Jan 8, 2016

3D Systems SLAbot-1 Stereolitographic Robotic Manufacturing Cell

SLAbot-1 is a robotic arm which is used as a stereolitography apparatus in a small self-contained manufacturing cell. It enables very fast 3d printing based on resin and projection device and further manipulation of produced object. It is a concept demonstration but it could be used in some future manufacturing setting providing customized 3d printed parts.

3D Systems describe it as:

The SLAbot-1 uses an industrial robotic arm, producing parts in sequence. This modular, assembly-line-ready additive manufacturing can be configured in large arrays and enables distributed, automated, high-speed, customized manufacturing.

Here is SLAbot-1 in action:

Here is a more detailed presentation of the system which is based on a patent that is 30 years old:

SLAbot is clearly based on DENSO Robotics arm.

Katana Slicer by Printr

Katana is a new slicer released by Printr (of Formide ecosystem) that claims many features. I still have to test it and make a review.

Katana homepage:


There are some reviews on this forum which are not so favorable:


Jan 7, 2016

Resin based 3d printable ceramic with high-end properties

Scientists at HRL developed new resin ceramic material that can be 3d printed using stereolitography and has high strength and resistance to temperature. Amazing advances!

Project summary:
Researchers at HRL Laboratories, LLC, have achieved a new milestone in 3D printing technology by demonstrating an approach to additively manufacture ceramics that overcomes the limits of traditional ceramic processing and enables high temperature, high strength ceramic components.
HRL’s Senior Chemical Engineer Zak Eckel and Senior Chemist Dr. Chaoyin Zhou invented a resin formulation that can be 3D printed into parts of virtually any shape and size. The printed resin can then be fired, converting it into a high strength, fully dense ceramic. The resulting material can withstand ultrahigh temperatures in excess of 1700°C and exhibits strength ten times higher than similar materials.
Ceramics are much more difficult to process than polymers or metals because they cannot be cast or machined easily. Traditionally ceramic parts are consolidated from powders by sintering, which introduces porosity and limits both achievable shapes and final strength. "With our new 3D printing process we can take full advantage of the many desirable properties of this silicon oxycarbide ceramic, including high hardness, strength and temperature capability as well as resistance to abrasion and corrosion." says program manager Dr. Tobias Schaedler.
The novel process and material could be used in a wide range of applications from large components in jet engines and hypersonic vehicles to intricate parts in microelectromechanical systems and electronic device packaging.

HRL Laboratories page:


The HRL team’s research paper, "Additive Manufacturing of Polymer Derived Ceramics," has been published in the January 1st issue of Science.

Jan 6, 2016

3d Printing with Multi-part Polyurethane

The Structur3d crew made a extensive attempts to 3d print with multi par polyurethane resin. They used custom print heads with mixed results. Mos tof the parts failed, but they are slowly moving towards success. If you want to experiment and see several techniques do check out their research.

Very detailed page with step-by-step process, extruder technology and g-code examples:


Here is the video of the process:

GCodePrintr V2.5 released!

GCodePrintr  is a very useful app developed by Mathias Dietz and it is now released in version 2.5!

New features are:
  • Tasker Integration 
  • New 3d View 
  • New Tutorial guide 
  • German translation 
  • New "Recent Files" dialog 
  • New "Fit to Screen" Zoom feature
  • New Macros - Filament change macro 
  • Move aside when pause 
  • New "Print completion Dialog" and Sharing feature
  • Easy way to enter Temperatures 
  • Macro special keywords 
  • CH341 serial chip support 
  • Support for non-square and custom bed size
  • Paint non-print moves (travel) as full lines (for CNC)
  • And more......

GCodePrintr homepage:


Mcor ARKe Full Color Desktop 3D Printer

Mcor just presented their Arke printer and it is amazing! It is a small revolution in 3d printing industry since it brings low machine cost, low material cost, full color and speed on your desktop.
It will be priced at 5999 Pounds range.
It is a evolution of their industrial scale technology and competition has nothing comparable now.

Presentation videos:

Here is more detailed presentation of internal mechanics and quality of objects printed on the Arke:

Technical specifications:

  • Resolution: X, Y and Z axis: 0.1 mm (0.0039 in)
  • Colour: Photorealistic HD Colour 4800 x 2400 DPI in X, Y and 254 in Z (up to 508 in Z with 50GSM paper)
  • Build Size: 240 mm x 205 mm x 125 mm (9.5 in x 8 in x 4.9 in) Adaptive build volume
  • Build Material: Paper
  • Recyclable Parts/Material: Yes
  • Equipment Dimensions: 880 mm wide x 593 mm high x 633 mm deep (34.6 in wide x 23.3 in high x 24.9 in deep)
  • Power Requirements: 350W, 240v 50Hz or 120v 60Hz
  • File Formats for Printing: STL, OBJ, VRML, DAE, 3MF
  • Hardware Requirements: 8GB memory and 100GB hard drive, 1GB graphics card
  • Network Connectivity: Ethernet, USB, WiFi
  • Operating Systems: 64bit Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10 and OS X Yosemite
  • Regulatory Compliance: CE, UL
  • System Software: Mcor Orange
  • Office Compatibility: Yes
Key features:
  • Consistent, high-definition, photorealistic colour enables unique, innovative designs across a wide range of professional and consumer applications.
  • Print any colour, anytime on your 3D model, including text.
  • Only 3D printer with the ICC (International Colour Consortium) colour map for the most accurate what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) colour in any 3D printer.
  • Low cost makes full-colour, professional-class 3D printing accessible
  • Low purchase price and running costs
  • Free Mcor Mobile App lets you get and share designs run and monitor your Mcor ARKe from your iOS or Android smartphone
  • Free Mcor Orange software for Mac and Windows-based PCs gives you complete control over your Mcor 3D printing projects, including loading, managing, customising and monitoring your 3D prints
  • Mcor ARKe is IoT ready
  • Provides full connectivity with options to connect via WiFi, Ethernet and USB
  • Safe and eco-friendly 3D process is ideal for on-demand printing right in your office or classroom
  • No harmful particle emissions, toxic chemicals or special facility requirements
  • Green process and recyclable materials
  • Adaptive Build minimizes the amount of material used
  • Professional-quality 3D printing is a must for every professional
  • Never-fail feed reliability, so you spend more time creating and less time fixing your 3D printer
  • High resolution: 0.1 mm (0.0039 in) in X, Y, Z
  • Build multiple models simultaneously
  • Easy-to-use, plug-and-play process
  • Hi-res touch screen with innovative LED progress task bar

Mcor Arke homepage:


How to get 3d printers in libraries?

If you are a librarian and want to get a 3d printer in your library here is a full and free webinar that will teach you all the basics you need to know. It is presented by Sharona Ginsberg for UM3DLab.

Here is entry level video webinar aimed at educators by Javelin Technologies Inc.:

Jan 5, 2016

SyFy publishes Expanse 3d models

I'm a huge SF fan and I REALLY enjoy SyFys "The Expanse" TV series. SyFy network went one step further and published many models of shows spaceships and insignia on Thingiverse making them 3d printable. Great! New projects!

Here is the MCRN Donnager spaceship model:

All models can be found at:


SyFy homepage:


The Expanse trailer:

Hovalin Open Source 3D Printable Violin

Hovalin is a 3d printable violin which sounds great and is almost fully 3d printed on a common FDM machine in PLA. The neck is reinforced with carbon truss rods and with all the parts like strings costs some 70 USD to make.

Hovalin homepage:


Imgur photo log:

Mom's Hovalin

How to make translucent 3d printed parts transparent?

Do you know the difference between translucent and transparent? I didn't, but I got it after watching this video.
This free webinar will teach you how to get 3d objects optically clean by polishing, buffing, photobleaching, sanding, clear coating and applying other techniques. It is focused on Stratasys VeroClear material but it can be applied on other surfaces to get better finish.

Webinar is presented by Tyler Reid of GoEngineer.

Multistruder DIY Filament Extruder

Multistruder is a new Arduino controlled filament extruder that can enable you to make your filament directly from the pellets.

KS video:

Project description from the project page:

How is the Multistruder Different From Other Filament Extruders:
  • The Multistruder is designed to do be a multi purpose plastic extrusion tool. In other words it is designed to do more than just make filament. This is done by swapping out modular parts on the extruder (ex: Injection Molder (hint hint)). More details coming soon.
  • Open source and easily modable Arduino microcontroller "brain" making it very user friendly to control and configure and the ability to add various expansion modules to give you better extrusion performance.
  • Only need to interact with the Arduino brain. Then the Arduino sends those instructions to everything else.
  • TFT Full Color Touchscreen is included standard for easy realtime feedback and complete user friendly control of your extruder (Almost like using a phone)
  • All Metal Construction making for a durable extruder allowing for a long service life and less issues in the long run while still allowing ease of modability for the user.
  • Drive Motor Control allowing for precise control of extrusion speed.
  • Expansion Module support for spoolers, diameter control, etc. Whether you make your own or you buy them. 
  • Multiple vertical mounting options.
  • The Multistruder comes 95% ready to go (as well as tested) out of the box all you have to do is install it in your work space, add plastic then your ready to extrude filament.
  • Vertical Space Saving design: estimated to take up about 15" H x 15" L 6" W

Specs Of Prototype ( Production version > Prototype version):
  • Extrusion Speed: <~3 feet per minute (extrusion speed will be tuned by controller to get filament diameter consistency).
  • 1 Kg Spool: <~ 8 Hours
  • RPM: ~10 RPM
  • Torque: ~167 kg.cm
  • 1.75mm extrusion cap (you can ask for 1.75mm or 3.00mm)
  • 110 Watt Heater + 5 Watt Controller + 24 Watt Motor = so max = ~139 Watts. True wattage is alot less than 139 around 84 as the heater band is not always on
  • ~2 Cents/hour operating cost at 15 Cents/kWh
  • Extrusion Temp: up to ~400C

Here is a Multistruder development blog:


They had a successful KS campaign:


3D Printing with Paper by Hand

If you want to produce a 3d object from a 3d model and you dont have a 3d printer but have some paper and glue you can do it manually.

Here are the two tutorials, a simpler and a more complex one:



They describe software toolpath and techniques...

You can get finer surfaces and color with some post-processing: