Apr 30, 2017

New Rapid Liquid Printing 3D Printing Process from MIT

Very smart people from MIT developed a novel 3d printing process called "Rapid Liquid Printing" where a material is injected into a gelatine cube medium that acts as a support. It increases the speed and you can get complex geometries.

You can see it in this video:

Process description:
In collaboration with Steelcase, we are presenting a new experimental process called Rapid Liquid Printing, a breakthrough 3D printing technology. Rapid Liquid Printing physically draws in 3D space within a gel suspension, and enables the creation of large scale, customized products made of real-world materials. Compared with other techniques we believe this is the first development to combine industrial materials with extremely fast print speeds in a precisely controlled process to yield large-scale products.
3D printing hasn’t taken off as a mainstream manufacturing process for three main reasons: 1) it’s too slow compared to conventional processes like injection molding, casting, milling, etc. 2) it’s limited by scale – although it’s good for creating small components, it’s not possible to produce large scale objects 3) the materials are typically low-quality compared to industrial materials.
Rapid Liquid Printing addresses all of these limitations: it is incredibly fast (producing structures in a matter of minutes), designed for large scale products (you can print an entire piece of furniture) and uses real-world, industrial-grade materials.

It looks interesting as a concept, but practicality is questionable. It takes a lot of gel support material, there are various foces, hard to design geometry due to the medium, the extruder "needle" effects the object geometry, materials need to be easy to separate... Still, it looks very promising for some future advanced applications and bioprinting.

MITs Self-Assembly Lab page:

Detalied article on Dezeen:

Apr 29, 2017

TrussFab Builds Complex Structures with 3D Printed Hubs and Bottles

Researchers at Hasso Plattner Institute developed TrussFab system which enables you to design and build large complex structures like furniture, boats, and buildings. Hopefully, they will open source the software.

Project description:
TrussFab is an integrated end-to-end system that allows users to fabricate large-scale structures that are sturdy enough to carry human weight. TrussFab achieves the large scale by complementing 3D print with plastic bottles.  TrussFab achieves the large scale by complementing 3D print with plastic bottles. It does not use these bottles as “bricks” though, but as beams that form structurally sound node-link structures, also known as trusses.

TrussFab presentation video:

Project homepage with more information about it:

Full scientific publication in PDF:

3d printed structural hub holding the bottle trusses

Apr 27, 2017

3D Printable Hand Saw Made from HTPLA Carbon Fiber Filament

Josh Hughes 3d printed a somewhat functional hand saw from carbon fiber filament. It is made from Protopasta HTPLA carbon fiber material and it can cut tough small pieces of soft wood but the laers separate due to cutting forces.
Josh notes that it could be prevented by applying a cyanoacrylate coating.

Josh has a currently small YouTube channel, but I think it will be worth following:

Apr 23, 2017

Cool 3D Printable MGA Speaker with Laser Cut Plywood Grill

Here is another cool 3d printable speaker with modern design and the front cover that is laser cut from plywood with different design patterns. It is driven by RaspberryPi and you could probably install any compatible media center software.

Creators describe it as:
This 3d printed speaker is designed at the course Mechatronics Design at the Technical University of Denmark, in collaboration with Bang&Olufsen Create.
In a group of five: Karoline Gustaffson, Mads Olesen, Frederikke Foss, Christian Lundberg and Nicoline Hvidt, we designed, printed, cut and build the speaker, with guidance from our teachers and cooperates from B&O.
The speaker is meant for the kitchen where it can be put on the wall or laid on a table. It is designed so that the front cover can easily be taken on and off so the speaker reflects the specific mood. It is also a great opportunity for customizing the speaker.
Time-estimation:Print-time: 2x15 hoursAssembly-time: 10 hours

Thingiverse page:

Here is the project page with detailed construction guide:

Apr 22, 2017

DIY 3D Printed No 2 Pencil by Josh Hughes

Josh Hughes 3d printed a fully working No. 2 pencil. He used a type of wood PLA with a standard graphite insert. 

Josh wrote:
Next time I will use an electric sharpener. I was worried the heat from sharpening it with and electric sharpener would melt the plastic.
Anyhow, The body of the No. 2 pencil is HatchBox Wood PLA, and the eraser connection is Protopasta's HTPLA Carbon Fiber.
The "No. 2" was laser-engraved on the face of the pencil after it had finished printing, and all of the components were superglued together.

3D Printed DIY 1/16 Ratio Gearbox for DC Motors

Tomi Malkki made a 1/16 ratio 3d printed gearbox that he uses to modify torque and RPM of salvaged DC motors.

Project description with gearbox specs:

This gearbox has the ratio of 1/16. With this 12v motor it can lift around 3,5kg (straight from the shaft.) 2 washers should place between each gear (see details in video). It reduces heat between plastic parts when 2 washers are rubbing each other. Adding lots of bearing grease between everything is essential. Depending on your printer tolerances you might need drill out some holes bigger. Motor mount should be standard size.


  • layer 0.2
  • infill 25%
  • perimeters 3
  • bottom layer 2, top 3


  • Layer 0.3
  • infill 20%
  • perimeters 2
  • bottom layer 2, top 3

Here is the assembly video:

He also cleaned all the surfaces with oil and dirt cleaner, then added a layer of primer, 2 layers of surface paint and 2 layers of clear lacquer, he is using acrylic spray paints.

This is a very useful DIY project that can power many small projects like RC vehicles or robots.

All the files and instructions can be found at:

Thingiverse page:

Apr 21, 2017

Printrbot Smalls New Low Cost 3D Printer

Printrbot just introduced the Printrbot Smalls! It is a new low cost entry level 3d printer from a well known company. It is priced at $298!

Here is the presentation video of the last beta model, final production design will be more polished:

Tech specs:

  • Model: 1704
  • Build Volume (X-Y-Z): 100mm x 100mm x 130mm (apx 4″ x 4″ x 5″ / 80 cubic inches)
  • Print Resolution: 100 Microns
  • Print Speed: 80mm/sec max recommended
  • Filament: 1.75mm PLA (sample included)
  • Extruder: yes
  • Auto Leveling: Auto-Leveling Probe works with software to calibrate Z axis height (see video)
  • Print Bed: Not heated – 1/8″ 6061 aluminum (0.3mm level tolerance)
  • Construction: _
  • Belt: GT2
  • Z Lead Screw: Acme 4 Start
  • Pulleys: 20 tooth, dual flange GT2 aluminum
  • Electronics: Printrbot Rev F5 Printrboard with USB B connection and micro SD card slot for untethered printing
  • Software: Printrbot does not provide software, but recommends Cura v15.04 – available for free download.
  • Power Requirements: 12V (6 amp) laptop power supply (included)
  • Motors: NEMA 17 stepper. 
  • Overall Footprint:  16.6″ x 13″ x 11″ (L x W x H)

The Smalls is a small, portable, and versatile 3D printer kit for the hacker, maker, or student on a budget …not afraid to build a kit and engage in our community forum for support.  Build volume begins at 4″ x 4″ x 5″ (X-Y-Z), but the possibility to expand is there with our upgrade kits (coming soon) or your own design whimsy.
The Smalls is perfect for customization.  Paint the stock metal.  Print your own parts out of any filament you like.  Install almost any existing upgrade and/or accessory in the Printrbot store.  Get the idea?  Make the Smalls your own!
Construction decisions were pragmatic, using the right fabrication tool for each job: Pristine machined aluminum, water jet 5052 and 6061 aluminum plate, and just a dollop of 3D printed parts to give it that “reprap flavor”.
Okay, so how does it print?  Since this is a kit, the results are largely up to you, but make no mistake.  In the hands of an experienced user (like the ones we have here at PBHQ), the Smalls can produce results comparable to the Play, Simple, or Plus.
This absolutely is the lowest priced 3D printer we’ve ever released!  (except for one other laser cut wood kit with fishing line instead of belts and sandpaper pulleys instead of real pulleys that was only available for a limited time until we corrected both price and some design problems …but let’s just keep that between us).   It is definitely the least expensive printer that we will EVER, EVER release  …that we know of. …for now.
We are pretty sure it is the most affordable American-Made 3D printer.   Definitely the most economical Northern-California-Made 3D printer.  Totally the most budget-friendly 3D printer manufactured in Lincoln, CA.  Not “cheap”, just inexpensive.

Printrbot Smalls homepage:

Sub 300 USD market segment is certainly getting more interesting. Competition is a great thing!

We are still waiting for third party reviews and tests but Printrbot has a proven track record of making solid designs.

Here is a Facebook presentation by Brook Drumm:

Apr 17, 2017

Amazing RepRap Helios with Sequential 3D Printing

RepRap Helios is a SCARA 3d printer with some great features combined with unique movement mechanics and design approach.

Introduction video:

Key specifications as described by the developer:
  • It is highly printable.
  • 153mm arms similar to RepRap Morgan
  • Gear reduction similar to RepRap Morgan
  • Same kinematics as RepRap Morgan (Well...this can change arm modes but we won't start doing that until after we get some prints.)
  • Fits in a 200x225x250 box
  • Can print objects that are up to 600mm long
  • All four motors (400 steps/rotation) are static while providing a structural support and their own wire-management.
  • Prints directly on a tape covered table
  • Planning on using an IR depth probe
  • Could probably print all the parts for a self-replication run in one go.

Here is the sequential printing on a flat table surface with some blue tape demonstrating the advantage of this machine:

Great work by Nicholas Seward! Since this is a project in development we can expect much more improvements.

RepRap forum development thread:,760198

Google+ Helios page with further details including very good print results:

Apr 14, 2017

Add DIY electric power on your longboard with 3D printing

Yow Hwui Low used 3d printing to add DIY electric motor drive to his longboard. He documented and published the entire process.

Longboard specs:
  • This board can reach speeds of up to 42 km/h and has a range of over 16 km. The average pace of daily rides is around 15 - 20 km/h. It weighs around 8 kgs.
  • Fully 3D-printed drivetrain with built-in idler system in ABS. Tested over 150 km as of March 2017.
  • Max. Speed: 42 km/h
  • Range: 16 km
  • 6374 3.3 kW BLDC Motor
  • VESC
  • 8S LiPo Set Up
  • 2 Ch 2.4 GHz Control

Project video:

Here is the drivetrain demonstration:

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

Thingiverse page:

For a similar project you can check a electric longboard by Saral Tayal:

Apr 4, 2017

DIY 3D Printed 30W Generator

Even Erichsen developed a 30W DIY electricity generator which you can 3d print name "The Beest". 
The Beest is powered up by hand (or other mechanica source) via the series of gears: ‘1:2 + 1:4 + 1:3, so one turn rotates the rotor 24 times. The rotor is set up like a 3 phase axial flux generator, with three stators and six rotor plates with a total of 96 neodymium magnets.
Very cool project, but full instructions are not released yet. If you have some knowledge of electric generators, you will be able to recreate this.

Here is the project description by the creator:
This is a working hand cranked power generator.
The rotor, in the picture, spins up to 1500 rpm, and produce about 30 watts.
I recommend building the rotor as seen in the fbx-file, for more power.
Needless to say – this is a huge print! Minimum 200+ hours....
On the hardware side you need 96 neodymium magnets (25mm diameter x 10mm),
about 1,3kg of enameled copper wire, preferably six steel plates, a pile of nuts & bolts, electronics - including an Arduino nano, display, bridge rectifier(s), diodes, capacitors, resistors, voltage regulators etc.
If you want to etch the PCB yourself, you will need a blank 160mm x 100mm copper board and your preferred chemicals.

Generator in action:

Thingiverse page with all the files:

There is also a much simpler 15W version at:

Project homepage:

Here is the Beest fully assembled:

Apr 3, 2017

New One Arm SCARA 3D Printer from Nick: RepRap Helios

Nicholas Seward is developing a new type of SCARA 3d printer with one arm. It looks interesting. 

Nicholas wrote:
This 3D printer is a work in progress. I am currently printing parts and have all the components.
This printer can print items over 24 inches long if shaped correctly while being able to fit in a 10inch cube. My plan is to print directly on a tape covered table. I think it will be possible for it to print all of its own parts at once.
I am working on a name. Feel free to drop some suggestions. Current names: Copernicus, Helios, Homer, ScARMa, Tyr (Tyr is a 1 handed god.), One Armed Bandit

Go see his channel for other developments:


Here are the firs movements of RepRap Helios:

3D rendering of Helios in development phase:

Some Good Upgrade and Slicing News from Prusa

The Prusa team announced two great little upgrades in slicing software and hardware.

Slic3r Prusa edition has new smooth variable height layer option and new support optimization.

Here is the presentation video for SLH:

You can read about it, in more detail, here:

Prusa i3 MK2 is now upgraded into MK2S

MK2S is being rolled into production and it comes several improvments.

Key MK2S features:
  • Better LM8UU mounting on Y axis
  • Better LM8UUs and smooth rods
  • Better P.I.N.D.A. probe mount
  • Improved cable stress relief on the extruder
  • Better electronics cover
No more zip ties!!! Yeah!!!

Metal U-bolts now hold things fixated

For users with old version upgrade kit comes at 49 USD.

Full tech specs with pictures: