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:



Tend.ai Robotic Servant for your 3D Printer Farm

Tend.ai developed cloud robotics solution that enables a robotic arm to operate your 3d printer farm. You do not need to know how to program the robot since it uses a webcam and machine learning to figure out triggers and actions it needs to do. You basically show it what to do.
Since it can work non-stop, you can have a small manufacturing robotic cell in your workshop or home. it goes without saying it can operate other machines as well, such as CNCs or laser cutters.

One thing comes to mind: since you can get orders from the web, use a robot to operate your 3d printer, and package the objects, you will just probably need to send them via delivery service. That can probably also be automated... You see where I'm going ...



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:


Low Cost Fully 3D Printed UAV Developed by Airbus

Thor is a fully 3D printable UAV (unmanned aircraft vehicle) developed by Airbus with production price of some 20000 Euro. The cost could probably go even further down, but it is many times cheaper when compared with simillar drones.
Thor is made of some 50 3D printed parts, two electric motors, and a remote control with some 4 weeks needed for printing and assembly. It weights 25 kg and has some 4 meters in wingspan.
It has some 40 km in range and 18 successful flight missions behind it.

Here is the video presentation (in German):

Source and more info:


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:




Jun 12, 2016

New Cura 2.1.2 is out!

New Cura software in version 2.1.2.is released. As all releases it has some interesting new features:

Select Multiple Objects
You now have the freedom to select and manipulate multiple objects at the same time.

You can now group objects together to make it easier to manipulate multiple objects.

You can now undo and redo your actions, like moving an object or scaling.

Setting Profiles
The new GUI allows custom profiles to load easily and intuitively, directly from Cura.

3MF File Loading Support
We’re happy to report we now support loading 3MF files. This is a new file format similar to AMF, but freely available.

Intuitive Cut-Off Object Bottom
Added a feature that allows you to move objects below the build plate. You can either correct a model with a rough bottom, or print only a part of an object. Please note that the implementation greatly differs from the old one where it was a setting.

64-bit Windows Builds
An optimized 64-bit Windows Cura version is now available. This allows loading larger model files.

Automatic calculations
Cura allows to set a number of lines/layers instead of millimeters. The engine automatically calculates the right settings.

Per-Object Settings
Per-object settings allow you to override individual profile settings per object.

Line width settings added per feature
Global, Walls, Top/Bottom, Infill, Skirt, Support.

Pattern settings improved per feature
Top/Bottom, Infill, Support.


  • Alternate Skin Rotation: helps to combat the pillowing problem on top layers.
  • Alternate Extra Wall: for better infill adhesion.
  • Horizontal Expansion: allows to compensate model x,y-size to get a 1:1 result.


  • (Combing) Avoid Printed Parts: when moving to the next part to print, avoid collisions between the nozzle and other parts which are already printed.


  • Stair step height: Sets the balance between sturdy and hard to remove support. By setting steps of the stair-like bottom of the support resting on the model.
  • ZigZag: a new, infill type that’s easily breakable, introduced specially for support.
  • Support Roofs: a new sub-feature to reduce scars the support leaves on overhangs.
  • Support Towers: specialized support for tiny overhang areas.

Special Modes

  • Surface Mode: this mode will print the surface of the mesh instead of the enclosed volume. This used to be called ‘Only follow mesh surface’. In addition to the ‘surface mode’ and ‘normal’, a ‘both’ mode has now been added. This ensures all closed volumes are printed as normal and all loose geometry as single walls.


  • Conical Support: a filament cost-reduction feature for support.
  • Draft Shield: prints a protective wall at a set distance around the object that prevents air from hitting the print, reducing warping.
  • Fuzzy Skin: prints the outer walls with a jittering motion to give your object a diffuse finish.
  • Wire Printing: the object is printed with a mid-air / net-like structure, following the mesh surface. The build plate will move up and down during diagonal segments. Though not visible in layer view, you can view the result in other software, such as Repetier Host or http://chilipeppr.com/tinyg.

Mac OSX 10.7 or Higher
Windows Vista or Higher
Ubuntu 14.04 or Higher - Only 64-bit versions
Cura requires a video card that supports OpenGL 2 or higher.

By Ultimaker: Ultimaker Original (no dual extrusion support), Ultimaker Original+, Ultimaker 2 Family, Ultimaker 2+ Family.
By 3rd parties: BQ Prusa i3, BQ Witbox, 3D Maker Starter, RigidBot, Malyan M180, German RepRap Neo.
There is no dual extrusion support in Cura 2.1.2 yet. Users with an Ultimaker Original who installed the dual extrusion upgrade kit, can use Cura 15.04.



  • Top/Bottom Thickness: can now be changed separately!
  • Extra Skin Wall Count: add extra walls to the top and bottom layers to improve roofs that start on infill material.
  • Remove Overlapping Inner Wall Parts: remove narrow pieces that cause over extrusion on prints.
  • Compensate Wall Overlaps: compensate narrow pieces causing over extrusion on prints.
  • Fill Gaps Between Walls: fills the tiny gaps on narrow prints pieces.
  • Z Seam Alignment: allows you to choose the z-seam location.
  • Ignore Small Z gaps: if unchecked, fixes small Z gaps.
  • Infill Wipe Distance: allows you to increase infill overlap without over extrusion on the shell.
  • Infill Layer Thickness: choose a separate layer thickness for the infill to save time on prints.
  • Material
  • Retraction Extra Prima Amount: allows you to compensate for oozed material after a travel move.
  • Speed
  • Number of Slower Layers: sets the first layer(s) speeds to increase build plate adhesion.


  • Coasting: prevents oozing by replacing the end of print paths with a short travel move.


  • Regular/Maximum Fan Speed Threshold: Allows you to set the time a layer must take to linearly go from Regular fan speed to Maximum fan speed.


  • Stair Step Height: allows the support to lie tightly on top of objects, increasing support stability.
  • Join Distance: allows supports to become one, increasing support stability.
  • Horizontal Expansion: adds extra support to the x,y-directions, increasing support stability.
  • Area Smoothing: smooths the outside contour of support structures to minimize resonation of the print head.

News release:




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 http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1042761:

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: http://www.instructables.com/howto/18650/

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: https://youtube.com/user/hakopdetak

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

May 14, 2016

Prusa I3 Mk2 released!!!

Prusa I3 Mk2 was just released and it looks great! Many new improvements in a proven design!

Here is a presentation by Josef Prusa:

New key features in Mk2:
  • 31% bigger build volume - 10500 cm3 (25 x 21 x 20 cm)
  • Open frame design for easy use
  • Integrated LCD and SD card controller (8GB included)
  • Up to 40% faster printing thanks to the geniune E3D V6 Full hotend
  • 0,4mm nozzle (easily changeable) for 1,75 mm filament
  • Layer height from 50 microns
  • Automatic mesh bed levelling
  • Heated print bed for warpless 3D printing from any material
  • Hassle free PEI print surface - no glass, no glue, no ABS juice
  • Supported materials – PLA, ABS, PET, HIPS, Flex PP, Ninjaflex, Laywood, Laybrick, Nylon, Bamboofill, Bronzefill, ASA, T-Glase, Carbon-fibers enhanced filaments, Polycarbonates...
  • Easy multicolor printing
  • 1 kg (2 lbs) PLA filament included
  • Average power consumption 50 W (printing PLA) or 90 W (printing ABS), exterior dimensions 42 x 42 x 38 cm (16.5 x 16.5 x 15 inches), weight 6,5 kg (14 lbs), CE certification
  • Specially optimized firmware for quiet printing
  • Slicer support includes Windows 10
I like it! Probably my next purchase! 

Prusa I3 Mk2 homepage news release with more information:

You can pre-order it here: