Sep 28, 2016

Hadrian X Robotic Truck That 3D Prints Buildings With Bricks

Australian company "Fastbrick Robotics" developed a robotic truck system that can lay 225 bricks per hour. It's a big 3d printer on wheels that uses robotic crane to build houses.
It is not cement paste extrusion that can be found in other building 3d printers, but it is additive, digital and making BIG 3d objects.
Personally, I'm not even sure that cement paste extrusion is the best way to get commercially viable construction machine for industry wide adoption and application as a standard house building tool.

People like brick.

Here is an interesting video presentation:

Company homepage:

It still needs some human assistance, so some jobs in construction field will be saved. Some. Few. For some time.

Sep 27, 2016

World's Largest 3D Print from ORNL

Oak Ridge National Laboratory made the world's larges 3D print that was recognized by Guinness World Records.

From project description:
Researchers at the MDF have 3D-printed a large-scale trim tool for a Boeing 777X, the world’s largest twin-engine jet airliner. The additively manufactured tool was printed on the Big Area Additive Manufacturing, or BAAM machine over a 30-hour period. The team used a thermoplastic pellet comprised of 80% ABS plastic and 20% carbon fiber from local material supplier

The tool has proven to decrease time, labor, cost and errors associated with traditional manufacturing techniques and increased energy savings in preliminary testing and will undergo further, long term testing.

Here is the time-lapse video of the process and it looks impressive:

ORNL homepage:

Cheap 3D Printable RC Plane

If you own a 3d printed and want to get into RC flying on a low budget, here is a great project that will get you in the air.

Here is a very detailed build guide from design in CAD software to first flight instructions on Instructables:

Sep 26, 2016

Slovenian Makers 3D Printing and CNCing on Solar Power

IRNAS Institute is a Slovenian non-profit organization involved into DIY science projects, education and open source technology development.
They participate in many events and they demonstrated how additive and subtractive machines can be used powered by photovoltaic panels.

Here is their Troublemaker 3D printer in off-grid configuration:

Here is their GoodEnough Hybrid CNC making Aker planters on solar power:

Link to more extensive article and some other cool project by IRNAS:,%20irnas,%20goodenoughcnc/2016/07/05/solar-powered-goodenoughcnc-and-diy-bioscience-at-art-kamp-lent-festival

Sep 25, 2016

DIY 3D Printed Compressed Air Tank by CVRA

CVRA (Club Vaudois de Robotique Autonome) is a group of students and engineers passionate about robotics. It is based in Renens, Switzerland. They needed a compressed air tank for their robot project that could hold 4 bar (400kPa) of pressure.
They made several 3d printed prototypes in PLA and were successful in the end with tank holding some 6,5 bar sealed with some acrylic coating.
Interesting experiment, but be aware that pressurizing plastic containers with gas can lead to serious explosion.

Here is the advanced prototype sealed with "Doc Blue" sealant pressure tested under water:

Project homepage with extensive information and progression of development:

Here is the Hackaday post with lot of safety concerns and possible problems with this concept:

Stay safe kids!

Sep 20, 2016

NinjaFlex 3D Printed Metamaterial Mechanisms

Team of researchers at Hasso Plattner Institute, Potsdam, Germany developed a technique that gives internal structure to objects that they printed on Ultimaker 2 in NinjaFlex filament. Since the structure is designed it gives the object mechanical movements enabling it to act as a tool or a device. 

From project description:
Recently, researchers started to engineer not only the outer shape of objects, but also their internal microstructure. Such objects, typically based on 3D cell grids, are also known as metamaterials. Metamaterials have been used, for example, to create materials with soft and hard regions.

So far, metamaterials were understood as materials—we want to think of them as machines. We demonstrate metamaterial objects that perform a mechanical function. Such metamaterial mechanisms consist of a single block of material the cells of which play together in a well-defined way in order to achieve macroscopic movement. Our metamaterial door latch, for example, transforms the rotary movement of its handle into a linear motion of the latch. Our metamaterial Jansen walker consists of a single block of cells—that can walk. The key element behind our metamaterial mechanisms is a specialized type of cell, the only ability of which is to shear.

In order to allow users to create metamaterial mechanisms efficiently we implemented a specialized 3D editor. It allows users to place different types of cells, including the shear cell, thereby allowing users to add mechanical functionality to their objects. To help users verify their designs during editing, our editor allows users to apply forces and simulates how the object deforms in response.

Personally I find that the software for design of those metamaterials is the most interesting part and would be of great use for DIY and Maker community. I don't know who has the property rights to that code, but I think if the research was funded by public money the code should be open sourced.

Project homepage:

PDF research paper with much more information:

MERL 5D Printing on a Custom Delta

After 4D printing comes 5d printing. It's just a fancy name for five axis 3D printing that enables more strength due to layers being extruded in optimized paths to resist more pressure force.
It is developed at  Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories (MERL) on a custom delta machine with movable printbed.

Here is the explainer video:

PDF research paper on the topic:

More on the researcher:

Sep 19, 2016

Octowatch and Octowatch2 Pebble Smartwatch Apps

Jason Gullickson from Wisconsin developed a small app for the Pebble smartwatch that enables you to monitor your 3d printer remotely via Octoprint API.

Get it at: page:

Octowatch 2 is inspired by original Octowatch but it was completely developed from beginning and re-written. The developer is Dominik Scholz.

GitHub page:

Future of both apps is uncertain since Fitbit bought Pebble and basically destroyed the functionality of entire Pebble line with no future device coming out.

Voodoo of Prusa I3 XYZ Automatic Leveling

Read more about it at Prusa homepage:

3dpBurner Open Source Laser Cutter and Engraver

3dpBurner is a DIY laser engraver and cutter project that uses 3d printed parts for the structural elements and movements. It also uses many standard parts like laser diodes and Arduino to make it work.

Here is what the developer writes about this project:
It is created with the same RepRap concept, by using 3D printed parts and some easy to find "vitamins" (non printed hardware).
I tried to design as cheap as possible, by using common electronics and a "low power" laser (a laser diode).
The X/Y working area is fully customisable by simply cutting the rods to desired length.
The max object height for working can be up to 50-60mm.
3dpBurner basically uses 3D printed parts, 8mm rods, M3/M8 hardware, some small bearings and a pair of GT2 pulley/belts. I got most parts from my "old" RepRap printer.
Motion is controlled by Arduino UNO, a CNC shield and a pair of Pololu based stepper drivers for driving two NEMA17 stepper motors.

The laser module is cooled by heatsink and forced air (small fan) and is drived by a constant current driver.
Personally I'm using the popular NDB7875 1.6W blue laser diode (note this diode is sold as being capable of up to 3W when overdrived), but you can use your own diode (DVD recorder, BluRay, M140...).

While 3dpBurner can be controlled by mostly GRBL based applications (gcode senders), i create a pair of Windows based ones. They provides an easy control and optimized gcode streaming for the GRBL firmware and also can be used for convert images to gcode files for gray scale engravings.

3dpBurner in action:

Project homepage with all the instructions how to make one:

Printtable DIY 3D Printer Made from IKEA Lack Tables

Wayne developed the Printtable 3D printer that uses IKEA table as a frame. It is sturdy and low in cost to make. And it gives a good use for those ugly IKEA furniture pieces if I may add.

Early version:

More detailed view:

CAD animation:

Extremely detailed step-by-step construction guide:

Project homepage:

Forum thread on 3dhubs:

Sep 18, 2016

Low Cost DIY UV Curing Chamber

kidNeutrino shared this great solution to UV curing of resin 3d printed parts. It's a low cost DIY solution that can be made for some 30 USD and consists of aluminum foil covered cardboard box and a gel nail dryer lamp.
You just put your part in, turn on the dryer UV lamp and let it cure.

Instuctables page with step-by-step build guide: