Apr 30, 2017

New Rapid Liquid Printing 3D Printing Process from MIT

Very smart people from MIT developed a novel 3d printing process called "Rapid Liquid Printing" where a material is injected into a gelatine cube medium that acts as a support. It increases the speed and you can get complex geometries.

You can see it in this video:

Process description:
In collaboration with Steelcase, we are presenting a new experimental process called Rapid Liquid Printing, a breakthrough 3D printing technology. Rapid Liquid Printing physically draws in 3D space within a gel suspension, and enables the creation of large scale, customized products made of real-world materials. Compared with other techniques we believe this is the first development to combine industrial materials with extremely fast print speeds in a precisely controlled process to yield large-scale products.
3D printing hasn’t taken off as a mainstream manufacturing process for three main reasons: 1) it’s too slow compared to conventional processes like injection molding, casting, milling, etc. 2) it’s limited by scale – although it’s good for creating small components, it’s not possible to produce large scale objects 3) the materials are typically low-quality compared to industrial materials.
Rapid Liquid Printing addresses all of these limitations: it is incredibly fast (producing structures in a matter of minutes), designed for large scale products (you can print an entire piece of furniture) and uses real-world, industrial-grade materials.

It looks interesting as a concept, but practicality is questionable. It takes a lot of gel support material, there are various foces, hard to design geometry due to the medium, the extruder "needle" effects the object geometry, materials need to be easy to separate... Still, it looks very promising for some future advanced applications and bioprinting.

MITs Self-Assembly Lab page:


Detalied article on Dezeen:


Apr 29, 2017

TrussFab Builds Complex Structures with 3D Printed Hubs and Bottles

Researchers at Hasso Plattner Institute developed TrussFab system which enables you to design and build large complex structures like furniture, boats, and buildings. Hopefully, they will open source the software.

Project description:
TrussFab is an integrated end-to-end system that allows users to fabricate large-scale structures that are sturdy enough to carry human weight. TrussFab achieves the large scale by complementing 3D print with plastic bottles.  TrussFab achieves the large scale by complementing 3D print with plastic bottles. It does not use these bottles as “bricks” though, but as beams that form structurally sound node-link structures, also known as trusses.

TrussFab presentation video:

Project homepage with more information about it:


Full scientific publication in PDF:


3d printed structural hub holding the bottle trusses

Apr 27, 2017

3D Printable Hand Saw Made from HTPLA Carbon Fiber Filament

Josh Hughes 3d printed a somewhat functional hand saw from carbon fiber filament. It is made from Protopasta HTPLA carbon fiber material and it can cut tough small pieces of soft wood but the laers separate due to cutting forces.
Josh notes that it could be prevented by applying a cyanoacrylate coating.

Josh has a currently small YouTube channel, but I think it will be worth following:


Apr 23, 2017

Cool 3D Printable MGA Speaker with Laser Cut Plywood Grill

Here is another cool 3d printable speaker with modern design and the front cover that is laser cut from plywood with different design patterns. It is driven by RaspberryPi and you could probably install any compatible media center software.

Creators describe it as:
This 3d printed speaker is designed at the course Mechatronics Design at the Technical University of Denmark, in collaboration with Bang&Olufsen Create.
In a group of five: Karoline Gustaffson, Mads Olesen, Frederikke Foss, Christian Lundberg and Nicoline Hvidt, we designed, printed, cut and build the speaker, with guidance from our teachers and cooperates from B&O.
The speaker is meant for the kitchen where it can be put on the wall or laid on a table. It is designed so that the front cover can easily be taken on and off so the speaker reflects the specific mood. It is also a great opportunity for customizing the speaker.
Time-estimation:Print-time: 2x15 hoursAssembly-time: 10 hours

Thingiverse page:


Here is the project page with detailed construction guide:


Apr 22, 2017

DIY 3D Printed No 2 Pencil by Josh Hughes

Josh Hughes 3d printed a fully working No. 2 pencil. He used a type of wood PLA with a standard graphite insert. 

Josh wrote:
Next time I will use an electric sharpener. I was worried the heat from sharpening it with and electric sharpener would melt the plastic.
Anyhow, The body of the No. 2 pencil is HatchBox Wood PLA, and the eraser connection is Protopasta's HTPLA Carbon Fiber.
The "No. 2" was laser-engraved on the face of the pencil after it had finished printing, and all of the components were superglued together.

3D Printed DIY 1/16 Ratio Gearbox for DC Motors

Tomi Malkki made a 1/16 ratio 3d printed gearbox that he uses to modify torque and RPM of salvaged DC motors.

Project description with gearbox specs:

This gearbox has the ratio of 1/16. With this 12v motor it can lift around 3,5kg (straight from the shaft.) 2 washers should place between each gear (see details in video). It reduces heat between plastic parts when 2 washers are rubbing each other. Adding lots of bearing grease between everything is essential. Depending on your printer tolerances you might need drill out some holes bigger. Motor mount should be standard size.


  • layer 0.2
  • infill 25%
  • perimeters 3
  • bottom layer 2, top 3


  • Layer 0.3
  • infill 20%
  • perimeters 2
  • bottom layer 2, top 3

Here is the assembly video:

He also cleaned all the surfaces with oil and dirt cleaner, then added a layer of primer, 2 layers of surface paint and 2 layers of clear lacquer, he is using acrylic spray paints.

This is a very useful DIY project that can power many small projects like RC vehicles or robots.

All the files and instructions can be found at:


Thingiverse page:


Apr 21, 2017

Printrbot Smalls New Low Cost 3D Printer

Printrbot just introduced the Printrbot Smalls! It is a new low cost entry level 3d printer from a well known company. It is priced at $298!

Here is the presentation video of the last beta model, final production design will be more polished:

Tech specs:

  • Model: 1704
  • Build Volume (X-Y-Z): 100mm x 100mm x 130mm (apx 4″ x 4″ x 5″ / 80 cubic inches)
  • Print Resolution: 100 Microns
  • Print Speed: 80mm/sec max recommended
  • Filament: 1.75mm PLA (sample included)
  • Extruder: yes
  • Auto Leveling: Auto-Leveling Probe works with software to calibrate Z axis height (see video)
  • Print Bed: Not heated – 1/8″ 6061 aluminum (0.3mm level tolerance)
  • Construction: _
  • Belt: GT2
  • Z Lead Screw: Acme 4 Start
  • Pulleys: 20 tooth, dual flange GT2 aluminum
  • Electronics: Printrbot Rev F5 Printrboard with USB B connection and micro SD card slot for untethered printing
  • Software: Printrbot does not provide software, but recommends Cura v15.04 – available for free download.
  • Power Requirements: 12V (6 amp) laptop power supply (included)
  • Motors: NEMA 17 stepper. 
  • Overall Footprint:  16.6″ x 13″ x 11″ (L x W x H)

The Smalls is a small, portable, and versatile 3D printer kit for the hacker, maker, or student on a budget …not afraid to build a kit and engage in our community forum for support.  Build volume begins at 4″ x 4″ x 5″ (X-Y-Z), but the possibility to expand is there with our upgrade kits (coming soon) or your own design whimsy.
The Smalls is perfect for customization.  Paint the stock metal.  Print your own parts out of any filament you like.  Install almost any existing upgrade and/or accessory in the Printrbot store.  Get the idea?  Make the Smalls your own!
Construction decisions were pragmatic, using the right fabrication tool for each job: Pristine machined aluminum, water jet 5052 and 6061 aluminum plate, and just a dollop of 3D printed parts to give it that “reprap flavor”.
Okay, so how does it print?  Since this is a kit, the results are largely up to you, but make no mistake.  In the hands of an experienced user (like the ones we have here at PBHQ), the Smalls can produce results comparable to the Play, Simple, or Plus.
This absolutely is the lowest priced 3D printer we’ve ever released!  (except for one other laser cut wood kit with fishing line instead of belts and sandpaper pulleys instead of real pulleys that was only available for a limited time until we corrected both price and some design problems …but let’s just keep that between us).   It is definitely the least expensive printer that we will EVER, EVER release  …that we know of. …for now.
We are pretty sure it is the most affordable American-Made 3D printer.   Definitely the most economical Northern-California-Made 3D printer.  Totally the most budget-friendly 3D printer manufactured in Lincoln, CA.  Not “cheap”, just inexpensive.

Printrbot Smalls homepage:


Sub 300 USD market segment is certainly getting more interesting. Competition is a great thing!

We are still waiting for third party reviews and tests but Printrbot has a proven track record of making solid designs.

Here is a Facebook presentation by Brook Drumm:

Apr 17, 2017

Amazing RepRap Helios with Sequential 3D Printing

RepRap Helios is a SCARA 3d printer with some great features combined with unique movement mechanics and design approach.

Introduction video:

Key specifications as described by the developer:
  • It is highly printable.
  • 153mm arms similar to RepRap Morgan
  • Gear reduction similar to RepRap Morgan
  • Same kinematics as RepRap Morgan (Well...this can change arm modes but we won't start doing that until after we get some prints.)
  • Fits in a 200x225x250 box
  • Can print objects that are up to 600mm long
  • All four motors (400 steps/rotation) are static while providing a structural support and their own wire-management.
  • Prints directly on a tape covered table
  • Planning on using an IR depth probe
  • Could probably print all the parts for a self-replication run in one go.

Here is the sequential printing on a flat table surface with some blue tape demonstrating the advantage of this machine:

Great work by Nicholas Seward! Since this is a project in development we can expect much more improvements.

RepRap forum development thread:


Google+ Helios page with further details including very good print results:


Apr 14, 2017

Add DIY electric power on your longboard with 3D printing

Yow Hwui Low used 3d printing to add DIY electric motor drive to his longboard. He documented and published the entire process.

Longboard specs:
  • This board can reach speeds of up to 42 km/h and has a range of over 16 km. The average pace of daily rides is around 15 - 20 km/h. It weighs around 8 kgs.
  • Fully 3D-printed drivetrain with built-in idler system in ABS. Tested over 150 km as of March 2017.
  • Max. Speed: 42 km/h
  • Range: 16 km
  • 6374 3.3 kW BLDC Motor
  • VESC
  • 8S LiPo Set Up
  • 2 Ch 2.4 GHz Control

Project video:

Here is the drivetrain demonstration:

Full build guide and all the files can be found at:


Thingiverse page:


For a similar project you can check a electric longboard by Saral Tayal:

Apr 4, 2017

DIY 3D Printed 30W Generator

Even Erichsen developed a 30W DIY electricity generator which you can 3d print name "The Beest". 
The Beest is powered up by hand (or other mechanica source) via the series of gears: ‘1:2 + 1:4 + 1:3, so one turn rotates the rotor 24 times. The rotor is set up like a 3 phase axial flux generator, with three stators and six rotor plates with a total of 96 neodymium magnets.
Very cool project, but full instructions are not released yet. If you have some knowledge of electric generators, you will be able to recreate this.

Here is the project description by the creator:
This is a working hand cranked power generator.
The rotor, in the picture, spins up to 1500 rpm, and produce about 30 watts.
I recommend building the rotor as seen in the fbx-file, for more power.
Needless to say – this is a huge print! Minimum 200+ hours....
On the hardware side you need 96 neodymium magnets (25mm diameter x 10mm),
about 1,3kg of enameled copper wire, preferably six steel plates, a pile of nuts & bolts, electronics - including an Arduino nano, display, bridge rectifier(s), diodes, capacitors, resistors, voltage regulators etc.
If you want to etch the PCB yourself, you will need a blank 160mm x 100mm copper board and your preferred chemicals.

Generator in action:

Thingiverse page with all the files:


There is also a much simpler 15W version at: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:145186

Project homepage:


Here is the Beest fully assembled:

Apr 3, 2017

New One Arm SCARA 3D Printer from Nick: RepRap Helios

Nicholas Seward is developing a new type of SCARA 3d printer with one arm. It looks interesting. 

Nicholas wrote:
This 3D printer is a work in progress. I am currently printing parts and have all the components.
This printer can print items over 24 inches long if shaped correctly while being able to fit in a 10inch cube. My plan is to print directly on a tape covered table. I think it will be possible for it to print all of its own parts at once.
I am working on a name. Feel free to drop some suggestions. Current names: Copernicus, Helios, Homer, ScARMa, Tyr (Tyr is a 1 handed god.), One Armed Bandit

Go see his channel for other developments:



Here are the firs movements of RepRap Helios:

3D rendering of Helios in development phase:

Some Good Upgrade and Slicing News from Prusa

The Prusa team announced two great little upgrades in slicing software and hardware.

Slic3r Prusa edition has new smooth variable height layer option and new support optimization.

Here is the presentation video for SLH:

You can read about it, in more detail, here:


Prusa i3 MK2 is now upgraded into MK2S

MK2S is being rolled into production and it comes several improvments.

Key MK2S features:
  • Better LM8UU mounting on Y axis
  • Better LM8UUs and smooth rods
  • Better P.I.N.D.A. probe mount
  • Improved cable stress relief on the extruder
  • Better electronics cover
No more zip ties!!! Yeah!!!

Metal U-bolts now hold things fixated

For users with old version upgrade kit comes at 49 USD.

Full tech specs with pictures:


Mar 26, 2017

Using 3D printing pens for art

I'm not a huge fan of 3d printing pens (probably because I draw on pre-school level) but here are some people who use them to make some fine 3d pop art.

The apex of modern civilization: Pokemon figurines...

... and some useful things like this T-Rex skeleton:

Check their YT channel:


Their Facebook page:


MakerBot MinFill

Makerbot presented their new software innovation that enables you to minimize and optimize the infill to save time and material. It can reduce material and time for some 30%. You will lose some structural integrity, but it is aimed at prototyping applications.

MinFill presentation video:

Makerbot news post with more detail:


Here is the Minfill description:
Now you can bring your ideas to life faster for less with this major breakthrough in MakerBot Print. We’re proud to introduce MakerBot MinFill, a dynamic new Print Mode that is the first of its kind in 3D printing. Short for “Minimum Infill,” MinFill uses an intelligent algorithm to determine the absolute minimum amount of support needed for the inside of any 3D print.
As we’ve learned from professional users, not all prints need to be durable, dense, or heavy. When surface quality and print speed are more important, MinFill is a far more efficient option — especially for prints with a large internal volume.
Based on our testing, MinFill typically prints 30% faster using 30% less filament. With especially voluminous models, like spheres, we’ve seen MinFill print up to 80% faster. For professionals, that means faster early concept modeling, faster form studies, and more iterations in less time.
MinFill’s Benefits at a Glance
  • Professionals can accelerate early concept modeling, form studies, and iterations.
  • Educators can serve more students and classrooms while saving time and money.
  • Based on our testing, MinFill typically prints 30% faster using 30% less filament.*
  • The greater the internal volume of your print, the more time and money you save.
  • Compatible with MakerBot Replicator+, Replicator (5th Gen), and the Replicator Z18.

I'm still waiting to see some tests and reviews by independent sources. I also hope that this will be implemented on other platforms. Does anyone know of anything simillar?

Mar 22, 2017

Using Common 3D Printers for Hard Science

Here is a great example on how simple 3d printers are being used by scientists to make low cost specialist equipment in field of chemistry. 
Team of researchers form University of Helsinki used 3d printers to develop a chemical microreactor.

Gianmario Scotti, one of the researchers, published this video and the description:
In this video abstract we present a 3D printed polypropylene microreactor with an integrated stirring bar and nano-electrospray needle.

The nano-ESI needle is the ion source of our microreactor, and is used to couple it directly to a mass spectrometer. The microreactor is used to analyse chemical reactions with the mass spectrometer. The reaction is analysed as it happens.

We used polypropylene to 3D print the microreactor, because polypropylene is a very refractory polymer in the sense that it is neither affected by strong acids or alkaline solutions, nor by the great majority of solvents used in chemical synthesis.

This is the first 3D printed microreactor with an integrated ion source. It is also the first 3D printed microreactor with an integrated stir bar. These enable us to monitor the chemical reactions in real time.

Here are links to full research paper:



Here is the printed reactor connected to a spectrometer and held with 3d printed jig

Mar 19, 2017

Proton and Neutron Open Source 3D Printers

Layer One, creators of Atom3D printer, have released two open source RepRap 3d printer. Proton and Neutron. They are open sourced under Creative Commons licence.

Proton has total volume of 38 cm x 28 cm x 37 cm, assembled weight of 4.25 kg and printing volume of 18 cm x 18 cm x 15 cm.

Proton assembly video:

Proton Thingiverse page:


Neutron is a delta configuration 3d printer. It has total volume of 32 cm x 33 cm x 54 cm, weight of 3.75 kg and printing volume of Ø14 cm x 20 cm.

Neutron video:

Neutron Thingiverse page:


You can also find both 3d printers on MyMiniFactory Atom3D page:


Full details on both printers can be found at company webpage:


How to Convert Direct Feed System Into a Bowden Setup

Joe Mike Terranella published a video tutorial on how to change your direct feed extruder system into a Bowden 3D printer.  He used his Hictop Prusa clone to change it from direct feed to a Bowden setup but you can see many useful tips that can be used for other machines also.

Here is the full tutorial video:

Full parts list is on the video description but he used this Bowden conversion thing:


Here is Joe's Twitter where you can follow him:


Mar 15, 2017

DIY rotational casting machine made from wood and 3d printed parts

If you want to expand your home manufacturing arsenal, here is a very useful machine that will enable you to make hollow objects from various types of resin.
This machine is easy and cheap to make from 3d printed parts and 15mm MDF sheets cut on a CNC machine. It was published on Instructables by Jorge Dorantes.
It is hand cranked, but it could probably be easy modified to run with a simple electrical motor.

All the files and instructions can be found at:


If you are not sure how this machine works, here is a demonstration video of a different rotational casting machine by TGS Props where they use two piece silicone mold and Smoothcast 65D resin to make, well ... raptor / alien  eggs!

Mar 12, 2017

Thomas reviews 12 different bed leveling sensors

Herr Sanladerer performed a serious testing run with 12 automobiling sensors and made a video with the results.

Tested sensors were:

  • M8, 2mm inductive sensor (5V)
  • M12, 4mm inductive sensor 
  • M16, 8mm inductive sensor 
  • M16, adjustable distance capacitive sensor 
  • M16, 20mm capacitive sensor 
  • David Crocker's IR sensor 
  • SHARP analog sensor 
  • Microswiches 
  • BLTouch 

Here is the testing video:

The conclusions were:

  • If you have an aluminum bed, I'd go for the 2mm inductive type
  • For a glass-only bed, the BLTouch is a good option
  • With a PEI sheet or other stick-on bed surface, David Crocker's differential IR sensor is also a great alternative
  • The capacitive sensors are too sensitive to use seriously, and the SHARP type is not precise enough. 
  • Inductive sensors with larger trigger distances also work really well, but will need circuitry for adapting to 5V and are much larger than the 2mm type.
Detailed report with many interesting details can be found at:

Lulzbot TAZ6 3D Printer Reviews Compilation

Lulzbot TAZ6 is a flagship machine and it comes at 2400 USD price point. Since I'm interested in it, I made a compilation of reviews so you can also check it out.

TAZ6 tech specs:
  • Print Surface: Heated borosilicate glass bed covered with PEI film
  • Print Area: 280mm x 280mm x 250mm (11.02in x 11.02in x 9.8in)
  • Top Print Speed: 200mm/sec (7.9in/sec)
  • Print Tolerance: 0.1mm (0.0039in) in X and Y axes. Z axis is dependent on layer thickness
  • Layer Thickness: 0.050mm – 0.50mm (0.002in – 0.02 in), Dependent on nozzle size
  • Capable Materials: ABS, PLA, HIPS, PVA, wood filled filaments, Polyester (Tritan), PETT, bronze and copper filled filaments, Polycarbonate, Nylon, PETG, conductive PLA and ABS, UV luminescent filaments, PCTPE, PC-ABS, and more every day
  • Usable Filament Sizes: standard 3mm (0.1in)
  • Prints best with MatterControl and MatterControl Touch for a truly standalone experience

Here is Joel's review:

Here is MatterHackers review:

Here is a review by Thomas Sanladerer:

Review by XRobots:

Here is the TAZ6 homepage:


Mar 11, 2017

Angus 3D Prints Big And Rugged Robotic Rover

Angus from Maker's Muse YT channel 3d printed this big and rugged robotic rover for off-road driving. It looks really great and can run for over an hour on LiPo batteries which drive 4 cordless drill geared motors!

Sure, it is a sort of promotion for Polymaker PC-Max filament but still it is very well executed project.

Files for this robot can be found at:


3d printed flexible springs make it jump over some obstacles

R-CNC DIY CNC Mill with 3D Printed Parts

RoMaker from France developed and published the R-CNC mill plans. It is made from 3d printed parts and aluminum structure elements. It looks easy to make with well documented build instructions. The cost of it should be relatively affordable and cheap to make. Eletronics is based on Ramps 1.4

Other key features:
  • It also has 4 rubber pads at each angle, anti-vibration and anti scratch.
  • The electronics are integrated into the machine and it has a front USB port to connect a computer to the Ramps 1.4 if necessary without dismantling everything.
  • Clean installation thanks to dragchains
  • The pressure of all bearings on the square tubes is fully adjustable
  • Very high torque for Y moving thanks to a nema motor 23 multiplied by 3 with pulley 20×60 teeth
  • Integrated LED lighting
  • Easy mounting with printable drilling templates
  • Tested successfully on wood and plastic at 700mm / min and passes of 2mm, the measurements are perfect at 5 / 100th of mm, the diagonals of the squares are equal, the round ones are round!

Thingiverse page:


Project homepage with detailed descriptions and instructions:


Mar 9, 2017

Cool vintage omnidirectional speaker design you can 3d print

While checking out new designs on Youmagine, I found a 3d printable copy of vintage omnidirectional Harman Kardon HK-25 loudspeakers. Each speaker consists of a top and bottom part. The bottom is designed to hold a 50mm "metallic" driver speaker that can be found in many cheap "iPod" speaker docks.

This will probably bi my next 3d print for a small home sound system.

Here is the link to Youmagine where you can find the files:


Speakers were designed by Jason J. Gullickson:  https://www.youmagine.com/jjg

It makes me wonder what is the copyright law on industrial design?

Mar 8, 2017

Steve Builds a DIY Enclosure for His Prusa i3

Steve published his build instructions for plywood and acrylic enclosure to encase his Folger Tech Prusa i3.  The overall size is 19.5" wide x 22" tall x 23" deep.
Very useful DIY project for noise reduction and temperature control.

Here is the video of the construction process:

Instructables page:


Steve's homepage:


Finished enclosure:

Mar 7, 2017

Upcycle your old Prusa into a laser cutter

Jon aka. Dr3vil used a parts form old Prusa Mendel and made a close chamber DIY laser cutter / engraver. He documented his project on Thingiverse.

Jon writes:
I wanted to add a laser cutter/engraver to my shop and decided it would make a good design challenge based on recycling a Prusa Mendel - Essentially a frame of 5/16” threaded rod and 8mm rod with LMU88 bearings. The CAD models had to be simple to print, make what you can, buy what you absolutely must, and source locally. Ultimately this project is a primer for building gen III of my 3D printer and a larger gen II laser of many watts. As such I’m sharing an ‘as-is’ , ‘it got me to operational’ dump of the project STL’s, sanding and part prep will be required.

Firmware is Marlin configured for CoreXY. It was helpful to set a dummy thermistor value as this allows using the print bead and hot-end outputs as switches from gcode (M104 S100 and M140 S100, send S0 to turn off). The fans and laser power supply are switched, as usual fan PWM modulates the laser through M106.

Gcode generation is either by Jtech Inkscape plugin or 305 Engineering’s raster generator. For engraving PCB’s I ended up modifying 305’s code, borrowing a page from Jtech. The first change was having laser off moves run at full speed, since acceleration is handled in firmware this shaves a lot of time off the job. The second change was to have a pause when turing the laser on or off as to allow the edges of the burn to be more defined, 200ms was enough. Finally adding pre and post geode safe the machine when done and get in position.

For files and instructions go to:


Keep in mind that it is a work in progress...

3D Printable Flexible Memory Structures by Peng Jin

Peng Jin used NinjaFlex filament to produce flexible structures with memory effect that can be used for various applications from architecture to art. 

Project description:
Taking advantage of the TPE (specially formulated thermoplastic elastomer), I did a series of study with my Printrbot Simple Metal, testing out both the limit of the material and the printer. Such as printing larger volume with a relatively smaller printer which could offer better accuracy, and print flexible material with bi-stable units to create shape-memory structure. I applied all the ideas from these studies to my architecture design afterwards, creating products and spaces with flexibility and adaptability, as wells as new ways of interaction between human and product, even more, between individuals with these potential produces.

You can find full project info at:


Mar 6, 2017

Can you make a DIY 3D printed car engine belt?

Mike designed and 3d printed the engine belt for his car. It took him several attempts.

Did it work?

Here is the full video:

It basically works for a minute on low RPM before it disintegrates, not practical for driving but nice experiment. Someone could probably improve on this idea and try different materials.

Mike's blog:


How to develop your 3d printer by Diego Porqueras

Here is an interesting talk on how to design and develop your own 3d printer. You must watch it if you are interested in a process since it is very informative.

Talk summary:
Diego Porqueras invented the Bukobot and Bukito 3D printers. Bukobot’s wildly popular Kickstarter campaign raised four times the requested funds, helping Diego open a Southern California hackerspace store, Deezmaker.
But how do you design a 3D printer? Where would you even start? In this talk, Diego discusses the hardware design space of 3D printers, associated software challenges, and the basics of 3D printer operation.

Here is the video of the talk:

Make your own DIY vacuum thermoformer

DajoM from Instructables published all the files and instructions needed to make a low cost DIY vacuumformer / thermoformer that fits on your desktop. You can use it to make plastic molds or patterns for production of larger series of objects.
It is made from laser cut plywood and uses ceramic plate for heating. Several parts are 3d printed.

Video demonstration:

All the files and instructions can be found at:


Feb 26, 2017

Apis Cor 3D Prints a Fully Livable House

We have seen 3d printed buildings before but most of them were prototypes, built off-site or not used afterwords, but nothing compares to this house built by Apis Cor.

Apis Cor used a unique house 3d printing machine they developed and made an on-site house in 24 hours for the cost of some 10000 USD. It has surface of 38 square meters (409 square foot) and has been built in Stupino town, Moscow region, Russia.
The finished house is fully livable with all the appliances. Very cool!

Here is the very interesting presentation video:

Looks like 3d printing houses is a technology that has fully matured now. It will have interesting effects on housing market.

Source news post with full technical details:


Feb 24, 2017

New Cura 2.4 released with tons of new features!

New Cura 2.4 is released by Ultimaker. It has many new features and improvements. Here are just some key novelties:

  • Project saving / opening. Cura 2.4 now lets you save your build plate configuration, which includes all your active machine’s meshes and settings too. Even more conveniently, when you reopen your project file, you’ll see that all build plate configurations and settings are exactly as you left them when you last saved the project.
  • Search Settings. Need to tweak a setting in a hurry? It’s now easy to search custom settings via the side panel.
  • Editing start / end g-code. If you need to alter the start and end g-code settings for your single-extrusion machines, the new Cura 2.4 lets you do just that.
  • Multiply object function. We know that duplicating an object multiple times can be a hassle, so we’ve made life easier for you. Simply right-click an object, and you can multiply it by a variable amount.
  • Single-extrusion prints. Your Ultimaker 3 dual-extrusion printer now lets you do single-extrusion prints within a larger printable area.
  • Streaming printer monitor view. Selected camera snapshots don’t really tell you much about how your print project is progressing. Now, you’ll be able to follow every second of your 3D print (if you want to), using the live streaming function. It’s an effective way to minimize errors while printing.
  • Slicing disabled? Now you’ll know why. It’s a bit frustrating when your slicing is blocked by settings with error values, but you don’t know which settings to change to make things right again. Now, a message will appear, clearly outlining what needs to be done to get your print back on track.
  • Ultimaker 3 printing profiles. The initial and final printing temperatures reduce oozing during PLA/PLA, PLA/PVA and Nylon/PVA prints. This means printing a prime tower is now optional (except for CPE and ABS, which we’re working on). The new Ultimaker 3 printing profiles boost reliability and reduce print time.
  • Initial layer printing temperature. We’ve fine-tuned the initial and final printing temperatures, to achieve a higher quality end-result.
  • Material printing temperature. The material printing temperature (in the material profiles) is now the same as the printing temperature for the Normal Quality profile.
  • Improved PLA/PVA layer adhesion. It’s important to get good layer adhesion between the PVA and PLA. That’s why we’ve now optimized the PVA jerk and acceleration.
  • Nylon – default build plate adhesion type. We’ve now changed the default build plate adhesion type for Nylon prints – from raft to brim.
  • Support Interface Thickness. To reduce printing time, we’ve changed the Support Roof Thickness to 0.8mm, and slightly decreased the PVA support infill.
  • Ultimaker 2+ PC prints. The raft settings for the 0.25mm and 0.4mm nozzles have been adjusted in the polycarbonate profiles – which means less warping and better print results.

Detailed release post:




First Space 3D Printed Art Piece

Astronauts on International Space Station 3d printed a first space art object named "Laugh".

From project description:
#Laugh is a collaboration between Israeli artist Eyal Gever and the California-based company Made In Space, which owns and operates the Additive Manufacturing Facility (AMF), the ISS' commercially available 3D printer.

The project began Dec. 1, 2016, when Gever and his team launched an app that converts the sound waves of users' laughter into a digital 3D model, or "laugh star." More than 100,000 people generated their own laugh stars throughout December, Made In Space representatives said.

App users then voted on their favorite laugh star. The winner was Naughtia Jane Stanko of Las Vegas, whose model was beamed up to the ISS and printed out Friday

Laugh 3d printed sculpture floating in ISS microgravity with Earth showing trough the observation window. Source: NASA

Source article with much more information:


Feb 22, 2017

BIG 3D Printers and BIG 3D Prints from CES 2017

Joel presents some big prints and big machines from CES 2017!

Feb 21, 2017

3D Printable Hinges Design Tutorial

Angus published this great tutorial on how to design and 3D print movable hinges.

You can find the files from the tutorial here:


Feb 20, 2017

3D Printed Metamaterial with Bit Switches

Researchers at Hasso Plattner Institute improved their 3d printed metamaterial  technique to make devices that have embedded digital or "bit" switches.

This is the preview video, more information will come in the future:

Here is their earlier work:


3D Printable Control Unit with 32 Programmable Keys

Here is a very useful DIY 3d printable control unit that can send custom g-code scripts and macros via 32 programmable keys. It can be used on almost any machine that uses g code, like CNC mills, 3d printers, laser cutters and other. It is powered with Arduino Nano. 

The "Gcode Sender" was developed and released by James Sierra. Here is his description of the project:
This project is very much like using Pronterface or Repetier Host manual control to send gcode instructions to your printer while connected to the computer via USB cable, but instead using an Arduino Nano connected to a small keypad to send the Gcode scripts/macros.
Gcode sender is intended to work for 3D printers as well as a CNC mills and laser engravers. Any machine that uses gcode.
This setup allows one to send highly customized gcode scripts/macros to the printer with a push of a button. I've tested all of the scripts I included in the sketch. Any one of them can be replaced or edited.
In the sketch, i tired to include a lot of comments to make it easier to tweak the code to suit your own needs.
Communication between Gcode Sender and printer is through serial communication (Tx, Rx). On RAMPS style boards the AUX-1 port can be used. Specifics on wiring can be found in the Wiring.zip file. Be sure that Tx out wire on the Gcode Sender is connected to Rx on printer and Rx is connected to Tx. In Repetier firmware, I had to enable Bluetooth serial port to make use of the AUX-1 port.

All files and instructions to make it yourself can be found at:


How to attach a pencil to your Delta 3D printer and make it into a plotter

Here is an attachment made from plywood that can hold a pencil for Delta configuration machines. it can turn them into simple plotters enhancing your tool options. 
Video of plotter attachment in action connected to RDelta 3d printer:

All the files and instructions can be found at:


Feb 11, 2017

Six Axis Delta 3D printer from ZHAW

Oliver Tolar and Denis Herrmann, students from the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW)  developed a six axis Delta 3d printer with movable build plate.,

Here is the video demonstration:

Sources with further information:



Six Axis Delta, image source: ZHAW

Feb 8, 2017

How to Design and 3D Print a Key Copy

Anthony aka. "Proto G" made an Instructables tutorial on how to design and make a 3d printed copy of a metal key.

Here is the explainer video:

Full instructions can be found at:


Feb 7, 2017

How to repair Crosman 2200 Magnum and make 3d printed DIY replacement parts

YouTube user "yourbeekeeper" uses his 3d printer to repair an vintage air rifle. He services and makes replacement parts for Crosman 2200 Magnum.

Yourbeekeeper YT channel:


Polar 3D Printer Made by Miklós Devecz

Feb 6, 2017

Hack a Coffee Maker into a Delta 3D printer

Tropical Labs team made a coffee maker into a Delta 3d printer. Interesting hack. Tropical Labs engineers have been developing a flexible design for ultra-affordable 3D printers and this a part of their efforts.

Video of the Delta printing:

Printer features:

  • Coffee maker, Tropical Labs used an old Norelco 12 model they found at a thrift shop, but any coffee maker with a hot plate could potentially work 
  • Arduino Mega 2560
  • RAMPS 1.4
  • A4988 Stepper Motor Driver Carrier
  • Nema 17 stepper motors
  • Home switches, optical or otherwise
  • 3D printer hot end/extruder – again, any kind will do; Tropical Labs snagged theirs on eBay
  • 12V power supply
  • Solid state relay (Fotek SSR-40 or similar)
  • Ball joints
  • 4-40 threaded rod

Project homepage:




How to Make a Better 3D Printed Vise by Christoph Laimer

Christoph Laimer developed this useful 3d printed vise and published an in-depth video on design process and various variables that go into design process, like strength, materials, etc.

Here is the video:

Thingiverse page:


Here are the main components after printing:

Feb 5, 2017

Picture Perfect Prusa I3

"Picture perfect" is a heavily modified Prusa I3 built around a picture frame by Tropical Labs.  It has 16″ x 16″ x 16″ build volume.

Project homepage:


Jebediah the DIY 3D Printable Quadruped Robot

TogleFritz developed a futuristic four legged robot you can make with some basic 3d printing and electronics skills. 

Project description:
Jeb is a quadruped robot that the code in this repository is designed to control. Quadruped robots are robots with four legs. Jeb is designed with three degrees of freedom per leg. Each leg is actuated by three servos. The first servo moves the leg forward/backward, the second servo moves the leg up and down, and the third servo bends the leg in the middle. With four legs and three servos per leg, the robot is driven by 12 servos in total.

Jebediah looks cool (in an insectoid kinda way):

Detailed build guide;


GitHub repository of the project with all the files and other information:


Code is at:


  • The microcontroller used is a Botboarduino
  • The servo controller is an SSC-32U
  • For input the robot uses a wireless Platstation 2
  • This repository also includes a library for using NeoPixel LED lighting products from Adafruit.

Feb 4, 2017

Great Tutorial on Design and 3D Printing of Gears

Michael aka. "MechEngineerMike" published a very detailed tutorial on how to design and 3d print gears. It's a must-read if you want to print any kind of a gear used in a mechanical movement.

Here is a video of his gear light switch cover:

Full tutorial can be found at:


Here is his collection of customizable gears on Thingiverse:


Feb 3, 2017

3D Printed Parabolic WiFi Antenna for ESP8266

Brian Benchoff developed a 3d printable DIY parabolic reflector WiFi antenna for a very popular ESP8266 module.  The reflector is s a 19-inch diameter dish, with an F/D ratio of 0.5 and took some 10 hours to print. 
It is covered with thick adhesive backed aluminum foil. The real "duct tape".
It has a gain of some 16 to 17 dBi. 

Project description:
Recently, I was asked to come up with a futuristic, space-ey prop for an upcoming video for the 2017 Hackaday Prize. My custom-built, easily transportable parabolic antenna immediately sprang to mind. The idea of a three-meter diameter parabolic dish was rejected for something that isn't insane, but I did go so far as to do a few more calculations, open up a CAD program and start work on the actual design. As a test, I decided to 3D print a small model of this dish. In creating this model, I inadvertently created the perfect WiFi antenna for an ESP8266 module using nothing but 3D printed parts, a bit of epoxy, and duct tape.

Source article posted on Hackaday with in-depth description and the entire process documented:


Here is the project page with all the files:


More fear and misinformation about 3D printing

A few days ago an accident with fatal consequences happened in Berkeley with a young couple found dead. The first reports were full of misleading information and fear mongering writing about "laser 3D printer" emitting carbon monoxide that killed those people.

Here is one of the later articles:


Here is Joel's video with more exact information:

Here are some different texts addressing the issues:



Looks like the real cause is still undetermined:


Previous accident mishandled by the media:


Retro Contact 3D Scanner

Here is cool looking retro contact 3d scanner which gives 3d point cloud and wireframe to an old IBM PC.
Ah, the old days... I miss them. First PC I saw was ancient Hungarian clone of ... something ...

Source: unknown. Let me know if you have any additional information about this device.

Feb 2, 2017

Low Cost 3D Printable Robotic Rover

"Slime Eel" published the robotic rover he developed and which is mostly 3d printable.

All the instructions and files  needed to make it:


Feb 1, 2017

How to use your 3d printer as a 2d drawing plotter

Tech2C from Australia made a video on how he uses his 3d printer as a plotter. He attached a pen to his extruder and uses is to draw on a paper. He also goes into how he uses Cura, g-code and various settings to get the best drawing.

Here is the video of the plotter in action:

Tech2C YT channel:


Here is the pen attached to the extruder:

Here is close up of one of the drawings in process. It's a B-17 Flying Fortress:

Jan 31, 2017

Renault Trucks Shows us the Future of 3D Printed Engines

Renault Trucks shows how industrial 3d printing could drastically reduce weight and number of parts needed for a modern internal combustion engine. The weight is reduced by 120 kg and the number of parts is reduced by 200. This could lead to lower fuel consumption, cheaper engines and simpler replacement parts chain.

Company website:


Jan 30, 2017

Adam's DIY 3D Printer Made From Salvaged Parts

Adam made this 3d printer form junk parts of an old paper printer, scanner and some bought cheap Chinese parts. It looks good.

It's good to see that RepStrap projects are still being made.

Adams YT channel:


Jan 29, 2017

LulzBot TAZ MOARstruder for Heavy-duty 3D Printing

For those demanding high-volume jobs on big objects LulzBot has released their MOARstruder extruder.
It is priced at 395 USD.

From produce description:
Bigger. Faster. Stronger. MOAR: The LulzBot TAZ MOARstruder Tool Head is a high output tool head with an extra-long heater block, dual print cooling fans, and a 1.2 mm diameter nozzle. These features enable high-speed printing and tough 3D printed objects.

Here is the video presentation:

MOARstruder homepage:


Everything you need to know about copyright and intellectual property in context of 3d printing in one simple video

Thomas has another great video where he clarifies issues of copyright, intellectual property, patent and open source in context of 3d printing. It's a must-watch if you are interested in 3d printing on more professional level.

Jan 17, 2017

DIY Gauss Meter with 3D Printed Enclosure

Anthony aka. "Proto G" published this Instructable where he made a useful DIY Gauss meter which is controlled with Arduino Nano. 

Project description:
In this instructable, I will show you how to make a Gauss meter than can measure the strength of magnets so you can compare different magnets you have. It measures the magnets in units called Gauss and has a relatively linear range from 0-4000 Gauss. It will measure beyond that but the numbers beyond 4000 Gauss should only be used for comparison purposes. In addition to measuring the field strength, it also detects the polarity of the magnet and will show North or South, respectively. My favorite part about this design is the ON/OFF switch. It's hidden in the enclosure so the meter can only be turned on and off with a magnet. Since this unit is meant to measure magnets, you're sure to have one on hand. You can use the same latching magnetic switch I designed for many other things like a secret compartment lock. Here's a video showing the complete assembly:

You can see the full construction manual at: