3D/DC — 3D printing community presents in Washington DC today

Bringing 3DP to DC!

Today in Washington, DC, the 3D printing community is presenting to policymakers on the rise and implications of this buzzed about manufacturing technology.

3D/DC: 3D Printing Comes to the Nation’s Capital is hosting two panel discussions and live demonstrations.

Founders and execs from 3D Systems, the Association for Manufacturing Technology, Autodesk, Bathsheba Sculpture LLC, CloudFab, ExOne, Fab@Home, Interactive Fabrication/ Computational Design Lab, Makerbot, Makergear, Materialise, Metrix Create:Space, Open 3DP at University of Washington, Rael San Fratello Architects, RepRap, Research Technology Enterprise Initiative, Reverse Space, Shapeways, Society of Manufacturing Engineers, and Z Corp will be there as well as Ponoko CEO David ten Have.

Last year was a big one for 3D printing, and there’s been speculation as to whether 2011 will be its spotlight year.

With 3D printing on the cover of the Economist earlier this year and now 3D/DC at the capital, 2011 is just the beginning.

3D printed wind-powered walking creature

A miniature “Strandbeest” by Theo Jansen.

This “Animaris Ordis Parvus” is a miniature version of one of the “Strandbeests” Theo Jansen has been making since 1990. He calls them “a new form of life,” and his ultimate goal is to set them free on beaches to live independent lives. Over the years he has improved their ability to survive independently with mechanisms to avoid water, store energy, and endure storms.

3d print wins Red Dot design award

The stunning MGK.Bloom table lamp has won a prestigious 2011 Red Dot design award.

Bloom Lamp Detail

Inspired by nature, designer Patrick Jouin has intelligently taken advantage of several aspects of 3d printing…

  • The highly organic shapes lend themselves well to 3d printing – there are no mold issues such as undercuts. (Undercut is a technical manufacturing term that we will discuss in a future article.)
  • Assembly? None – everything is printed in one whole part.
  • Functionally ready – Bloom is printed with mechanically functioning parts in place.
  • Durability – printed in polyamide plastic. (more…)

Extreme 3D printing

Huge, tiny, and crazy 3D printing.

This awe-inspiring 3D print is a scale model of a gas plant in Chile. The real plant was built by Linde AG, and the model was made by i.materialise. It measures 130 cm long by 100 cm wide by 75 cm tall, so it was printed in seven sections, glued together, and spray painted silver.

As incredible as this print is, I’m more impressed by whoever made the 3D model. All those pipes . . .

Keep reading after the jump for detail images of the model along with two more examples of extreme 3D printing!

3D Printed Bones and Orthopedic Implants

Two new developments connecting 3D printing and medicine.

A working recipe for 3D printed bone was recently developed by Open3DP. They began with a mixture of powdered bone meal, powdered sugar, MaltoDextrin, and their usual binder solution, but this mixture resulted in extremely fragile parts.

After five weeks of testing and experimentation, they settled on Urea-Formaldehyde resin (UF resin), a much stronger adhesive. If you want to try this yourself, they used a ratio of 4-5 part powdered bone meal and 1 part UF resin.

While the goal of this project was to make models, 3D printed bones have huge potential for bone replacement or repair. Personally, I’m intrigued by the inclusion of powdered sugar in the initial recipe . . .

Read about 3D printed implants after the jump.

3D Printed Shoes From Scans of Your Feet

A futuristic, skeletal shoe made just for you.

Fashion design students Naim Josefi and Souzan Youssouf worked with Materialise to make the Melonia shoe. They use a 3D scan of your feet to make these custom-printed shoes. In spite of their skeletal, almost fragile look, they are strong enough to walk on, as was demonstrated by models on the fashion runway.

Shoes like these could be made in a closed loop. In other words, old shoes could be recycled and turned into new shoes in a zero-waste process.

This is not the first time 3D printed has been used in fashion. Take a look at our earlier posts about 3D printed dresses and low-res shoes.

See more images after the jump!

3D Printing Service Says No to ATM Skimmer

ethics and on-demand manufacturing

Last summer i.materialise received an order to 3D print a device that looked a lot like an ATM skimmer — a faceplate that can be attached to ATM machines to read bank cards and collect personal information.

i.materialise spoke with the customer and declined the order. They followed with a blog post sharing the incident, saying “The 3D model of the device was very well designed, and we would like to urge everyone to be aware and take extreme caution when dealing with ATM machines.”

As digital fabrication becomes more and more popular, we’re bound to hear a few more stories like this.

Get ready for the collision of ethics and on-demand manufacturing.

via boingboing

3D Printed Fashion Hits Couture Week in Paris

Speaker hat, extruded plastic dress; I’ll take it all!

One of my new favorite fashion designers is Iris van Herpen.

I recently waxed poetic about her entire fashion career including her lasercut and 3D printed looks from the Spring/Summer 2011 ready-to-wear shows.

And for her Paris couture week debut, Ms. van Herpen has once again exceeded expectations.

This latest collection, entitled Escapism,  features twelve couture styles evoking a truly futuristic fashion sensibility.

The show picks up where her read-to-wear collection left off — the phenomenal investigation of 3D printing in wearables.


Digital Fabrication Brings on a New Wave of Entrepreneurs

NESTA panel on personal manufacturing

The rise of digital fabrication and the revolutionary potential behind this increasingly accessible technology were the topics of a recent panel held by the UK’s National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts.

Three experts including a Fab Lab manager, a 3D printer inventor, and a start-up founder in the toy industry talk about how on-demand manufacturing technologies like 3D printing are creating an environment for a new wave of inventors and entrepreneurs.

Alice Taylor left her job in educational programming at UK’s Channel 4 to start Makieworld.com, an online site for creating 3D printed, biodegradable dolls.

She talks about the closed world of the toy industry in contrast to the open world of gaming and why it’s time for that to change.

Taylor calls 2011 the year for personal manufacturing services taking note of major players like Shapeways, iMaterialise, and Ponoko and adding that there will be several new companies making their way to the market.

As for her own foray into the consumer world of digital fabrication? “Makieworld is brand, brand new. … I’m looking at how we might be able to produce dolls that come up to toy safety standards in a couple years time.”

Building a Better Paperclip With 3D Printing

Can it be improved? Download the file for free and see for yourself.

Improving a design as enduring as a paperclip sounds impossible, but i.materialise may have pulled it off. The Infinite Clip can clip onto things in four different directions and serve as a hook. It can clip onto thin and thick things, which has always been the weakness of normal paperclips.

The 3D file can be downloaded for free from Thingiverse if you want to try it for yourself with your favorite 3D printing service. Unfortunately, they claim it probably won’t work with a Makerbot since the curve needs to be supported.