Feb 28, 2016

SparkRover Open Source 3D Printable Robotic Rover

SparkRover is an open source rover powered with Arduino with Bluetooth connectivity so it can be controlled with a smartphone. Its structure and wheels are 3d printed.
It was developed by Instructables user Dominick Lee who described the main areas where this small rover can be used:

  • Robotics Learning Platform
  • GoPro Automatic Camera Dolly
  • Panorama Camera Assistant
  • Maze Solving Robot
  • Robot Racing

SparkRover parts list:

  • 3D Printed Parts (1x - SparkRover Chasis, 1x - Cover for the Chasis, 2x - Front Wheel, 2x - Back Wheel)
  • 2x of 55mm O-Rings
  • 2x of Futaba S3003 Servo pack (contains a servo, servo horns, screws, etc.)
  • HC05 Bluetooth module
  • Arduino Nano v3
  • 26 AWG stranded wire (or jumper wires)
  • Push button latch switch
  • Small 3.7v LiPo battery
  • 3.7v to 5v Step-Up chip
  • Ultrasonic sensor

Detailed construction guide, .stl files and guidance software can be found at:

Delta Flying Extruder

Direct and Bowden extruders both have their limitations and advantages. Flying extruder for Delta 3d printers should have the best of both types.
Flying extruder should have few key advantages:

  • Remove weight from the moving portion of the printer, making momentum shifts much easier
  • Remain “close” to the hot end to enable effective printing of flexible materials and remove tube friction
  • Reduce motion “lag” caused by lengthy tube traversals
It was introduced on RepRap forum thread:,218716

It was described as:
The extruder is suspended by rubber bands. These are running around several rolls to increase the length (each around 2m relaxed) to have more or less the same force over the whole vertical range. The extruder is connected with a very short latex tube (around 75mm) to the nozzle. This tube decouples the high frequencies between the nozzle and the extruder.
Long story short: I'm printing with no problems with 75m/s and 3mm retraction and still with the same acceleration of 800mm/s². But this was only a short test and I think I can bring it up with a bit optimization.
Another advantage is, that it's now easier to build an enclosure and that the printer is much quieter, because the extruder is decoupled.

Here is a video of flying extruder in action. The developer claims that the strange motion is due to Kisslicer and that prints are very good.

You can find all the files to build it here:

More extensive article:

Looks like it is not developed further, but the design is interesting ...

Does anyone have any experience with it? Let us know in the comments!

Feb 27, 2016

Cambits use 3d printed enclosures for modular camera system

Shree Nayar and Makoto Odamaki, scientists at Columbia University, developed a modular camera system made with 3d printed enclosure named Cambits. Electronics is the main part of technology and 3d printing is just gives the structure and housing. Still, very interesting piece of engineering and research.

There are five different type of Cambits: sensors, light sources, actuators, lenses, and optical attachments. The blocks can easily be assembled to make a variety of cameras with different functionalities such as high dynamic range imaging, panoramic imaging, refocusing, light field imaging, depth imaging using stereo, kaleidoscopic imaging and even microscopy.

CU project homepage:

Zowi Open Source 3D Printed Robot

Zowi is an open source robot developed by Javier Isabel. It is small, simple and cheap to make so it's ideal for education. Since it uses an Arduino or a simillar controller it is very hackable and programmable.

It uses the following vitamins:
  • 4 Futaba 3003 servos or compatibles
  • 6 M3x10 Bolts (ISO 4762)
  • 2 M3x10 Bolts (ISO 10642)
  • 8 M3x12 Bolts (ISO 4762)
  • 8 M3x16 Bolts (ISO 4762)
  • 22 M3 nuts (ISO 4032)
  • 1 BQ ZUM BT328 or Arduino
  • 4 x 2 AAA Battery holder
  • 8 AAA bateries
All the files and instructions to make it can be found at:

Different modifications and designs submitted by the community can be found at:

One of the visually more interesting modifications developed by the community

Zowi is further development of BOB robot.

Ardumower Arduino Controlled 3D Printable Lawn Mover

Andreas Haeuser developed a 3d printable lawn mover. It is controlled by Arduino and looks easy to build on any FDM machine with some electronics knowledge.

Tech specs from the project page:
The 3d printed ardumower works on the same principle as its commercial counterparts, which can be bought for a lot of money at most hardware stores. It drives in the inner space of a “boundary wire fence” (BWF). If it comes close to this it stops, turns and then it goes on mowing your lawn continuously. The ardumower is well tested for a lawn size up to 500m². If your lawn is bigger you need a second battery or you should print a second ardumower.

In addition to a 3D printer and the needed filament (ABS and PLA) for printing the parts, only a few tools and resources are needed to build the chassis. These are mainly common hobbyist tools. You do not need a lathe or a milling machine. Every common 3d printer with a build volume of minimum 180mm x 180mm x 60mm (x,y,z) is suitable.

The ardumower is driven by two 12V geared motors. The cutting device is made from a 12V DC-motor and a cutter disc with a diameter of 220mm. The power comes from rechargeable 12V NiMH or 11,1V LiPo batteries.

You can get all the details and purchase the construction manual with all the files for 9,99 euro:

3D Printed Monolithic Houses

Andrey Rudenko developed his own concrete 3d printer in the garage. It has a gantry motion and extrudes concrete paste combined in the optimal mixture.
In his latest demonstration he printed a 100m2 house in 48 hours. He claims his 3d printed structures are hurricane and tornado resistant due to monolithic design.

He also successfully 3d printed a hotel suite in the Philippines:

Here you can see the process and comparison to human builders:

He is well known for his 3d printed concrete castle:

His homepage with much more information:

PS: I like the technology, but 3d printing is not a solution to housing crisis in my opinion. Houses are cheap to build, what is expensive is land, permissions, architectural work by certified professionals, compliance etc. Houses also became financial instrument and not a physical object person lives in. It is a broad and complex issue.

Taiwan Launches 3D Printed Rocket

Taiwanese university launched 3d printed APPL-9C rocket. It is made from modules with many 3d printed subsystems. It should be part of a larger multistage rocket in the future. Looks like many of the parts were done on FDM machines. I always claimed space will be colonized with 3d printers.

The first section of the rocket uses a sugar-based rocket fuel made from sorbitol + KNO3, and its second section features a hybrid rocket motor fueled by Hydroxyl Terminated Polybutadiene HTPB, with nitrous oxide as the oxidant. It accelerates at 15G.

From the source article:
A locally designed, developed and constructed rocket blasted off Jan. 31 in Hsinchu City, signaling Taiwan’s commitment to furthering its space technology capabilities.
Produced by Advanced Rocket Research Center based in National Chiao Tung University, the two-stage APPL-9C reached an altitude of 1 kilometer before deploying three chutes and splashing down in a Hsinchu wetland.
The rocket, made from environmentally friendly materials, measures 2.7 meters in length, 15 centimeters in diameter and weighs 27 kilograms when fully fueled.
Watch this baby fly:

Video in Chinese showing some 3d printed parts:

Local TV report also in Chinese:


More detailed article:

Feb 26, 2016

How To Repair Broken Eyeglasses Frame with 3D Printing

Since I wear eyeglasses since my early childhood, I have broken them may many times. To repair the frame is not easy and replacement is always costly. You can use some superglue or other hacks but it's problematic if the part has shattered in several pieces or you just can't find it.

Matias Mamone published his tutorial on Instructables featuring a easy step-by-step process how to design the broken part and 3d print it to make a solid bridge to fix the frame. Nice! Thank you Matias for this cool tutorial!

3d printed part that perfectly matches the lens

eyeglasses with broken part missing from the frame

Detailed guide can be found at:

Feb 24, 2016

3D Printable 3D Drawing Stylus for Motion Tracking Systems

EpicJefferson published a full tutorial on how to make Arduino based 3d drawing pen with 3d printed enclosure. It can sedn data to other software like Processing and uses an external motion tracking system (like Optitrack in the video)

Full build guide and all the files can be found at:

Here you can clearly see the internal electronics, battery and 3d printed shell with motion tracking points on the cap.

3D Printable Dactyl Ergonomic Keyboard

Matt Adareth developed and released his "Dactyl" ergonomic keyboard under CC license. This open source keyboard is described as “parameterized, split-hand, concave, columnar, ergonomic keyboard.”
As you can see it was 3d printed on a SLS machine but it could be probably made using other machines with some adjustments.

You can see a very interesting presentation by Matt about keyboard design and 3d printing at: (video is not embedable). It is also great to watch if you are into more advanced OpenSCAD environment development.

All the files for it can be found here:

Here is a Reddit thread about it:

3d printable cover for high voltage terminals

"Mr. Power Electronics" used his Prusa I3 to 3d print protective covers the high voltage terminals. Just a useful thing I found while browsing Tumblr.

Project homepage:

3DLabPrint 3D Printable RC Model Airplane Webshop

3DLabPrint from Czech Republic opened a webshop for 3D printable RC model airplanes. It is a nice little niche business. We will probably see more specialized model shops in the future.

Company homepage:

Feb 22, 2016

Ultimaker 2 Vs. Print-Rite Who Wins?

Guys from Make.Test.Battle,Ryan and Kash do a casual comparison of the Ultimaker 2 and the Print-Rite DIY 3D Printer from HobbyKing, as well as learn the importance of bed leveling. 
They do a lot of Nerf toys modifications and upgrades with 3d printing. 

It turns out you really get what you pay for in this case. 

Why are 3d printers so expensive in Australia? Probably due to shipping, import and customs fees ... taxes maybe?

Here is a complete comparison video:

Something cool they make, modded Nerf toy guns, here the dart cylinder was 3d printed:

Feb 21, 2016

Cardboard Box 3D Printer Enclosure

This guy made a very cheap 3d printer enclosure made from cardboard box :-) It probably works and can be used as improvised heat chamber but there could be a slight fire hazard. But if you don't have any money, you will take some risks. I know that for a fact. You could also try using some salvaged drywall or gypsum plates.
Stay safe kids! It's always a good idea to have a fire extinguisher in your house.

If you need a different low cost solution you could try this one with cheap plastic boxes:

3D printable Mars rover robot from Russia

Misha Larkin from Russia published his version of 3d printable Mars rover robot. It looks great. It was printed on XYZ daVinci.

All files and instructions can be found at:

You can see a different version here:

Educational TETRIX 3D Printer

Tetrix is a new 3d printer design based on needs of schools to provide simple and affordable teaching tool.

Here is the project description:
The TETRIX 3D-Printer was designed as an educational tool for middle and high school technology students, robotics teams, and adults. The purpose of constructing the printer is to train people's building, tool usage, electronics, CAD, and programming skills with a single project. You also get a 3D-printer once you're done!
The printer design is based on TETRIX parts, which are designed by PITSCO and used in the FIRST Tech Challenge robotics competition. The printer also utilizes elements of various RepRap printer designs, such as the Printrboard control system. The design is completely open-source, so feel free to personalize and alter your printer.
The overall cost of the printer is about $640, and the educational value is priceless! The majority of the cost is attributed to the TETRIX parts, but the high accuracy of the pre-drilled, pre-sized aircraft-grade aluminum saves time and reduces error, which outweighs the price.

Very detailed build guide:

Thingiverse Theft And How To Protect Yourself

Someone has been stealing designs from Thingiverse and selling it on Ebay. Here are two videos describing the situation and how you can protect yourself.

Here is Joel aka. 3D Printing Nerd:

Here is Angus from Maker's Muse. He as a industrial designer and professional with a lot of experience suggest few steps on how to protect yourself including watermarking it and not uploading it at all:

Here is the Thingiverse post that started it all:

here is the official Thingiverse statement about your rights:

Here is the epilog of the whole story, but it will probably happen again in a different form:

Update (21.06.2017.):

The entire situation is escalating with lawsuits filed against many companies and individuals. That's why the videos were taken down. here Joel's statement and explanation of the entire mess:

Feb 16, 2016

BristleBots 3D Printable Insectoid Robots

Alex Czech from Australia developed this small and simple vibrating movement 3d printed robots. They are powered with a simple battery and low cost DC motor that vibrates their "legs" or bristles. They can be used as an easy educational or toy project.

3D printed vibrating bristles

Here is the BugBot buzzing around:

Here are the small plastic critters from the Bashbot series and they are fighting in the arena, There can be only one.

I wonder how would cats react if I let few of those insectoids go freely on the floor ... we will have to see ...

BugBot is a free download at:

Other .stl-s for different types can be bought at:

Feb 15, 2016

Prusa I3 Based Ultrasonic Laser Resin 3D Printer

Team of scientists hacked a Prusa I3 to develop new 3d printing process that uses laser to solidify ultrasound arranged resin fiber particle in a small vat.
A laser diode module was mounted on the print head to cure the resin, with an emitting power of 50 mW. The laser diode was housed in a shroud, and was focused using a single 6 mm diameter lens, with a focal length of 20 mm. The small vat sized at 35mmx35mm was filled with low viscosity photocurable resin (Spot-A LV) and commercially sourced glass microfibres (Lanxess MF7904, length 50 μm, 14 μm). Ultrasonic transducer gives resin floating fiber the shape and laser solidifies it.
It is a new form of stereolithography which could see some upscaling into more capable machines.

Detailed article and scientific paper "3D printed components with ultrasonically arranged microscale structure" can be found at:

Source post:

The printed object and close-up of the object showing its very small layers.

Feb 14, 2016

Ourobotics Low-Cost DIY Renegade Open Source Bioprinter

Ourobotics is an Irish company that is developing bioprinters. They published an open source low cost bioprinter based on some standard RepRap parts named Renegade that can be sourced for some 900 USD. I doubt that someone will 3d print a kidney on it in a home workshop but some interesting biohacking project could come up in the future.

Ourobotics also developed high-end bioprinter that can print with 10 materials, has enclosed warm chamber for keeping the cells alive and costs some 12500 Euro.

... here it is printing an ear:

Ourobotics homepage:

PDF with build instructions based on a common RepRap:

More detailed article about the project:

E3D VariPower Heated Bed with Modulated Power Zones

E3D developed a heated bed that has distributed heated zones so that the heat is distributed evenly to avoid potential warping due to temperature differences. It can reach up to 140 degrees Celsius on 200mm * 300mm print surface. It is very useful if you want to print larger series of multiple parts on entire surface.
It is priced at £45.00.

Heat bed homepage:

Feb 12, 2016

Custom Color Mixing Rostock Max by Jason Powell

Jason Powell made his highly customized Rostock Max V2 delta with the Diamond hotend and upgraded the firmware to do color mixing. He made multi part .stl-s to enable multiple colors.

Detailed video:

Instructables project homepage:

His Thingiverse page:

Feb 10, 2016

Did you finish it Luke?

Lum Continuous Build Belt Platform 3D Printer

Andreas Bastian developed this very interesting 3d printer with continuous build belt platform. Since it is a movable belt you could, in theory, print continuous or infinitely big objects. Yes, it is a DIY project and it is in development so the builds are rough but the concept is innovative.
The name "Lum" is a version of  the word "loom" as the developer is known for his work in textile-like 3d printed structures.

Here is Lum printing its own print bed! First part of a print platform belt is made on different 3d printer and then finished on Lum.

Lum printer printing continuous non-woven textiles / metafelts:

Build guide can be found at for a lower part of it, further build guides will follow:

Feb 9, 2016

Cool Acrylic Painted Centaur Figurine

Guys from 3D Obiecto made this cool "Kentaur Scuplt 1" 3d printed sculpture of a centaur.

Some technical specifications:
  • Zbrush + painting was done by Libor D. Open Art
  • Colorfabb Wood + Black PLA on Mankati fullscale 3D printer
  • 190 x 90mm
  • Acrylic painting + mat lacq
Great work guys!

Ultimaker Chocolate Syringe Extruder

Here is an Instructable on how to build a DIY chocolate extruder for Ultimaker original. It is based on  20ml syringe with the inner diameter of 20mm. Syringe is covered with aluminum foil, then Kapton tape. The heater is made of NiCr wire coiled on covered syringe and itself covered with Kapton. To get uniform temperature on the syringe a layer is added of aluminum foil and Kapton outside the heater. Thermistor is NTC 100kOhm .

Detailed build log and chocolate preparation:

Some people think 3D printing is not a good idea ...

...and they may have some good points. People from Additivism collective focus on general pollution by plastics and critique of consumerist society with more and more stuff being made that severs no purpose ...

Some interesting bits I found in their presentation:

3D printing + spam + micropayments = tribbles
that you get billed for, as it replicates wildly out of control.

90% of everything is rubbish, and it's all in your spare room – or someone else's spare room, which you're forced to rent through AirBnB.

Source: @justinpickard

You can see a more detailed presentation at:

Linespace Tactile Interface for the Blind with 3D Printing Extruder

Linespace is an ingenious device that uses a 3d printing extruder to produce a large tactile interface for the blind. I love this project! This could be extremely useful for the blind people!

Project description:
Linespace is a tactile display system for blind users. The foundation of our system is a large 140x100cm display area, on which the system creates raised tactile lines with the help of a 3D printer. The foot switch allows users to enter text and issue commands by talking to the computer.

We use Linespace to give blind users access to the type of software packages that normally only sighted people can access, namely the type of software that helps them to make sense of complex data. So far, we have created a simple homefinder program, a spreadsheet program that can read and write Microsoft Excel, two simple games, and a simple programming environment.

One might say that Linespace is an interactive "visualization" system for the blind. The key to achieving this is Linespace large display as it allows displaying a lot of contents at once, where smaller display systems need to update screen contents. The use of lines (instead of the more common Braille dots) helps create visualizations.

The vision behind Linespace is to help blind users interact with and make sense of complex spatial data. It thereby intends to pick up the vision behind of Vannevar Bush's memex, Engelbart Online system, and Xerox PARC's personal computer, by investigating how we can recreate this type of interaction for blind users--how to use computers to help people think better.

In the video you see a user using this system to find homes in Berlin:

Feb 7, 2016

SprintRay MoonRay High Resolution UV DLP 3D Printer

SprintRay presented their MoonRay high resolution UV DLP 3D printer. It will be priced at  3499 USD.

Key features:

  • Custom-built projector for 3D printing fine details: MoonRay’s resin requires UV light for proper curing. Other similar 3D printers use commercial projectors, which produce visible light but not pure UV light. The advantages of the custom UV LED projector in MoonRay are in the resolution and curing process. The MoonRay’s UV projector, RayOne, was custom designed with some special qualities:
  • Perfect light spectrum: The resin used for 3D printing cures under light with a 405nm wavelength. The custom-built projector hits the proper wavelength consistently across the build platform, which allows you to get real 100-micron resolution.
  • Runs cool and quiet: Utilizing a UV projector allows the MoonRay to avoid any overheating and makes it much quieter than other 3D printers.
  • Long lifespan: RayOne’s 50,000-hour lifespan means you won’t ever need to replace the bulb.
  • Revolutionary resin tank: the team designed the MoonRay’s resin tank to last, so there’s no more replacing your printer’s resin tank or changing the PDMS layer

MoonRay presentation:

Here is MoonRay on CES 2016 with more detailed presentation:

... it makes very fine objects like this 3d printed cloth:

SprintRay homepage:

rBot 3D Printable CNC Mill with IKEA Work Surface

Michael Reitter developed a homemade 3D printable CNC mill which uses a IKEA MALM table as working surface. Probably the coolest IKEA hack ever.

rBot in action:

You can learn more about it and get all the information needed to build it at project homepage:

All the files for 3d printing the parts:

Someone note in the comments that this is a CNC router. So, what is a different between CNC mill and CNC router?

"A CNC router will usually have a large X and Y range and short Z... A router will typically be able to do soft materials like wood, plastic, and maybe aluminum... But overall, it won't have the most rigid structure (like this one which is 3d printed)

A CNC Mill will have a relatively smaller X and Y with a larger Z than a router... A mill will be able to cut hard materials like steel... And thus will have a very rigid structure so that it can accurately cut those materials."

More info at:

Feb 4, 2016

David's Completely Custom rPrint 3D Printer

David has developed his own 3d printer with almost all parts that are custom made including electronics and software.  Kudos David!

It is wrapped into a nice bubble enclosure:

Short project description:
David tells us how he designed his rPrint 3D printer, the printer for pirates!
A university project he has been working on for the last 9 months.
Everything is custom, including the world's lightest weight direct drive extruder head, Sarrus linkage build plate, linear rail guides, and his awesome bubble enclosure.
Not to mention his own custom controller, gcode interpreter, and highly optimised C++ string libraries.
Very detail video worth watching f you are deep into 3d printeting mechanics and electronics:

EEVBlog forum thread about this printer:'s-rprint-3d-printer/

More written details:

Arc Bicycle 3D Printed with MX3D Robotic Arm

Arc Bicycle is made from a metal lattice frame 3D printed with MX3D robotic arm. It looks very cool, both futuristic and organic.

Project description:
A student team from TU Delft in the Netherlands designed and produced a fully functional 3D printed stainless steel bicycle. The students achieved the goal of their three-month project by printing the frame of the with the help of MX3D in Amsterdam. The Arc Bicycle is the first ever 3D printed metal bicycle to be produced using a welding process. For information please contact:

Project Coordinator:

Student Team:


Here you can see a close-up of frame being 3d printed with metal welding 3d print head attached to industrial grade robotic arm:

Feb 3, 2016

EEZYbotDELTA 3D Printable Robot with Detailed Build Guide

Carlo Franciscone form Novara in Italy developed and published detailed construction guide for this Delta configuration desktop robot with many 3d printed parts. It can be controlled by Android device via Bluetooth interface.

EEZYbotDELTA moving and picking up objects:

This delta robot can be controlled via an Android app:

Full construction manual and all the files needed to 3d print it and make it work can be found at:

It fits on a standard desktop table:

Via Ludibunda 3D Printable Fantasy Scenery for RPGs and Wargaming

Via Ludibunda just launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund 3D printable terrain for miniature wargames and RPG.

Their models are made with the gamer in sight, are fully modulable and are easily printable on any consumer grade 3D printer. The range proposed now allow building a complete fortified city (for 60€ level pledge) like the one in the picture below.

You can see them at : and hel fund the campaign.

Feb 2, 2016

Joel has a cool Giveaway!!!

I'm following Joel for some time and I really like his videos. He is heavily into 3d printing and his YouTube channel shows his passion. He is truly a 3D Printing Nerd.

Since he reached 10k subscribers he organized this cool giveaway with bunch of great prizes including Wanhao Duplicator I3.

All the instructions are in the video and you can go directly to Gleam giveaway link:

and don't forget to subscribe to his YouTube channel!!!