Jul 24, 2015

Hacking IKEA tables into 3d printer enclosure

If you want to get high quality prints you can use a printer enclosure to stabilize the temperature making it a protective isolating chamber. Stable and higher temperature can prevent warping and other heat related damage to your 3d printed object.

Here you can see how to make a simple DIY enclosure from two IKEA "Lack" tables and some acrylic panels. It makes internal temperature stable at around 40 degrees centigrade compared to 20 degrees centigrade of room temperature. It also features extractor fan for fast cooling.

Detailed build guide can be found at developed by Instructables user phatima:

Do remember that you can also make a 3d printer form IKEA furniture:

Airwolf3D Wolfbite Mega Polycarbonate Adhesive

If you want to print in polycarbonate and ensure that it sticks to the print surface, Airwolf has a product for you. It will prevent warpage and bad prints.

It is priced at USD 19,99

Product page:

E3D BigBox Open Source 3D Printer

E3D is well known for their hot ends but now they have this great looking machine on Kickstarter. It comes at a good price, several versions and it is fully open sourced and hackable.

Here is the Kickstarter presentation video:

Here is the Kickstarter campaign page:

BigBox company page:

Technical specifications and prices:

Jul 19, 2015

Raytheon can 3D print military missiles

Raytheon, one of the major defense companies,  announced that it has technology to 3d print most of the rocket. Another victory for humanity. No, it's not but it will make some profit for them probably.

Here is the summary from their press release:
Researchers at Raytheon Missile Systems say they have already created nearly every component of a guided weapon using additive manufacturing, more commonly known as 3-D printing. The components include rocket engines, fins, parts for the guidance and control systems, and more.
“You could potentially have these in the field,” said Jeremy Danforth, a Raytheon engineer who has printed working rocket motors. “Machines making machines. The user could [print on demand]. That’s the vision.”

The progress is part of a companywide push into additive manufacturing and 3-D printing, including projects meant to supplement traditional manufacturing processes. Engineers are exploring the use of 3-D printing to lay down conductive materials for electrical circuits, create housings for the company's revolutionary gallium nitride transmitters, and fabricate fins for guided artillery shells.
The process may reduce costs associated with traditional manufacturing, such as machining of parts. It allows for quick design and rapid changes because engineers only need change the digital model representing the part. As long as they stay within set parameters, they can have new parts in hours instead of weeks.
“You can design internal features that might be impossible to machine,” said Raytheon engineer Travis Mayberry, who is researching future uses of additive manufacturing and 3-D printing. “We’re trying new designs for thermal improvements and lightweight structures, things we couldn’t achieve with any other manufacturing method.”

Here is the photo of the missile model:

Source: Raytheon

Detailed Raytheon post about their new missile technology:

War is hell guys. We really don't need more weapons. We need more efficient ways to feed the world, not new ways to kill people ...

Jul 18, 2015

Did "Cult of Done" break MakerBot?

Bre Pettis is not only known for his work on Makerbot. In his early days he published a "Cult of Done Manifesto". It was very much considered the Maker movement philosophy praised by some important movement figures, community sites and regular hobbyists as their motivational motto. I even liked it very much.

But, while you can use it to develop a great DIY project can one use it as guiding philosophy for a large cooperation? Probably not. Obviously not.

When you look at the list of Makerbots problems including the last class action lawsuit about knowingly shipping machines with faulty extruders it makes you wander about how strong was Cult of Done ingrained into Makerbots corporate culture.

Here is the Cult of done manifesto:
  1. There are three states of being. Not knowing, action and completion.
  2. Accept that everything is a draft. It helps to get it done.
  3. There is no editing stage.
  4. Pretending you know what you're doing is almost the same as knowing what you are doing, so just accept that you know what you're doing even if you don't and do it.
  5. Banish procrastination. If you wait more than a week to get an idea done, abandon it.
  6. The point of being done is not to finish but to get other things done.
  7. Once you're done you can throw it away.
  8. Laugh at perfection. It's boring and keeps you from being done.
  9. People without dirty hands are wrong. Doing something makes you right.
  10. Failure counts as done. So do mistakes.
  11. Destruction is a variant of done.
  12. If you have an idea and publish it on the internet, that counts as a ghost of done.
  13. Done is the engine of more.

How big of a role has this philosophy played in creating problems for MakerBot? We will never know, but there is some strong suspicion.

Original post on Bre's blog:

It took Bre 20 minutes to write it according to his claims.

Other articles about the cult manifesto:

I first saw this theory in g+ post of Arthur Wolf. Thnx for reminding us Arthur!

Jul 13, 2015

MapleMaker Mini V2 3d printer with fully printable frame

MapleMaker Mini v2 is a 3d printer that has fully 3d printable frame and main components. It is an advanced open sourced DIY RepRap that can self-replicate to much higher percentage. Very interesting!
I wonder how sturdy and rigid it is?

Project description:
The mapleMaker Mini introduces you to the world of additive manufacturing and 3D printing. With your own 3D printer, your concepts and design ideas can be translated from computer drawings to physical objects in short period of time.
The aim of this kit was to reduce costs and create an accessible, hackable, upgradeable, and ultimately, user customizable 3D Printer. We believe that a 3D printer should evolve with it’s users needs and knowledge, and become a platform for any number of future upgrades and additions without the need for costly re-works or additional components.

MapleMaker Mini V2 tech specs:
  • large 8" x 6" x 6" build volume
  • All metal hot end (e3d Lite6)
  • Completely 3D Printed frame and all major components
  • Simplified frame construction
  • Simplified printed parts components, all printable in 36 hours or less
  • LCD control panel and electronics enclosures

You can find all the part on YouMagine:

Detailed construction guide in PDF format:

New version of Slic3r is released! Version 1.2.9. Go and get it!

Slic3r 1.2.9 is now out, it is first new stable release in some 10 months with many new features and upgrades:

  • Customized Bed Shapes – Users are now able to implement custom bed shapes as well as rectangular and circular shapes using a very simple bed shape customization tool.
  • Incremental Real-time Slicing – No longer will slicing restart from the beginning every time you change a setting. In this latest version the new settings are only calculated for the remainder of the part, once implemented. When moving an object in plater, recalculations are also no longer necessary.
  • OctoPrint Integration – Easily configure, slice and upload data to the popular host software for 3D printers, OctoPrint.
  • Varied 3D Honeycomb Infill – Infill patterns are now able to be varied across the Z axis, rather than simply repeating the same pattern throughout every layer.
  • 3D Preview Updates – New OpenGL views have been added and the new 3D toolpath preview shows a very accurate depiction of the object to be printed.
  • X/Y Size Compensation – Dimensional errors can now quickly and easily be fixed within the Slic3r software (additional details on this feature can be found here)
  • Autospeed Experimental Feature – Keeps nozzle pressure and volumetric speed at a constant throughout a particular print project.
  • Rotate, Scale, Flip and Mirror – These options allow models to be manipulated prior to the slicing process within the Slic3r interface, making the software a graphical tool in itself.
  • Several bug fixes have also been included in this update including:
  • Parsing issues related to fixed regression
  • Issues regarding file names which use non-ASCII characters

Jul 12, 2015

Class action lawsuit filed against MakerBot for faulty extruders

Well well well ... here it goes ... Makerbot and Stratasys are under class action lawsuit for fraudulent scheme for knowingly shipping printed with faulty extruders.

After mass worker layoffs what will this mean for MakerBot? They had it coming ...

More at:

Pyra smart 3d printed oven or advanced heat chamber

Pyra is 3d printed smart oven. It can cook food but it can be used for any process that needs heat chamber. And yes, it is smart, Internet-of-Things device.It is open sourced also! Kudos!

Key features hardware:
  • Built on Fortus 900MC 3D Printer
  • Printed in ULTEM 1010
  • FDA-Approved up to 375˚ F
  • Raspberry Pi + Arduino
  • WiFi Compatibility
  • 12-Bit Digital Temperature Sensor
IoT capability:
  • Thermal Chamber Software
  • Smartphone Compatibility
  • HTML5 Web App
  • Cloud-Enabled
  • Built on Meteor
  • (Framework for Real-Time)
Other features:
  • Designed for Additive
  • Self-Supporting Structure
  • (No Support Material)
  • 80-hour Build Time
  • 3D Printed Heat Exchangers
  • Open Source
How it works:
A 3D printed fan in the base circulates air over heating elements and throughout specialized convective heating systems. The design eschews all the conventional wisdom of traditional manufacturing and embraces the capabilities of 3D printing.
This is evident through the design, from the profile of the complex heating channels to the shape of the smallest part in the heat exchangers 3D printed into the chamber walls. Even the overall shape of the Pyra was dictated by the constraints of FDM—sloping sides of 45 degrees are self-supporting and removing support material from the inside of the labyrinthine ductwork of the Pyra’s interior would be impossible.

Video presentation of Pyra:

Detailed project homepage:

Jul 11, 2015

Cosine AM1 industrial FDM 3d printer

Cosine AM 1 is powerful new 3d printer that is at home in industrial and professional production setting. It has large format, speed and ability to 3d print with many advanced materials including carbon fiber and metal powders.

Here are the technical specifications of their AM1 machine:
  • Build Volume:  1100mm * 850mm * 900mm
  • Accuracy:  .07mm per 200mm
  • Layer Resolution:  .1mm-1mm
  • Max Extruder Temperature:  450°C
  • Max Bed Temperature:  250°C
  • Max Chamber Temperature:  85°C
  • Nozzle Sizes:  .5mm, 1mm, 1.5mm
  • Max Flow Rate:  3.5 kg / 24hrs
  • Machine Weight:  700kg
  • Machine Size:  1650mm * 1400mm * 1600mm
  • Voltage:  100v-220v 50hz/60hz 3KVA
It can print with wide spectrum of materials:

 PLA Polycarbonate Carbon Fiber, chopped
 ABS Nylon Carbon Fiber, continuous
 HIPS PBT Carbon Black, ESD
 PVA Acetal Glass Fiber
 PETG Stainless Steel Powder
 Bronze Powder
 Glass spheres

Here you can see AM1 printing:

And here is AM1 printing in carbon fiber and polycarbonate:

Cosine Additive company page:

Incremental sheet forming digital fabrication robot

Could this be considered as 3d printing? Probably not as no material is added. Still, it is interesting digital fabrication method. I wonder is it using factory software or some sort of custom hacked KUKA robotic arm code.

Developed by:

Team: Association for Robots in Architecture ( and IP RWTH Aachen University (
Location: Shanghai, China
Event: DADA 2015 Conference, in cooperation with Tongji University and FabUnion
Participants: Adlet Kylyshbekov, Yi Zhang, Addin Cui, Lim Zhang, Dongyuan Liu, Xingrui Zhou, Xiaoyin Ou, Yu Lei, Jin Xin, Qian Ren, Tian Lou, Wang Daimei, and Pan Libo

More about incremental sheet forming on wikipedia:

Soft 3d printed robot jumps powered by butane and oxygen

Harvard scientist have developed 3d printed flexible robot that can move by jumping powered by explosion of butane and oxygen in central section.
Team was lead by Robert Wood.

In-depth video presentation:

Source and more info:

Jul 6, 2015

No cost RepStrap 3d printer made from scrap parts

Reddit user 5ilver posted his no cost 3d printer project. He made it from parts and scrap from his workshop. It uses hot glue pistol sticks. It looks rough and it prints rough but the cost is zero :-)

Full thread and more information on Reddit:

Jul 5, 2015

Two cool DIY 3d printer enclosure projects

Jason Powell has amazing home makerspace setup he made by himself. He has a really BIG enclosure with wide filament holder.

He published his designs for this spool holder at:

Here is the full build guide for it:

I'm soooo jealous Jason!

Michael Teeuw made his enclosure from MDF with some LED stripes and documented his construction process.

Detailed build log:

Jul 3, 2015

Delta-T 3d printer has no rails, bearings, belts, pulleys or lead screws

Jeff Kerr who developed Lobo now has this cool Delta-T which has some crazy mechanical movements :-)

I'm not sure what are the advantages or specifications but I like the inverse looks of it :-) Print results also look solid. It should be very cheap since it uses fishing line, rubber bands and other low cost materials.

Nice work Jeff!

Delta-T in action:

Delta description:
This new 3D printer is a delta-type design but with a flying carriage suspended by 6 strings that wind up directly onto the motor shafts. No rails, bearings, belts, pulleys or lead screws.

This new version uses a Bowden-type extruder and a single spring-loaded tension post to keep the strings in tension. Still more work to do, but it's coming along.
You can follow the development and get much more information at:,525804

Using hydrographics to color and texture 3d objects

Hydrographic printing could soon become mainstream way of coloring and texturing 3d printed objects. It could be as easy as printing a matrix on your standard inkjet printer and using it with water container and some additional chemicals. There are many DIY dip kits and hydrographics kits but non specially made for 3d printing. Software will have to be developed to connect various process parts.

Here are two projects and demonstrations in this area that look very mature and ready for implementation:

Texture Mapping Real-World Objects with Hydrographics by Interactive Geometry Lab

Project summary:
In the digital world, assigning arbitrary colors to an object is a simple operation thanks to texture mapping. However, in the real world, the same basic function of applying colors onto an object is far from trivial. One can specify colors during the fabrication process using a color 3D printer, but this does not apply to already existing objects. Paint and decals can be used during post-fabrication, but they are challenging to apply on complex shapes.
In this paper, we develop a method to enable texture mapping of physical objects, that is, we allow one to map an arbitrary color image onto a three-dimensional object. Our approach builds upon hydrographics, a technique to transfer pigments printed on a sheet of polymer onto curved surfaces.
We first describe a setup that makes the traditional water transfer printing process more accurate and consistent across prints. We then simulate the transfer process using a specialized parameterization to estimate the mapping between the planar color map and the object surface. We demonstrate that our approach enables the application of detailed color maps onto complex shapes such as 3D models of faces and anatomical casts.

Detailed article and extensive paper in PDF format:

3D cat model colored and textured with hydrographics

Computational Hydrographic Printing from SIGGRAPH 2015

Project summary:
Hydrographic printing is a well-known technique in industry for transferring color inks on a thin film to the surface of a manufactured 3D object. It enables high-quality coloring of object surfaces and works with a wide range of materials, but suffers from the inability to accurately register color texture to complex surface geometries. Thus, it is hardly usable by ordinary users with customized shapes and textures.
We present computational hydrographic printing, a new method that inherits the versatility of traditional hydrographic printing, while also enabling precise alignment of surface textures to possibly complex 3D surfaces. In particular, we propose the first computational model for simulating hydrographic printing pro- cess. This simulation enables us to compute a color image to feed into our hydrographic system for precise texture registration. We then build a physical hydrographic system upon off-the-shelf hardware, integrating virtual simulation, object calibration and controlled immersion. To overcome the difficulty of handling complex surfaces, we further extend our method to enable multiple immersions, each with a different object orientation, so the combined colors of individual immersions form a desired texture on the object surface. We validate the accuracy of our computational model through physical experiments, and demonstrate the efficacy and robustness of our system using a variety of objects with complex surface textures.

Project is developed by by Yizhong Zhang, Chunji Yin, Changxi Zheng and Kun ZhouTechnical

Jul 2, 2015

Ubercool Codename Colossus walking robot toy

Here is a seriously cool 3d printed toy robot!

Machination studio homepage:


How to make a DIY plastic shredding device from wood pieces and metal pipe

dmwatkins developed and published this DIY plastic shredder that you can use to recycle your failed prints or scrap plastic to make new filament as a pre-processor for a filament extruder.

It uses some wood pieces and cut metal pipe and it is hand operated. Rough and basic but gets the job done.

Detailed build guide:

Jul 1, 2015

Make a 3d printable copy of your favorite sneakers

iwillspy13 has made an Instructables tutorial on how to make 3d model of your favorite sneakers and 3d printe them in flexible filament. It is not a full copy but a copy of a inside that fits your feet.
Those shoes are probably not usable as the material will probably fall apart when used but it it an interesting project.
We need better materials for DIY shoes :-)

Detailed tutorial:

New Cura is out with powerful new features

New Cura is out with many new features!

Features list:

A new plug-in based system
The Uranium framework is a new plugin-based system that gives us great flexibility to extend Cura’s capabilities with ease.

Overhauled User Interface
The User Interface has been completely redesigned to create a far more intuitive, and pleasing experience.

Time-Quality Slider
We think users will love this feature. Instead of using 3 default profiles, we’ve chosen to implement a “time vs quality” slider in the new Cura. This creates more control over the balance between quality and printing time - especially for novice users or if you just want to quickly slice something.

Under the hood of settings
The Advanced mode is now configurable and enjoys many extra new settings, while being sure not overwhelm new users with too many of them. You can even create your own view settings, choosing which ones you want to see or not. Again, this makes it easy for new users but gives experts and tinkerers the ability to really experiment and gain even more control.

Support for high-DPI screens
The beautifully refreshed UI has been designed with high-DPI screens in mind, so on devices that have this feature, Cura looks amazing.

Optimized support structure
The powerful new CuraEngine features greatly improved support generation algorithms and additional options for support structure generation. This means both the positioning and degradability of support are improved.

Experimental feature: Wire Printing
We think users are going to enjoy this experimental new feature. We’ve implemented Wire Printing that will print objects as a structure of lines. To use it simply go to Advanced Mode -> Fixes -> Wire Printing.

An all important Undo/Redo feature
We listened to our community and it’s now possible to undo and redo most scene operations, like moving or rotating objects.


To be included in future updates
  • The ‘Configuration Wizard’ and ‘Bed Leveling Wizard’ for the Ultimaker Original and Ultimaker Original+.
  • All At Once / One At A Time Printing.
  • A dual extrusion feature with a completely new workflow.
  • An improved way to incorporate ‘Lay Flat’, and ‘Split Object Into Parts’.
  • Future plug-ins will include support for DAE and AMF files. And for directly loading a GCode file. There will also be plug-ins to support PNG, JPG and other image formats. Support for loading Minecraft levels will also be implemented as a plug-in.
  • ‘X-Ray View’ will be added as a future plug-in.
Forever removed features:
  • Windows XP support has been dropped as Microsoft is no longer supporting XP, so they will no longer back port certain features that we require.
  • ‘Follow Mesh Surface’ has been removed from the engine, the same result can be achieved using no infill or top/bottom layers.

Source post with download link: