Apr 29, 2016

OpenSLS Laser Sintering 3D Printer Made From Hacked Laser Cutter

Rice University bioengineering researchers have hacked a cheap Chinese CO2 laser cutter into a low(er)-cost laser sintering 3d printer and used it to produce fine objects such as liver structures. They claim it can be made under 10000 USD.
Materials used on it are nylon, sand, Candelilla wax, polycaprolactone (PCL) and other. 
Since there is a 40-80 W of laser energy, they use custom build inter gas module to prevent burining of the material.  

They have also made it open source, which deserves some gratitude from the community! Thank you Rice team! Sharing is caring!

Here is the short presentation video:

Here is the powder distribution mechanism in action:

Project has a very detailed and extensive documentation well worth reading if you are interested in laser sintering and bioprinting.

GitHub with all the files:

Rice Uni news article:

Ver detailed RepRapWiki page:

Detailed PLOS research paper:

If you want to make something similar, do keep in mind that lasers are dangerous, and nylon powder and simillar micro-powder materials are flammable and can also go KA-BOOM. Stay safe kids.

Apr 28, 2016

China developed a space 3d printer

China also developed a space 3d printer that can work in micro-gravity! Now, all major space powers who are always trying to win space race have their space-based 3d printers. Like I said, space will be colonized with 3d printers.

More at:

Apr 27, 2016

LiteFab Open Source DLP 3D Printer

LiteFab is an rugged open source DLP 3D printer you can build yourself at a low cost and which comes with an excellent step-by-stem construction guide.
The cost for this project is some 400-500 USD plus the DLP projector which you can buy new or used which will cost you some 50 - 1000 USD extra. For this build the developer used Acer h6510bd.

The supporting structure is made from CNC cut wood, aluminum rails and 3d printed parts. It looks very hackable, which is encouraged by the developer.

This machines is developed by Instructables user that goes by name of bongoboy23. Cool name bro! Thnx for this project!

Some of the features of this design:
  • Quick removable vat
  • FlexVat design means no secondary action needed for peeling parts off vat. For example, the Form1 pulls the vat down on one side to peel parts off the vat. The FEP film used in a flexvat, being flexible, peels as it flexes. This film also has a much longer lifetime then standard vats, which means less often replacement of the vat.
  • Quick removable bed
  • Adaptable for use with any projector 
  • Large vat allows for a large build area
  • Nice open area for easy access to components, for easier maintenance and modification
  • Opensource! All the design files are provided. 

Resin vat with DLP projector underneath which solidifies the resin with UV light. 

LiteFab has a very detailed build guide with all the files at:

Knight and a Rook. Very detailed and fine. 

Objects printed on LiteFab. Looking good ...

Apr 25, 2016

Orbital Composites Advanced Carbon Fiber 3D Printing

Orbital Composites is a company which developed advanced carbon fiber and wire 3d printing with applications in space additive manufacturing. It should enable future missions to 3d print satellites and objects in orbit or to 3d print drones with carbon fiber structures.

Here is the interview with Orbital Composites Founder and CEO Cole Nielsen and presentation of their tech:

Orbital Composites homepage:

Coaxial extruder nozzle developed by Orbital Composites. It should deliver 10x increase in print speed. 

Coaxial extruder that can extrude carbon fiber,  plastic wire, solder epoxies and other materials.

DIY 3D Print Error Correction System

Chris Barr from Australia developed his own error correction system using magnetic encoders that recognizes that 3d print went wrong and then tries to correct the problem.

Chris writes:
At the moment, I’m using a linear magnetic encoder IC from AMS (the AS5311) on a small PCB I’ve designed, along with an ATmega328 to track the axis motion and implement I2C communication (also on the same IC).
This seems to be a relatively robust solution, and the encoder can track axis motions up to about 350mm/s – which I think covers speeds reached by most 3D printers.
Printer firmware is Marlin, with a few new bits I’ve thrown in to get this working.

Here you can see it working when Chris forcefully pushes the extruder by hand:

Project homepage:

You can find his code for this system at:

Apr 24, 2016

3D Printed PMG Generator for DIY Wind Turbines

Brian developed a 3d printable DIY PMG generator ideal for producing electricity from small wind turbine.
You will need some disc magnets and copper wire, but you will get a functioning generator. It can produce up to 50 watts at high RPMs.

Here is the generator being assembled and tested:

Here are four generators mounted on a modular multi-blade wind turbine in a strong wind:

The files and manual are not free, but come at reasonable 35 USD:

There are several other non-printable DIY generators on that page so it's a good resource for anyone interested in home-made wind power.

If you are looking for larger DIY generator of the same type for bigger diameter wind turbines, there is a complete manual in PDF format that can be found at: (remember to click the captcha that you are not a robot).
It gives out much more power, but you will need some heavier woodworking, bigger magnets, resin and longer blades and higher tower.

Thermaltake 3D Printed Modding Accessories

As 3d printing is going mainstream, many companies see the potential using it as user involvement tool. Thermaltake, PC parts manufacturer, started their 3d printing site to help PC modders 3d print components for their cases, fans, LED lightning, drives and other peripherals.

Here are some fan grills:

See the models at:

Zortrax Inventure Compact Prosumer 3D Printer from Poland

Zortax Inventure is a new 3d printer from well known Polish company that is compact in size and print volume, but features many professional solutions.
I generally don't like move towards proprietary cartridges with chip "protection" marketed as a feature ...

Presentation video:

Video focusing more on key features, such as ability to print two materials from a single nozzle:

Tech specs:

  • Printing Technology:  LPD Plus – advanced technology with DSS system
  • Build volume: 140 x 140 x 140 mm, 5.5 x 5.5 x 5.5 in
  • Resolution: 90-400 microns
  • Material container: Cartridge
  • Wall thickness Minimal: 400 microns
  • Optimal: 800 microns
  • Resolution of single printable point: 400 microns
  • Material diameter: 1.75 mm (0.069 in)
  • Nozzle diameter: 0.4 mm (0.014 in)
  • Minimum single positioning: 1.5 microns
  • Positioning precision (X/Y): 1.5 microns
  • Z-axis single step: 1.25 microns
  • Extruder maximum temperature: 380° C (716° F)
  • Heated chamber: Yes
  • Chamber maximum temperature: 90° C
  • Ambient operation temperature: 15°-35° C (60°-95° F)
  • Storage temperature: 0°-35° C (32°-95° F)
  • 3D Printer Support: Dissolvable – printed from a different material than the model
  • HEPA filter: Yes
  • Material consumption sensor: Yes
  • Chip with information about material (type, color, consumption): Yes
  • Extruder: Single with double nozzle
  • Connectivity: SD Card (included)
  • Available materials: Z-ULTRAT Plus, Z-SUPPORT
  • Electrical AC input: 110/240V ~ 2 A 50/60 Hz
  • Power requirements: 24 V DC @ 11 A
  • Power consumption: 160W
  • Software bundle: Z-SUITE
  • File types: .stl .obj .dxf
  • Supports: Mac OS X / Windows XP and newer versions
  • Physical Dimensions: 350 x 350 x 400 mm, 13.7 x 13.7 x 15.7 in

Price is yet unknown ...

Learn more about it at:

Brochure is available at:
I am, as always waiting for independent reviews and tests.

nUnitled 3D Printer and Giova's Extruder from Italy

nUnitled 3d printer and Giova's extruder are DIY  machines developed in 2015 from Italy which are low cost and feature some interesting solutions.
The main feature of this project is its anti-wobble system which consists in the separation of Y and Z axis from Z screws. Y axis can moves freely on Z axis, because it's leaning on Z screws. This innovation avoids the transmission of Z screws wobble to Z axis.
This machines has wooden support structures.
Giova's extruder aims to be light and low-cost extruder based on the cheap 28BYJ-48 motor. It is relatively weak but it works.
Third party reviews are not yet available.

Here is the presentation video:

You can find all the files for the printer and extruder:

Apr 22, 2016

3D Printing Custom Car Audio Speakers

As I was searching to find what can I print for my car, I found Mark and his company. It is an excellent example how 3d printing can help a small company to make custom products. They use 3d printing to make custom car audio speaker boxes, pods and attachments that look vary cool.
They may run out of business when 3d printing spreads and Maker / DIY culture becomes mainstream ;-) Probably not, as they certainly have creative spirit which will enable them to thrive on the market.

3D printed A-pillar speaker pod:

3D printed car subwoofer box:

Here is the company page:

Apr 18, 2016

Low-cost Easy 3D Printed RC Flying Wing

Samm Sheperd demonstrates how easy and cheap it is to develop and 3d print a flying wing pod that houses first person camera, transmitter, controls, motor, batter, drive shaft and propeller for a RC plane.

Her is a video of his design flying:

Here is a Thingiverse with all the files you need to print it yourself:

When someone re-invents the wheel with some 3D printing help

OK, it's a skateboard wheel, but it is designed as a strange combination o cube and sphere and other stuff ... they were 3d printed and polyurethane casted 
I'm not even sure how they work and I never rode a skateboard in my life :-) but they look cool!

From video description:
A fascinating interview with David Patrick from Shark Wheels. David explains how the latest techniques in Rapid Prototyping helped him in the process of developing his unique product; Shark Wheels.
It's a wheel that comes from a cube: the Shark Wheel shape is a perfect cube and a perfect circle and a perfect sine wave!
The Shark Wheel geometry is the intersection of a cube, a sphere, and a three-dimensional sine wave. It is based on the shape of shark jaws and is a pattern found all throughout nature. David M. Patrick discovered the shape while studying natural sciences, and has since been developing the Shark Wheel to be a more efficient wheel with superior performance in many ways. David's passion for skateboarding coupled with his interest of the natural world have led to the discovery of the Shark Wheel.
BJB offers a complete line-up of Castable Polyurethanes, Epoxy Systems, Silicone Casting Rubbers, Polyurethane Foam Systems, Aliphatic Water Clear Urethanes, Sprayable Polyurethanes, Pigments and Release.
Shark wheels homepage:

"Super Make Something" Tutorial On How To Build a Simple 3D Scanner

This youtube channel gives a step-by-step tutorial on how to make a simple 3d scanner with 3d printed parts and IR sensors. It outputs the scan data on a SD card which you can then turn into 3d model using MATLAB. The results are somewhat rough and you will need one custom electronic board but it is a nice learning projects.

Here is the tutorial video:

STL files can be found here:

Full code and board design can be found in video description.

Apr 17, 2016

CRACUNS flying and diving 3D printed drone

Johns Hopkins University developed 3d printed quadcopter drone that can both fly and be submerged under water. Since it was developed in cooperation with the military it will be probably be used as a weapon system sometime in the future. Cool technology, but we need more food delivery drones and less war-bots. It is named CRACUNS, which stands for "Corrosion Resistant Aerial Covert Unmanned Nautical System".

From the news article:
“Engineers at APL have long worked on both Navy submarine systems and autonomous UAVs,” said Jason Stipes of APL’s Sea Control Mission Area, project manager for CRACUNS. “In response to evolving sponsor challenges, we were inspired to develop a vehicle that could operate both underwater and in the air.” The resulting CRACUNS prototype system was developed and tested using internal research and development funding.

CRACUNS enables new capabilities not possible with existing UAV or UUV platforms. Its ability to operate in the harsh littoral (shore) environment, as well as its payload flexibility, enables a wide array of potential missions.
The most innovative feature of CRACUNS is that it can remain at and launch from a significant depth without needing structural metal parts or machined surfaces.To make that possible, the team needed to overcome two big challenges. First, the APL team leveraged advances in additive manufacturing and novel fabrication techniques available at the Laboratory’s extensive fabrication facilities. The team fabricated a lightweight, submersible, composite airframe able to withstand the water pressure experienced while submerged.
The second significant challenge was to ensure CRACUNS could not just survive, but operate effectively in a corrosive saltwater environment. To do that, the APL team sealed the most sensitive components in a dry pressure vessel. For the motors that are exposed to salt water, APL applied commercially available protective coatings. The team tested the performance of the motors by submerging them in salt water. Two months later, they showed no sign of corrosion and continued to operate while submerged.
Full press release:

Syknet will know how to use this little guy

Apr 16, 2016

Hydraulic 3D Printed Insectoid Robot

Researchers at MIT CSAIL developed a 3d printing process named "printable hydraulics" where you can 3d print with soft and hard materials at the same time. This creates articulated objects which can move when pressure is applied.
They demonstrated it by 3d printing an insectoid robot that moves when motor and battery is added. Other robotic accessories such as hydraulic grippers can also be 3d printed.

Hydraulic hexapod in action with other flexible parts demonstrated:

Learn more at:

Full paper in PDF format:

How to build an Ultimaker2Go low cost clone

PaulSS made a build log on Instructables about his Ultimaker2 Go DIY clone. It is much cheaper then the 1600 USD original at some 500 - 600 USD. The frame is made on a CNC from plywood.
The machine is named Ultifaker2Go :-)

Detailed instructions and files can be found at:

Apr 15, 2016

How to make a simple 3d printed snake robot

Nikodem from Poland made a very good tutorial on how to make a 3d printed snake robot. It actualy uses a worm equivalent movement , but hey snake sounds cooler :-)

Here is the build instruction video:

Detailed step-by-step guide and all the files can be found at:

DIY Power Hacksaw made with 3D Printed Parts

Bruno made his own DIY powered hacksaw with many 3d printed parts. it is a low cost home tool which can even cut some metal. The total cost for the project is some 50 USD.

Bill Of Materials

  • 6x – 608 Roller skate bearings 
  • 2x -100mm 8mm all thread rod. 
  • 5x - M8 bolts. 
  • 1x - 40mm M8 bolt 
  • 2x – 6mm ID. 15mm OD bearing (had these laying around) find what you can, modify the files as necessary. 
  • 1x - 60mm shaft (matches the bearings) 
  • 12x - wood screws 
  • 1x plank of wood. Approx. 300mm x 450m 
  • 3x Spacer wood 2x4 is what I used. ~ 50mmx100mm 
  • 1x – Geared Globe Motors Model number 409A502 
  • 1x – 19v PSU 
  • 1x – 5A switch 
  • 1x – Ikea $7 table leg, or 50mmx50mmx400mm chunk of wood.

Here is the saw in action:

Here it is cutting steel:

Bruno's homepage:

You can get all the files here: