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3D Printers

Some of the many and varied items produced using a 3D printer

For a few years now we've been wondering at all the possibilities that lay in store for 3D printing. Most of what's come out of this brilliant marriage of CAD software and mechanical extruders so far has been lots of small plastic chess pieces and other plastic trinkets, but lately we're starting to see 3D printing pushed to new heights, with some pretty remarkable results. Here's our brief list of some of the coolest items to come out of a 3D printer so far.  Read More

Three-dimensional printing is being used to create precise robotic models of dinosaurs (Im...

Although it may seem that we know a great deal about dinosaurs, a lot of the knowledge is actually based on assumptions rather than hard facts. Often, scientists have to resort to guesswork. Some hypotheses can only be tested by manipulating a skeleton model, but that's quite a challenge if the bones you want to study belonged to an enormous animal. Also, size is not the only issue. Dinosaur fossils tend to be fragile, unique and valuable. That's why the researchers at Drexel University, who want to build precise robotic models of dinosaurs, decided to use 3D printing technology.  Read More

Top half of 3D printed Thomas Jefferson statue (Photo: RedEye on Demand/Smithsonian/Studio...

What do you do when you're the world's largest museum but can display only 2 percent of the 137 million items in your collection (a mere 2.75 million) at any given time? In an effort to get more of their treasures into the public eye, specialists at the Smithsonian Institution's nineteen collective museums and galleries hit upon the solution of digitizing their collection and 3D printing key models and displays suitable for traveling exhibitions. It's a tall order, but one that's sure to give the rapidly blooming business of additive manufacturing a huge boost.  Read More

Enrico Dini of Monolite UK with Radiolaria - the biggest structure ever built by the D-Sha...

The growing popularity of 3D printers, such as the Printbot or MakerBot's Thing-o-Matic, testify to the fact that additive manufacturing is slowly entering the mainstream. The devices are now small enough to fit on a desk and they can make all sorts of stuff, such as toys, chess figures, or spare door knobs. But what if you want to make something slightly bigger - say, a house? Then you need to turn to Enrico Dini, the founder of Monolite UK and the inventor of the D-Shape "robotic building system."  Read More

FreeD is a handheld smart milling device that gives the artist creative control, but won't...

Even if you think you're pretty handy with a chisel, often all it takes is one wrong angle or strike of the hammer to ruin an entire sculpting project. MIT's media lab has a solution - the FreeD is a handheld smart milling device that gives the artist creative control, but won't let you totally screw up your project with one wrong move.  Read More

An 83-year old woman is the first in the world to receive a full 3D-printed titanium lower...

The ability to create your own replacement curtain rings, door knobs or even a custom chess set at home using a 3D printer like the Replicator or the Cubify 3D printer has the potential to knock global production models on their heads. Such advances are certainly impressive but not quite in the same league as those being made in the field of medicine. We've already seen small bone-like objects printed by Washington State University researchers, and now an 83-year old patient with a serious jaw infection has become the first person to receive a full 3D-printed titanium lower jaw implant. Amazingly, the combined effort by researchers and engineers from Belgium and the Netherlands is said to have allowed the patient unrestricted mandibular movement within a day of surgery.  Read More

Unlike typical 3D printers, iModela carves rather than builds its models

3D printers are certainly hot technology these days, with machines like the Printrbot, MakerBot and Cubify launching on a regular basis. But while most of these devices focus on building something from the ground up, Roland DG has unveiled a new machine that does the exact opposite. Rather than slowly building a model by adding layers of material, the iModela iM-01 3D Modeling Machine carves its creations down from a larger block of material, like a small, automated sculptor.  Read More

The Pirate Bay's 'Physibles' category enables the sharing of 3D printable objects such as ...

Consumer-level 3D printing technology has moved ahead in leaps and bounds in recent years with the release of devices such as the Thing-o-Matic, the Replicator and Cubify 3D printers. Proponents of the technology envision a not-too-distant future where users will be able to download designs and print everything from car parts to ... well, a new and improved 3D printer. The folks at The Pirate Bay are obviously on board with this idea. The file-sharing site better known for allowing users to share multimedia, games and software via BitTorrent has now added a new "Physibles" category. The new category will contain digital files for objects that can be physically created using a 3D printer.  Read More

MakerBot has unveiled its latest desktop-friendly 3D printer at CES 2012, the Replicator -...

The folks at MakerBot Industries have not exactly been resting on their laurels since causing a stir at CES last year with the Thing-o-Matic 3D printer. Even though the original small object creation device would still see the jaws of most people dropping in wonder, the company has now unveiled a new model at CES 2012 called the Replicator that is not only capable of fabricating much bigger objects than its predecessor, but can also do so in two colors at the same time.  Read More

3D Systems' Cubify 3D printer is ready to work right out of the box

Since becoming more widely available to the public, people have found a myriad of uses for 3D printers, whether it's recreating bone, constructing replacement shells for hermit crabs, or simply customizing mini robot figurines. Unfortunately, most 3D printers still have one drawback over other types of printers, in that they typically need to be put together like a hobby kit. Seeing as most electronics are purchased fully intact, the idea of having to build a device piece by piece can be off-putting to consumers. 3D Systems is hoping to rectify the problem with its own 3D printer that actually works right out of the box, along with a new Cubify platform for designing and distributing printed creations.  Read More

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