Amazing Space Ready 3D Printer Unveiled by NASA

Living in space faces many challenges, such as the availability of critical spare parts. Supply trips to the ISS are somewhat uncommon, so getting a replacement part for a broken piece of equipment is both slow and expensive. NASA’s newest revelation from its research park in Silicon Valley helps to tackle just such a problem, a 3D printer that works in space. Not just a proof of concept either, with it planning to be launched to the ISS on the 23rd of March, where it will be used to build both spare parts and parts for experiments.

This isn’t the first 3D printer to be used in space, a prototype printer had already been trialled by the crew of the ISS previously. This new printer will be more than the previous prototype and, in fact, be a fully operational model for use by ISS crew members.

Andrew Rush, the chief executive of Made In Space, the NASA-funded startup developing the technology stated: “You can bring us a USB stick with your file, and we can digitally send it to space.” “Via 3D printing we can make that object and completely avoid putting it on a rocket.”

This is just the start of space manufacturing too, with Made In Space being given $20 million to work on a project named Archinaut. The system would allow the construction of huge structures in space, manufactured and assembled automatically by robots. Rush believes that Archinaut could construct “giant radio dishes that could service many people, or do amazing science and peer deep into the universe’s past.” The success of this project could revolutionize space construction and say goodbye to the current method of sending “flat packed” structures to space on rockets where they are then unfolded and constructed, allowing structures too fragile to survive the launch to space or other logistically problematic structures.

For now, the ambitions remain small-scale with the 3D printer, however, far more exciting things are in the near future. Made In Space estimate it will be 3 to 4 years before the truly big projects take root, and the technology is planned to be licensed out to commercial enterprises, of which Tesla may for one be very interested. Making the 3D printing no longer reliant on the Earth’s resources is another step on the road to the self-sufficiency of space. The raw materials that can be found in space, from asteroids to the surfaces of moons and planets are being explored as resources to be used for 3D printing, with the end goal of not just removing reliance on Earth, but even allowing for the construction of things that are impossible with only materials from the Earth’s environment.

Image credit to Made In Space

3D-Print Your Own TSA Master Keys

In a not too distant future your average person will be able to print their own door keys thanks to the technique of 3D printing. Which is great news for those who have lost there’s, not so good if some bright spark has created and uploaded the plans so that you can print your very own TSA Master Keys.

These keys were designed by the Transportation Security Administration following the 9/11 attacks to ensure the safety of travellers into and around the US by requiring any lock on bags to be branded as “travel sentry approved”. This is to enable airport security staff to carry out searches without having to break the lock or bag. These keys are meant to be kept secret; this was up until an article by The Washington Post which was uploaded in 2014 and conveyed a photograph of seven master keys. The respected news source finally took the pictures down in August 2015, but not before a security researcher by the username “Xyl2k” managed to both create and post 3D printing files of all seven master keys to code site Github.

Do they work? Yep, others have test printed them and it turns out you really can open other people’s luggage, sorry, I meant your own. below is a video which has been uploaded to Twitter concerning this.  This might be going off topic, but the source for this story is The Guardian, who decided to place an image to illustrate the story, what did they go for? see for yourself, the link is at the end of the article, let’s just say it looks to be potentially painful to a poor flyer.

“Xyl2k” has stated that the reason the plans were uploaded was to warn against the security flaws in “master keys” and the potential for them to be exploited as in this case. The laughable aspect concerns The Washington Post and their willingness to exist in a parallel universe, a month before the photos were published, the news source rallied for a so-called “Golden Key” which could be used by tech companies, this theoretical key would be then only used with a court order. The big glaring elephant in the room lies with the very fact that it could be copied and then misused by a wide variety of individuals, organisations and groups.

I do wish people would stop simplifying tech to the point of stupidity, for example, the general consensus from powerful officials is that encryption is bad, so why not simplify it and remove it. There is a philosophy term for this and it is called Occam’s Razor, the principle states that among competing hypotheses that predict equally well, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected. Therefore, The Washington Post has simplified the many outcomes by suggesting a “Golden Key” to be stored by various tech companies. The only problem with that is the many hackers which include state sponsored virtual safe crackers are smarter than your average David Cameron.

This article has been written on September 11th 2015 but would be published on the 12th, this may seem a bit late when reading this, but I would just like to take a minute to pay respects to the near 3000 people who tragically lost their lives on that day 14 years ago to the most brutal of acts.

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” –Nelson Mandela

Thank you The Guardian and Github for providing us with this information.

HP Tackles ‘Ink Anxiety’ With 50% Reduced Costs and Instant Ink Printers

Low-cost printers from HP, Epson, Brother and more all seem like a superb value-for-money proposition but the cold, hard reality is they are extremely expensive to run due to extortionate ink prices. Often, these budget printers are half the price of official replacement ink cartridges and DIY kits are overly messy. For heavy users, a Laser printer is essential. However, HP’s latest venture could dramatically change the fortune of ink-based printers. The company has decided to tackle ‘ink anxiety’ head-on and reduce cartridge prices by 50%

The scheme works through integrated Wi-Fi, and smart cartridges can detect the remaining ink level before automatically ordering replacements directly from HP. This service is entitled, “instant ink” and pricing starts at a mere £1.99 per month. However, from is a huge word when it comes to consumer pricing so it’s an unknown entity how expensive this service could be on certain models. HP also dispatch a pre-paid package to return your empty cartridges and dispose of them in an environmentally-friendly manner. Stephen Nigro, senior vice president at HP imaging and printing, said in a statement:

“Customers want printing to be affordable, convenient and meaningful.”

“With HP Instant Ink, customers can enjoy low cost of ownership and print what matters most to them without the worry of running out of ink or spending too much.”

This is a wonderful idea and could instigate the beginning of cheap, consumer-friendly cartridges. Not only is the price fantastic, but HP’s commitment to providing simple replacements without requiring any technical knowledge is revolutionary. HP’s customer service team should be able cope with customer demands and ensure replacements are dispatched before any remaining ink runs dry. Hopefully, other manufacturers will follow HP’s lead.

Thank you VentureBeat for providing us with this information.

Glass 3D Printing Technique Is Stunning

Recent years have seen the technique of 3D printing evolve from a niche concept to a mainstream phenomenon, which in turn has opened up a whole new horizon for product manufacturing. If you thought this was exciting, then be prepared to be blown away as a new development centres on glass 3D printing.

MIT’s Mediated Matter Group has unveiled a first of its kind optically transparent glass printing process which goes by the name of G3DP, If you are wondering, it stands for “Glass 3D Printing”. In order for this process to become a reality, an additive manufacturing platform is applied with dual heated chambers. The first or upper chamber is a “Kiln Cartridge,” which operates at an intense heat of 1900°F, while the lower chamber works with the aim of heating before cooling in order to soften the glass.

This technique is not creating glass but rather building layers upon layers with pre-existing materials. Below is a video to convey this process in action, as you can see, it is compelling, mind-blowing and quite relaxing to watch, the building up of an object looks similar to a lava lamp which used to be popular.

The consistency looks to be incredibly hot syrup which is drizzled onto a sugary treat, yep I know, perhaps a poor observation but I have included a screenshot below which kind of backs it up, sort of.

It’s intricate and opens up a whole new set of possibilities for everyday applications in the near future, for now, if your feeling stressed and would like a few moments to relax, then by all means watch the video, aside from the fact that it is pretty amazing to view, it might also soothe you.

Thank You to Gizmodo for providing us with this information.

Amsterdam Getting 3D Printed Steel Bridge

3D printing is constantly innovating construction, but a project which is set to begin in two years time in Amsterdam, is really pushing the limits of what we thought was possible. The unique project will not involve any human builders, instead using a six-axis robot that can 3D print molten metal in mid-air. The robot will build the bridge from one end of the canal to the other in just two months, working its way across the 24 foot-long steel bridge as it builds it.

The MX3D bots can create its own rail supports as it goes, moving along them and printing the bridge, which will later serve as a pedestrian bridge.

The idea comes for R&D company MX3D. They’ve spent years thinking about the future of 3D printing and while their latest project may turn out to be a flop, literally, it’s certainly an innovative idea and one that could prove incredibly useful across the entire construction industry.

Just think of all the dangerous places that would benefit from a bridge, it would certainly be easier to let a robot do the bridge building and leave humans to work on surrounding projects.

Small-scale demonstrations have already proven successful, but it remains to be seen how the full-scale, exposed to the elements, construction process will hold up.

Thank you Gizmodo for providing us with this information.

What If You Tried to Print the Entire Internet?

The internet, a whopping network of networks, spanning the entire globe and even some of outerspace. More than 3 billion users are online and by 2016 internet traffic could be at a massive rate of one zettabyte per year. did some amazing mathematics to work out, just how many pages we would need to print the internet; it’s a lot!

How many web pages are there?

In 2007, as part of his master’s thesis at Tilburg University, the Dutch Web consultant Maurice de Kunder developed a statistical method for tracking the number of pages indexed by major search engines. The math and technology behind this tool are pretty complicated – his thesis ran 68 pages, in Dutch – but eight years later, it’s still constantly updating the number of pages in Google and Bing search.

A couple caveats here: Even this figure is an estimate, and it doesn’t capture anything outside the reach of search engines. But for our purposes, de Kunder said, we can assume there are roughly 47 billion pages on the indexed, searchable web.

How many printed pages is the average web page?

Meanwhile, to find how many printed pages each of those 47 billion would be, I needed to visit a representative sample of websites and try to print out each. To arrive at a fair average – one with a 5 per cent margin of error, and a 95 per cent certainty – I’d have to test 385 random sites, as chosen by the so-called Random Website Machine.

This is a fun game you can play at home (!), if you have absolutely nothing else to do: click the “random website” button; hit CTRL+A and CTRL+P; and record the resulting “pages” number in a separate spreadsheet.

There was the site for a Taiwanese Little League (two pages); online stores selling Orthodox icons and horses’ hoof grease (1); the homepage for the Czech national lacrosse league (4). I learned that West Virginia only has one business newspaper, and that Bulgaria’s constitution was adopted in 1991. Also that, in 2000, the BBC called Britney Spears a “teenage pop phenomenon.”

A few of these sites would, of course, take up many printed pages: say, Wikipedia articles or the homepages of chatty personal blogs. But the vast, mundane majority of the websites I visited – the pages of Polish municipal governments, say, or a recipe for “cattle drive chili” – only took up one or two. (We forget that our modern Internet sits atop strata of Geocities pages and long-forgotten forums and sites for dentists offices in, who knows, Kalamazoo.)

The average site came out to 6.5 printed pages – slightly longer than the Wikipedia page on Lithuania’s performance at the ’92 Olympics. In other words, there’s a 95 percent chance that the average length of all web pages in the world is somewhere between 6.2 and 6.8 printed pages.

The number of pages it would take to print the internet = 305.5 billion.

From here, of course, the experiment gets pretty easy. Multiplying 47 billion by 6.5 gives you 305,500,000,000 pages, approximately. This is, to be clear, just an estimate: There’s some room for error in my page-length average, and the internet’s changing all the time. But it’s still difficult to even contemplate how much material that comes out to: It’s like 212 million copies of Leo Tolstoy’s “War and Peace.”

That is a lot of copies of War and Peace,

Thank you to Stuff for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Huffingtonpost

L’Oreal Teaming Up To 3D Print Skin

Cause you’re worth it. The catch phrase of L’Oreal, a world-famous cosmetic company, is known to many. Did you know that they grow skin from donated samples? How about that they want to start 3D printing human skin?

Teaming up with the start-up company Organovo, L’Oreal hopes to be able to use the created skin in its product tests. Organovo, however, is new to this area, having already claimed that they can 3D print a human liver that will last for up to 40 days.

Stated as in the early research stages, experts are divided about how this would work. Many believe that the science behind it is plausible, and that is is possible to 3D print skin and other parts using human cells. One possible application of this would be to help burn and trauma patients, being able to replace the damaged skin and create skin graphs on site in each hospital using specialist 3D printers.

A major advantage of this would be in regards to animal testing, with the ability to test cosmetics on human tissue giving better results and more in-depth knowledge about side effects without the need for animal testing or damage to a person undergoing the testing.

With the ability to create more humane testing methods, help repair damage done by fire to burn victims and with untold potential it will be interesting to follow how L’Oreal and Organovo use this technology and research.

Thank you BBC and Organovo for providing us with this information.

Sea Turtle Can Return To The Sea Due To 3D Printing

3D Printing has done a lot for people in the past few years, from creating 3D Iron Man Hands for children to creating apartment buildings. A group in Turkey, however, have found another use for it; helping a turtle return to the sea.

The turtle was found in the wild, considered almost lifeless by its rescuers are it was found to have a large hole near its month, possibly caused by an encounter with a propeller. With the damage done however it was unable to gather food, meaning it couldn’t survive out in the wild. The rescuers at Dalyan Iztuzu Pamukkale University Sea Turtle Research, Rescue and Rehabilitation Center started to feed the turtle by hand. Once it started to regain its strength the researchers decided that they needed to find a way to get it back into its natural habitat.

Say Hello to 3D printing. BTech Innovation, a 3D printing service, agreed to help repair the turtles jaws with artificial prosthetics, similar to those now being used to support people. With help from surgeons and veterinarians, the group scanned in the turtles CT scans and began to design a replacement for the beak which had been broken off.

Using titanium, the beak was designed to withstand water and the high power that turtles use within their jaws. Once printed the new feature was airmailed to their latest patient and fitted, with rescuers hopeful that the turtle can return to the sea any day soon.

The greatest thing about 3D printing, with companies like BTech Innovation offering to help for free because of how, touched they were, is that it has un-told potential to help people. The ability to quickly and cheaply rebuild lost houses after natural disasters or even to replace limbs that have been lost. 3D printing is an idea of the future, with people quickly gathering around it for every reason we can imagine, how do you think 3D printing should or could be used in the near future?

Thank you Iinquisitr for providing us with this information.

Image Courtesy of BTech Innovation.

Airbus A350 WXB Jet Features 1000 3D Printed Parts

3D printers have revolutionized many industries in recent years, but before they started entering the consumer market, albeit mostly for the enthusiast crowd at the moment, they were getting used in everything from Formula 1 to aerospace technology. The Airbus A350 XWB jet however, has more 3D printed parts than any other, clocking in a staggering 1000 parts that were created using 3D printed techniques.

1000 3D printed parts means that the Airbus has more printed parts than any other aircraft. The reason for this is that 3D printed parts can be made in shapes and forms that normal machine processes simply cannot replicate. What may take several parts that need to be welded or bolted together using traditional methods, can be printed as a single object. This means that the parts can be lighter and also easier to produce helping save on manufacturing costs, as well as reducing the weight of the craft, thereby saving fuel in flight.

“From what I can gather it’s certainly unprecedented in scale,” said James Woodcock, an expert on 3D printing with Rapid News. “Historically, the use of 3D printed parts have been in military aircraft rather than commercial passenger jets.”

The plane was delivered in December 2014, so it’s certainly nothing new, but the news that they used the Stratasys FDM 3D Production System so extensively was unknown. The technique also helped Airbus complete their deadline for building the craft a lot sooner.

It’s amazing to see what 3D printing can do, besides making novelty keyrings and knock-off LEGO bricks.

Thank you BBC for providing us with this information.

Show Your Skills in Voltivo’s 3D Creation Contest

Voltivo is inviting everyone to take part in their global 3D printing contest, dubbed the Voltivo 3D Creation Contest. Design enthusiasts, and everyone else for that matter, can submit their original 3D model designs however simple or complex they might be.

Voltivo believes that 3D printing is a great tool to turn ideas into real products. You could design a smart part for your Drone, some printable art, or just something completely ludicrous – your mind is your only limit. The company would like users to think about creating their own designs rather than just downloading designs other people created over and over. “The future is already here to enable us. Happy Designing!”

You can incorporate the Voltivo brand or brand colours into your design. It is optional, but they “would of course be excited to see that.” The contest is running a little over a month, from April 10th to May 15th 2015.


  • 3x Main Prizes for the best three designs submitted:
    – Pack with 2 x Spools of Voltivo ExcelFil in a color of your choice valued at USD49.90 and and 1 x Pack Voltivo Filament Cleaner valued at USD13.99.
  • 5x Runners up – Random Draw across all participants:
    – 1 x Pack of Voltivo Filament Cleaner valued at USD13.99

You can check out the full details including links to software and logos on the official page by clicking here.

7yr Old Girl Gets 3D Printed Robohand – Only Cost $50 to Produce!

3D printing has revolutionized the world of prosthetics, making prototyping and modifications of prosthetics a much quicker process, while also drastically reducing the cost of creating the required components.

After losing her left hand at just 9 months old, now seven years old Faith Lennox just received her new custom-made 3D printed prosthetic. Unlike medial prosthetics, Faith was able to choose her favourite colours for the new lightweight hand.

“E-Nable provides open-source technology for building the hand, Lengsfeld said, making it economical for anyone with the right printer and a set of instructions to create one. Faith’s only costs $50, and when she outgrows it she can easily build a bigger replacement.” said Mark Lengsfeld of E-Nable

It’s amazing how far this kind of technology has developed and we look forward to seeing it put to use in amazing ways such as this, time and time again.

3D Printed Ice Cubes – Literally the Coolest Thing You’ll See This Week

3D printing is awesome, it has created so many cool and innovative products and solutions to many manufacturing problems, as well as putting most of that power into the hands of consumers. However, it’s also been used to make some things that are simply just awesome, even if they’re not really essential or practical.

This custom 3D Ice Cube maker is full of win and in all honestly, you may never want to enjoy your favourite drink without it again! While not the most practical thing ever, I can see any self-respecting event that wants to impress guests having one of these at their disposal in the near future.

TBWA/Hakuhodo of Tokyo created the “3D on the rocks” to advertise Suntory Whisky. Just like a 3D printer, the device pulls images from Autodesk 123D, but uses a CNC system to carve the ice cubes into the custom shapes with incredible detail. The downside? The cubes took up to six hours each to create, but now that they’ve set the bar for innovation, there’s now the chance for someone else to step in and create something quicker and cheaper to do the same job.

Enjoy the gallery below and let us know which design you would love to see in your next drink!

Thank you Mashable for providing us with this information.

3D Print Your Own GlaDOS Robotic Ceiling Arm Lamp!

Earlier today we brought you news of a very cool 3D printed guitar, which is great for musicians to tinker around with. However, if you’re more excited by the world of amateur robotics and the legendary GlaDOS from Portal, this may be a lot more exciting for you!

Someone has created a guide on how to 3D print your own GlaDOS, which you can then fit to your ceiling as a robotic lamp; it may very well be one of the coolest things I have ever seen!

Unfortunately, there’s a few manufacturing problems at the moment, where the GlaDOS gets quite hot, some of the build would require electrical wiring and no doubt a fair bit of skill with fitting servo motors. However, the 3D files are there, so you could always build a stationary unit that would require less skill to construct. There’s certainly room to tweak and improve the design, but the core concept is no doubt too awesome to resist for any budding engineer with a 3D printer at their disposal.

Of course, if the GlaDOS lamp is too hard, you could always just make the potato version!

Now, if someone can get me a 3D printer and a model of FFVII Midgar, with working train and Mako reactors, that’d be great.

Create Your Own Fully Working 3D Printed Guitar

3D printing may not be a technology we all have at our disposal, but there’s no doubt that it’s still an incredible technology, that is becoming more affordable almost every day. YouTuber Solstie has created a fully functional 3D printed guitar that can be created without supports, contains a fully 3D printed neck and frets; you can even print your own today, so long as you have access to a printer of course.

There’s no wood core or anything like that to deal with, the only parts you’re going to need are a set of tuning pegs and the strings, which you can get from virtually any guitar store for around £20/$30.

You can download the file and print your own guitar here. Want to see the guitar in action? Check out the video below!

As a guitarist of 15 years, I find this very cool, to have a readily available, playable and cheap guitar that can be made in a day. They’re perfect for a cheap learning tool and a fantastic demonstration of what can be done with 3D printing technology.

Amazon Experimenting With Fitting 3D Printers in Delivery Vehicles

Amazon is pretty much doing everything it can to get goods to you as quickly as possible. From Amazon Prime next day delivery to their conceptual Prime Air drone service. It’s almost like they’re working towards having no time between clicking the buy button and receiving your goods.

Well now the company has got one step closer to that goal, by filling a patent for a system that would produce the goods in the delivery van while on the way to your house. The application details that Amazon’s delivery trucks,  or “mobile manufacturing hubs,” would contain 3D printers that could physically manufacture the items you ordered. They say that the concept could mean “time delays between receiving an order and shipping the item to the customer may reduce customer satisfaction and affect revenues generated.”

Such a system is purely conceptual at the moment, but could mean delivery of goods in significantly less time than ever before. Perhaps Amazon should try and get the drones in the air first though.

Source: The Verge

Royal Mail Embracing 3D Printing Technology, Wants to Custom Print Your Items

The Royal Mail has partnered with 3D printing specialist iMakr to install 3D printers at its New Cavendish Street delivery office, hoping to entice the public.

Customers can purchase custom designs or ready-to-print objects, and the pilot program could be rolled out nationwide based on demand.

Here is what Mike Newnham, Royal Mail chief customer officer, said in a statement:

“3D printing is an emerging technology that has many applications and offers an innovative way to create unique or personalized objects. It can be prohibitively expensive for consumers or small businesses to invest a 3D printer, so we are launching a pilot to gauge interest in 3D printing.”

Consumer 3D printers can be purchased in the UK, but prices typically top £1,000, not including required filaments. Analysts think it will take at least five years before the pricey custom printers become more commonplace among consumers, with price cuts necessary to increase interest.

The 3D printing market is growing as consumers become more aware of 3D-printed products – but high acquisition and start-up costs are delaying investments, according to the Gartner research group. In fact, 60 percent of organizations interested in 3D printing have delayed implementation because of such high start-up costs.

(Image courtesy of UK In The Press)

HP Seek 3D Printing Future With ‘Multi Jet Fusion’ Technology

HP are eager to be a big player in the 3D printing business, maybe so they can overcharge for the inks… just kidding. They’re eager to show the world their “Multi Jet Fusion” technology, which it believes can “change entire industries.”

The goal for HP, as is the goal for many 3D printing companies, is to make the process of 3D printing quicker, more accurate and more reliable. The new HP tech seems to do just that and HP have said they can make complex products such as gears at least 10x faster than conventional manufacturing techniques.

To show off the reliability and accuracy of their products, HP printed a product strong enough to life a car! Then they printed a part for their 3D printer, printed from the 3D printer the part was for just to show off the resolution; it worked. Maybe Stargate were right to fear the Replicators.

No word on pricing or if and when this technology will make its way to the consumer market, but manufacturers should start taking shipments in 2016.

Thank you Engadget for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Engadget.

Giant 3D Printer Capable of Printing Cars

Oak Ridge and Cincinnati Incorporated have worked together to create a living room sized 3D printer, which is also the worlds first large-scale 3D printer that’s capable of working with polymers. To demonstrate the capabilities of their new mega-sized device, the teams behind it have been 3D printing cars; everything from the seats, bumpers and body were all printed, with the exception of the motor, suspension and tires which were all made conventionally.

While they have intentions of selling their finished cars, their real goal is to commercialize the printer. The company have sold two already and they hope they’ll make it into the industrial industry as a way of printing large parts for cars, aircrafts, appliances, robots and a whole lot more. Given that the machine is ten times bigger than any other industrial 3D polymer printer, we suspect that it’s going to be fairly popular, at least with those who have room to install one.

Check out the Vine video below which shows part of the cars’ chassis being printed.

Thank you Popsci for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Popsci

NASA Tests 3D Printed Rocket Parts [Video]

Creating knockoff Lego blocks, a funky key ring or a new phone case are some of the basic features available from your run of the mill consumer 3D printer, but NASA are really pushing the limits of what can be done with the technology by creating 3D printed rocket components.

The 3D printed rocket injectors were successfully tested by NASA at their Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The two injectors mix liquid nitrogen and hydrogen to provide combustion and can reach temperatures of over 6,000 degrees Fahrenheit and are capable of generating around 20,000 pounds of thrust.

“We wanted to go a step beyond just testing an injector and demonstrate how 3-D printing could revolutionize rocket designs,” said Chris Singer, director of Marshall’s Engineering Directorate.

A standard none 3D printed injector would require the creation and assembly of 163 pieces, while the laser melting 3D printing technique required just 2 pieces to be created! That means scientist and engineers saved time making all the extra parts and putting them together, while also meaning a low fail rate by removing so many steps from the injectors construction.

Thank you Time for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Time.

3D Printed Skeleton Keys Can Pick High Security Locks in Seconds

Lock picking is something of an art form, while the basics can be learnt relatively quickly, there are locks out there that even the experts will struggle with, until now. Using 3D printing techniques, Jos Weyers and Christian Holler have been creating custom 3D printed key-esque strips of plastic and metal that can open high security locks in seconds, without ever needing to see the original key.

What they’ve created is known as a bump key, which slips into the lock and can be hit with a hammer in a certain way to pop the pins in the lock. Using software they created called Photobump, the two engineers now say they can easily bump a wide range of locks by printing 3D bump keys from a photograph of the keyhole! You don’t even need a high-end 3D printer to create these models.

[youtube width=”800″ height=”450″][/youtube]

This technique isn’t perfect, it can be expensive to create and it won’t work on all locks, but it has made currently lock picking techniques easier than ever. The team say they’re also trying to raise this issue with key manufacturers and lock makers to create more secure locks to deal with these kind of problems.

Thank you Wired for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Wired.

3D Printed Invention Solves The Dreaded Ketchup Water Problem

There are many people in this world who love Ketchup, but for those of us who do love it (myself included) there is one major drawback. That time when you forget to shake the bottle first, you tip the bottle upside down and all of a sudden you have watery, messy liquid soaking your fries and still have no sauce on them, yuck!

Two teenage inventors for the Liberty North High School in Missouri have come up with a solution to this truly first world problem, they’ve customised the cap. The new cap is mushroom-shaped and was made using a 3D printer, insert the cap into the bottle and it prevents the fluid built up by trapping the water at the bottom of the bottle.

It’s great to see little ideas like this come to life thanks to 3D printing, especially within schools and other places of education. The boys aren’t planning to patent or market the invention right now and well… that makes them idiots, because it’s little innovations like this that big companies love to snap up.


Thank you Popsci for providing us with this information.

Full Colour, Multi Material Professional 3D Printer Revealed

One of the worlds largest 3D printer manufacturers, Stratasys, has revealed their latest model, one that blows just about everything else available on the market out of the water with a range of cool new features that could push 3D printing into a whole new era.

The Objet500 Connex3 may not have the snappiest name we’ve ever heard, but given that it is capable of printing in both full colour and in multiple materials means that it is incredibly flexible, so much so that it could be used to create more final products, rather than just simple prototypes. The printer is aimed at the professional market, mostly due to its non consumer friendly price tag of £330,000! So it really is more targeted at the prototyping / small-batch manufacturing market rather than individuals, unless of course you’re well funded enough to invest in one of these for your home office.

The printer takes a similar approach to that of modern 2D inkjet printing, using a blend of cyan, magenta and yellow to print in a wide range of colours and it plays off the industry experience Startasys have in multi-material printing, given that they already have products which can print in flexible, transparent and rigid materials.

As you can see from the demo pictures, it can make some beautifully colourful and complex objects and it will be interesting to see how quickly this new technology works its way down to a more consumer friendly product over the next few years. 3D printing is developing quickly and we can’t wait to have one sitting in our house to replace all those missing Lego pieces we need.

Thank you Gigaom for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Gigaom.

Disabled Duck Gets A New 3D Printed Limb, Faith In Humanity Restored!

The power of 3D printing has been proven once again valuable. This time, helping a poor disabled duck. Dudley, a duck rescued by the K911 animal rescue service from Sicamous, Canada, has lost his leg when just a baby from the attack of a vicious chicken kept in the same pen as Dudley.

The prosthetic was created by Terence Loring at 3 Pillar Design, which is a company that specializes in 3D printing architectural prototypes. He heard of Dudley’s misfortune from a friend and decided to make him a 3D printed limb with the help of his experience in 3D printing prototypes.

Loring first came up with a jointed construction that was fully 3D printed in plastic by Proto3000 in Canada. After it was attached to Dudley, it broke and Dudley fell over. So Loring went back to designing a new and improved one, something that had no joints and printed in a softer plastic.

The second attempt went very well, Dudley got the second model attached and started to walk straight away. Although it does cause friction sores, something that has happened in the past with another prosthetic , having solved it by adding a silicone sock and prosthetic gel liner.

Loring will undoubtedly find a way to get around the friction sores issue as well. In the meantime, Dudley is very happy that it can walk again! Hurray to 3D printing once again!

Thank you Cnet for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of Cnet

Adobe Photoshop Update Brings 3D Printing and Perspective Warp

Adobe has launched its latest update to its Creative Cloud suite. Among the update, Photoshop notably received an interesting feature, namely the addition of a tool for making changes to a photo’s perspective and 3D printing.

Photoshop was not a tool made for 3D models, and Abode confirms this. Its reputation comes from the ability to import third-party models and then finishing the final touches, namely the image manipulation, inside the Photoshop tool. But thanks to a new partnership with MakerBot, Photoshop can now natively print to that company’s 3D printers.


And because of a similar partnership with Shapeways, users can also easily print their designs on the various materials and color options available on that service. Photoshop will even estimate the price for these prints and provide users with previews based on the color and material that users choose. The company is also adding 3D model support to Behance. By default, Behance only displays JPEGs, but Adobe has partnered with Sketchfab to bring embeds for 3D models to Behance.

Besides 3D modelling, the new Perspective Warp feature is also a great tool to have at your disposal. While Photoshop already has a number of warp tools in its arsenal, none of them work very well for changing the perspective of an image without also turning straight lines into curves. With this tool, you simply draw the general outline of the object that aligns with the perspective. Once Photoshop knows the current perspective, you switch from the markup mode to the warp mode and adjust the perspective.

Thank you TechCrunch for providing us with this information
Images and video courtesy of TechCrunch

Bloc Party’s Lead Singer To Release 3D Printed Record

Amanda Ghassaei, a software engineer for DIY website Instructables came up with an idea, and the method for making records using 3D printing techniques. Sure the quality won’t be anything like a properly pressed vinyl record but the concept is sound and most certainly a lot of fun to try.

Kele Okereke, the lead singer for the band Bloc Party loved the idea so much that he will be using Amanda’s technique to 3D print records of a new song that is due for release next week. Amanda isn’t using any old 3D printer though, she’s using Stratasys 3D printers that are pretty high spec and have a much higher resolution than most consumer grade tech, unfortunately they’re not the sort of thing your average MakerBot can create.

Using a special script that turns a music file into a record design she was able to 3D print a copy of Dabaser by Pixies, taking music piracy to a whole new level at the same time. She’s even experimented with laser cutters and created records out of wood, vinyl and even paper!

It is a great concept and while at this time it may not be entirely practical, or the best way to capture music, it is the first steps in creating something truly unique and it will only help expand on the possibilities of 3D printing in the near future.

Thank you Gigaom for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Gigaom.

YieldJet Prints OLED TV Panels Using InkJet Technology

OLED TV panels are the future, there is no doubt about it. If you have doubts about the benefits of an OLED panel, it is because you haven’t seen one yet, with many panels promising infinite contrast ratios, the blackest of black and colours unlike anything else on the market. Add that to 4K panels and you’ve got something more drool worthy than any other TV on the market… but there is a downside, cost.

OLED is expensive technology due to the fact they are a small nightmare to manufacture. The process of creating a panel for OLED requires a vacuum evaporation technique, and something called shadow masking which are basically wasteful, inefficient and expensive. So much so that it takes longer to make an OLED display than any other type of display, but the failure rate is also higher, this in turn pushes the retail price through the roof.

YieldJet promises to fix this, using their OLED panel printing system that is effectively a giant inkjet printer in a pure nitrogen chamber that places OLED pixels on glass or plastic. That means that the panels can be easily mass produced, with greater accuracy, lower fail rates, reduced cost and effectively made to any size for smartphones and giant TV screens.

In short, the future is looking pretty promising for OLED TV.

Thank you Pocketlint for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Pocketlink.

Kindle Fire OS 3.1 Update Released

Amazon has released its latest OS update, the Kindle Fire 3.1, for the Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Fire HDX variants. The update consist of various improvements, optimizations, as well as new apps.

One of the key features in the update is Goodread, which is now integrated into the OS. This means that every book you read will automatically be synced with the Goodread account set up on the device. Other features consist of printing, the ability to push content to your PS3 or Samsung Smart TV and there is also word of PS4 support coming in the near future.

A list of the updates, improvements and features can be seen below:

  • Find and share books with Goodreads
  • Goodreads on Kindle lets you connect with the Goodreads community to follow friends and see what they are reading, and share and rate books on your Kindle Fire.
  • Organize your content with Cloud Collections
  • Organize your content library into collections like “Favorite Books” and “Sports Apps” that are synchronized with compatible Kindle devices and reading apps.
  • Watch movies and TV shows on another device with Second Screen
  • Fling movies and TV shows from your Kindle Fire to your 2013 Samsung Smart TV or PlayStation 3 using Second Screen.
  • Learn more about books with Smart Lookup
  • With the Smart Lookup feature, you can quickly look up words in the dictionary or Wikipedia or translate text in a book.
  • Print from Your Kindle Fire
  • Print Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents, photos, e-mails, calendar events, and contact information from your Kindle Fire to a printer that supports mobile printing.
  • Free up storage space with 1-Tap Archive
  • With 1-Tap Archive, your Kindle Fire groups all content that has not been used recently so you can move it to the Cloud with just one tap.
  • Enhanced enterprise features
  • Manage security certificates and connect to your company’s Wi-Fi network—whether you’re at home or at work—with remote VPN capabilities.
  • Set alarms and view additional time zones with the Clock app
  • Use the all-new Clock app to check the date and time, set an alarm clock, and more

Thank you NextPowerUp for providing us with this information