Amazon Launches 3D Printing Services To Offer Customizable Accessories, Toys and More
Back in June, Amazon opened up a 3D printing store as a centralized place to sell 3D printers, filament and other tools needed to start 3D printing at home. Today, Amazon has taken its 3D printing services one step further with the launch of a 3D printed product marketplace which allows users to customize over 200 print-on-demand items. 
[[MORE]]The marketplace features search tools, 3D previews and a personalization widget which lets users make modifications to select items by changing things like material, size, style and color. It also showcases 3D printed products which are for sale as is.
“The introduction of our 3D Printed Products store suggests the beginnings of a shift in online retail - that manufacturing can be more nimble to provide an immersive customer experience. Sellers, in alignment with designers and manufacturers, can offer more dynamic inventory for customers to personalize and truly make their own,” said Petra Schindler-Carter, Director for Amazon Marketplace Sales. “The 3D Printed Products store allows us to help sellers, designers and manufacturers reach millions of customers while providing a fun and creative customer experience to personalize a potentially infinite number of products at great prices across many product categories.”
Amazon’s 3D printed marketplace is currently selling customizable jewellery like cufflinks and earrings, toys like Mixee’s bobble heads and home decor items like vases. We gave the personalization a widget a spin this morning and it was extremely straightforward and is very much geared towards users who are not familiar with 3D design. We personalized our own pair of cufflinks in just three clicks. 

Although 3D printing marketplaces are not new, a store of this magnitude behind the Amazon brand will go a long way to bringing 3D printing options to the main stream. This benefits both users who are looking for more personalized options and designers who are in need of a place to sell their 3D printed wares.

Amazon Launches 3D Printing Services To Offer Customizable Accessories, Toys and More

Back in June, Amazon opened up a 3D printing store as a centralized place to sell 3D printers, filament and other tools needed to start 3D printing at home. Today, Amazon has taken its 3D printing services one step further with the launch of a 3D printed product marketplace which allows users to customize over 200 print-on-demand items. 

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Michigan Hosts World’s First 3D Printed Tee-Ball Game 
Two Western Michigan Little League teams made history last week as the first to play tee-ball with equipment made entirely from a 3D Printer. All elements of the game were made on a 3D printer including the helmets, bats, bases, tees and even the balls.
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The event was hosted by 3D printing company Burton Precisions Co Inc. and Universe 3D who were also responsible for printing all the materials. The one-hour game saw twenty-six little league players using the 3D printed equipment to hit homeruns and steal bases on the same field as Minor League Michigan team the Whitecaps.
A game facilitated entirely out of 3D printed materials showcases the opportunities 3D printers offer in bringing manufacturing to the masses to allow them to print the tools they need for any situation. 
Image Source: 3DPrint.com

Michigan Hosts World’s First 3D Printed Tee-Ball Game 

Two Western Michigan Little League teams made history last week as the first to play tee-ball with equipment made entirely from a 3D Printer. All elements of the game were made on a 3D printer including the helmets, bats, bases, tees and even the balls.

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Your Next Ice Cream Sundae Could Be 3D Printed
We’ve seen candies, cake toppers and even pizza get the 3D printer treatment. So it was just a matter of time that Summer’s favorite treat, ice cream, joined the party. MIT students have hacked a 3D printer to produce soft serve ice cream in any shape. 
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The 3D ice cream printer was part of a graduate project for the students as part of the additive manufacturing program at MIT. The students built a cooling system using liquid nitrogen to ensure that the ice cream kept its shape.  The coolant allowed the ice cream to be built up in layers just like a traditional 3D printer would when using plastic.
The team told 3Ders.org that they were inspired to build a 3D printer that use ice cream as they thought it would be fun for children. Although the machine needs a lot of refinement, they believe that in the near future ice cream parlors like Dairy Queen will adopt the use of this technology to take ice cream treats the next level.

Your Next Ice Cream Sundae Could Be 3D Printed

We’ve seen candies, cake toppers and even pizza get the 3D printer treatment. So it was just a matter of time that Summer’s favorite treat, ice cream, joined the party. MIT students have hacked a 3D printer to produce soft serve ice cream in any shape. 

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3D Printing Big Dreams With CobbleBot
Everything is bigger in Texas and the Cobblebot is no exception. The latest 3D printer option to hit KIckstarter, Cobblebot is a low cost printer with a large build area of 15x15x15. The team behind Cobblebot have big dreams to shake up the 3D printing market to make these devices more affordable and able to do more than just print trinkets and iPhone cases.  
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The Cobblebot is being offered to backers on its Kickstarter page for a price of $299. This is a significant price drop from the $3,700+ price tag which is normally attached to a printer with this capability. The company explains that its ability to bring the price down for Cobblebot is all about connections. They explain on the Kickstarter page:

How are we able to get the cost this low?  One of our team members is a business attorney with extensive connections in the manufacturing world and has negotiated rock bottom prices from all of our suppliers.  And that negotiated price keeps falling based on the quantity we order - This is where stretch goals come in - each stretch goal is based on the amount of orders necessary to get the next lower price from our suppliers.  The savings is then shared with everyone with the STRETCH GOAL items (heated bed, filtration case, stepper drivers, etc..)

Outside of cost and the large print area some of the other unique features of Cobblebot are the ability to customize its color scheme and the fact that the print area is entirely stationary. Cobblebot was built with all of its axes connected so that the print bed can stay stable and the printer builds the item straight up with all of the axes connected. 
 Cobblebot has already raised nearly double its Kickstarter funding goal of $100,000 and is well on its way to meeting its first stretch goal of $250,000 which will upgrade the stepper drives of the unit. 

3D Printing Big Dreams With CobbleBot

Everything is bigger in Texas and the Cobblebot is no exception. The latest 3D printer option to hit KIckstarter, Cobblebot is a low cost printer with a large build area of 15x15x15. The team behind Cobblebot have big dreams to shake up the 3D printing market to make these devices more affordable and able to do more than just print trinkets and iPhone cases.  

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MakerBot Teams Up with Home Depot To Sell 3D Printers In-Store
Home Depot and MakerBot have paired up to start selling MakerBot 3D Printers in store. The partnership will see 3D printers placed in 12 locations as part of the pilot including New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco beginning July 14.  
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Home Depot has been selling MakerBots online for three months, but this shift to physical retail marks a huge milestone for this nascent technology which used to be the toy mainly to engineers and hobbyists.
According to the Bloomberg article:
MakerBot’s partnership with Home Depot is a “step into the mainstream,” said Bre Pettis, chief executive officer of Brooklyn, New York-based MakerBot. “Mom, dad, contractors, interior designers — we’re looking forward to blowing their minds and making them MakerBot lovers.”
Home Depot joins Staples and Amazon as retailers who are currently selling 3D Printers. Back in April, Staples joined forces with 3D Systems to make the Cube series of printers available. While in June, Amazon opened its online store offering a variety of printers, scanners, filament and books for the 3D printer.

MakerBot Teams Up with Home Depot To Sell 3D Printers In-Store

Home Depot and MakerBot have paired up to start selling MakerBot 3D Printers in store. The partnership will see 3D printers placed in 12 locations as part of the pilot including New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco beginning July 14.  

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The EKOCYCLE is a Revolutionary Tool for Re-Making
What happens when leading 3D printing company, 3D Systems, superstar will.i.am and the world’s most popular soft drinks company, Coca Cola, team up? A 3D printer that’s not only made from but uses recycled material for printing. 
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The EKOCYCLE Cube 3D printer is a plug and play consumer 3D printer that is made in part from recycled materials. The printer uses a groundbreaking new filament that is made in part from post-consumer recycled plastic bottles. Each EKOCYCLE cartridge is made in part from post-consumer recycled 20oz PET plastic bottles which is the equivalent of three used bottles.
The EKOCYCLE prints in dual color recycled plastic in red, black, white or natural. Prints are 70-micron high resolution and up to 6” cubed in size. Like other Cube printers, the EKOCYCLE features a color touchscreen and can be used with the iOS and Android Cubify app. 
As explained by 3DS’ Chief Creative Officer will.i.am, the goal of EKOCYCLE is to “partner with the most influential brands around the world and use technology, art, style and inspiration to change an entire culture. We will make it cool to recycle, and we will make it cool to make products using recycled materials. This is the beginning of a more sustainable 3D-printed lifestyle. Waste is only waste if we waste it.”
Priced at $1,199 USD, this printer is expected to ship during the second half of this year and will be available for purchase on the 3D Systems’ Cubify portal. Those who purchase the device will also get 25 fashion, music, and tech minded accessories curated by will.i.am to print immediately.

The EKOCYCLE 3D Printer Video

The EKOCYCLE is a Revolutionary Tool for Re-Making

What happens when leading 3D printing company, 3D Systems, superstar will.i.am and the world’s most popular soft drinks company, Coca Cola, team up? A 3D printer that’s not only made from but uses recycled material for printing. 

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3D Printing Headed to International Space Station This Summer
Astronauts will soon be able to 3D print Yoda heads miles above Earth as the first 3D printer designed to work in outer space has received clearance from NASA to head to the International Space Station (ISS).
[[MORE]]The 3D printer, created by Made In Space, recently completed a series of tests by NASA who has now certified that the device is safe to use on the space station. The device is scheduled to launch in August of this year.
3D printers on the space station are expected to be key tools for astronauts, giving them the ability to create necessary items on-demand which could help save time, money and space aboard rockets. 
“As NASA ventures further into space, whether redirecting an asteroid or sending humans to Mars, we’ll need transformative technology to reduce cargo weight and volume,” NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said during a recent tour of the agency’s Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif. “In the future, perhaps astronauts will be able to print the tools or components they need while in space.”
Made in Space’s 3D printer will be used to facilitate an experiment to see how additive manufacturing (or 3D printing) performs in zero gravity. Once installed on the space station, the device is scheduled to print 21 demonstration parts including a series of parts and tools. The initial printing of the parts will be reviewed by the Made In Space team via HD video downlink to determine the success of the extrusion process in microgravity. The parts will then return to earth for ground analysis.  
A 3D printer is subsequently planned to be permanently installed on the ISS incorporating the lessons learned from the completed experiment and further capabilities such as additional material options and larger build volume.
“When we started Made In Space in 2010, we laid out a large, audacious vision for changing space exploration by bringing manufacturing to space,” said Jason Dunn, Chief Technology Officer for Made In Space. “We’ve systematically pursued that vision by testing 3D printing in microgravity on parabolic flights, designing a printer for those conditions, and, now, flying our 3D printer to the ISS. Passing these tests means that we’ve achieved another milestone. We’re nearing the culmination of the first stage of our larger vision.”
Image Source: Made in Space

3D Printing Headed to International Space Station This Summer

Astronauts will soon be able to 3D print Yoda heads miles above Earth as the first 3D printer designed to work in outer space has received clearance from NASA to head to the International Space Station (ISS).

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Robocop Suit 3D Printed By Stratasys
Leading 3D Printing company Stratasys announced today that its multi-material 3D printing technology, Objet Connex, was used to create the suit worn by RoboCop in this year’s blockbuster hit movie.
[[MORE]]The suit was constructed in partnership with Legacy Effects, a Hollywood special effects shop. All aspects of this futuristic cop uniform, from the boots to the helmet, were created using a mold printed using Stratasys’ technology. This master mold was then used to create variants of the suit depending on the needs of the scene in the movie.  
According to Jason Lopes, Lead Design Engineer, Legacy Effects, RoboCop’s chest-armour piece perhaps best exemplifies how the use of 3D printing technology overcomes certain challenges that can affect production methods.
"First, in terms of the size of RoboCop’s chest piece specifically, only Stratasys’ 3D printing technology would allow us to print something at the actual size; the part virtually fills the entire build-tray," Lopes explains in a press release issued by Stratasys.
"Second, the same part comprises a blend of smooth areas, as well as other areas that feature an extremely high level of detail, such as the police badge and other logos, which we needed to retain for the molding process. There isn’t a technology currently available beyond that provided by Stratasys that affords us this level of intricate detail, together with the hard surface modeling of the shells all together in one print."
Stratasys has released an exclusive interview of Jason Lopes explaining how 3D printing brought RoboCop to life. You can check it out here or below. 

Photography by: O’Neill/White/INFphoto.com

Robocop Suit 3D Printed By Stratasys

Leading 3D Printing company Stratasys announced today that its multi-material 3D printing technology, Objet Connex, was used to create the suit worn by RoboCop in this year’s blockbuster hit movie.

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Meet Zeus, the King of 3D Printers
3D printing promises a new way for people to create objects but for the average person they can seem pretty complicated and overwhelming especially if you are new to 3D modelling. For 3D printers to really take off it needs to get to a point where you take it out of the box and press a button for something to happen. With an all-in one printer called Zeus, AIO Robotics is trying to make this happen.
[[MORE]]Zeus is a fully automated device lets you scan and print in one machine with the touch of a button on the 7” multi-touch touchscreen. It is being marketed as a professional device mostly perhaps because of the price and the size compared to some of the consumer devices which are on the market today.
The printer is 14.8 inches wide x 15.3 inches high giving it a build volume of 8.0L x 6.0W x 5.7H inches which is just shy of Makerbot’s Experimental printer, the 2x, that is capable of 9.7L x 6.0W x 6.1H.
Zeus and Makerbot Replicator 2x both cost $2,499, but Zeus does offer more features with scanning, camera and the a more streamlined UI. Currently Zeus is only shipping the device out in the USA but they indicate on their website that they are working on getting international distributors for those outside of this area.

Meet Zeus, the King of 3D Printers

3D printing promises a new way for people to create objects but for the average person they can seem pretty complicated and overwhelming especially if you are new to 3D modelling. For 3D printers to really take off it needs to get to a point where you take it out of the box and press a button for something to happen. With an all-in one printer called Zeus, AIO Robotics is trying to make this happen.

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Autodesk Enters the 3D Printing Race With Spark
The world leader in 3D design has officially thrown its hat in the 3D printing ring with a new open platform and its own device. Autodesk announced its 3D printing plans in a blog post last week from its President and CEO Carl Bass where he said “The world is just beginning to realize the potential of additive manufacturing and…we hope to make it possible for many more people to incorporate 3D printing into their design and manufacturing process”.
[[MORE]]Autodesk is rolling out a software platform called Spark which is designed to make the 3D modelling process easier and more reliable. Bass explained that Autodesk will be working with the current players in the hardware space to integrate the Spark platform with current and future 3D printers.
Both the Spark platform and the 3D printer Autodesk will be rolling out will be open platforms which are freely licensable. The design of the new 3D printer will be made available to encourage “further development and experimentation”.
"Together, these will provide the building blocks that product designers, hardware manufacturers, software developers and materials scientists can use to continue to explore the limits of 3D printing technology," Bass explained in the post.
Both Spark and our 3D printer will be available later this year.
Karl Willis, Principal Research Engineer at Autodesk, will be speaking at Designers of Things 2014 on September 23 & 24 in San Francisco. Learn more here.

Autodesk Enters the 3D Printing Race With Spark

The world leader in 3D design has officially thrown its hat in the 3D printing ring with a new open platform and its own device. Autodesk announced its 3D printing plans in a blog post last week from its President and CEO Carl Bass where he said “The world is just beginning to realize the potential of additive manufacturing and…we hope to make it possible for many more people to incorporate 3D printing into their design and manufacturing process”.

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Doodle In the Air with LIX, The Smallest 3D Printing Pen
Drawing in 2D is so last year. Advancements in 3D printing have afforded new tools for artists and makers to sketch things in the air with 3D printing pens. The latest of these tools is LIX, a UK-based company who is currently crowdfunding its 3D printing pen on Kickstarter.
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LIX works similar to a 3D printer. It rapidly melts and cools coloured plastic creating rigid shapes. The pen is powered by USB 3.0 and it only takes about 60 seconds for the filament you insert at the top of the pen to heat up for use. 
The team at LIX wanted to create a pen that was comfortable and stylish in your hand. LIX is extremely light-weight at 40 grams and is made from aluminum and will come in two colors: matte black and matte grey.
The best part about LIX is its portability which means that you can 3D doodle anywhere in your house, at work or even when you travel. LIX suggest that its pen can be used to bring your sketches to life or to create intricate jewellery, crafts or prototypes. 
The LIX campaign has already raised over 18 times its expected campaign goal which was set at 30,000 pounds and has 23 days to go. The company is offering backers a chance to get a pen for as little as $70.
LIX has drawn some impressive art and fashion pieces with LIX which they showcase in the Kickstarter video which we have for you below.  

Doodle In the Air with LIX, The Smallest 3D Printing Pen

Drawing in 2D is so last year. Advancements in 3D printing have afforded new tools for artists and makers to sketch things in the air with 3D printing pens. The latest of these tools is LIX, a UK-based company who is currently crowdfunding its 3D printing pen on Kickstarter.

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3D Printed Cast Design Heals Patients 40% Faster
A Turkish student has designed a 3D printed cast prototype that could help speed up the healing process by 40% when worn. The prototype, called Osteoid, utilizes proven healing benefits from low-intensity pulsed ultrasound. Its design focuses on comfort and improvement of overall healing for the patient.
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Traditional casts sacrifice ventilation for structural security which often causes itching and smelling. The Osteoid counters this by using 3D Printing to create a custom fit which is durable and open as well as slimmer and lighter.
The healing is expedited by using low-intensity pulsed ultrasound or LIPUS. This technique requires access to the skin of the damaged area in order to work. With traditional closed casts, this was not possible. But Osteoid’s ventilation areas serve double duty as ways to apply LIPUS without the need to remove the cast. 
According to the designer, “the most difficult part was to come up with a fully functioning locking mechanism which is strong enough to protect the limb, practical enough to put it on the fragile injured area and simple enough so that it doesn’t disturb the general form of the medical cast”. 
The designer, Deniz Karasahin, recently won an award at the 2014 Golden A’Design Competition for Osteoid which is conceptual only at this stage. But as the medical community seems quick to embrace the use of 3D printing for organs, models and implants, we may soon see something like the Osteoid replace the bulky, plaster cast in the near future.
via Digital Trends

3D Printed Cast Design Heals Patients 40% Faster

A Turkish student has designed a 3D printed cast prototype that could help speed up the healing process by 40% when worn. The prototype, called Osteoid, utilizes proven healing benefits from low-intensity pulsed ultrasound. Its design focuses on comfort and improvement of overall healing for the patient.

Read More

Turning Trash Into Treasure with 3D Printing
A Seattle entrepreneur wants to take recycling to a whole new level. Working together with a local inventor, she has developed a machine that turns plastic bottles into 3D printing filament allowing makers to literally turn their trash into newly created treasures. 
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Founder Liz Havlin is currently preparing a Kickstarter campaign to create an open sourced desktop recycling machine called the Legacy Filament Extruder. The machine turns recycled plastic pellets into 3D printer ink. Havlin hopes to raise $30,000 to make this concept a reality.
The machine is just one part of the equation. Havlin has partnered with a company who will take collected recycled plastic and make the necessary pellets needed to create the filament using the Legacy. This partnership removes the need for additional machinery to be created or bought to processes the plastics itself.  
Once things are up and running, Havlin aims to be able to collect recycling at a location in Seattle, exchange it for pellets and then sell 3D printer filaments created by the extruder.
The Legacy could be the start of a new way to tackle a huge environmental problem which continues to plague our oceans and our wildlife. In addition, as Havlin points out on her draft Kickstarter page, the collection of plastics and other recycling is already a means for people to earn money to help them lift themselves out of poverty. The use of these materials for a growing demand of makers could help further this social cause as well. 
via VentureBeat

Turning Trash Into Treasure with 3D Printing

A Seattle entrepreneur wants to take recycling to a whole new level. Working together with a local inventor, she has developed a machine that turns plastic bottles into 3D printing filament allowing makers to literally turn their trash into newly created treasures. 

Read More

Pushing the Boundaries of 3D Printing: Featured Speaker Karl Willis
Karl Willis is no stranger to innovative technology. The Carnegie Mellon computational design graduate has worked with Microsoft, Disney and now Autodesk on research projects that explore the use of light, projection, motion and 3D printing to push the boundaries of art, science, design and technology. 
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"I research ways in which novel technology can promote and provoke playful experiences, everyday creativity, and new forms of social interaction," said Karl Willis.

Willis most recent research project with Microsoft looks at the way we can use 3D printers to embed information into objects. The project, called InfraStructs, tested embedding material-based passive tags into 3D printed objects. These objects could then be scanned using terahertz imaging devices. This type of technology could be used to enhance various applications from inventory control to real-time gaming.

In 2012, Karl and the team at Disney Research experimented with creating custom optical elements for interactive devices using 3D printers in a project called Printed Optics. In this project, interactive devices were 3D printed with embedded optical sensors which would illuminate and display. This project was part of a larger vision which proposed that we will someday be able to 3D print interactive devices on -demand in their entirety, negating the need for assembly of parts. 

Willis will be talking about digital fabrication and the various applications of embedding readable tags in objects at the Designers of Things conference which takes place in San Francisco September 23 & 24, 2014.
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This article is part of our featured speaker series for the Designers of Things Conference which takes place in San Francisco on September 23 & 24, 2014.  

Pushing the Boundaries of 3D Printing: Featured Speaker Karl Willis

Karl Willis is no stranger to innovative technology. The Carnegie Mellon computational design graduate has worked with Microsoft, Disney and now Autodesk on research projects that explore the use of light, projection, motion and 3D printing to push the boundaries of art, science, design and technology. 

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It’s a Bird…It’s a Plane…It’s a 3D Printed Drone!
Our skies may soon be filled with drones that we print ourselves. Engineers at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) at the University of Sheffield have successfully printed a 1.5m-wide drone, and it can fly!
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The 2KG thermoplastic nine-part drone was made without supporting materials and was printed and assembled within 24 hours. Its success suggests that disposable drones (or UAVs: unmanned aerial vehicles) could someday be printed out and deployed in remote areas in as little as a day.
With its test flight under its wing (pun intended) the team are already looking to improve upon the 3D printed model to use a new nylon rather than polymer material and incorporate GPS and camera features that would allow operators wearing first person-view goggles to control the device.

Source Gizmodo via sUAS
Image & Video Source sUAS

It’s a Bird…It’s a Plane…It’s a 3D Printed Drone!

Our skies may soon be filled with drones that we print ourselves. Engineers at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) at the University of Sheffield have successfully printed a 1.5m-wide drone, and it can fly!

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