A 3D printed 4k resolution OLED TV is coming

3D printing hits mainstream manufacturing.

Panasonic has unveiled a new television manufactured with the help of 3D printing. It’s not clear exactly what portion of it was 3D printed; it’s likely the body was 3D printed while the screen and internal components were manufactured traditionally. Regardless, it’s a major step forward to see 3D printing being used in mainstream manufacturing.

First 3D printing was used by major companies to make prototypes, then makers and small companies started using it to produce niche products, and now it seems that the technology has advanced sufficiently for a major corporation to use it for direct manufacturing.

The new 56-inch OLED television measures in at a shockingly thin half-inch thick, weighing a small fraction of equivalent LED TVs. It also boasts a 4k resolution, which is roughly equivalent to putting four full HD screens together.

Via TechCrunch

Submit your best work for the Core77 Design Award

Promote your work in one of the world’s largest design competitions.

Core77 is now accepting entries for the 2013 Design Awards. The competition included 17 categories, 15 of which have a student section, so there is a category for pretty much any kind of design project you can come up with. Enter before January 31st for a 20% discount off the entry fees. The competition closes March 15, 2013 at 6pm EST.

Laser cutting goes beyond flat material

5-axis and tubing cutting lasers.

Laser cutting generally consists of cutting shapes from a flat sheet of material. The pieces are often assembled or bent into a 3D form, but the cutting process is essentially two dimensional.

Some highly specialized manufacturers have machines capable of cutting more than just flat sheets. The video above and the first one after the jump shows 5-axis machines that can follow a cutting path in 3D space, and the last video is a machine specifically designed for cutting tubing.

Software that automatically partitions large models 3D printable sections

Expanding 3D printing beyond the build volume.

Chopper was developed by Linjie Luo, Ilya Baran, Szymon Rusinkiewicz, Wojciech Matusik of Princeton University as a way to readily make 3D prints larger than the a 3D printer’s build volume. The software divides the model into logical sections and automatically prepared joints for easy assembly and gluing. Watch the video to se how it works.

Via Shapeways

All-in-one controller board for making your own 3D printer

New grassroots hardware from the Pacific Northwest.

The BrainWave board by Metrix Create:Space and Matthew Wilson is an all-in-one controller specifically designed for DIY 3D printers. It includes support for 4 stepper motors, a heated extruder, and a heated print bed. It’s also open source. And did I mention it was fabricated, assembled, and tested in the Pacific Northwest? The components are from overseas, but that’s nearly impossible to avoid these days.

Unfortunately, it’s not widely available quite yet; it is currently being beta tested to work out the bugs. Once launched, the BrainWave will sell for the very reasonable price of $100.

Rotating Ferris wheel 3D printed in one piece

Three colors, many moving parts, one print.

This Ferris wheel was 3D printed by Objet as a demonstration of the capabilities of their Connex500 multi-material 3D printers. The crank smoothly turns the entire assemble, and all the parts move as they should. In spite of the complexity and refinement of the mechanism, the entire Ferris wheel was 3D printed as a single unit.

Via 3D printing event blog

3D printed record plays on standard turntable

The struggle to convert digital music into a tangible analog format.

It’s a little surprising how difficult it is to digitally fabricate a record, considering that records are about 50 years older than digital technology. There have been multiple attempts, included laser engraved experiment records and 3D printed Fisher Price records. The challenge is the combination of the relatively large size of records and the extremely fine detail required to produce recognizable music.

3D printed drone recognition kit

Visualizing the age of the UAV.

The UAV Identification Kit 001 was made by James Bridle while he was an Artist in Residence at the Visible Futures Lab at the School of Visual Arts in New York. It is intended both to help visualize drones for a public that is still largely unaware of their particulars and to aid in the identification of drones by observers on the ground.

Ford to put MakerBot Replicators on their engineers’ desks

The blurry line between professional and hobby 3D printing.

Ford intends to equip many of their engineers with new Replicator 3D printers from MakerBot, according to GigaOM. The video shows one of Ford’s engineers explaining how he uses an older MakerBot in his work, so Ford has apparently been using these printers for awhile now.

3D printers have been used by major companies for, quite literally, decades, but only recently have 3D printers become inexpensive enough for individuals to own. What is interesting here is that this shift towards low cost 3D printers is also changing the way that large companies use the technology. Instead of only having a few large, expensive 3D printers for an entire company, Ford has elected to provide their engineers with individual, less expensive printers.

Via Fabbaloo

Sculpteo raises $2.5 million in angel investment

Another 3D printing company attracts investment.

Sculpteo has received an investment of $2.5 million from XAnge Private Equity and business angels. Sculpteo’s specialty is providing integrated 3D printing solutions with smartphone apps, web apps, embed-able virtual stores, and, of course, 3D printing services.

3D printing has rapidly gone from niche to mainstream and now attracts the large investments and acquisitions one might expect in any other major industry. After MakerBot received $10 million in investment it began to expand rapidly, opening a New York City Store and reorienting its product line towards professionals. I will be interesting to see how Sculpteo changes and expands with their new funding.

Via 3D Printing Event blog