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3D Printing

Manned missions beyond Earth orbit face the rather important problem of how to feed the crew and maintain the capsule environment for years on end without any resupply from home. The product of a NASA challenge, AstroGro is a space garden pod aimed at addressing this problem. It relies on 3D printing to produce a system that can be replicated and modified while in the depths of space. Read More
We're used to 3D-printed objects being hard and unyielding, or perhaps a little rubbery. Thanks to work being done by scientists at Disney Research and Carnegie Mellon University, however, we may soon be seeing things like soft and squishy 3D-printed teddy bears, made from layered pieces of fabric. What's more, those items could be electrically conductive. Read More
We've only just begun to see the huge impact 3D-printing technology will have on manufacturing, and the aerospace industry is a prime example. Earlier this year we saw the first example of a 3D-printed jet engine, now GE has announced the first 3D-printed part certified by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for a commercial jet engine. The fist-sized T25 housing for a compressor inlet temperature sensor was fabricated by GE Aviation and will be retrofitted to over 400 GE90-94B jet engines on Boeing 777 aircraft. Read More
When you think of Zaha Hadid, shoe design probably isn't the first thing that springs to mind (even if she does have prior experience). However, the architect joined forces with Ben van Berkel of UN Studio and three other top-tier designers to produce 3D-printed high heels for United Nude. The shoes are on display at this year's Salone del Mobile. Read More
If you've never used a 3D printer, then you might not be aware of the fact that the objects they create don't always emerge in their final, flawless form. They often contain small printing errors, fringes of stray material, and supporting structures that need to be removed. Retouch3D uses heat to melt away those imperfections. Read More

Should you ever feel the need to carefully bore a hole through the top layer of skin on your finger, there's now a drill that can do it. Using his Ultimaker 2 3D printer, Auckland, New Zealand maintenance engineer Lance Abernethy has created what is unofficially the world's smallest working power drill. Read More

A new approach to 3D printing promises to drastically speed up the 3D manufacturing process by "growing" objects out of a pool of resin rather than printing them layer by layer. Carbon3D announced its Continuous Liquid Interface Production technology (CLIP) on stage at the TED conference this week, claiming it can produce commercial-quality objects from a range of polymer-based material at speeds between 25 and 100 times faster than conventional 3D printing. Read More

Given some biodegradable 3D printing filament and tasked with doing something creative with it, Vimal Patel built an extruder using Lego, attached it to a rather ordinary hot glue gun and ended up with a pretty funky 3D printing pen – a DIY 3Doodler if you will. Read More

3D printing looks set to become very important in architecture, but we've yet to see exactly how the future of large-scale click-and-print construction will play out. A potential step forward comes via a team of UC Berkeley researchers led by Associate Professor of Architecture Ronald Rael, who recently created a free-standing pavilion called Bloom to demonstrate the precision of their powder-based cement method of 3D-printed construction. Read More
3D printing promises to be the gateway to a world where a person's ideas are literally made manifest. Draw it up on a computer, hit the print button and a short while later, there's what you just designed, sitting before you in the real world. However, 3D printing isn't suitable for everything, with materials issues and desired finish quality to take into account. Enter the X-Carve, a domestic device aimed at the emerging maker market that allows the home-based enthusiast to work in more than just extruded plastic. Read More