Sep 30, 2015

3D Printed Silicone Nerve Repair Guide

Scientists developed a new 3d printing technology where they use printed silicone guides to regrow damaged nerves. It could help large number of disabled people.

Object description:
Specialized 3D printing is used to create a first-of-its-kind customized nerve regeneration guide with incorporated biochemical cues to promote both sensory and motor growth nerve regrowth. The red dots represent cues for motor growth the green dots represent cues for sensory regrowth. This research was led by University of Minnesota mechanical engineering professor Michael McAlpine.

More information:

Ultimaker Now Has a Mobile App

Ultimaker is joining a rank of major companies who have a mobile app for their 3d printer. It comes in iOS and Android variants but only supports basic setup, operations manual and help functions. There is no remote monitoring or control options but I have a feeling they will come in the future versions.

More information and download links:

Protect Your Nutella Stash!

THIS WILL BE PRINTED TONIGHT! No more stealing of MY Nutella!

You can find all the files for this Nutella cap lock on:

Disney 3D Printed Robotic Skin Will Touch You

Disney developed a method to 3d print a soft robotic "skin" to give future robots a more humanoid touch to interact in natural way with real people.

... it will probably find some more adult applications ... if you know what I mean ... wink wink ... it will touch in a way no human can ...

More details can be found at:

Organic Structures in Gel Medium Made with Needle Toolhead

New and very precise technology comes out where fine needle is used to 3d print a sort of a intricate complex mold inside a gel cube. The mold can be used as a support for 3d printing organs or biological structures.

... and it just looks cool ...

Source and more info:

More science on it can be found at:

Sep 25, 2015

PrintPut 3D Printable Input Devices and Sensors

PrintPut project developed techniques to use conductive ABS to make 3d printable input devices and sensors.

PrintPut description:

PrintPut is a method for 3D printing that embeds interactivity directly into printed objects. When developing new artifacts, designers often create prototypes to guide their design process about how an object should look, feel, and behave. PrintPut uses conductive filament to offer an assortment of sensors that an industrial designer can easily incorporate into these 3D designs, including buttons, pressure sensors, sliders, touchpads, and flex sensors.
Existing touch solutions, even if flexible, cannot seamlessly wrap around many non-planar objects. Alternatively, using many individual sensors introduces wires that are difficult to manage and impede interaction. PrintPut addresses these concerns by seamlessly integrating interaction points within the existing surface geometry of the object and internally routing the wires to a common connection point.
PrintPut's main components are conductive ABS filament, a dual-extruder 3D printer, and a series of scripts to generate conductive geometry. After a designer makes an object with sensor geometry, they import it into their 3D printer’s build manager and assign the base and conductive geometry to standard and conductive filaments, respectively. Once the object is printed, sensor values can be easily read by connecting it to an Arduino or other microcontroller with alligator clips.

Project homepage:

Detailed paper in PDF:

Form 2 is a New FormLabs Flagship SLA

Formlabs just released Form 2, the new desktop SLA machine. It is a 40% larger 3d printer than its predecessor. You can find all the specs on their page, it wil be priced at 3499 USD range.

Great step forward!

Only thing that drew my attention is their new "Automated Resin Systems". It looks like proprietary cartridge and it has an ID chip. I'm not a big fan of that setup but they claim you will be still able to use and experiment with third party resins in "Open Mode". We will see how this situation develops. If they close their machine so it can only use Fromlabs resin, someone will probably hack it making chip protection obsolete.

There are still no third party reviews or tests.

Update: here is a review by Make:

Introduction video:

Here is the unboxing video:

Detailed Form 2 launch presentation:

Form 2 homepage:


here is a detailed review by Tested where you can see potential problems and print failures:

Hexacopter Rapid Development with 3D Printers

One day soon there will be thousands and thousands of different models of DIY copters and robots moving around. What is now in hands of hackers, makers and hobbyists will become ubiquitous like bicycles...

This is just a preview of things to come and you will probably be able to make on your low cost home machine.

Students at Wentworth Institute of Technology were challenged to develop a functional hexacopter using six different manufacturing processes, including 3D printing. 95% of the 3D printed components were produced using the Stratasys uPrint SE and Objet30 3D Printers.

Sep 16, 2015

Red Swan Large Wingspan Fully 3D Printed RC Flying Wing

Here is a largest fully 3d printed and flying RC model airplane. It has no reinforcements and it reaches almost 2 meters in wingspan. Really pushing the limits of possible there.

Technical Specifications
  • wing span: 1950 mm
  • wing chord: 336 mm
  • aerodynamic center: 80.2 mm
  • aerodynamic center 8% stability: 61.4 mm
  • wing profil: Clark YS
  • wing overall weight: 1520 g
  • wing area: 65,52 dm²
  • fuselage overall weight 730 g
  • wing loading: 34,3 g/dm²
  • longitudinal stability (Thies) STFs: 65,0
  • motor: Robbe Roxxy BL Outrunner 2834-08
  • propeller: Aeronaut CAM 10 x 6”
  • static thrust: 1100 g (3S Lipo)
  • print time wing: 120 h
  • print time fuselage: 35 h
  • used PLA: 1.8 kg

Here are take-off, flight and lending in a video:

You can find all the files and instructions at Thingiverse:

Sep 15, 2015

Endurance L-Cheapo Laser Engraving and Cutting Attachment

Endurance L-Cheapo is a laser engraver / cutter attachment for your 3d printer or a CNC machine that will greatly expand its capabilities.

Key features:
  • L-CHEAPO is a 445 nanometer diode laser which easily mounts on your 3D printer or CNC mill
  • No additional power supply is necessary, and it will not interfere with normal use of your hardware
  • You can readily switch from laser to print/mill mode, use your existing software (Slic3r, Skeinforge, etc), and with no tools the laser can be removed in about 2 minutes
  • L-CHEAPO can cut paper and wood up to 3/16ths of an inch, and can engrave most non-metallic materials
Tech specs:
  • Laser Type Diode – No export restrictions
  • Laser Output 2100mW ± 15%
  • Focal length 10cm (variable)
  • Laser wavelength 445nm
  • Lens Type Crystal glass
  • Operation time Tested 48 hours continuous
  • Voltage 9-16V DC
  • Current draw 2100mA ± 10%
  • Price: $195 + shipping costs

Videos of L-Cheapo in action:

Here it is cutting acrylic:

Here it is cutting 6mm plywood:

Here is a laser attachment tool head for Ultimaker 2:

Endurance homepage:

Laser Based Direct Metal Deposition by RCAM

Boys and girls at RCAM gave us this wonderful amalgam of advanced laser metal 3d printing paired with high-end robotics. Laser, robots and 3d printing. Yep, it doesn't get much cooler than that.

Learn more at:


Fab Forms Give Validity and Manufacturability to Customizable 3D Objects

Geniuses at MIT developed Fab Forms software that enables interactive and customizable design of 3d objects. Designed object can be customized by end user and still remain printable or machinable. Hopefully their code comes to some use in public and not forever lost in academic IP limbo.

Fab Forms description by MIT developer team:
We address the problem of allowing casual users to customize parametric models while maintaining their valid state as 3D-printable functional objects. We define Fab Form as any design representation that lends itself to interactive customization by a novice user, while remaining valid and manufacturable.
We propose a method to achieve these Fab Form requirements for general parametric designs tagged with a general set of automated validity tests and a small number of parameters exposed to the casual user.
Our solution separates Fab Form evaluation into a precomputation stage and a runtime stage. Parts of the geometry and design validity (such as manufacturability) are evaluated and stored in the precomputation stage by adaptively sampling the design space. At runtime the remainder of the evaluation is performed. This allows interactive navigation in the valid regions of the design space using an automatically generated Web user interface (UI). We evaluate our approach by converting several parametric models into corresponding Fab Forms.

Project homepage:

Snappy RepRap is 73% 3D Printed

Revar Desmera developed a RepRap that goes beyond usual number of 3d printed parts. His model is 73% 3d printed and has greatly reduced number of non-printable parts by using a 3d printed rack and pinion setup.

Snappy in action:

All the files and instructions to build it can be found at:

Snappy RepRap prototype 3d printed rack and pinion system

Sinterit Lisa Low Cost Laser Sintering 3D Printer

Sinterit from Poland just released their Lisa low cost laser sintering 3d printer. It is priced at some 8000 USD. Slowly, laser sintering machines that are affordable are entering the market and could find a way to your workshop in near future.

Here is the team presenting their technology in a video by

Here are main technical data on Sinterit Lisa:

Basic tech specs:
  • laser diode: 5W
  • layer thickness: 0.06-0.15mm (2.4-5.9 mils)
  • print-bed size:15x20x15cm (5.9x7.9x5.9in)
  • max print size: 13 x 17 x 13cm (5.1x6.7x5.1in)
Multi-zone heating:
  • heated piston
  • heated cylinder
  • heated feed-bed
  • heated print-bed
  • depends on model and material
  • efficiency: 30 cm³/h (1.83in³/h)
  • speed: 15mm/h (0.6in/h)
Machine dimensions:
  • 65 x 55 x 40 cm (25.6x21.6x15.7in)
  • weight: 30kg (66lbs)
  • single-phase power
  • max power consumption: 2kW
  • Sinterit Studio 2016
  • WiFi communication
  • integrated camera
  • supported file types: STL, OBJ, 3DS, FBX
  • PA12 black
  • removable overflow bin
  • more materials available soon
Here is the example of a print result in a video released by the company:

Sinterit Lisa datasheet in pdf:

ZMorph 2.0S 12 Toolhead 3D Printer

ZMorph is a machine that has 12 interchangeable toolheads.

Technical specifications:
  • CONSTRUCTION alluminium 6 and 3 mm (precise and very rigid), other parts made of 3mm clear policarbonate and ABS
  • WORKING AREA 250 x 235 x 165 mm . Maximum possible work area 300 x 235 x 165 mm (with removed/open covers)
  • MATERIAL ABS, PLA, PVA, nylon (Taulman or other source), Stick filament, policarbonate, BandLay, LayBrick, LayWood, rubber, ceramics, cake and chocolate, metal engraving, wood engraving and milling , paper cutting.
  • NOZZLE TYPE interchangeable hot-ends : 0.3mm, 0.4mm
  • MATERIAL FILAMENT DIAMETER SUPPORTED 3 mm and 1.75 mm, depending on the extruder
  • RECOMEMMENDED PRINT SPEED WITH ABS 0.3mm LAYER 60 – 150mm/s depending on the quality required. Faster speeds possible with lower layer height. PLA can be printed faster too
  • MAX ACCELERATION 3000 mm/s^2
  • AXIS PRECISION 14 microns for X and Y axis, 0.625 microns for Z axis
  • HEATED BUILD PLATFORM hardened glass 5mm, silicone heater 140W, temperatures up to 145 degrees.
  • INTERCHANGEABLE TOOLHEADS plastic 3mm, plastic 1.75, plastic dual head extruder, ceramics, food (chocolate or paste etc.), dremel mount for 2D and 3D CNC milling, touch probe (buildplate calibration and 3d touch-scanning), LASER toolhead for cutting and engraving, experimental 5-axis toolhead. More toolheads are planned to be released in upcoming months.
  • ELECTRONICS Sunbeam 2.0, with ARM LPC1769 processor, equipped with 5 stepper motor drivers – 3 for XYZ axis, 2 more for double-material extruder. Run by Smoothieware ( disk drive accessible via USB.
  • NAVIGATION LCD display panel with custom menu and graphics
  • COMMUNICATION USB and LAN (can use WIFI to communicate). Stand alone printing supported via Panel + internal SD card.
  • EXTERNAL DIMENSIONS 530x555x480 mm
  • WEIGHT 20kg with packaging (basic version)

Here is ZMorph PCB milling:

... and here it is laser etching:

Here is the short overview of tool changing procedure:

ZMorph homepage:

12 meter tall Delta house 3d printer from Italy

Italian WASP is making 12 meter tall Delta 3d printer for house printing.

Italian TV reports:


It really is a beast!

Sep 14, 2015

Sep 8, 2015

Simple Tutorial on Effective 3D Printed Objects Painting

Here is a great 3d printed model paining tutorial based on real life experiences of Cliff MellangÄrd. It will show you how to paint your larger printed objects for optimal aesthetic effect with common dyes and simple technique.

Cliff also developed FunBot Pro and FunBot i1 3d printers that are very cheap to make even for the novice builders.

Open Bionics Cybernetic 3D Printed Prosthetic Arm

Open Bionics is a UK company with incredible 3d printable bionic arm.

Open Bionics homepage:

Sep 7, 2015

MIT High Temperature Glass 3D Printing

MIT developed new high temperature molten glass extruder and 3d printing process. Cool engineering but still very rough objects come out of it.

Project description:
Glass 3D Printing (G3DP)
Additive Manufacturing of Optically Transparent Glass developed by the Mediated Matter Group at the MIT Media Lab in collaboration with the Glass Lab at MIT.
Ancient yet modern, enclosing yet invisible, glass was first created in Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt 4,500 years ago. Precise recipes for its production - the chemistry and techniques - often remain closely guarded secrets. Glass can be molded, formed, blown, plated or sintered; its formal qualities are closely tied to techniques used for its formation.
From the discovery of core-forming process for bead-making in ancient Egypt, through the invention of the metal blow pipe during Roman times, to the modern industrial Pilkington process for making large-scale flat glass; each new breakthrough in glass technology occurred as a result of prolonged experimentation and ingenuity, and has given rise to a new universe of possibilities for uses of the material. This show unveils a first of its kind optically transparent glass printing process called G3DP.
G3DP is an additive manufacturing platform designed to print optically transparent glass. The tunability enabled by geometrical and optical variation driven by form, transparency and color variation can drive; limit or control light transmission, reflection and refraction, and therefore carries significant implications for all things glass.
The platform is based on a dual heated chamber concept. The upper chamber acts as a Kiln Cartridge while the lower chamber serves to anneal the structures. The Kiln Cartridge operates at approximately 1900°F and can contain sufficient material to build a single architectural component. The molten material gets funneled through an alumina-zircon-silica nozzle.
The project synthesizes modern technologies, with age-old established glass tools and technologies producing novel glass structures with numerous potential applications.
The G3DP project was created in collaboration between the Mediated Matter group at the MIT Media Lab, the Mechanical Engineering Department, the MIT Glass Lab and Wyss Institute. Researchers include John Klein, Michael Stern, Markus Kayser, Chikara Inamura, Giorgia Franchin, Shreya Dave, James Weaver, Peter Houk and Prof. Neri Oxman.

Project homepage:

Sep 6, 2015

Electrical Discharge Machining DIY Attachment for Your 3D Printer

ArduinoVersusEvil developed a DIY EDM attachment for a standard DIY 3d printer. EDM is described as:

Electrical discharge machining (EDM), sometimes colloquially also referred to as spark machining, spark eroding, burning, die sinking, wire burning or wire erosion, is a manufacturing process whereby a desired shape is obtained using electrical discharges (sparks). 
Material is removed from the workpiece by a series of rapidly recurring current discharges between two electrodes, separated by a dielectric liquid and subject to an electric voltage. One of the electrodes is called the tool-electrode, or simply the "tool" or "electrode", while the other is called the workpiece-electrode, or "workpiece".
It opens the whole new are of metal machining on a regular small desktop 3d printer.The developer has not yet released the plans but there are many DIY EDM solutions around that could be customized. Google is your friend :-)

Here are videos of EDM attachment in action and some rough results:

RepRapWiki has a great compilation with several DIY projects and detailed description of key concepts:

Wikipedia article with technology overview:

Source article with more details about this project:

Standard EDM toolhead

Sep 1, 2015

How to Make a PCB with Sharp Metal Rod Attachment

Here is a simple new method on how to make a PCB with your 3d printer. It doesn't use a CNC milling attachment but a simple sharp metal rod attached instead of an extruder which scrapes away permanent marker layer form a standard copper PCB blank.
PCB is then finished in ferric chloride bath.

Video of the process:

Very detailed step-by-step tutorial and .stl for the K8200 rod attachment (you will have to redesign it for other printers):

Metal rod attachment scraping away marker paint layer on a PCB

Priming, Dumping and Wiping Add-ons for Your 3D Printer

John Fuoco developed several printable add-on upgrades which will enable you to prime, dump excess filament and clean the nozzle for Delta 3d printers and other machines.

Here is a servo powered arm for Deltas:

Here is a simillar apparatus on a Bukobot which could probably be customized for most machines:

All the files and instructions:

Excess filament dumped in small bin with cleaning edge

Rapping About 3D Printing News

Print That Thing is a YouTube channel with 3d printing news. Check this oooooooout YO :-) DJ BOABz drops some serous beats!

I'm a new subscriber :-)  Great work man! Waiting for new tunes and projects ...

Design 3D Printed Cranial Plates

Here is a great detailed tutorial by Materialise on how to use their 3-matic software to design custom cranial implants for complex skull and head injuries. Useful for both medical professionals and amateurs.