Feb 28, 2015

How to smooth your PLA prints with domestic pipe cleaner

3D Print Tips YT channel posted a video on how to use PVC pipe cleaner that is commercially available to vapor smooth PLA. The cleaner fluid is probably rich with THF (tetrahydrofuran) so it has a similar effect as acetone on ABS plastic. Do keep in mind that this method is probably less effective than using dichloromethane and chloroform.

The procedure is simple, the object is suspended above the heated THF rich fluid and the vapors dissolve surface layers and make them smooth.

Do keep in mind that the fumes are toxic and there is a fire hazard! Heating THF causes unstable explosive peroxide compounds that are carcinogenic. 

Here is the PLA part after the process. You can see that the surface is polished and shiny looking. LAyers are almost not visible.




Here is video showing the setup with few simple supplies like copper wire, mason jar and heater:



You can read the first post about THF polishing and smoothing here:

http://diy3dprinting.blogspot.com/2013/06/smoothing-and-polishing-pla-with-thf.html

Does anyone know of any similar simple chemical to polish PLA? I know that you can make PLA flexible with carburetor cleaner.

Loafinator simple DIY vibration cleaning bath for your resin 3d printed objects

Christopher Barr wanted to make a 20 minute post SLA printing cleaning process of isopropyl alcohol (IPA) bath shorter so he made this simple DIY vibration cleaning bath that decreases the time by tenfold and makes it into two minute process.

In the core of the machine that produces vibrations is a common hand sander (in this case Makita) that is fixated by putting it in expanding urethane foam mold. The base and the top container are made from two simple loaf pans (hence: the Loafinator).









You can see more details and small build log on FormLabs forum:

http://forum.formlabs.com/t/introducing-the-loafinator/3638


Here is the video of Loafinator  working:

3D Hubs launches the Talk sharing community hub for all 3d printing related subjects

3d Hubs 3d printing service launched the Talk community hub where makers can share all projects, ideas, questions and events related to 3d printing.
As the technology grows rapidly with much more people joining in, there is always a need for more communication and exchange.
I feel this will be much used platform.

Here is the Talk homepage:

https://www.3dhubs.com/talk


Here are some trending threads:

https://www.3dhubs.com/talk/thread/ockham-razor

https://www.3dhubs.com/talk/thread/3d-printed-drone-build

https://www.3dhubs.com/talk/thread/3d-printed-kerbal-jebediah-makers-tale


The design and registration is nice looking and easy to use. 



Talk is currently in beta so they would love to hear your ideas on how they can make it better, feel free to reach out to them :)

See you on the Talk!


Feb 27, 2015

3D printable snow wheels for your RC vehicle

Thomas Palm designed and 3d printed wheels for his RC Truggy car which can go on snow covered surfaces. If you have some basic CAD skills you can adapt them to fit your RC project.




Here are the spiked tires:



You can get the files here:

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:526969




Cartoon about the present and future of 3d printing

Nice and fun short animated film about future of 3d printing technology ... may not be accurate but I like the effort and style ...



Elderly are always assumed to be out of touch with "modern" technology. But is it or will it always be the case? Most modern kids only know how to use their smartphone where even the battery is not user replaceable. I can still repair my desktop computer and notebook.

Feb 26, 2015

SmartCore low cost wooden box 3d printer

SmartCore is a new 3d printer developed by SmartFriendz who gave us SmartRap. It should be VERY affordable, cheap and easy to make since the frame is a simple wooden box made from any available wood sheet.

The design elements like motor size, rod size, print volume and wall thickens are customizable and the design files can be recalculated. Since I'm a huge fan of wooden frame 3d printers I really like this design and will follow the project closely!

The project is still in development and could have some small disadvantages like slightly higher noise level since the box is an acoustic resonator.













All the files needed to make your own Smartrap Core can be found at:

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:651117

https://www.youmagine.com/designs/smartcore

SmartFriendz Lab: http://smartfriendz.com/

Here is a video of Smartrap Core in action:




Boxes are cool, they hold stuff! You can even build your 3d printer in a milk bottle box! Yes ... old plastic milk crate! Technology is awesome!

Update (16.3.2015.):

Here are SmartCores printing:




I really like the colors!


Lego Mindstorms EV3 3d printer uses hot glue and has a detailed build guide

William published his build on Instructables. It is a easy Lego Mindstroms based 3d printer controlled by Lego Ev3 control brick and using hot glue gun to print simple rough 3d shapes. The main advantage of this design is a detailed build guide which is easy to follow.





Here is video of it in action:



Detailed build guide can be found here:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Lego-EV3-3D-Printer-20/

Kudos William!

Case Rap suitcase modification of Mendel 90

Jean-Luc Guillemette was inspired by FoldaRap open source suitcase printer, so he took a Mendel 90 and built a MDF case for it. It took some 12 hours to build and some 350 CAD in cost.








Here is video of it in action:



All the files and instructions can be found here:

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:671209

Feb 24, 2015

Flex3Drive is flexible driveshaft based extruder system with some speed in it

Flex3Drive is innovative extruder system made by Mutley3D from Uk and developed by the CEO Jason Perkes.


Flex3rive print results

Flex3Drive schematics showing the flexible drive shaft and motor 
Flex3Drive is a complete end to end, flexible driveshaft based extruder system offering several key advantages over other systems, including:
  • a lighter X carriage 
  • faster print and travel speeds 
  • reduced retraction distances 
  • increased retract speeds 
The extruder motor is mounted remotely from the extruder itself and attached to the frame or x ends of a printer allowing the extruder to move faster with less vibrations. Flex3DriveTM is also fully compatible with Delta type machines.

Technical specifications:
  • Weight: 45 grams without hot end
  • Envelope: 50 x 45 x 45mm x y z
  • Gear Ratio: 40:1
  • Gear Type: Nylon IM (QDrive) Worm Wheel gear set
  • Hobb diameter: 11 x 8,5mm
  • Filament siameter: 3mm or 1,75 no extruder change required
  • Tested Filaments: ABS, PLA, Nylon (various), Laywood, NinjaFlex, Laybrick, Acetal - tglasse  and more ...
  • Price: £95 + Shipping

Flex3Drive homepage with much more information:

http://mutley3d.com/Flex3Drive/

Here is a RepRap forum about it: http://forums.reprap.org/read.php?1,356635

Here are some videos of Flex3Drive in action:




Here is an overview of the mechanism:




Here is real-time retraction test:

Free GCodeInfo app is a powerfull 3D print model analyzer for your Android smartphone

Mathias Dietz, well known 3d printing app develper has a new software release. It is a powerful model analysis tool for your Android device that will help you and calculate many parameters.

Here is more information from Mathias:

GCodeInfo App joins the family of the 3D Printing Apps GCodePrintr and GCodeSimulator.
It can analyze 3D print model files (gcode) and show detailed information like price, print time, etc.

The App can help you to answer these questions and much more:
  • How long will it take to print the object? 
  • What is the material cost of it? 
  • How can I optimize the print time of my 3D Model (where is the time spend)?
  • Whats the average print speed by layer?
It shows the following details of the 3D print model:
  • Cost / Price
  • Print Time
  • Length of Filament needed
  • Layer Height
  • Number of Layers
  • Average / Min print speed
  • Slowest/Fastest layer
  • Print Model Size
  • Print Mode Weight
  • Print Mode Mass
  • Snapshot image of the print model (2D top view)
  • 3D view of the print model
  • Temperature by layer chart 
  • Speed by layer chart
  • Print time by layer
The App is available in the Google Play Store for free:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=de.dietzm.gcodeinfo

More information about GcodeInfo, GCodePrintr and GCodeSimulator find here:



Laser metal deposition five axis 3d printing for aerospace appliances by Merlin Project

Laser metal deposition (LMD) is DMLS process that is the future of aerospace industry. Since European Union is a manufacturing powerhouse it is investing in many R&D projects like Merlin.
Ever major technological power is in the race to rule the industry and advance in digital manufacturing age.

From project description:
A 5 axis laser metal deposition manufacturing method is being developed by TWI for an EU-funded project which is demonstrating drastic time reduction in the manufacture of aero engine casings. 
In LMD, a weld track is formed using metal powder as a filler material which is fed through a coaxial nozzle, to a melt pool created by a focused high-power laser beam.
By traversing both the nozzle and laser, a new material layer develops with precise accuracy and user-defined properties. The application of multi-layering techniques allows 3D structures to be created.
To find out more please visit the project website: http://www.merlin-project.eu/ or go to TWI's website:http://www.twi-global.com/news-events...

Here is a video of the process. It took seven and half hours to print this thin walled casing prototype for jet engine test beds.





Here is a list of LMD technical advantages and disadvantages:

Advantages of LMD:
  • Metallurgical bond (not mechanical, thermal spray)
  • Wide variety of available powders 
  • Very low dilution is possible 
  • Relatively high deposition rates 
  • Process is highly repeatable 
  • Low impact on base material compared to similar processes (HAZ) 
  • Superior metallurgy compared to similar processes 
  • Virtually unlimited build height 
  • Very flexible tool path compared to wire applications 
Disadvantages of LMD:
  • High capital equipment costs
  • Powder cost is typically higher than wire
  • Capture ratio of additive material < 100% (based on process parameters)
  • Cannot control the process manually – CNC is required 
  • Experienced, specialized staff required (e.g. laser safety engineer, skilled operators)
LMD laser toolhead schematics:



Too lazy to wash dishes by hand? Just 3d print a water powered DIY dishwasher machine!

Filip Sjoo from Sweden developed this ... this ... 3d printed washing contraption :-) !

Technically it is "worlds first fully functional 3d printed dishwasher" but I see it more as a example of 3d design skills since it takes some knowledge to put all those gears and water powered turbine to work together.





Now, it's a nice design and idea, but it looks like it uses a LOT of water since it needs a strong stream to power it. You would probably save some money by using your hands or standard washing machine.

Still ... great work Filip!

Now, if you want a functional dishwasher related scenario of use see how to repair a gasket with your 3d printer.



There are TONS of 3d printable DIY replacement part for dishwashers on Thingiverse:

http://www.thingiverse.com/search/page:1?q=dishwasher&sa=


Feb 21, 2015

AKER open source DIY plant beds and other gardening equipment made by CNC from plywood

As I am getting more interested in CNCing wood I'll post more about various DIY CNC projects.

My retired father is now a beekeeper so I found Open Source Beehives. Since they don't have LR type of beehives we gave up on the idea of making them or buying a large CNC mill (we would need to do some saving on family level to afford it). Also it keeps my father occupied as he makes the beehives himself by hand from old wood pallets.

Now that team released AKER DIY plant beds you can produce with your CNC from a single sheet of 1200 x 2400 plywood sheet.

Here is the video presentation of the project:




It's an interesting idea and my wife is nagging me for ages that we should start to use some sort of raised beds in our large garden, so maybe I should start to save up to finally buy parts to make my own CNC.

AKER facebook page:

www.facebook.com/akerkits

On AKER homepage you will find plans and CNC files for this raised bed and other things like: worm hotel composter, GroWall wall planter, EcoHive top bar hive and EggHouse chicken coop. All files are open source and you can make it yourself if you own a CNC or get them done by someone else.

AKER homepage: 


AKER DIY CNC cut raised bed




































Chicken coop

Worm hotel composter

If you own 3d printer only, you can still make an open source hydroponics food growing system.

CNC is very wide field ... so many projects. Can anyone point me where to start with research on how to build CNC big enough to process standard plywood sheet?

Update (16.3.2015.):

AKER is on Indiegogo now with their Print your Urban Farm campaign and it comes with Aker Map  http://www.map.aker.me/ application for food sharing.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/aker-print-your-urban-farm--2#home




Feb 15, 2015

3D printable remotely controlled snow blower toy

Someone under nickname The_Great_Moo redesigned Kyosho Blizzard SR remotely controlled snow blower toy part, upgraded the performance and made it almost fully 3d printable.
Everything is 3d printed except metal nuts and bolts
He printed it on his Da Vinci 1.0 3d printer in some 40 hours.

I couldn't find the files but hopefully they will be released...







Here is video of it in action... it is small but it works:




Large image gallery with many detailed photos of 3d printed parts:
https://imageshack.com/a/xZMz/1

Source:
http://s1.zetaboards.com/RCsnowcats/topic/5749076/1/

Here is a video overview of the DIY snow blower:


You can order it here:

http://spykerworkshop.webs.com/order


Producing 3d printing filament on commercial scale

Here is a Make: interview with Josh Smith, owner of Makergeeks.com about how 3d printing filament is produced on more industrial level for mass markets.
The most interesting thing about it is explanation of complexity of the technology used and need for exact temperature control in several steps.
Also the fact that the final diameter of the filament is not produced by different exit nozzle diameter but all filaments are pulled trough the same nozzle and the diameter is achieved by applying different temperature.





Source: Make

Laser diameter sensor control unit

Raspberry Pi 2 released with much more processing power for same price

Raspberry Pi 2 is out! It is much more powerful for the same price of a previous model (35 USD). The tests show that it's up to six times faster as the old version. There will be some nice and fast 3d printing projects running on this one!

Technical specifications:
  •  900MHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 CPU
  • 1GB RAM
Like the (Pi 1) Model B+, it also has:
  • 4 USB ports
  • 40 GPIO pins
  • Full HDMI port
  • Ethernet port
  • Combined 3.5mm audio jack and composite video
  • Camera interface (CSI)
  • Display interface (DSI)
  • Micro SD card slot
  • VideoCore IV 3D graphics core
  • OS: full range of ARM GNU Linux distributions, including Snappy Ubuntu Core, as well as Microsoft Windows 10
Here is Make with video overview of new Pi:




... and here is a full in-depth review of the Raspberry Pi 2:



It even has a glitch, it crashes when exposed to a photo flash light:




I think it has the same form factor as the older model:

Source: Wikipedia

High 3d printed fashion projects by Lilah LaValle and Airwolf3D

3d printed fashion is really emerging as one cool new area for artistic expression. I recently found this two nice works of arts (and 3d printing crafts). One is more industrial-art and second is more of a DIY-fashion project.

First piece is a fully 3d printed Red Corset designed by German artist Lilah LaValle in collaboration with her boyfriend Daniel Sirkett and it is printed by Shapeways in SLS Nylon. Since it is a larger and more complex piece the high-end SLS process was required sou you probably will not print this soon in your home.

Photographer: Susanne Kreuschmer / Lily Like Visual Art H&M: Meachy Wong Model: Lilly / Look Out Management

And here is a Sandy "the materials girl" from Airwolf 3D showing all the clothing, jewelry and accessories you can already 3d print at home from various commonly available DIY materials!

The A.X.I.O.S. (Advanced Xtreem Integrated Operating Scales) dress designed by Cameron Williams is printed from hexagonal plates in ABS / TPU / TPE. Very cool!




Feb 12, 2015

Airwolf 3D launches WOLFBITE NANO adhesive for PLA

After the great success Airwolf had with their Wolfbite ABS adhesive, now they present Wolfbite Nano adhesive solution for PLA filaments. It will help the object stick to the print surface and prevent warping and similar  problems.



From the Wolfbite Nano page:
WolfBite Nano is applied with an applicator brush straight onto glass, eliminating the need for tape. One light coat of Wolfbite can be used for several prints. After applying Wolfbite Nano directly on glass, printing can commence immediately, either with a heated or room-temperature bed.
Airwolf 3D specially formulated the proprietary solution to not only promote excellent adhesion but also to make part removal easy. Parts maybe removed post print by immersing the glass plate in water for a short period of time, if necessary.
“As manufacturers of 3D printers that are capable of printing large parts in PLA, we are aware of the frustrations with painter’s tape and adhesion,” said Wolf “After months of research and development, we are pleased to offer a solution that will benefit nearly all desktop 3D printer users. Wolfbite NANO™ was developed at Airwolf 3D through collaboration with Professor Miodrag “Mickey” Micic, Ph.D., who is a department chairman at Cerritos College in Norwalk, Calif., and a well known polymer chemist.
“This is a new, environmentally friendly solution for resolving the acute problem of PLA- based 3D printing, part adhesion and warpage. The solution is based on a combination of green chemistry and nanotechnology to create the best possible adhesion using compounds which are generally regarded as safe,” said Micic.
Wolfbite is packaged in a two fluid ounce container and comes with a foam brush applicator. It is currently available for sale on the Airwolf website at an introductory price of $19.99.
Airwolf is surely becoming industry leader in adhesion solutions! Good work!

Here is video presentation of Wolfbite Nano:


There are still no independent tests or reviews.

Control your 3d printer with old WiFi router using OpenWRT and OctoPrint

Matt Defenthaler had an old junked Netgear router and he remembered that it could run OctoPrint since it is based on Python. Most modern routers are actually quite capable small computers that can be upgraded by various open source firmwares to do many things.
Matt made it work and documented the process.

Matt used the following setup:
Detailed guide on how to install everything and get it running is on Matt's blog:

http://csmatt.com/notes/?p=154




I participate in project called "Open Network" aka "OtvorenaMreza" where we deploy local mash networks open to public and we mostly use cheap and discarded routers running. The mashing software runs on OpenWRT and some members use them to run sensors, cameras and other interesting stuff, Now there is a new thing we could implement.
Kudos Matt!

Feb 11, 2015

Repair fridge doors with 3d printed replacement hinges

Simone Fontana and Ricardo Salomao repaired a broken refrigerator doors with 3d printed hinges. Another success story for owning your own universal home fabricator :-) The replacement part was printed on Ultimaker 2.






































It would be interesting to see how many openings can the plastic hinge survive. Probably not so many (I might be wrong since it is only turning the door on the axial pivot).

Like someone pointed out in the comments, the full metal replacement hinge can be bought for some 10 USD, but it can be argued that in the future 3d printing materials will improve and then the whole replacement parts industry and economics will drastically change.

A hobbyist also gains knowledge and independance by repairing his own stuff.

Also do keep in mind that there are many plastic parts that cost a lot and are not under heavy stress.

Like:

Car buttons and attachment points:

http://diy3dprinting.blogspot.com/2014/08/repairing-ford-focus-cargo-cover.html

or washing machine gasket:

http://diy3dprinting.blogspot.com/2014/08/repairing-ford-focus-cargo-cover.html

or even expensive camera parts:

http://diy3dprinting.blogspot.com/2014/04/diy-3d-printed-replacement-lcd-arm-on.html



Feb 8, 2015

KUKA robotic arm turned into six axis 3d printer produces self supporting floating structures

While six axis 3d printer is nothing new, they are quit rare. There have been even robotic arms hacked to print in all axis even with metal like MX3D Metal. Still I find this robot to be more aesthetic and organic in operation.
This machine prints self supporting floating structures inspired by spider webs in same ABS like most common DIY 3d printers and it is even Arduino controlled. It is based on KUKA industrial robotic arm and it is developed inside "Digital Future" project.




Project description:
"Digital Future" Shanghai Summer Workshop 2014
Instructor: YU Lei (Tsinghua) / Philip. F. YUAN(Tongji) / Panagiotis Michalatos(GSD)
Collaborator: SHI Ji / LIU Xun / LUO Ruihua / CUI Yuqi
The project, Robotic 6-Axis 3D Printing, is a highly-integrated installation combining robotic system, 3D printing technique and interactive interface. It aims to provide the designer a digital method to eliminate the line between "Designing" and "Fabricating". In this case, architects provides more than just drawings and construction notes, however, they are capable of fabricating their work quickly and precisely by themselves
Most of today's researches and applications of robotic fabrication are limited to replicating human labor and raising efficiency of manufacturing. However, in the project of Robotic 6-Axis 3D Printing, we developed a fabrication strategy learning and emulating the law of nature (referring to Chinese philosophy "师法自然 ").
By studying the material and structure performance of 3D form in nature, we figured out a way to incorporate biomimetic fabrication strategy into 3D printing process. And by designing the special robotic-end effector (Tooling) and utilizing the great flexibility and accuracy of KUKA robot system, the biomimetic fabricating process has been fully realized.
The whole process embodied the concept of "Digital Craftsmanship", which emphasis the personality of designer and allows them to closely integrated "Designing" and "Fabricating".
Here is video of the robotic craftsman in action:



3d printed DIY bow hand

Archery is an area where 3d printing is often used. There is even a fully 3d printed DIY compound bow project.
Southern .45 made a working prototype of 3d printed bow hand in ABS.



Source and more information:

http://southern45acp.tumblr.com/post/108881474356/ok-so-a-working-prototype-of-the-3d-printed

Feb 7, 2015

How to heat press metal inserts into ABS 3d printed objects with simple DIY tool

Steve Graber presents great way to insert metal parts (in his case metal nut-serts) into 3d printed ABS object (it would work with PLA and other probably).
He uses hot end mounted on a drill press which heats the metal part which is then melted in the 3d printed part by pressing it downwards.
The parts looks almost like commercially produced. The fused metal inserts are probably very strongly bonded into plastic around them.
So Steve hacked and merged a hot end and a drill press to create a new tool!

Here is his explanation of the process and his contraption:




Here is the hot end mounted on the drill press:




























Thnx Steve!

Free video webinar on 3d printing in medical industry

Here is a new free video webinar by Tyler Reid of GoEngineer on 3d printing in medical industry.
It is a great overview of current state of affairs in materials (types, certifications, features and sterilization), prototyping, fixtures, tooling, teaching aids, and production parts.
Well worth half an hour watching if you work in medical industry.





You can watch many more Tyler's webinars like:

http://diy3dprinting.blogspot.com/2014/12/free-webinar-on-3d-printing-and.html

http://diy3dprinting.blogspot.com/2014/07/free-webinar-of-3d-printed-end-use-parts.html


Biorep prototypes










MatterControl Touch Android based 3d printer control unit

MatterHackers present their Android based touch screen controller: the MatterControl Touch. It is compatible with most (probably all) G-code 3d printers.

Some basic technical specifications:
  • RAM: 1GB
  • GPU: Quad Core 4x1.4GHz
  • Internal Storage: 8GB
  • External Storage: SD Card
  • USB interface
  • Camera Included
  • Voice Capable
  • Touchscreen
  • Wifi-Connectivity
  • Standalone Control
  • Web Monitoring
  • Price: 299 USD
Key features from the product page:
  • Simple Setup - Preloaded configurations make setting up your 3D printer a snap - plug it in and start printing in minutes.
  • Integrated Slicing - Give your printer the ability to directly generate print files from 3D models using MatterSlice.
  • Remote Print Monitoring - Keep an eye on your 3D prints from afar using your phone or any web-enabled device. 
  • Automatic Print Leveling - Use software-based leveling to achieve printing excellence.
  • SMS / Email Notifications - Have your printer send a text message or email alert with a photo of your finished part.
  • Onboard Camera - Take a picture of your finished print or check on the status while printing.
  • Free Updates - MatterControl is a continuously improving platform and staying up to date with the latest developments is just a simple click away.
  • Open Source Software - MatterControl Touch is powered by open source software and libraries, including MatterControl, MatterSlice, the agg-sharp graphics engine, and the Android operating system.
  • Wifi Enabled, Not Required - Enjoy a fully standalone experience or connect your printer to the web to take advantage of cloud features
  • Send Files over the Web - Send models to your printer from anywhere, or transfer models between printers. SD Cards not required.
  • Model Editing Tools - Make simple changes to your 3D model quickly and easily prior to printing. Rotate, scale, mirror and position your models for the perfect print.
  • Full Preview - Preview and interact with 3D models prior to printing. Use the layer-by-layer preview to see exactly how your print will turn out.
  • Customizable Settings - Create and customize your own, or use built-in presets for material and quality settings to make switching filaments simple and convenient. No more failed prints because you forgot to change a setting.
  • Design Plugins - Get add-ons to make simple parts right on your printer.
  • Dual Extrusion / Multi-Material - Assigning different materials is a snap so you can take full advantage of any multi-extruder equipped 3D printer.
  • Mid-print Tuning and Adjustment - Fine tune your prints with on-the-fly adjustments to speed and extrusion rates.
  • Print History - Keep a record of your favorite prints so you can reprint your most impressive parts with the click of a button.
  • Design Library - Organize all of your 3D printable models in one searchable location for easy access.
  • Advanced Features - MatterControl Touch puts the full capability of 3D printing into the hands of power users. So if you want to adjust eeprom settings, create custom macros, or send terminal commands directly to your machine - you can.
  • Future improvements: Secure Cloud-based Control, Support for .x3g and .s3g 3D Printers, More Camera Integration (time lapse videos, streaming prints, etc), Voice Command, Developer API







Here is a video presentation of MatterControl Touch, it sure looks easy and powerfull :



MatterControl Touch home page:

http://www.matterhackers.com/store/printer-accessories/mattercontrol-touch

Is this machine worth your money? Well it depends. If you are able to use open source software and a cheap Android tablet, maybe you can get the most of functionality (but not all) for no cost. You could also use paid Android software like gCodePrintr to get some extra functionality.
You decide! Independent test and reviews are not yet available. We will se what will be user experiences in the future.


Feb 6, 2015

Bonsai Lab BS Toy 3d printer and low temperature filament aimed at children

Bonsai Lab from Japan presented a new "BS Toy" 3d printer aimed at children and schools. It features ability to print with low temperature filemant material which melts at around 80C so that extruder should be "safe" for kids if they touch it.
The LT 80 filament is a flexible thermoplastic made by Polymakr LLC and it is designed to be from FDA approved materials to make it children safe. It is only colorless at the moment but it should be available in more colors.

Personally, I find this obsession with "safety" to be exaggerated. If school children can not be trusted not to touch heated element when warned about it, we have a much bigger problem then a burn they will get. But I grew up in a different time in a different culture.  As far as I understand liability laws and school administrator would want some similar "safe" technology. 
  • BS Toy dimensions: 200 (W) x 200 (D) x 200mm (H) 
  • Weight: 2.0kg 
  • Print volume: 130 (W) x 125 (D) x 100mm (H). 
  • Nozzle diameter: 0.4mm, with optional 0.2 to 0.5mm nozzles 
  • The recommended deposition pitch is 0.1mm



Objects printed in LT80 filament












Source:

Steampunk style DIY 3d printer based on Printrbot GO

John Davis made this beautiful steampunk themed 3d printer based on Printrbot Go. I'm a huge fan of wood frame 3d printers and this is work of a true craftsman.
It has some nice finishing touches like brass and bronze inlays, mechanical switches, functional gauges and suitcase form factor.
Kudos John!













You can get much more details and build log on Johns blog:

http://ei8htohms.tinyparts.net/?tag=printrbot-go

Here is the printer in action:



MOLDLAY filament for DIY lost wax casting with 3d printed objects

Kai Parthy, well known filament material developer, has a new product named MOLDLAY which is a thermoplastic filament with properties similar to wax. It can be used for two casting techniques: lost mold (lost wax casting) or permanent mold casting.
Lost PLA casting is well known method and you can  use microwave oven lost PLA casting, but MOLDLAY can be melted in a common baking oven due to its low melting point and wax like properties.













Here are the key features and technical data:

  • superior dimensional stability
  • tiff, rigid at room temperature
  • near zero warp
  • printable without heated bed
  • print at 170 – 180° C,
  • heated bed max. 40°C,
  • melting temperature ~ 270°C 
  • the molten wax flows freely out the mold, similar to liquid paraffin
  • price: unknown
  • contact for dealers: kp@cc-products.de

Here is a video showing the entire process of lost wax casting with MOLDLAY:





Feb 5, 2015

colorFabb XT-CF20 carbon fiber 3d printing filament

Dutch colorFabb just released their new carbon fiber 3d printing filament that gives new properties and deep matte black finish.

The print quality looks great but there are no independent tests or reviews







Here are the main features of XT-CF20 and technical specifications:
  • ColorFabb XT CF20 is a copolyester based carbon fiber composite material that is based on the unique Amphora 3D polymer from Eastman Chemical and is loaded with no less than 20% specially sourced carbon fibers suitable for 3D Printing.
  • Extreme High Flex Modulus (6.2 GPa) / twice as stiff as PLA
  • Moderate strain at break (8-10%), so no extreme brittle filament, butt toughness
  • High Glass Temp. (Tg = 80C)
  • Very high Melt strength
  • Very high Melt Viscosity
  • Good dimensional accuracy and stability
  • Low odor / Styrene Free solution
  • Easy processing on many platforms
  • High attractive matt black surface
  • Diameter Tolerance: ± 0.05 mm
  • Density: 1.370 g/cm3
  • Glass Transition Temperature: 75C
  • Price: 49,95 euro
One thing to keep in mind that this type of filament is abrasive and will wear out your brass nozzle much sooner then common thermopolymers, PLA, ABS and others. 

Here is a video presentation of XT-CF20:




Product page:

http://colorfabb.com/xt-cf20/

Postprocessing copperFill and bronzeFill filament 3d printed objects to make them shine

Adafruit released a guide on how to effectively polish copperFill and bronzeFill filament 3d printed objects and get them to high shine. They use some simple machines and it the results look easy to reproduce. After the process the objects look like they were casted in full metal.
The main part of the polishing is tumbling the prints in a container with brass screws



Full guide is on Adafruit learning system:

https://learn.adafruit.com/copperfill-filament



3d printable Ghostbusters Proton pack - I ain't afraid of no ghost!

I just loved Ghostbusters movie when I was a kid. I just looked around to see if someone recreated it and there are many people who did it. And naturally, someone made 3d printable version ... cool!


JUST DON'T CROSS THE BEAMS!



Proton pack files:

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:95635

Particle ray gun files:

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:95727

Here is Proton Pack in action:

Feb 4, 2015

Philo DIY retro TV set powered by Chromecast and with 3d printable enclosure

Instructables user piratetv1 made and shared 7 inch retro looking 3d printable TV set powered by Chromecast. It looks very cool if you are into that design era...










Here is video of Philo in action:




Detailed instructions, BOM and build guide can be found on Instructables:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Philo-the-7-3D-printed-retro-TV/?ALLSTEPS

All the files can be found at:

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:662275

Philo is modeled inspired by Philco Predicta. Man, they did have some style back then ...



First Austrian 3d printing classroom in polytechnic school Vorchdorf

In RepRap facebook group I saw very interesting news. In Austria they opened first 3d printing classroom in a polytechnic school in Vorchdorf. The teaching cabinet looks great and has 8 3d printers. Project was made possible by cooperation of government, school, RepRap Austria and Otelo.

My first thought was: WHY DON'T WE HAVE IT HERE IN CROATIA?!?!?!?

Austria is country we look up to and hopefully someone will create a similar project. I'm pessimistic since IT is still being thought with floppy disks.We are sooooo faaaar behind with everything ...

You go Vorchdorf! For The Win!

How is your school system doing? Is your country implementing any 3d printing educational program for the kids?

Source: Ben Ny facebook

FormLabs wants to rule in 2015 and they demonstrate it with a fully resin 3d printed speaker project

FormLabs has some resolutions for 2015 and they have made a fully 3d printable speaker project made from resins with different properties. Key resin property for the speaker is flexibility. Improved resolution and optimized support systems help also.



You can learn more at:

http://formlabs.com/en/company/blog/2015/01/06/new-year-new-resolution/

Here is the SLA printed DIY speaker developed by Adam Lebovitz made with various resins:


Help Melanie with her Master Thesis by taking a survey about open source hardware and 3d printing

I was approached by Melanie Kern to help her out with her survey for her master thesis. It deals with Open Source Hardware and 3d printing. 
If you have spare 10 minutes go and help someone doing valuable research! Remember people: sharing is caring!

Dear Survey Participant,
Open Source Hardware (OSH) development is a fascinating phenomenon that recently gained momentum. Given the potential of 3D printing and OSH to disrupt entire industries and revolutionize the way we design, produce, recycle, manufacture, distribute and commercialize physical products in the future, this is worth in-depth inquiry. To begin with, this survey, conducted at the Universities of Hamburg and Osnabrück, Germany, shall provide insight about 3D printing communities and their motivations and drivers.
It shall also give developers the possibility to provide feedback on community services and to name key features that would help to improve their favorite platforms. The anonymous and aggregated data will be used for research at the Chair of Management and Digital Markets and be provided to platform managers.
The survey will only take about 10 minutes. Your contribution is crucial to the project and is very much appreciated. Many thanks.
To participate, please follow the link:
survey.digital-markets.info/index.php/914511/lang-en
Best regards,
Melanie Kern, BA (University of Hamburg)
Prof. Dr. Piet Hausberg (University of Osnabrück)
Prof. Dr. Sebastian Späth (University of Hamburg)
You can access the project homepage here:
http://www.wiwi.uni-osnabrueck.de/en/departments_and_institutes/technology_and_innovation_management_prof_hausberg/research.html
Or on the social media site:
https://www.facebook.com/3Dprintingresearchproject