Forget ice cream, I want plastic!
Unfold, a design studio in Belgium, put together a mobile kiosk for 3D printing near the end of last year. Recently, they’ve has been showing off an amazing redesign of the project at Istanbul Design Biennial called Kiosk 2.0.
Equipped with a 3D printer and 3D scanner, both versions of Kiosk are meant to explore a potential future where such equipment is so commonplace that popping over to a street vendor for custom goods is done without a second thought.
Version 2.0 looks even more like an authentic street cart, and has pre-printed items on display: (more…)
The evolution of the paper airplane
Andrew Plumb (aka @clothbot), who I’ve interviewed here before, published an awesome glider design today called the PaperFly.
Based on an earlier glider (the Bukobot Fly) that was entirely 3D printed, the PaperFly is instead a minimal frame printed directly onto a sheet of tissue paper!
Andrew also put a tutorial on Instructables that covers the prep work necessary to make one of the gliders. Basically, in order to keep the paper flat and unmoving, it has to be secured in a cardboard frame that is then placed on the printer’s build platform. Like this: (more…)
A thousand unique versions
One Just One is a new company using Kickstarter to launch a collection of procedurally-generated 3D printed jewellery. The idea is to generate a series of base designs, tweak each one into a thousand unique models, and then sell each of those only once.
That takes advantage of one of 3D printing’s big strengths — that everything can be a unique object — without also incurring the full penalties of scale. It’s an approach that might not work (or be necessary) in every situation, but it seems like a great fit for fashion.
Another interesting bit is that all of the base designs are test printed ahead of time. As long as the variations of those designs stay within certain tolerances, customers should be able to feel more confident in ordering something that doesn’t technically exist yet. Some test prints: (more…)
Unexpected uses expected
MilliMount, an expandable smartphone mount that recently launched on Kickstarter, was prototyped early on using Ponoko’s 3D printing service.
If funding is successful, the combination phone stand/tripod mount/windshield mount will be manufactured through traditional means. But during development, Spatial Studios used one of the great strengths of 3D printing: iteration. That enabled creator Randy Ganacias to make changes over and over until the design was declared finished.
What’s neat is that although many use cases have been planned for (such as book scanner, above), it’s the unplanned ones that are most intriguing. The MilliMount has space to accommodate metal rings, elastic bands, and bolts… All in service of connecting up whatever odd thing you can think of.
DIY art and technology unite
Germany’s ‘Create. Art and Technology’ conference is back for a second year. Organized by a brand new team, the conference is now known as Retune.
Designer Moritz Waldemeyer will keynote the conference, kicking off three days of talks and programs that will bring together hundreds of creative people from around the world.
Attendees will have a chance to interact with artists, hackers, designers, architects, and engineers – all passionate about their fields – in order to collaborate and exchange ideas.
One of the evenings will feature an “open source music night”, where musicians and DJs will play a concert using a range of open source hardware and software to get people dancing. Afterwards, the schematics and source code will all be open and available for people to remix and use in their own musical projects.
To register, or to view a complete program of events, visit the conference website here: http://retune.de/en/
Derek Quenneville is a 3D printing evangelist who posts weekly on the Ponoko blog. Follow him on Twitter @techknight.
Friendly and disruptive
The PandaBot 3D printer launched on Kickstarter earlier this morning, coming in an initial backer price of USD$800. Panda Robotics, the company behind the PandaBot, hopes to entice new users by providing friendly software and sturdy, attractive metal construction not normally seen at that price point.
I visited the Toronto office of Panda Robotics yesterday to have a look at the prototype unit and see some test prints. I’ve taken part in some events with Panda in the past, but I’d never really had time to sit down and watch their printer in action.
Here’s a comparison shot of how the resolution of the prototype’s prints has improved over time: (more…)
3D printed ‘light pipes’ could drive a new wave of interactive devices
Karl D.D. Willis of Disney Research tweeted last night to show off some awesome 3D printed optics that his group has been working on.
The overall idea was to explore the future of 3D printed interactive objects, using technology available right now. So although there are some non-printed components used (like LEDs and CCDs), the research paper describes how, eventually, entire electronic devices might be entirely 3D printed.
The coolest bits are the 3D printed ‘light pipes’ used for sensors, displays, and just plain illumination. They’re made using Objet’s VeroClear transparent material and can route light all around the innards of an object.
For example, look at these great custom light bulb shapes: (more…)
The wood composite 3D printer filament that Taylor wrote about this week has been making its way into the hands of folks who ordered it before the initial supplies ran out.
One early buyer, Gary Hodgson, has been hard at work, printing a few different models and experimenting with photographs of the material under different lighting conditions. The most interesting one so far is a keychain variant of the popular heart gears project, pictured above with a camera flash.
Contrast that with these fluorescent and daylight photos: (more…)
Join the crowd
Artist Brian Harper wants to scan and print you in 3D! He’s started the Open Crowd Project to explore the idea of togetherness across geographic boundaries, using 3D printing.
Brian explains: (more…)
Cross-platform Kinect scanning
I’m a huge fan of the Microsoft Kinect, especially when using it to make 3D scans. It’s just a great bit hardware that gets repurposed again and again in interesting ways. Naturally, when I saw this new 3D scanning software the other day, I had to give it a whirl.
Skanect is a Kinect 3D scanning tool that works in Windows and OS X. In its current state, it appears to be best-suited for scanning a room, rather than a person or single object.
Newer (but currently unreleased) versions appear to make some decent people scans – like the one at the top of this post. That came from the official blog, which shows a series of gradually improving 3D models.
My own attempt at scanning a portion of my living room / work area got me a point cloud like this: (more…)