Typical recycling involves sending off your old cans, bottles, boxes and papers to be re-purposed somewhere far away, sight unseen. Terracycle and 3D Brooklyn allow you to determine what gets made from recycled materials, thanks to a process that turns used chip and snack bags into plastic filament for use in 3D printing.
Aerospace 3D printing went Mach 5 this week, with Orbital ATK announcing that it has successfully tested a printed hypersonic engine combustor at NASA's Langley Research Center in Virginia. A key scramjet component, the 3D-printed combustor spent 20 days undergoing high-temperature hypersonic flight conditions as well as one of the longest duration propulsion wind tunnel tests for such a component.
The prospects for 3D printing may have just become a little bit stronger, literally, thanks to a new way of using metallic powders to create structures. A Northwestern University team has shown a new technique using liquid inks and common furnaces rather than more expensive lasers or electron beams.
Industrial-quality, full-color 3D layered paper printing for the desktop may soon be an option for creative, engineering and education professionals, with the recent introduction of the Mcor Arke at CES. It's capable of printing high-resolution 3D models entirely from paper, eliminating the need for expensive and sometimes toxic plastics.
Polaroid, the company perhaps best known for instant photo cameras, has jumped into 3D printers, announcing the new ModelSmart 250S at CES. The single extruder printer, made in partnership with UK inkjet cartridge maker Environmental Business Products, will initially be available only to the European market.
Researchers at HRL Laboratories have developed a 3D printing technology designed to overcome the limitations of working with traditional ceramic processing. The process includes a resin formulation that once printed can be fired and converted into a ceramic that is harder, stronger and more compatible with ultra-high temperatures.
You might remember Derby, a dog who was born with a congenital deformity but last year received a 3D-printed prostheses that enabled him to run for the first time. Well, it's onward and upward for Derby and his carers, who have now crafted an upgraded set of custom prostheses allowing him to walk proudly with a straight back and even sit like a healthy dog.
Back in January, South Africa's Hans Fouche demonstrated the capabilities of his custom-made Cheetah 3D printer by creating a full-sized lawnmower. Last month saw the release of the Cheetah 2, which Fouche celebrated by printing a working car jack made from plastic and now an acoustic guitar. What makes this dreadnought stand apart from instruments printed by the likes of Olaf Diegel and Customuse is that the whole guitar (apart from steel strings and tuners) has been produced by the printer, not just the body.
New Balance is the latest footwear company to bring 3D printing into its manufacturing mix, launching a shoe with an advanced sole promised to offer new strength and elasticity. The company says advances in material sciences are behind the high-tech sneakers, along with an apparently fruitful partnership with 3D printing specialists 3D Systems.
Carl Bass has been making stuff for forty years, from wooden furniture and granite benches to makeshift rafts built from discarded navy pontoons. These days, outside of his day job running design software company Autodesk, he keeps right on making stuff. Like an autonomous electric go-kart powered by transplanted drone hardware (currently under repair). Last week, Gizmag checked into Autodesk's pop-up gallery in Tokyo, where Bass offered his thoughts on the mildly unsettling notion that sometimes a computer's ideas might be better than ours, an emerging concept known as generative design.