Feb 26, 2017

Apis Cor 3D Prints a Fully Livable House

We have seen 3d printed buildings before but most of them were prototypes, built off-site or not used afterwords, but nothing compares to this house built by Apis Cor.

Apis Cor used a unique house 3d printing machine they developed and made an on-site house in 24 hours for the cost of some 10000 USD. It has surface of 38 square meters (409 square foot) and has been built in Stupino town, Moscow region, Russia.
The finished house is fully livable with all the appliances. Very cool!

Here is the very interesting presentation video:

Looks like 3d printing houses is a technology that has fully matured now. It will have interesting effects on housing market.

Source news post with full technical details:

Feb 24, 2017

New Cura 2.4 released with tons of new features!

New Cura 2.4 is released by Ultimaker. It has many new features and improvements. Here are just some key novelties:

  • Project saving / opening. Cura 2.4 now lets you save your build plate configuration, which includes all your active machine’s meshes and settings too. Even more conveniently, when you reopen your project file, you’ll see that all build plate configurations and settings are exactly as you left them when you last saved the project.
  • Search Settings. Need to tweak a setting in a hurry? It’s now easy to search custom settings via the side panel.
  • Editing start / end g-code. If you need to alter the start and end g-code settings for your single-extrusion machines, the new Cura 2.4 lets you do just that.
  • Multiply object function. We know that duplicating an object multiple times can be a hassle, so we’ve made life easier for you. Simply right-click an object, and you can multiply it by a variable amount.
  • Single-extrusion prints. Your Ultimaker 3 dual-extrusion printer now lets you do single-extrusion prints within a larger printable area.
  • Streaming printer monitor view. Selected camera snapshots don’t really tell you much about how your print project is progressing. Now, you’ll be able to follow every second of your 3D print (if you want to), using the live streaming function. It’s an effective way to minimize errors while printing.
  • Slicing disabled? Now you’ll know why. It’s a bit frustrating when your slicing is blocked by settings with error values, but you don’t know which settings to change to make things right again. Now, a message will appear, clearly outlining what needs to be done to get your print back on track.
  • Ultimaker 3 printing profiles. The initial and final printing temperatures reduce oozing during PLA/PLA, PLA/PVA and Nylon/PVA prints. This means printing a prime tower is now optional (except for CPE and ABS, which we’re working on). The new Ultimaker 3 printing profiles boost reliability and reduce print time.
  • Initial layer printing temperature. We’ve fine-tuned the initial and final printing temperatures, to achieve a higher quality end-result.
  • Material printing temperature. The material printing temperature (in the material profiles) is now the same as the printing temperature for the Normal Quality profile.
  • Improved PLA/PVA layer adhesion. It’s important to get good layer adhesion between the PVA and PLA. That’s why we’ve now optimized the PVA jerk and acceleration.
  • Nylon – default build plate adhesion type. We’ve now changed the default build plate adhesion type for Nylon prints – from raft to brim.
  • Support Interface Thickness. To reduce printing time, we’ve changed the Support Roof Thickness to 0.8mm, and slightly decreased the PVA support infill.
  • Ultimaker 2+ PC prints. The raft settings for the 0.25mm and 0.4mm nozzles have been adjusted in the polycarbonate profiles – which means less warping and better print results.

Detailed release post:


First Space 3D Printed Art Piece

Astronauts on International Space Station 3d printed a first space art object named "Laugh".

From project description:
#Laugh is a collaboration between Israeli artist Eyal Gever and the California-based company Made In Space, which owns and operates the Additive Manufacturing Facility (AMF), the ISS' commercially available 3D printer.

The project began Dec. 1, 2016, when Gever and his team launched an app that converts the sound waves of users' laughter into a digital 3D model, or "laugh star." More than 100,000 people generated their own laugh stars throughout December, Made In Space representatives said.

App users then voted on their favorite laugh star. The winner was Naughtia Jane Stanko of Las Vegas, whose model was beamed up to the ISS and printed out Friday

Laugh 3d printed sculpture floating in ISS microgravity with Earth showing trough the observation window. Source: NASA

Source article with much more information:

Feb 22, 2017

BIG 3D Printers and BIG 3D Prints from CES 2017

Joel presents some big prints and big machines from CES 2017!

Feb 21, 2017

3D Printable Hinges Design Tutorial

Angus published this great tutorial on how to design and 3D print movable hinges.

You can find the files from the tutorial here:

Feb 20, 2017

3D Printed Metamaterial with Bit Switches

Researchers at Hasso Plattner Institute improved their 3d printed metamaterial  technique to make devices that have embedded digital or "bit" switches.

This is the preview video, more information will come in the future:

Here is their earlier work:

3D Printable Control Unit with 32 Programmable Keys

Here is a very useful DIY 3d printable control unit that can send custom g-code scripts and macros via 32 programmable keys. It can be used on almost any machine that uses g code, like CNC mills, 3d printers, laser cutters and other. It is powered with Arduino Nano. 

The "Gcode Sender" was developed and released by James Sierra. Here is his description of the project:
This project is very much like using Pronterface or Repetier Host manual control to send gcode instructions to your printer while connected to the computer via USB cable, but instead using an Arduino Nano connected to a small keypad to send the Gcode scripts/macros.
Gcode sender is intended to work for 3D printers as well as a CNC mills and laser engravers. Any machine that uses gcode.
This setup allows one to send highly customized gcode scripts/macros to the printer with a push of a button. I've tested all of the scripts I included in the sketch. Any one of them can be replaced or edited.
In the sketch, i tired to include a lot of comments to make it easier to tweak the code to suit your own needs.
Communication between Gcode Sender and printer is through serial communication (Tx, Rx). On RAMPS style boards the AUX-1 port can be used. Specifics on wiring can be found in the file. Be sure that Tx out wire on the Gcode Sender is connected to Rx on printer and Rx is connected to Tx. In Repetier firmware, I had to enable Bluetooth serial port to make use of the AUX-1 port.

All files and instructions to make it yourself can be found at:

How to attach a pencil to your Delta 3D printer and make it into a plotter

Here is an attachment made from plywood that can hold a pencil for Delta configuration machines. it can turn them into simple plotters enhancing your tool options. 
Video of plotter attachment in action connected to RDelta 3d printer:

All the files and instructions can be found at:

Feb 11, 2017

Six Axis Delta 3D printer from ZHAW

Oliver Tolar and Denis Herrmann, students from the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW)  developed a six axis Delta 3d printer with movable build plate.,

Here is the video demonstration:

Sources with further information:

Six Axis Delta, image source: ZHAW

Feb 8, 2017

How to Design and 3D Print a Key Copy

Anthony aka. "Proto G" made an Instructables tutorial on how to design and make a 3d printed copy of a metal key.

Here is the explainer video:

Full instructions can be found at:

Feb 6, 2017

Hack a Coffee Maker into a Delta 3D printer

Tropical Labs team made a coffee maker into a Delta 3d printer. Interesting hack. Tropical Labs engineers have been developing a flexible design for ultra-affordable 3D printers and this a part of their efforts.

Video of the Delta printing:

Printer features:

  • Coffee maker, Tropical Labs used an old Norelco 12 model they found at a thrift shop, but any coffee maker with a hot plate could potentially work 
  • Arduino Mega 2560
  • RAMPS 1.4
  • A4988 Stepper Motor Driver Carrier
  • Nema 17 stepper motors
  • Home switches, optical or otherwise
  • 3D printer hot end/extruder – again, any kind will do; Tropical Labs snagged theirs on eBay
  • 12V power supply
  • Solid state relay (Fotek SSR-40 or similar)
  • Ball joints
  • 4-40 threaded rod

Project homepage:


How to Make a Better 3D Printed Vise by Christoph Laimer

Christoph Laimer developed this useful 3d printed vise and published an in-depth video on design process and various variables that go into design process, like strength, materials, etc.

Here is the video:

Thingiverse page:

Here are the main components after printing:

Feb 5, 2017

Picture Perfect Prusa I3

"Picture perfect" is a heavily modified Prusa I3 built around a picture frame by Tropical Labs.  It has 16″ x 16″ x 16″ build volume.

Project homepage:

Jebediah the DIY 3D Printable Quadruped Robot

TogleFritz developed a futuristic four legged robot you can make with some basic 3d printing and electronics skills. 

Project description:
Jeb is a quadruped robot that the code in this repository is designed to control. Quadruped robots are robots with four legs. Jeb is designed with three degrees of freedom per leg. Each leg is actuated by three servos. The first servo moves the leg forward/backward, the second servo moves the leg up and down, and the third servo bends the leg in the middle. With four legs and three servos per leg, the robot is driven by 12 servos in total.

Jebediah looks cool (in an insectoid kinda way):

Detailed build guide;

GitHub repository of the project with all the files and other information:

Code is at:

  • The microcontroller used is a Botboarduino
  • The servo controller is an SSC-32U
  • For input the robot uses a wireless Platstation 2
  • This repository also includes a library for using NeoPixel LED lighting products from Adafruit.

Feb 4, 2017

Great Tutorial on Design and 3D Printing of Gears

Michael aka. "MechEngineerMike" published a very detailed tutorial on how to design and 3d print gears. It's a must-read if you want to print any kind of a gear used in a mechanical movement.

Here is a video of his gear light switch cover:

Full tutorial can be found at:

Here is his collection of customizable gears on Thingiverse:

Feb 3, 2017

3D Printed Parabolic WiFi Antenna for ESP8266

Brian Benchoff developed a 3d printable DIY parabolic reflector WiFi antenna for a very popular ESP8266 module.  The reflector is s a 19-inch diameter dish, with an F/D ratio of 0.5 and took some 10 hours to print. 
It is covered with thick adhesive backed aluminum foil. The real "duct tape".
It has a gain of some 16 to 17 dBi. 

Project description:
Recently, I was asked to come up with a futuristic, space-ey prop for an upcoming video for the 2017 Hackaday Prize. My custom-built, easily transportable parabolic antenna immediately sprang to mind. The idea of a three-meter diameter parabolic dish was rejected for something that isn't insane, but I did go so far as to do a few more calculations, open up a CAD program and start work on the actual design. As a test, I decided to 3D print a small model of this dish. In creating this model, I inadvertently created the perfect WiFi antenna for an ESP8266 module using nothing but 3D printed parts, a bit of epoxy, and duct tape.

Source article posted on Hackaday with in-depth description and the entire process documented:

Here is the project page with all the files:

More fear and misinformation about 3D printing

A few days ago an accident with fatal consequences happened in Berkeley with a young couple found dead. The first reports were full of misleading information and fear mongering writing about "laser 3D printer" emitting carbon monoxide that killed those people.

Here is one of the later articles:

Here is Joel's video with more exact information:

Here are some different texts addressing the issues:

Looks like the real cause is still undetermined:

Previous accident mishandled by the media:

Retro Contact 3D Scanner

Here is cool looking retro contact 3d scanner which gives 3d point cloud and wireframe to an old IBM PC.
Ah, the old days... I miss them. First PC I saw was ancient Hungarian clone of ... something ...

Source: unknown. Let me know if you have any additional information about this device.

Feb 2, 2017

Low Cost 3D Printable Robotic Rover

"Slime Eel" published the robotic rover he developed and which is mostly 3d printable.

All the instructions and files  needed to make it:

Feb 1, 2017

How to use your 3d printer as a 2d drawing plotter

Tech2C from Australia made a video on how he uses his 3d printer as a plotter. He attached a pen to his extruder and uses is to draw on a paper. He also goes into how he uses Cura, g-code and various settings to get the best drawing.

Here is the video of the plotter in action:

Tech2C YT channel:

Here is the pen attached to the extruder:

Here is close up of one of the drawings in process. It's a B-17 Flying Fortress: