.

I don't own dual extruder machine or have much experience with dual extruders so let me know your opinions and experiences in the comments. Thank you James for sharing the code!

Jan 26, 2015

Carvey desktop hobby CNC router

Carvey is a desktop CNC router from Inventables. They call it desktop carver since they think "cnc router" would be confusing for new users.

It can carve in many materials including soft metals:
  • Hardwoods like walnut, maple, and mahogany
  • Softwoods like pine and balsa
  • Cork
  • Plywoods and MDF
  • Soft metals including aluminum, copper, brass, silver and gold
  • Circuit boards
  • Plastics like acrylic, HDPE, Delrin, Corian and PVC
  • Waxes and foams
  • Linoleum and other stamping materials
It was first launched on Kickstarter where it was successfully funded:

KS campaign:

Carvey demonstration:

Carvey homepage:

Carvey technical specifications:
  • Machine Footprint: 24" x 24" x 18” (61cm x 61cm x 46cm)
  • Work Area: 12” x 8” x 2.75” (30cm x 20cm x 7cm)
  • *Repeatability 0.001" to 0.003" 
  • Run out: .0006" (.01524mm)
  • Spindle RPM: 3000-12,000 (300W)
  • Weight Approx: 60 lbs. (27kg)
  • Materials it Can Cut: wood, soft metals, foam, plastics, circuit boards
  • Connectivity: USB Port 
  • Computer System Requirements: Chrome web browser, 64 bit Mac or Windows, USB Port.
  • Price at 1999 USD range for base model
Here is Barnacules touring the Inventables offices and reviewing the Carvey:

Carvey has a nice design but there are no independent reviews or test.

Carvey desktop cnc router

Example of a casing and components made with Carvey

Jan 24, 2015

DIY computer based on MOS 6502 CPU with 3d printed enclosure

Dirk Grappendorf made this DIY computer based on 8-bit MOS 6502 CPU that was used in many popular home computers of the 1970s and 1980s like the Commodore 64 or the Apple II with 3d printed case.
He has detailed documentation so you can go step by step and make it yourself.
Very cool!

Project homepage:

All the files and code needed for this project can be found here:

If you find this interesting check out the Pi Top project.

SemiFlex is new member of NinjaFlex 3d filament family made by Fenner Drives

Fenner Drives, the company who created NinjaFlex, released their new filament named SemiFlex which is more rigid.

Here are the features from the product page:
  • High level of detail
  • Contain intricate parts
  • High resolution text
  • Unsupported vertical printing
  • Shock-absorption needed
  • Requires less flexibility than NinjaFlex Original 3D Filament
  • Filament hardness of approximately 85A (NinjaFlex) and 98A(50D) SemiFlex
  • REACH and RoHS 2002/95/EC Directive Compliant
  • recommended extruder temperatures are around the 210-25°C range, recommended platform temperatures are in the 20-50°C range, and recommended print speed should be 30mm per second
Since it is a new material there is no tests or reviews, but since the NinjaFlex was a success, SemiFlex will probably find its market place.

Here is the comparison chart:

How to make animated .GIF image from openSCAD model

Les Hall created this tutorial on how to make animated .GIF images from openSCAD.

3d printed prosthetic hand animated GIF exported from openSCAD

Get and share optimal Slicer settings with SlicerShare

Ever needed some slicer settings for a printer or material you are not familiar with? SlicerShare is a webpage dedicated to shearing various slicer settings.
It looks like a cool idea and I hope that the user base will grow and more people will contribute ...
There are some 30+ slicer settings shared currently on the site.

Thank you Jay King for the tip!

Jan 21, 2015

UberBlox construction modules for your home manufacturing machines

UberBlox are modular building blocks for any type of machine ranging from wheeled robot to CNC mill. You can create anything you want.

Pick and Place delta robot made with UberBlox

UberBlox description from the company page:
UberBlox is a new high-quality metal construction set and prototyping system for makers to build rigid structures and automated machines.

At the heart of the system is a new single-connector locking mechanism which uses a common small tool to quickly and precisely lock each block to the next. The firmly connected blocks provide accurate, strong and rigid frames for a wide variety of structures and complex machines such as robots, CNC machines and 3D printers.

In addition to the basic blocks, the system includes a growing catalog of compatible and reconfigurable parts, including moving components, sub-assemblies, motors, electronics and controllers based on popular boards such as Arduino and Raspberry Pi, for a complete solution to the building needs of today's sophisticated maker.

Here is short video overview of UberBlox:

UberBlox homepage:

They will be on KickStarter soon ...

The Kiosk by Bruce Sterling is dark vision of future and 3d printing

"The Kiosk" is an EXCELLENT must-read (or listen) science fiction novella by Bruce Sterling which deals with the dystopian future and 3d printing.
Bruce Sterling is a master SF writer famous for his work in fiction and technology theory and he currently lives in Serbia which is in my neighborhood and was once part of Yugoslavia.

The novella is clearly influenced by culture and history of Ex-Yugoslavia which makes it even more appealing to me.
It deals with life of kiosk owner Borislav from East Euroslavia who gets a "Fabrikator" machine. I will not spoil your enjoyment of the audiobook but it gets dark, violent, interesting ... there are 3d printed bullets printed with carbon particles and other 3d printed appliances ... the whole society of main protagonist is shaped by 3d printing...

You can download it here for free, it is read by Peter Cavell and starts around 10:30 into the podcast:

It is hour and a half well spent, I listened to it while walking my dog ...

FYI: it is not an optimistic work ...

For a similary themed dystopian short story you can also check out Printcrime by Cory Doctorow:

"The Kiosk" inspired a project:

‘KIOSK’ explores a near future scenario in which digital fabrication is so ubiquitous that we see it appear on our
street corners. With KIOSK the user can ‘appropriate, sample, remix, improve, up/downscale or copy new objects
and 3D-print them on the spot.’ KIOSK operates as a portable 3D copyshop capable of producing a ‘custom made
fix for your broken shoe, materialise an illegal download of Starck’s Juicy Salif orange squeezer that you modified for better performance or quickly print out a present for your sister’s birthday.’ For The Machine Unfold, in collaboration with Indianen, created a new creative digital copy station.

A project commissioned by Z33, House for contemporary art and MU Eindhoven.
With the support of Bits from Bytes and Jo Van Bostraeten.
A collaboration with Indianen.

Jan 19, 2015

From DIY 3d printing history 4 - Mattel's Electric vacuum plastic toy maker

While this is not exactly a 3d printer but a sort of plastic vacuum molding machine it shows that there is a long history of using heated plastic to reproduce 3d objects for everyday usage.
This is a photo of a Mattel Electric VAC-U-FORM children toy maker. Today would be probably prohibited due to dangers of letting kids play with molten plastics and very hot elements.
It is probably a grand grand granddaddy of modern home 3d printers. Maybe. Or a strange elderly and distant uncle ... still interesting ...

Source or copyright of the picture is unknown ... age also ... anyone knows more?

Update: It is form the early sixties and here is video of the TV commercial:

For other posts on the subject and curiosities for the paste start here:

POP3D Second space 3d printer to be sent to ISS by ESA

European Space Agency is also sending a 3d printer to International Space Station. It will be the second 3d printer in space. The printer is named POP3D and it's developed in Italy. First ISS 3d printer is already working on ISS and was developed by "Made in Space" and delivered by SpaceX.

Here is the video by Altran:

From the source article:
Europe’s very first 3D printer in space is scheduled for installation aboard the ISS next year.
Designed and built in Italy, it will be put to the test as part as ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti’s Futura mission, and is set to reach orbit in the first half of next year. Samantha herself will be launched on her six-month Station assignment on 23 November.
The POP3D Portable On-Board Printer is a small 3D printer that requires very limited power and crew involvement to operate,” explained Luca Enrietti of Altran, prime contractor for the compact printer.

The unit is a cube with 25 cm sides and prints with biodegradable and harmless plastic using a heat-based process.

“Part of the challenge of designing a 3D printer for the Station was to ensure its operation does not affect the crew environment,” added Giorgio Musso of Thales Alenia Space Italy, principal investigator for the project.

Funded by Italy’s ASI space agency, POP3D should take about half an hour to produce a single plastic part, which will eventually be returned to Earth for detailed testing, including comparison with an otherwise identical part printed on the ground.

“There is big potential all along the value chain, to save cost and mass,” noted Reinhard Schlitt, heading OHB’s Engineering Services.

“But right now the way parts are being produced in various different ways. As a satellite manufacturer, we need common standards in place so we can compare competing supplier parts on a like-for-like basis.

“Europe does have a lead in this technology – the latest laser machines are coming from here for export to the US and China – so we should build on that.”

POP3D space based 3d printer developed in Italy (Source: ESA)

Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, source: ESA 

Jan 18, 2015

Model rocket breaks sound barrier with 3d printed fins

Steve Jurvetson made this model hobby rocket which has 3d printed stabilizing fins made from PLA. The rocket is small but it went supersonic at Mach 1.8! Maybe this is normal for this type of DIY rockets but it looks great to me!

Here are the specifications of two rockets shown in the video:
  • The first one is a a minimum diameter 38mm blue tube + golf ball nose + 3D-printed Makerbot fin can. The J270 takes this puppy from 0 to 1,363 MPH (Mach 1.8) in 2.6 seconds! According to RockSim, it topped out at 9,454 ft.
  • The second flight was a simpler Estes with D12 booster staging to a C6-7, with a Sharpie pen as upper nose cone/weight. The J-motor on left is 32x the D motor on right.
Look at that rocket speeding up for the sky!

Source and photostream:

Here is the picture of the rocket, you can clearly see the fin can at the bottom with heart shapes:

Here is Steve's TED talk about this rocket build. Looks like Steve is a big guy in tech field:
Steve Jurvetson may be one of the most respected and successful venture capitalists in Silicon Valley, but he is also an avid rocket maker, traveling regularly to Nevada's Black Rock Desert to launch the latest iteration. Steve shares blast-off stories and some thoughts about where his "hobby" and his profession intersect. From the Bay Area Maker Faire 2014 Center Stage.

Jan 13, 2015

Uber-cheap small CNC with fully 3d printable frame and salvaged motors

Instructables user wootin24 developed a small multifunctional machine that can be a small (very small) CNC, plotter or 3d printer. It has fully 3d printable frame and it is powered by junk optical drive motors.  3d printable frame and recycled motors make it very cheap to make ...

All the files for this machine and instructions to make it can be found here:

Chocolate 3D printer by Print Arsenal (Update: looks like it is a scam)

UPDATE (21.1.2015):

Looks like the whole campaign is a scam and the printer does not exist:


New day new 3d printer. This machine developed by Print Arsenal also extrudes chocolate. It is maybe somewhat pricey, but you decide ...

Print Arsenal Chocolate 3d printer  technical specifications:

You can find it on Indiegogo:

Here is video of printer extruding a chocolate ornament:

How to make 3d printed replacment car key

Smith | Allen is a design company located in Oakland California and they posted a step-by-step guide on how to make a replacement or copy of a car key.

They took a photo of a broken car key, processed it in Fusion 360 and 3d printed in on Object Connex 500. You could use software you are used to or use Shapeways for printing the key. Simple FDM home printers were not used in the process so I'm not sure how the end result would be. 

Do keep in mind that some keys have security codes so maybe you will not be able to start your car or you will trigger some sort of security protocol.

You can see a full tutorial here:

If you want to do this yourself, you will have to watch out for the thickness and strength of your 3d printed car key and that you don't brake it inside your ignition lock.

And now stories will be posted by fearmongers on vehicle security and potential for crime and how you should always keep your car key out of sight so that they can not be copied by taking a photo of them ...

Jan 12, 2015

Massive collection of animated mechanical movements and devices

While I was looking for a design of an automatic windows opening mechanism that I could use on my workshop I found this little jam on the YouTube.
The channel is just named "thang010146" and contains big number of video animations which show various mechanical movements and internal working mechanics of different devices in many areas like construction, engineering, hydraulics, gears, cams, robotics and many more. There are new videos coming up frequently.
If you are hobbyist, maker, engineer or just curious this is very useful reference base for finding solutions or inspiration.

Here are some examples:

You can find many MANY more mechanism schematics here:

One of the windmill / wind generators designs from the channel  

Digitrax3D MH5 3d printing copy machine with five extruders

Digitrax3D MH5 is a type of 3d printing copy machine with five extruders which can print five objects at the same time.
It is still a prototype but market for this type of device is probably growing and the team is working on versions with with 8 and 10 heads with a print area of 55 x 28 cm.

Digitrax technical specifications from manufacturer page:
  • The first 3D printer with 5 adjustable (in position and temperature) heads
  • Product 5 times faster
  • Rigid aluminum frame with A6063-T5 quality
  • Precision: 100μ
  • Filament: 1.75
  • Material: PLA for MH5, PLA, ABS for HD Version 5.1
  • Machine size: 77x57x55 cm
  • 28x28x20 volume printing (15,680 cm3) - And soon 60x30 cm
  • Weight: 40 kg
  • Connection: USB or micro SD card
  • Nozzle diameter: 0.4 Standard, others on request
  • Possibility to choose of use 1 head or 2 or 5
  • Quick assembly, removing or adjustment spacing of the 5 heads
  • Individual temperature control by LCD for each head
  • Lighting by LEDs of the work plan
  • 1 year warranty
  • Manufacturing: 3 to 4 weeks
  • Possibility of remote maintenance
  • With current 3D printers, for produce only 1 PLA pot of 8 cm high request 1h 4mn of printing time
  • With MH5, the same pot was duplicated in 15 units in 3h 21mn
  • Result = only 13.4 minutes per piece

Here is video of Digitrax 3d copy machine working:

Digitrax facebook page:

DIY 3d printed water cooler block for small electronics

Instructables user Unprecedented developed a useful little 3d printable cooling block for his Raspberry Pi. It holds a copper penny on the bottom as contact to hot chip and it has plastic tubing taking in cool and taking out hot water and thus cooling the chip.

It can be used on variety of electronic parts with Raspberry Pi and other small computers being the obvious choice if you are into overclocking. Water cooling is silent and can take away large amount of excess heat. It goes without saying, if the water leaks out it will badly damage your electronics.
You could also use 3d printed peristaltic pump to push the water or just have it stream from faucet ...

It would be interesting to see how much could the design be enlarged ...

3d printed cooling block attached to a Raspberry Pi. Copper penny is on the bottom touching the chip ...

You can find all the instructions and files to make it yourself at:

Here is a video of heat conductivity test:

Jan 11, 2015

FreeLSS open source DIY 3d scanner with 3d printed parts and Raspberry Pi

FreeLSS is a simple DIY 3d scanner that looks easy to make if you know some basic stuff like 3d printing and Raspberry Pi operating. It has most of a parts 3d printable and electronics is based on Pi and Pi camera. It is open source and all the files are available! Kudos to the team!

FreeLSS description from the project page:
FreeLSS is a free as in open source, open hardware, and open electronic design 3D printable turn table laser scanning platform based on the Raspberry Pi. It is written in C++ and licensed under the GPL.
The scanning software runs self-contained on the Raspberry Pi without the need for a connected computer via USB. The user interface is completely web based and is exposed via libmicrohttpd on the Pi.
Laser sensing is performed via the official 5 MP Raspberry Pi camera. The camera can be operated in either video or still mode. Video mode camera access is provided by the Raspicam library. Reference designs for the electronics to control the lasers and turn table are available as Fritzing files. Access to the GPIO pins are provided by wiringPi.
FreeLSS technical specifications:
  • Fully 3D Printable
  • Point cloud export
  • Triangle mesh export
  • Assisted calibration
  • Support for dual laser lines (right and left)
  • Up to 6400 samples per table revolution (with reference electronics)
  • 5 megapixel camera sensor
  • Support for camera Still mode and Video code
  • Configurable Image Processing Settings
  • Ability to generate images at different stages of the image processing pipeline for debugging
  • Persistant storage of previous scans
  • Manual control of lasers and turn table
  • Flexible architecture
  • Output formats: PLY - Colored Point Cloud, XYZ - Comma Delimited 3D Point Cloud, STL - 3D Triangle Mesh
FreeLSS homepage:

GitHub with all the files:

Here is a video of scanner in action:

I couldn't find any test, reviews or comparisons with other DIY 3d scanners, but if somebody has any experience put it in the comments ...

Simple DIY 3d printable insectoid robot powered by Arduino

Here is a simple robotic walker that you can make yourself. It is powered by 9v battery and Arduino Uno controlled. It looks like ideal project for school or beginner robotics learning.
The project is developed by Instructables user Bit-Boy. Kudos Bit!

You will need lots of screws ... like really ...

All the files, code and detailed building instructions can be found here:

here is a video of this insectoid robot moving:

Triple Delta robotic arm with extended reach and flexibility

Triple Delta is robotic arm project where three delta mechanisms are connected together to get more movement freedom and longer reach. It can operate outside of standard volume for the same sized single delta arm.
Since there are many moving parts there is a long way until making it precise enough to 3d print with. You will probably see it first in some small home manufacturing robotic line moving and manipulating parts. In theory if you know delta mechanics you could make it yourself, I have note found any instructions or guides. You could go wild and add more Deta arms and make it a quad Delta or pentaDelta ...
It is developed by Aad van der Geest. Great work Aad! Hopefully we will see more information on your project!

Here is tripleDelta robot moving and stacking wooden cubes from a conveyor belt  

EnvisionTEC high end 3d printers and bioplotter

I was just looking around what is industry standard and I found couple of videos from EnvisionTEC. They have some fine and expensive machines BUT as technology goes, one day you will have it on YOUR desktop.

... now, while you may have your workshop machine, most of you probably won't need a bioplotter since it is currently used as sophisticated medical instrument for special cases... or maybe DIY biohacking will explode. Making implantable 3d objects and body mods ... sounds like SF but we will see what future holds ...

Jan 6, 2015

New 3d printers by XYZprinting: Da Vinci Junior, Nobel 1.0 SLA and Food Printer

XYZPrinting is well known for their Da Vinci machines just released three new machines, Junir with smaller volume, SLA Nobel and Food Printer which extrudes pastes or chocolate and makes food decorations.

Da Vinci Junior technical specifications:
  • Print Technique: FFF
  • Printer Size: 42 x 38 x 43 cm
  • Printer Weight: 12kg
  • Build Envelope: 15 x 15 x 15 cm
  • One Touch Setup
  • Eco friendly power consumption of just 75 watts.
  • Features: SD card support, HFC technology used to detect low filament, one-year warranty.
  • Price: 349 USD
Da Vinci Junior 3d printer

Here is video review of Da Vinci Junior:

Nobel 1.0 SLA 3d printer technical specifications:
  • Print Technique: Stereolithography
  • Printer Size: 28.2 x 33.7 x 60.5 cm
  • Printer Weight: 20 lb/9.1 kg
  • Auto resin refill
  • Complete cover to ensure dust and pollutants do not spoil the print.
  • Onboard LED Display of 5” with a Touch Panel.
  • Connectivity of Device: USB 2.0 , Host/Client , WiFi
  • Build Envelope: 12.8 x 12.8 x 20cm
  • Print Resolution: X/Y : 300 microns, Z: 25 microns
  • Printing Material: Photopolymer Resin
  • Price: 1499 USD

XYZPrinting Nobel SLA 3d printer

Here is a video overview of Nobel. Tests or reviews are not yet available.

XYZPrinting Food 3d printer technical specifications:
  • Printer Dimension 420 x 427 x 605 mm
  • Print jets multiple (50-100 cc*3)
  • Nozzle diameter 1/2/4/8 mm (optional)
  • Display 5" touch screen
  • Connectivity USB
  • Maximum creation size 200 x 150 x 150 mm
  • Layer thickness 0.8-6.4 mm
  • Software XYZware
  • Operating System Win 7/Win 8/Mac OSX 10.8
  • File Types STL and XYZ format
  • Price: unknown
Here is a video of food printer in action of extruding chocolate letters on a bread slice:

XYZPrinting also presented some sort of food growing cube with salad growing inside it. Looks like some sort of hydroponics or growth medium desktop / indoor plant growing setup.
There are no independent test or reviews of any of those machines yet.

New Ultimaker 2 family members: Ultimaker 2 Go and Ultimaker 2 Extended

Ultimaker just released their two new 3d printers: Ultimaker 2 Go and Ultimaker 2 Extended: Go is smaller, portable and with non-heated printebed while Extended is 10 cm (4 inches) taller and gives you bigger printvolume.

The Ultimaker2 Extended is priced at $3030, some $500 more than the original, while the Ultimaker2 Go, is priced at $1450 Both will be available for pre-order in April 2015.

Here is a news release by Ultimaker:

Here is a video of new machines:

Ultimaker 2 family page:

On a personal note, I'm little disappointed I expected more from Ultimaker then just different sizes. I thought that's what MakerBot does... I know that they are in direct competition and that there is probably market demand --- but still ... more innovation would be good ...


Here is video of new Ulimakers from CES 2015 made by Tested:

Here is the review of Ultimaker 2 Extended:

Lin3s simple design tool that works great for compressed air extruders

Lin3s is a simple CAD web tool that enables you to create 3d objects from simle line drawings. It works great for paste extrusion and air pressure extruders. Lin3s is developed by 3digitalscooks crew and they use it in their 3d printed food projects. Great work!

Here is a basic tutorial on how to use Lin3s with main options:

... and here is the result 3d printed with hummus (yes, hummus!) mmmm on nom nom ...

You can use it via web interface here:

...or learn more about it here:

Interface is very simple:

Jan 5, 2015

Voxel8 conductive ink embedded electronic circuits 3d printer

Voxel8 presented the world's first commercially available FDM 3d printer with conductive ink embedding (aka. electronics 3d printer). There have been several projects, conductive filaments that are available and DIY solutions but nothing on this scale and in a serious market oriented company. Technology was developed in cooperation with Lewis Research Group at Harvard University and software with Autodesk.

Voxel8 technical specifications: 
  • Printing Technology: FFF, Pneumatic Direct Write
  • Build Volume: 4"x6"x4"(10X15x10cm)
  • Layer Resolution: 200 microns
  • Filament Size: 1.75mm
  • Pause / Resume Prints: Yes
  • Bed: Kinematically Coupled
  • Conductive Trace Width: 250 microns
  • Software: Hosted Cloud
  • Supported Files: STL, PLY, OBJ, OFF, AMF
  • Connectivity: USB, WiFi
  • Supported Browsers: Chrome, Firefox
  • Materials: PLA, Conductive Silver Ink
  • Conductive Silver Ink Resistivity: 5.00 × 10-7 Ω-m
  • Silver Ink Cure Time: 5 minutes

Here you can see how the Voxel8 deposits conductive wires made by extruding the special conductive ink on a internal layer FDM printed object. The electronic component is placed manually after the software stops the print process so the user can implant the chip. Voxel8 claims that they are primarily a materials company, so the ink is THE main component and technology.

Here is the nozzle depositing a conductive trace inside a 3d printed quadcopter frame:

This electronics printer has a special software custom made for the Voxel8 named Project Wire which was developed by Autodesk.

Here is video presentation of Voxel8 machine and technology:

You can order it as Developer’s Kit package that includes training for price of $8,999.

Voxel8 homepage:

There are no independent test or reviews for this machine so we will see what the future holds for this market segment.

Give your 3d printer a failure sensing computer vision with Authentise

Authentise computer vision will give you automatic print failure or error sensing with a simple web camera and alert you on your phone. it follows your 3d print progress layer by layer and registers any deviation from the original file.

Just add a common web camera ...

You can sign-up for beta on:

Here is a Athentise presentation video:

Jan 4, 2015

Using DC motors to replace steppers on x and y axis

Here is a new project of running a 3d printer with cheap DC servo motors. It was developed by misan from Spain and he used it successfully on x and y axis of his Prusa I3. Dc motors are controlled by Arduino Uno and the project is based on "servostrap" project. DC motors are cheap and can be found and salvaged in recyclable or scrap electronic device such as paper printers and others.

He made the code and bracket designs available. Thnx misan!

DC servo motor powering y axis of Prusa I3

You can find all the files and code here:

Here are the files for y-axis DC motor drive:

Here is video of stepper motor and servo running together:

Here is a video of DC servo motor powering the x-axis:

Here is a video of DC servo motors powering the x- and y-axis:

Project description:
This program uses an Arduino for a closed-loop control of a DC-motor.
  • Motor motion is detected by a quadrature encoder.
  • Two inputs named STEP and DIR allow changing the target position.
  • Serial port prints current position and target position every second.
  • Serial input can be used to feed a new location for the servo (no CR LF).
Pins used:
  • Digital inputs 2 & 8 are connected to the two encoder signals (AB).
  • Digital input 3 is the STEP input.
  • Analog input 0 is the DIR input.
  • Digital outputs 5 & 6 control the PWM outputs for the motor (I am using half L298 here).
  • Please note PID gains kp, ki, kd need to be tuned to each different setup.

DIY 3d printable manual pick and place vacuum tool

While there are more and more robotic DIY print-and-place machines, sometimes you just need to use your hand to remove some fine and hard to reach electronics. zapta designed 3d printable pick and place tool that uses modified medical needles and power of vacuum.

All the files can be found at:

From project description:
NEW: added a model for a mouth piece that allow to have a stand alone pick and place tool with no vacuum pump. The tube is a flexible silicon aquarium airline from a pet store. The filter is a universal 1/4" automobile fuel filter (filed to fit the airline).
This is a single piece design a handle for vacuum hand picker for electronics SMT components. It has two versions, one with a release hole and without release hole (I am using the latter with a foot pedal and a 12V pneumatic valve for better release stability).
The printed release hole is intentionally small and you can drill a larger one if you want, or just print the no hole version and drill a hole wherever you want. The handle is compatible with standard industrial blunt needles (available on eBay) and with standard aquarium air hose (use silicon hose for better flexibility, e.g. "TopFin Silicone Airline Tubing").
The files with 'demo' in their name are provided to show the internal details. These are not the files you want to print.
I printed it on a Prusa i3V using PLA, 20% infill, 5 top, bottom and vertical shells (in Slic3r) for better air tightness and no material support (otherwise you will block the internal air passage).
Air tightness is important for proper operation so you want to test it by holding it under water with the tip blocked and blowing into the hose. If you still see bubble through cracks and holes you may want to increase the number of shells, print slower, make sure you don't under extrude or fill the holes with glue (you can apply vacuum to such the glue into the holes).
This is a base design and hopefully others will improve on it. For example, forcing the air to flow near the release hole for minimizing the residual vacuum when released, a built in adjustable valve for regulating the desire lifting force, built in air filter or somehow making this thing ESD safe.

How to use friction welding to repair and make 3d printed objects

Here are two video guides by youtube user Scorch on using a Dremel based DIY friction welder. Great work Scorch!

Here is a video on how to make a Buckyball from 3d printed hexagons:

... and video on how to repair 3d printed objects:

Friction welding works with both PLA and ABS.

While good people of Hackaday think this is a new 3d printing technique it is actually used for a quite some time now.

here you can see it in action making and repairing stuff:

... and here you can see a guide on how to make it work and make a small DIY plastic welder:

And if you want to use 3d printed plastic rivets for friction riveting things together:

If you want to go the ultrasonic way or DIY heat plastic welding in the "old school style":

And here is how a friction welding seam looks like (from Scorch's video):

Jan 3, 2015

TriDom crane mounted building 3d printer

TriDom construction 3d printer is machine with excellent idea behind it! While other construction printers have complex and big gantry systems, TriDom is a retrofit kit that can be mounted on static or mobile cranes that are usually used in construction work. It can basically turn an existing crane in robotic arm where a crane does 80% of work and the TriBot frameless Delta does the other 20%. Simple and effective!
I'm not sure how will the crane and TriBot interface or how the crane will be guided? Maybe it can even be done manually for rough outlines and the TriDome mechanics will compensate for precision with agile printehead. We will see... very interesting and marketable tool...

TriDom is project by Yaron Schwarcz and Anielle Guedesv, and it is still being developed.  Great work!

TriDom home page:

Here is a TriDome video presentation: