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3D Printed Vinyl Records

Pocket-Lint reports “developer Amanda Ghassaei,” who is “known for her algorithm that converts audio data into 3D geometry data…has subsequently used that algorithm to manufacture 3D vinyl records.”

These include “singles from artists like Nirvana, Pixies, Daft Punk, and Radiohead.  More recently, the track Down Boy, performed by Bobbie Gordon…was put onto a 3D printed vinyl record using [Ghassaei’s] algorithm.”

Created using an Objet500 Connex 3D printer, the disc was set at 600 dpi, “with 16 micron steps.  Gordon recently performed the tune at a launch party for the world’s first 3D printing record store, where the limited-edition, 3D printed version of her track went up for sale.”

Pocket-Lint went on to explain that “although 3D printed albums are thicker and stiffer and sound horrible when compared to vinyl records, you must think of all this as a stepping stone of sorts.  The technology to produce 3D objects is still new and will likely be honed over time.  Maybe one day it’ll be responsible for the full comeback of vinyl records.”

Photo and Quotes Courtesy of Pocket-Lint   

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Video Game Developers Dip Their Toes into 3D Printing Waters

GameSpot recently discussed how video game developers are finally taking notice of the world of 3D printing. 

3D printing and video games are no strangers.  Over the last several years, many avid gamers have printed out their favorite characters or Minecraft creations. 

But now the video game firms are getting involved too: “Developer Turtle Rock Studios and publisher 2K Games have announced that you can now 3D print the hunters and monsters from their upcoming first-person monster-hunting game, Evolve.”

“The designs for the eight announced hunters and two announced monsters are available to download for free on Evolve’s website.  All you need is access to a 3D printer.  If you own one, you can simply load the files into the printer and create the models.  Otherwise, you can submit and buy the printed models from 3D printing shops like Sculpteo and Shapeways.”

Photo Courtesy of Turtle Rock Studios and 2K Games

Quotes Courtesy of GameSpot

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Bioprinted Skin for the Army

Over at Motherboard, it’s being reported that bioprinting could soon be used on injured soldiers returning from war. 

“The goal is helping soldiers better recover from injuries sustained in battle-and the Army [is] also actively developing artificial 3D printed hearts, blood vessels, and other organs.”

In the latest issue of Army Technology, an official publication of the US military, Michael Romanko, a doctor with the Army’s Tissue Injury and Regenerative Medicine Project says, “the scars that soldiers develop as a result of burns constrict movement and disfigure them permanently.  The initiative to restore high-quality skin that is elastic and complete with sweat glands, appropriate pigmentation, and hair follicles is incredibly important.  Everyone has a different type of energy, and not everyone’s skin injury looks the same.  Skin bioprinting would provide a scalable form of personalized medicine.”

Wake Forest University’s Institute for Regenerative Medicine, where much of the research for this project is taking place, explains just exactly how they went about developing the technology: “scientists designed, built, and tested a printer designed to print skin cells onto burn wounds.  The ‘ink’ is actually different kinds of skin cells.  A scanner is used to determine wound size and depth.  Different kinds of skin cells are found at different depths.  This data guides the printer as it applies layers of the correct type of cells to cover the wound.  You only need a patch of skin one-tenth the size of the burn to grow enough skin cells for skin printing.”

As Romanko further explains, “this has very widespread use, not only to the military audience, but also to the civilian population.  We need a larger commercialization audience in order to be a self-sustaining technology.”

Image Courtesy of the US Army

Quotes Courtesy of Motherboard

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3D Printed Ice Cream

The Guardian has reported, “Kyle Hounsell, Kristine Bunker, and David Donghyun Kim,…three students from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have hacked together a 3D printer that can produce edible Mr. Whippy-style ice cream in any shape.”

This contraption is a “modified version of an existing 3D printer connected to a ‘soft serve’ ice cream machine – as part of a graduate project in MIT’s additive manufacturing department.”

According to the students, “first, we needed to print into a cooled environment so that the ice cream would hold its shape once printed.  We bought a small upright freezer which was large enough to both put the Solidoodle inside and allow for the full build volume we were aiming for.”

They “built a cooling system using liquid nitrogen to fix the ice cream in place as it was squirted out of the 3D printer’s nozzle into the desired shape.  The instant cooling allowed the printer to build up the ice cream layers just as a traditional extrusion-based 3D printer squirts down layers of plastic.”

This is a proof-of-concept printer and “needs refinement before it is likely to see commercial duty, but the technology could appear in an ice cream truck near you soon, if the students or a third party decides to continue developing the system further.”

Photo and Quotes Courtesy of the Guardian

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Adafruit’s DIY 3D Printed ‘Gamegirl’ Build

In order to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Gameboy, Adafruit has offered a how to guide for 3D printing your very own ‘Gamegirl’ system. 

For this project, they encouraged the use of “raspberry pi and TFT touch screen…since it’s a Raspberry Pi Linux computer, [you] can run different emulators on it…the 3D printed enclosure will house all the components and can be printed in your favorite color.  [You can also] hack an SNES gaming controller and reuse the printed circuit board, buttons, and elastomers.”

As for the 3D printed enclosure: “the project is just two pieces [which are made from PLA plastic that snaps together]!  They are optimized to print on any FDM 3D printer with a minimum build area of 150mm X 150 mm X 100mm.  Perfect for printing [in] your Printrbot, TAZ4, RepRap, or MakerBot.”

Photo and Quotes Courtesy of Adafruit 

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UK Government Invests in Aerospace Research

3DPrint.com reported that Nick Clegg, the UK’s Deputy PM has “unveiled a government plan to invest £154 million ($263 million) into several aerospace research projects…Under the plan £49 million ($83 million) [of that grand total] will be used for a GKN Aerospace-led project which will research methods of 3D printing lightweight, metallic, and structural parts for aircraft.”

As Mr. Clegg explained, “The UK’s aerospace industry is going from strength to strength and helping our economic recovery.  We are the number one aerospace industry in Europe and second only to the United States globally.  I want to ensure the UK remains at the cutting edge of aerospace innovation, which is why I am pleased to announce that we are investing £154 million ($263 million) for research to explore new technologies like the 3D printing of plane parts and creating lighter, greener aircraft.”

3DPrint.com also points out that the US, the leaders in the aerospace industry globally, is heavily invested in researching and developing additive manufacturing technology.  This may have helped “convince the (UK) government that this was the right way to divide the funding.”

Photo and Quotes Courtesy of 3DPrint.com 

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Hasbro and Shapeways team up to launch SuperFanArt

According to the Boston Herald, the toy giant Hasbro has teamed up with Shapeways to launch SuperFanArt, “a site through which fans of the company’s toys can create their own playthings with a 3D printer.”

This service is being launched with the help of Hasbro’s My Little Pony line of toys.  “The SuperFanArt page enables consumers to create and share their designs and sell their 3D printed designs through Shapeway’s marketplace and community.”

“Consumers can browse through the 3D printed products designed by the artists and then click through to each artist’s shop to place an order.  Some of the first My Little Pony creations, available on SuperFanArt, will be shown at San Diego Comic-Con this week.”

Other Hasbro toy lines, like Transformers and Littlest Pet Shop, will be added to SuperFanArt in the coming months.  John Frascotti, chief marketing officer at Hasbro, explained, “many fans of our brands have remarkable creative talents and SuperFanArt empowers these artists to create unique expressions of Hasbro brands.  By partnering with Shapeways, the largest online marketplace for custom 3D printed products, we are able to provide artists with an unprecedented opportunity and also provide brand enthusiasts with access to unique one of a kind creations.”

Image Courtesy of Hasbro

Quotes Courtesy of the Boston Herald

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Solidoodle Cuts Prices

3DPrint.com reports that Solidoodle is cutting their prices!

Solidoodle, created by Brooklyn-based Sam Cervantes, “has been around producing high quality machines for quite a while.  Starting in 2011 they were one of the first [3D printing companies] to offer a sub-$500 3D printer to consumers.”

Beginning July 18th [2014], however, Solidoodle has dropped their prices as follows:

  • Solidoodle 2nd Generation Base – $399 (previously $499)
  • Solidoodle 2nd Generation Pro – $499 (previously $599)
  • Solidoodle 3rd Generation – $599 (previously $699)
  • Solidoodle 4th Generation – $699 (previously $999)”

 

Cervantes added that: ““We established ourselves as the value-leader in 3D printers with a $499 product in 2012. Providing affordable options is just part of the equation, but it’s a very important factor to broadening the consumer market.  Being able to maintain our $499 price point on our base model to date just goes to show how far ahead of the market we’ve been since we got started. Now, we have several major projects in the works that will be announced very soon. In the meantime, product upgrades on previous generation printers to make them even easier to use and price changes across the board will boost the value proposition on our current offering, with all products shipping within a week.”

Photo and Quotes Courtesy of 3DPrint.com

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Threeding 3D Printing Marketplace Launches Android App

Threeding, a 3D printing marketplace, which launched in 2013, has been in competition with other online marketplaces such as Shapeways and Thingiverse:

“[Threeding] does everything right when it comes to creating a 3D printing design marketplace.  It allows for the exchange of free designs, as well as for the sale of designs.  They charge a measly 8.5% commission on all sales, and recently reached deals with several museums to scan and sell 3D printable replicas of their artifacts.”

However, according to 3D Print.com, Threeding has added another weapon to their arsenal.  They’ve recently announced the launch of an Android App, now available in the Google Play store. 

As Threeding explains in their press release, “The Android app [meets] the rapidly growing demand from mobile users.  Despite the current lack of integration between smartphones and tablets with 3D printers, we believe that the market will develop in this direction and we would like to be one step ahead.”

The Threeding app is “fully synchronized with the web version of the Threeding marketplace, and all models are available simultaneously.”

Image and Quotes Courtesy of 3D Print.com      

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Autodesk Spark

Autodesk has been a leader in the field of engineering CAD companies.  According to Eureka Magazine, though, they’re about to branch out into a whole new industry.

“Carl Bass, Autodesk’s CEO recently revealed ahead of an appearance at the MakerCon conference in California that Autodesk is launching two new technology innovations…first is an open software platform for 3D printing called Spark, which will make it more reliable [and] simpler to print 3D models, and easier to control how that model is actually printed.”

“Second, Autodesk will introduce its own 3D printer that will serve as a reference implementation for Spark…the machine itself uses stereolithography rather than the extrusion technique favored by most existing budget printers.  According to Bass: ‘We’re making a printer that, rather than just being able to load in proprietary materials, you can load in any material you want.  You can formulate your own polymers and experiment with those.  That’s an important next step because we think material science is a breakthrough that has to happen to make [the industry] go from low-volume 3D printed stuff to where it really starts changing manufacturing.”

As for Spark, the software “will be open and freely licensable to hardware manufacturers and others who are interested.  The same applies to the 3D printer – the complete design of which will be made publicly available to allow for further development and experimentation.  The printer will be able to use a broad range of materials made by Autodesk and by others.”

Bass explained, “For years, I have been fascinated by the promise and frustrated by the reality of 3D printing…the world is just beginning to realize the potential of additive manufacturing, and with Spark, we hope to make it possible for many more people to incorporate 3D printing into their design and manufacturing process.  Over the coming months we will be working with hardware manufacturers to integrate the Spark platform with current and future 3D printers.”

Image and Quotes Courtesy of Eureka Magazine

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The ‘YouTube’ of 3D Printed Medical Models

According to CBS News, a new government website, launched by the National Institute of Health (or NIH) called the NIH 3D Print Exchange, will allow people to “download, share, and edit files for use in 3D printers.”

“The site has files that can be used to create models of anything from a human brain to deadly viruses…the files all relate to health and science; the available files include models of a human femur bone, the West Nile virus, and a white matter section of the brain.”

As explained in the video above, Darrell Hurt, who researches at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and helped develop the 3D Print Exchange, says that they “created this website as…a way to have a YouTube-like experience, but instead of exchanging and sharing and commenting on and remixing videos…we are doing all of those same things with 3D print files.”

The NIH has already been heavily involved in 3D printing, “including making special lab equipment and creating anatomy models that doctors can then use to plan medical procedures.  Scientists who study very small things, such as proteins, bacteria, or viruses, can also enhance their understanding by creating 3D models.”

“A researcher who’s been using a computer model of [a protein] for 15 years learns something as soon as they put their hands on a real tangible model,” explains Hurt.

Hurt also went on to emphasize that the library will be open to the general public, not just to professional scientists: “we want this to be a place where people from all different walks of life can come together and download and share [files].  Who knows what some kid somewhere might come up with in using some of the 3D modeling software, and then share that model out, and someone half a world away may learn something.”

Quotes Courtesy of CBS News

Image and Video Courtesy of the National Institute of Health [NIH]

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3D Systems Introduces EKOCYCLE

Tom’s Guide reports that 3D Systems “officially announced the EKOCYCLE Cube, a consumer 3D printer that uses filament partly comprised of recycled plastic bottles.  It will sell in the second half of 2014 for $1,199.”

Users will be unable to recycle their own plastic bottles right into filament.  Instead, “consumers must purchase filament from 3D Systems, which is partially comprised of recycled bottles.  3D Systems hasn’t yet specified a price for the filament.”

The EKOCYCLE Cube itself will have a print resolution of 70 microns, “which is on the finer end of average for recent consumer-level 3D printers.  It can print objects up to 6 inches cubed in volume and has two extruders for multi-color printing.”

This recycled filament is 25% made “from recycled 20-ounce PET plastic bottles.”

Admittedly it’s not much, but it is a step in the right direction for sustainable 3D printing.

Photo and Quotes Courtesy of Tom’s Guide

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