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3D Printing

Jim Smith on the water in his 3D-printed kayak

It doesn't seem too long ago that 3D-printers were astounding us by churning out cheeky little trinkets or small replacement parts. But the technology has quickly grown to cater for everything from rapid prototyping to slick-looking commercial products, and a quick snack for astronauts to bizarre models of unborn babies. Jim Smith of Grass Roots Engineering has been designing and building his own home-based, large-scale 3D printer since 2008, and the latest modification recently spent over 40 days producing 28 colorful ABS plastic sections that were bolted together to create a 16.7 ft-long kayak.  Read More

The team behind Print the Legend saw in 3D printing what they refer to as a 'Macintosh Mom...

3D printing is on a roll. Led by start-up companies like MakerBot and FormLabs, as well as the big-name companies like Stratasys and 3D Systems, the next industrial revolution has well and truly taken root in the last couple of years with the arrival of affordable desktop systems and a greater public awareness of the potential of the technology. This year at SXSW, the producers of The King of Kong and Freakonomics have premiered Print the Legend, a documentary focused on the rapidly expanding world of additive manufacturing and 3D printing.  Read More

It's an exciting time to be alive if you are highly educated and capable of making a diffe...

Of all the technologies to have emerged from the digital renaissance, additive manufacturing (3D printing) has the potential to be the most disruptive. A perfect example of the way 3DP will change the way we make things will be displayed at the Geneva Motor Show this week when EDAG, the world’s largest independent engineering partner to the mobility industry, displays an example of a printed automobile. The Genesis is more a conceptual sculpture than an automobile, but it will give you a taste of what the world's leading manufacturers might be producing a decade or two from now.  Read More

Lulzbot TAZ 3 printers line the cluster room four-deep and three-high

Aleph Objects, maker of the LulzBot line of 3D printers, recently made the switch to a new facility in Colorado, big enough to meet its expanding production needs and designed to add more injection-molded and laser-cut parts to the printers. I toured the massive cluster of 135 operating 3D printers, asked about AO’s upcoming plans for not only new printers but other hardware, learned how customers and community drive innovation, and met a fascinating LulzBot client who’s using the Open Source/Libre technology to jumpstart his vision of the future. If you’ve ever wanted to see 135 3D printers in action simultaneously, look no farther.  Read More

Built in three pieces using a flexible filament, the 3D-printed heart reportedly took arou...

3D printing technology has assisted in life-saving heart surgery performed on a 14-month old child, with engineers at the University of Louisville producing a printed model of the child's heart prior to the procedure that enabled doctors to better prepare for the operation.  Read More

Printing life-sized designs with the full-format RepRap-based BigRep ONE

Consumers and small businesses certainly have a handle on using 3D printers to create small mockups of bigger products, but there’s few options for creating true-to-size models or even finished products without having access to an industrial printer. German company BigRep aims to break that boundary with its RepRap-based BigRep ONE 3D printer, which offers over a cubic meter of print space.  Read More

Joris Laarman has created a metal 3D printing robot

Although the world of 3D printing is hurtling through milestones at the moment, to a large extent the technology still remains in its infancy. If you thought it was all Etsy jewellery and plastic toys, though, think again. Joris Laarman has created a free-standing 3D printing robot that creates beautiful metal sculptures with the graceful brush strokes of an artist.  Read More

A 3D printed robotic exoskeleton has enabled a woman paralyzed from the waist down to walk...

3D Systems, in collaboration with Ekso Bionics, has created a 3D-printed robotic exoskeleton that has restored the ability to walk in a woman paralyzed from the waist down. The Ekso-Suit was trialled and demonstrated by Amanda Boxtel, who was told by her doctor that she'd never walk again after a skiing accident in 1992.  Read More

Flying Machine's F-One 3D-printed titanium bicycle

It’s only ten days since we wrote about the titanium 3D-printed Empire Cycles MX-6 Evo mountain bike, a one-off machine designed to show what can be done with additive manufacturing. This article however is not about a one-off bicycle, but a bespoke, made to measure titanium bicycle manufacturing process that’s getting underway at Flying Machines in Perth, Australia. Each customer is measured, and the dimensions are then used to calculate the exact geometry required and the titanium parts are printed. It is anticipated that the entire process will enable finished bikes to be delivered inside three weeks, at a cost of US$3150.  Read More

The 3D model of the G-quadruplex, a four-stranded DNA sequence, that is already in use as ...

While two-dimensional modeling of double-stranded DNA molecules has been useful for the purpose of cancer research, the composition of the G-quadruplex, a four-stranded DNA sequence, has proven a different beast. A 3D printing lab at the University of Alabama has successfully produced a physical model of its molecular structure, improving understanding of its makeup and potentially, helping develop a treatment for pancreatic cancer.  Read More

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