Jun 29, 2016

Pleurobot Robotic Salamander

Pleurobot is a robotic salamander with 3d printed skeleton that was developed on the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland.

Look at it move:


3D Printable Land Sailer Toy from Thailand

KungRC from Suphanburi,Thailand published a 3D printable land sailing vehicle that is remotely controlled.
He used a 10mm aluminum rods for structure and 100mm roller blade wheels. It is 3d printed on Innoprinter A4 machine.
It looks like a fun toy or an educational project.

Here it is in a video:

All the files to make it can be found at:

Jun 28, 2016

Industrial Size 3D Printed Wind Blade Mold

How big can you go with high-end industrial 3D printers? VERY big! Here is a wind blade mold for research in wind power.
The mold for making the blades is being printed using the Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM) machine at the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (MDF) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. BAAM is 500 to 1,000 times faster and capable of printing polymer components 10 times larger than today’s industrial additive manufacturing machines. Since the molds will be used to create research blades measuring 13 meters (42 feet) in length, BAAM provides the necessary scale and foundation for this ground-breaking advancement in blade research and manufacturing.


Jun 27, 2016

Kiri:Moto Web Based Slicer for your 3D Printer, Laser Cutter and CNC Machine

Kiri:Moto is a new free web based slicer that can be used for FDM printers, laser cutters and CNC machines.
Kiri:Moto is an extensible, multi-purpose slicing and visualization engine that produces output for:
  • CAM : 3 axis CNC toolpaths
  • FDM : GCode for 3D printers
  • LASER : DXG / SVG cut paths
  • Onshape : Directly Integrated
  • Thingiverse : Thing App

Left menu options:

Here is a more detailed video playlist with all functions presented:

Try it live at:

You can also visit the project wiki for more information at:

Real-time Wireframe 3D Printing Directly from CAD

Researchers at Cornell made a modified 3d printer that prints on-the-fly as the model is developed in a CAD software. It has 6 axis of movement with mist cooling and cutter head to produce wire-frame objects.

Project description:
On-the-Fly Print is a 5DOF modelling and design prototype that allows the user to design 3D models digitally while having a low-fidelity physical model printed in parallel. Our software starts printing features as soon as they are created and updates the physical model as needed. Users can quickly check the design in a real usage context by removing the partial physical print from the printer and replacing it afterwards to continue printing.

Video of the entire process:


Steampunk Style DIY 3D Printer

Someone on SyFyCity Tumblr made a custom steampunk styled 3d printer that looks amazing. Kudos man!

You can see different steampunk styled machine here:


May 15, 2016

3D Printed DIY Battery Packs from Old Laptop Batteries

I found two old discarded batteries from HP and Lenovo laptops I owned which did not hold the charge and I was wandering what to do with them. I googled and found that they may actually hold 18650 battery cells that are still in working order. If the internal battery management system detects that even one of usually six cells is not in line with working parameters it will probably shut down the entire battery.

"Dead" laptop batteries. Used force and screwdriver to open them. Watch your fingers, you will need them trough entire life. You can see the 18650 LiPo modules in blue and green.

I discovered that there a hundreds of projects using the same refurbished module ranging from simple cell phone power packs to large solar system batteries.

Here is a tutorial on how to make a replacement hand drill battery pack with 3d printer and 18650 modules from

Here is a tutorial on how to create a larger battery pack with 3d printed frame modules for storage of solar power that can be used in small electric vehicles:

Thingiverse page:

There is large number of 3d printed projects with 18650 battery modules:

Also take a look at:

Do keep in mind that you will have to test each module and that there will be some that are just dead and can not be used.

Since you can make battery of any size, you can literally make a Tesla powerwall equivalent for a fraction of the originals 3500+ USD price. This guy made a DIY Tesla powerwall for some 300 USD:

Think about it: a battery for your entire house for just 300 USD made from junk old laptop batteries. You will probably have many many questions so I strongly recommend checking the entire content on Jehu Garcia YT channel. This guy is a battery guru!

Soon I'm going to visit our regional electronic waste processing company in town of Slavonski Brod to see if they can give me more old laptop batteries to salvage the 18650 modules.

Do you have any experiences with 18650 batteries or any projects you made? Let me know in the comments!

Precious Plastic DIY Plastic Recycling Machinery

Dave Hakkens developed a great set of open sourced DIY machines for recycling plastic. There are several machines including a 3d printing filament extruder. Every device is well documented with manuals, open sourced and uses simple and easy to find components. There is a shredder, extruder, injection molding machine and compression forming chamber.

here is the promotional video:

You can learn something about many types of plastics, which are everywhere! Like difference between thermoplastics and thermoset plastics:

3D printing filament extruder demo:

Here is a video explaining how you build it:

Here are some things you can make with recycled plastic, ranging from lamp shades to building blocs:

Project homepage where you can learn how to build each machine and about the plastics as a material:

You can find all the documentation on:

Now, recycling plastics is great idea and useful skill to have, but will it decrease the usage of plastics in general? I do not have the data, but i have strong doubts that it will not. There is a something called Jevons paradox that notes that the more efficiently we use a resource, the rate of a consumption of that resource will increase.  Think about it ....

BTW: Dave is a very cool guy, do check his youtube channel:

Here is his pro-tip video on how to get organized as a DIY / Hacker / Maker guy with industrial plastic crates:

May 13, 2016

Epoxy and fiberglass filling for very strong 3D printed parts

"hobbyman" from Turkey made an Instructables guide on how to make a very strong 3d printed part by filling it with epoxy and cut fiberglass. The parts should hold bicycle bags attached firmly to the handlebar.

Here is a short two videos of the process:

And here are photos of part being saturated with fiberglass pieces:

... and here it is finished and very strong final part:

Detailed guide:

May 12, 2016

Ikea Footstool Hacked into a 3D Printer

StefanoG from Genova, Italy, used an Ikea footstool and some Prusa i3 Rework parts an made a 3d printer.

You start with this (BTW: I HATE Ikea furniture)

And you get a 3D printer with wooden frame

Here is a detailed build guide with all the files needed:

Creators homepage:


It is not a first 3d printer made from parts made of Ikea furniture, the first I saw was this Delta:

Using DIY 3D Printer for DIY Orthodontics

Amos Dudley was low on money and he had some crooked teeth. He decided to make his own DIY orthodontic alignment trays with a help of 3d scanner, 3d printer and vacuum forming table and was successful in correcting his teeth.

Here is the process he followed from his project description:

  • The dentist assesses your teeth for suitability for the procedure. Old-school bracket braces can move your teeth in basically any direction or rotation, but plastic aligners can only exert tipping / rotational forces on the teeth. When you put pressure on the crown of a tooth, the crown moves in that direction, and the root moves in the opposite direction (this is known as Begg’s tipping principle). Without being bonded to the tooth, plastic aligners also can’t do extrusion (pulling the tooth down and away from the maxillary arch).
  • The teeth are 3D scanned. This used to be done by taking an impression, making a mold/casting, and then sending the cast to be accurately scanned. Now, there’s in-office tools like iTero that scan the teeth from within the mouth.
  • The 3D model (usually an STL file) is taken into some proprietary orthodontic software, where the teeth are separated into separate objects. A technician plans out a route for the teeth to travel over the course of the procedure, so that they move but dont intersect one another.
  • A series of models is created from the planned route, each representing a step in the motion.
  • These models are 3D printed with high accuracy.
  • Thermoplastic aligner material is vacuum formed over the 3D printed models.
  • The plastic is manually trimmed away and the edges are smoothed, to create a non-irritating aligner.

For 3d printed part he used his own extensive modification of MendelMax 2 the "Minimal Mendel", but he writes that SLA machine would do a much better job.

You can see his work process in detail at:

DIY dentistry is not easy so you better think twice before trying it yourself.

Open Surgery 3D Printed Robot

Frank Kolkman developed a DIY surgical robot made with some off-the shelf electronics and 3d printed parts. It is a home-made version of a 2 million dollar laparoscopic surgery machine made for some 5000 USD.
Naturally, you can not perform real surgeries with it (yet) and it is controlled via PS3 controller, but it is a demonstration of what can be made with simple technology for a low price.

Robot moving:

Here is a Dezeen interview:

Project homepage:

Frank's homepage: