Jonathan grew up in Norway, China, and Trinidad before graduating film school and becoming an online writer covering green technology, history and design, as well as contributing to video game news sites like Filefront and 1Up. He currently resides in Texas, where his passions include video games, comics, and boring people who don't want to talk about either of those things.
If you're in the market for a 3D printer, there are plenty of qualities to weigh. Price, ease of use, size, and print resolution are all factors that could influence the types of objects you're able to create. If you want a printer that fits on your desk and can print objects the size of a basketball though, you may want to consider the latest model from Aleph Objects, Inc. The LulzBot TAZ 3D printer boasts an open source hardware approach in design and claims to have the largest print volume for desktop printers in its price range.
Archos has made a name for itself by producing a wide range of budget-friendly smart devices, from smartphones
to gaming tablets
, but now it has its sights set on your kitchen. The French company recently unveiled its new ChefPad, a 9.7-inch Android tablet designed to act as a cooking assistant, with an easy-to-clean protective case and kitchen-centric apps.
3D printers continue to hit the mainstream as more accessible models are released at lower prices, some even landing in major retail chains
. The MakiBox
may currently hold the crown for cheapest 3D printer on the market, but Pirate3D's new desktop box could provide similar quality and affordability with much less hassle. The company's flagship printer, the Buccaneer, will come fully assembled out of the box with a price tag of only US$347.
While beer is best served chilled, everyone who’s tried it knows that beer and ice generally aren’t a good mix. Most options to keep the beer cold once out of the fridge, like beer koozies or the Chill Puck
, work from the outside in, but a new device called the Chillsner turns things around. This freezable metal spike fits inside a beer bottle to keep your brew ice cold from the inside out.
Micro UAVs that have the ability to slip into tight spaces, including inside buildings, have wide ranging military and search and rescue applications. To reach their full potential, however, these UAVs are going to need to learn how to land in rougher areas that don't always have a horizontal surface to touch down on. One team of scientists has begun taking a huge step towards accomplishing just that by developing a quadcopter with a mechanism that allows it to land on walls or ceilings, stay for a while, and then take off again.
Laboratories that deal with dangerous chemicals devote a lot of time and money to ensuring the work environment is safe. Since many toxic substances lack a noticeable smell or color, the trick is finding a detection method that alerts employees to their presence as quickly and clearly as possible. Scientists at the the Fraunhofer Research Institution for Modular Solid State Technologies may have found a simple answer to that problem in the form of a protective glove that immediately changes color when it comes into contact with hazardous materials.
For most people, experiments involving a home microwave typically don't go much further than inflating a marshmallow like a balloon or reheating leftovers in plasticware – both with messy results. For metallurgists though, microwaves are sometimes employed to efficiently process metals, which is how researchers at the University of Utah found themselves using a secondhand kitchen appliance in their lab. Their resourcefulness paid off recently, when the team discovered a method for creating solar cell material with just a few basic ingredients and an old microwave.
Despite the growing popularity of 3D printers, being limited to purchase through specialist stores and online shops means they still occupy a niche market of hobbyists and professional designers. You can't just waltz into your local office supply store and pick one up along with a pack of manila folders and paperclips. But soon, you'll be able to do just that. Office supply chain Staples will become the first major US retailer to offer 3D printers on its shelves, starting with the Cube
from 3D Systems.
Until now, a beer dropping out of the sky into the middle of a party has been a feat that only existed in TV commercials. Thanks to Darkwing Aerials though, attendees at the Oppikoppi music festival in South Africa can fulfill the dream of beer lovers everywhere and have a fresh brew delivered to them from above with the help of a flying drone.
Festivals can be great fun, but aren't always so friendly to the local environment. Gathering that many people in one place tends to produce a large amount of waste, but it's the human waste that can be the hardest to dispose of cleanly. That's why French design group Faltazi
has produced L'Uritonnoir, a portable, composting urinal for large festivals that helps to turn a bale of hay into usable fertilizer.