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Posted by core jr  |  26 Jan 2015  |  Comments (0)


A 3D printed umbilical cord clamp, co-created with medical workers in Haiti

By Danielle Perretty

Haiti is both a land of beauty and a land of suffering. Among the awe-inspiring mountain views and coastal areas, eroded lands and deforestation are abundant. Five years after the devastating earthquake, a slow reconstruction continues. The capital, Port-au-Prince, is a city pulsing with a lively energy but the citizens there also face difficult barriers for improvement. The World Bank estimates that 59% live under the national poverty line of just $2.44 per day and 24% under $1.24 dollar per day. The majority of people lack adequate shelter, clean water and access to health care.

Recently, I witnessed some of these contrasts while collaborating with the nonprofit, Field Ready. They provide humanitarian aid by using technology and education as a vehicle to transform logistical supply chains. The team of aid workers, designers and technologists are bringing 3D printing to the healthcare space for developing countries. Eric James, a co-founder of Field Ready, explains "3D printing offers a lot of flexibility and this will only improve in the future. And the future is what we're working on now."

As the cost of 3D printing continues to go down and usage goes up, collaborative design initiatives are empowering people to overcome low socio-economic environments and also enabling new ways to provide humanitarian aid. The growth in 3D printing has also encouraged an exploration of new materials and applications. This inspired Field Ready to begin recycling ABS and to investigate how to recycle other polymers with the goal of turning plastic waste into filament.

Mark Mellors shows a UPMini Printer to Johnson and Willio of iLab Haiti in Port-Au-Prince

By co-creating with medical workers in Haiti, Field Ready identified medical tools and parts that could be 3D printed to meet localized demand. One example is the umbilical cord clamp. Many traditional birthing attendants are women living in villages without easy access to healthcare and medical supplies. Given the lack of sterile tools and training, newborns may suffer from a high rate of infections or postnatal umbilical sepsis. Typically, birthing attendants will use what is available to them—ranging from shoelaces to the improper use of a sterile string. Even when using a hygienic cord, the risks are high from improper use—either tying too tight and severing the cord, or tying too loose and causing hemorrhaging. Clamps, on the other hand, have a precision grip and clamp, leaving no guesswork for birthing attendants.


Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  23 Jan 2015  |  Comments (0)


You've seen John Edmark's trippy Fibonacci Zoetrope Sculptures, which bring animation to 3D-printed pieces via a turntable. For those of you who've read up on multicreative, multi-hyphenate Edmark's background, it'll come as no surprise that he's got more tricks up his sleeve than those. Check out other examples of his "playable art," this time made with a laser cutter:

That's the Helicone, which is now carried by the MoMA Store and the Guggenheim.

Maybe one day, someone will make a spiral staircase that unfurls on-site like Edmark's Nautilus Column:


Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  22 Jan 2015  |  Comments (3)


This past weekend I was at a martial arts training session. With twenty of us in the room, we rotated through partners for the hand drills. One woman neglected to take her wedding ring off, and left me this little gift on my forearm:


Sure, it's just a tiny scratch, but it could've been a lot worse if we were going faster or harder.

I get that people don't want to remove rings that are difficult to take off, but it's kind of inconsiderate. And it's not just martial artists that need to regularly remove rings: Gym goers, folks who use hand tools, tradespeople whose fingers might get snagged are all better off with the jewelry off.

Someone who recognizes this, and is doing something about it, is designer Jeff McWhinney. An athlete, bicycle component designer and former Senior Research Machinist for 3M, McWhinney has turned to designing easily-removable "active wedding rings."


Each design features unique, hinged opening mechanisms. This avoids the need for buying an over-sized band to gain knuckle clearance and can be a vital performance and safety feature in many professions or sports—places where all jewelry must be removed prior to activity. It also allows easy removal for washing hands, showering or even sleeping. These special features contribute to functional, modern art pieces that you will enjoy wearing daily.


Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  20 Jan 2015  |  Comments (1)


Remember last year, when the Chinese engineering firm WinSun 3D printed a bunch of houses? It made the news because they printed them so quickly—ten structures in less than 24 hours.

The structures themselves weren't huge, just 200-square-meter, one-story bungalows. But now WinSun's set their goals higher, literally. They've 3D printed the structures you see here, which include a freaking five-story apartment building and a 1,100-square-meter (roughly 12,000-square-foot) villa.



To be clear, they didn't print the structures out in one shot. As with the earlier 10-house batch, they printed out individual panels which were then knocked together by conventional construction workers, and in this case they didn't even print on-site, but back at the factory.


Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  19 Jan 2015  |  Comments (0)


John Edmark is one of those guys whose fields of interest would be impossible to fit on a single business card. While he's officially a design lecturer at Stanford, the inventor/designer/artist pursues everything from photography to motion graphics to geometry, and his courses cover "design fundamentals, product design, chair design, paper as a sculptural medium, color, and animation."

During his time as an artist-in-residence at Autodesk's Pier 9 program, Edmark combined several of his interests to create these 3D-printed Fibonacci Zoetrope Sculptures. By designing the Fibonacci sequence into the forms, then placing them on a turntable and synching his camera's shutter speed with the rotation rate, he's managed to create some stunning, slightly vertigo-inducing animations:


Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |   5 Jan 2015  |  Comments (1)


UK-based OC Robotics specializes in what they call "snake-arm robots," which have two distinct benefits: 1) They can work in confined spaces, and 2) They scare the living bejeezus out of most people, which can keep troublesome employees in line and co-worker quarrels to a minimum. Strangely, the company doesn't mention the second benefit in their literature.

Our snake-arm robots are designed specifically for remote handling operations within confined or hazardous spaces. Where snake-arm robots excel is in their long, slender and flexible design; they can effortlessly fit through small openings and around obstacles. They do not have prominent elbows that potentially snag or cause damage to sensitive equipment and they are easily manoeuvred into position and retracted back without disturbing their environment.

That's right, the environment is not disturbed—just the people who witness the machines in action. Check out their latest, given the friendly name of the Series 2-X125:


Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  29 Dec 2014  |  Comments (0)


For her "Making Studio" course at SVA's Products of Design program, designer Louise-Anne van 't Riet came up with a neat side table that encourages you to be neat. Called Infinitum, it's an object-sensitive side table ringed with LEDs beneath the surface; though the lights only run one layer deep, a combination of a mirror and a one-way mirror provide the infinity effect.




An Arduino sensor in the table picks up the vibration of an object being placed atop it, which kicks the lights on. The designer "wanted to construct a piece of furniture for people who never tidy up, and who leave their belongings everywhere. When objects are placed on the table, it lights up.... Users are encouraged to tidy up before they leave a room, since the light table will only switch off once everything is removed from its surface."

Hit the jump to see video of the table in action, and how she put it together:


Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  23 Dec 2014  |  Comments (0)


Just as I was getting a handle on how different kinds of pasta are extruded, the self-described "most reputable company in the global Italian meal experience" up-ends it all with digitally manufactured pasta. Barilla has just announced the winners of their "Print Eat" 3D-printed pasta design challenge, which prompted entrants to design pasta shapes that couldn't be made the traditional way.

The number of submissions was so overwhelming--more than 530 product designers from 20 countries around the world jumped in, submitting some 216 concepts--that the judges required time extensions. (The contest wrapped in October, and the results were just announced yesterday.) Here are the three winners:


Rosa Pasta from Loris Tupin, a French industrial designer from Maxilly sur Leman, is a 'bio-dynamic' 3D model that 'blooms' to turn into a rose when placed in boiling water.


Vortipa by Danilo Spiga and Luis Fraguarda, a product design team from Cagliari, Italy. Their pasta was based on the vortex pattern progression system and it looks a bit like a Christmas tree.


Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  22 Dec 2014  |  Comments (0)


If you remember our post on how tools are organized on the International Space Station, it's hard to imagine they'd forget to bring anything. But according to Mike Chen, whose Made in Space startup built the 3D printer currently sitting on the ISS, station commander Barry "Butch" Wilmore found himself in need of a tool. Writes Chen:

My colleagues and I just 3D-printed a ratcheting socket wrench on the International Space Station by typing some commands on our computer in California. We had overheard ISS Commander Barry Wilmore (who goes by "Butch") mention over the radio that he needed one, so we designed one in CAD and sent it up to him faster than a rocket ever could have. This is the first time we've ever "emailed" hardware to space.

The 3D printer and designs for 20 test objects were sent up to the ISS in September, for the purpose of printing the objects in space, to later be compared to objects printed on Earth to see if there are any performance differences.


But Wilmore's wrench was apparently an add-on, whipped up by the team on the ground in Autodesk Inventor before being e-mailed upstairs.


Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  17 Dec 2014  |  Comments (1)


What a five-axis CNC mill can do fascinates me as much as what a craftsman from Brescia can. And at their production facility in Gardone Val Trompia, firearms manufacturer Beretta has both, working in tandem to create their high-quality firearms. To show this to the world—with characteristic Italian flair—the company hired commercial firm Studio Ancarani to produce this eye-opening film, which is nothing short of glorious manufacturing porn:

The Gardone Val Trompia factory, by the way, is humungous—110,000 square meters (1.2 million square feet)—and cranks out some 1,500 weapons per day. Says Beretta:

The production departments feature fully automated work centres and highly qualified craftsmen, a prerequisite for achieving the degree of precision and high quality contemplated by its design projects. The design department has advanced systems for calculating pressure by using the finite elements method. The laboratories are equipped for research in impulsive-dynamics applied to the weapon-ammunition system, for metallographic analyses and fatigue tests.

Even more staggering is how long Beretta has been there: They began working in Gardone Val Trompia in the 1500s.

Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  17 Dec 2014  |  Comments (1)


Derby the dog could be considered unlucky, born as he was with stunted, non-functioning front legs that lack paws. But one piece of luck is that Derby was temporarily fostered by Tara Anderson, who just happens to be the Director of Product Management at 3D Systems, the South-Carolina-based 3D printing company. By working with company designers Kevin Atkins and Dave DiPinto and animal orthotist Derrick Campana, Anderson was able to harness 3DS' resources to create prosthetics for Derby. Check out the results:


Posted by core jr  |   9 Dec 2014  |  Comments (0)

AU2014_3D_Car.jpgLocal Motors' Strati, the world's first 3D printed car.

Last week, Las Vegas played host to Autodesk University, Autodesk's annual gathering—part conference, part continuing education—for 9,000 professional designers, engineers and animators. Below is a summary of some of the big ideas and themes that will be shaping the conversation around making in 2015.

It's alive!
Design is a living process that lives past the moment of creation—a key theme for this year's Autodesk University. From featured speakers and workshop presenters to the company's CTO and CEO, the message was clear: we are moving swiftly past the Internet of Things, where devices interact with us, toward a broader, more complex and, ultimately, more valuable Community of Things, where products interact with each other and respond collaboratively to the environments in which they exist.

AU2014_Jeff_Kowalski_Autodesk.jpg Jeff Kowalski, Chief Technology Officer and SVP, Autodesk

Hardware is hot, hot, hot.
Three elements in the design process and manufacturing are supporting the innovation that will drive this evolution—an evolution that's not just on the way, it's already here. First, the advancement of 3D printing, micro-molding, capital and funding options means that production is more flexible and robust than ever before. Second, demand is continuing to grow from "a few sizes fit all" to individual customization (see Normal's custom-fit ear buds after the jump). And finally, our attitudes towards products are changing. For a variety of reasons—sustainability, cost, our own hyper-individualized mentalities and even our desire to create better communities—we are starting to expect that products will be responsive, change and get better over time.


Posted by Sam Dunne  |   9 Dec 2014  |  Comments (0)


News in the UK is that national postal service the Royal Mail (no longer in fact 'Her Majesty's' following a quite scandalous privatization earlier this year) are investing their new found (dirty) money in a scheme to bring 3D printers to local stores in collaboration with 3D printing specialist iMakr.

Initially set to pilot in London's central New Cavendish Street delivery office, the service is intended to make the technology more accessible for consumers and small business. Although we have to welcome efforts to make 3D printing more available to the public, it seems unclear whether the service will allow for printing original designs. Already front and center on the Royal Mail's homepage, there only appears to be 'a selection of gifts created by designers exclusively for 3D printing' available, some which show signs of customization options.



Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  26 Nov 2014  |  Comments (0)


Appleboxes are simple, sturdy plywood boxes that are mainstays of the photography and film production industries. And because they are durable and come in a variety of very specific sizes, I've found they can also come in quite handy in a small-shop setting:

Appleboxes are typically made the old-school way—with a table saw and router table rather than a CNC mill—but by walking you through how to make a full set of them on the ShopBot, it will give you an idea of how to execute a basic, practical project via CNC. We'll dive in next week!

Previously: Episode 7 - Desktop CNC Milling: The Point Cutting Roundover Bit // All Core77 ShopBot Series posts →

Posted by Sam Dunne  |  25 Nov 2014  |  Comments (1)


It's about this time of year that you start to see stall owners gearing up for Christmas in the local high street markets in East London—every inch of wall and ceiling space weighed down with yet more shining dancing Psy action figures, Angry Bird backpacks and fluorescent loom-band kits. Although you have to admire some of the inventiveness (in design as well as IP-dodging), walking past these sellers never fails to give me a niggling feeling of waste in the depths of my stomach—what will have become of all this plastic and electronics by this time next year?

Samuel N. Bernier, Creative Director of leFabShop (and 2012 Core77 Design Award honoree and longtime DIYer/hacker extraordinaire) had the idea for Open Toys when he realized he could create toys from scraps of wood and cork he found in the workshop when combined with simple parts made on a 3D printer. Having gone on to design a small selection of pieces that could be used to make cars, planes, boats and helicopters, Samuel was later inspired whilst gardening to replace wood and cork (difficult to drill without tools) with fruits and vegetables.


Being pronounced as some as a "Mr. Potato Head for the era of digital fabrication," it's certainly interesting to see how the bulk of disposable toys plastic can be designed out whilst perhaps also encouraging a little creativity in our digitally addicted toddlers. The question remains however—should we be playing with our food?

Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  19 Nov 2014  |  Comments (0)


Rounding edges over is a common part of many a woodworking project. But the bearing-guided roundover bits you'd use in a router are not suited to a CNC mill. Instead you'll want to use what's called a point cutting roundover bit, which we'll show you in the video below.

And in addition to the edge-rounding functionality, with a point cutting roundover bit in the ShopBot, you can achieve some cool effects with lettering, like this:

0pointcuttingroundover-002.jpgImage courtesy of Joe Crumley / Norman Sign Co.

Here's a quick look at the bit and where you can get some:

We'll show you the bit in action shortly.

Previously: Episode 06 - Desktop CNC Milling Productivity Tip: Cut a Grid Into Your Spoilboard // All Core77 ShopBot Series posts →

Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  18 Nov 2014  |  Comments (0)


There's no affordable space left in New York, which is why we're never getting a big-ass communal makerspace like a TechShop. The reportedly substandard 3rd Ward closed last year and no would-be makerspace launcher has since stepped up.

But there's plenty of room in cities like Columbus, Ohio. Which is how it came to be that an old, empty, 65,000-square-foot shoe factory in the Franklinton neighborhood was recently being used by a local motorcyle dealer as a storage area. Today, however, the space is occupied by something to make an ID'er drool: The Columbus Idea Foundry, fully stocked with woodworking machinery, metalworking equipment, welding rigs, CNC routers, laser cutters, 3D printers, glassworking facilities, photography studios and even an area for metal casting and blacksmithing. There's an area to learn coding, an Arduino room, a youth incubator, a leather stitchery, and equipment for making soap, for chrissakes.


It is reckoned to be the largest makerspace in the world, which makes the monthly membership cost all the more shocking to this New Yorker: A mere $35 a month, which is literally less than two cocktails here in Gotham. The thought that one could have access to all of that machinery instead of quaffing two Dark & Stormies is enough to cause a round of sullen reflection at the bar.



Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  17 Nov 2014  |  Comments (4)


We all know what Oprah's Book Club has done for authors. Can Martha Stewart do the same for MakerBot?

Apparently that's the hope. Today MakerBot and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia announced that they've launched an exclusive partnership, whereby not only will there be co-branded PLA filaments available for sale—forget yellow, blue and green, shortly you'll be printing in "Lemon Drop," "Robin's Egg" and "Jadeite"—but Martha's team of designers will also be producing downloadable designs for consumer purchase.


It's easy for the hardened ID'er to snicker, but this actually signifies a potentially massive shift, or at least the start of one, for 3D printing to go seriously mainstream. If Martha Stewart's gigantic audience can be wooed into paying 99 cents to download a design they can print as many times as they want, it's entirely possible MakerBot will start seeing some sales spikes.


Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  12 Nov 2014  |  Comments (2)


When you're mounting a workpiece to a CNC mill by screwing it into a spoilboard, that spoilboard of course becomes riddled with holes. If you keep hitting the same hole over and over again--by, say, continually mounting your piece so that its lower left corner corresponds with the lower left corner of the spoilboard—the screw no longer has enough material to bite into.

One solution is to keep mounting successive workpieces at different locations on the spoilboard, to find "fresh" MDF to screw into. But you then have to drive the spindle over to the lower left corner of your piece and indicate that as 0,0 in the X- and Y-axes, so that the machine knows where to start cutting.

A quicker solution is to simply draw a grid in your spoilboard. Now you can mount your workpiece wherever you'd like, and then use the grid to figure out where your workpiece is—for example, if you've placed it at x3, y4, then on your drawing you simply use guidelines to locate the piece at x3, y4.

Previously: Episode 05 - Making a Spoilboard for the ShopBot Desktop, Part 2, and Installing the Dust Enclosure // All Core77 ShopBot Series posts →

Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |   5 Nov 2014  |  Comments (0)


In the last entry, we showed you how to cut and mount the spoilboard for a ShopBot Desktop. Here in Part 2 we'll show you how to ensure it's perfectly level, so you can achieve dead-on accuracy with your workpieces.


Posted by Ray  |   4 Nov 2014  |  Comments (9)


Surely some of you remember the toy called Shrinky Dinks, the polystyrene toy that allows users to turn pieces of plastic into smaller pieces of plastic. (According to Wikipedia, 90's alt-rockers Sugar Ray were originally known as 'Shrinky Dinx' until Milton Bradley threatened a lawsuit—more nostalgia than you asked for on a Tuesday morning, I know.) If it's a somewhat dated reference, I must say that I envy the children of the future, who may well grow up with the parentally supervised fun of the 3D printing thanks to iBox Printers. The Melbourne, FL-based company's flagship Nano model is available for pre-order for under $300 on Kickstarter.

We've previously seen a similarly diminutive CNC machine, but the iBox is rather more impressive, considering that 3D printing adds a veritable dimension of complexity. Moreover, the portable device is quiet, lightweight and can run on batteries, all thanks to the use of ultra-efficient LCD lamps to UV-cure the resin. Made from a series of stacked acrylic plates, the housing looks something like a tissue box, with an overhead-projector-style print head; on the UI end, the Nano is controlled primarily via mobile/web app over WiFi.



Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  29 Oct 2014  |  Comments (0)


We're finally ready to cut something on the ShopBot! And now that we're getting ready to cut, some of you may be wondering what the daily maintenance is like for this machine. Every morning before I run the ShopBot, I run this warmup routine to get the machine's juices going:


Posted by core jr  |  29 Oct 2014  |  Comments (0)


The folks at Cambridge, MA-based Formlabs recently announced the introduction of two new materials that mark their first major release since they launched on Kickstarter with the Form 1 3D printer, which made nearly 30 times its funding goal in October 2012. The first-generation SLA machine shipped starting in May 2013 and this June saw the release of the Form 1+, an all-around upgraded iteration of their flagship product, but their growing team has also been developing complementary products on both the software and materials sides. Check it out:

"Castable" is available now for $149 per 500mL; "Flexible" will be available in December.


Speaking of 3D printing, but I've been meaning to watch Print the Legend, the full-length documentary about the rise of 3D printing, which is streaming on Netflix...

Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  22 Oct 2014  |  Comments (5)


The ShopBot Desktop CNC mill can perform a variety of cutting tasks in a variety of materials, all depending on what kind of bit you're using. So when learning to use one, the first physical skill you'll master is how to install and remove a bit in the machine. Whether you've used power tools or not before, it's a pretty simple procedure:

Once you've got a bit installed, you'll need to "zero," or calibrate that bit, so that the machine knows exactly where that bit is in 3D space. Here's how that routine goes:


Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  21 Oct 2014  |  Comments (6)


These are exciting times for those looking to get into digital fabrication, as the technology really is starting to trickle down. With MakerBot the go-to for desktop 3D printing and ShopBot cornering the shop-based prototyping and production market, Inventables reckons there's room for something in-between: A machine it's calling Carvey, designed by Scott Wilson and MNML.


Billed as a "3D carving machine," what Carvey has in common with MakerBot's Replicator line is the fully-enclosed, desktop form factor; these are machines that could be placed in the office portion of a design firm, as opposed to the heavy-duty machines in the modelmaking shop area.


Where it differs from the MakerBot is in what it has in common with the ShopBot line: Carvey is subtractive, not additive. It's essentially a CNC mill, albeit it a miniature one. With a work area of just 12" x 8" and a Z-axis of under three inches, it's no competitor for a ShopBot (whose entry-level Desktop roughly doubles the work area in all axes), but it's not meant to be; while you won't be using Carvey to produce furniture, it's meant to be good enough to produce smaller items like sunglasses, jewelry, small signage, electronics enclosures, et cetera, out of wood, plastic or metal.



Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  15 Oct 2014  |  Comments (1)


Prior to learning how to use a desktop CNC mill, I was very curious as to how to set the machine up, and I figured I couldn't be alone--if you're thinking about getting one for your own shop, you're probably wondering what kind of downtime it would create. But at the time I was doing my research, I couldn't find a concise video showing the process. So we've made one for you, below, showing you exactly what you need to do once you get it out of the crate.

The ShopBot Desktop we're using comes pre-assembled, so setting it up was a lot easier than I thought it'd be. Now remember that this thing is essentially a router on steroids, and like any router you'll need a method to contain the dust. Hooking up a shop vacuum is pretty straightforward, but here I'll show you a crucial mistake I made, and how you can easily avoid it.

Previously: Episode 01 - An Overview of hte ShopBot Desktop // All Core77 ShopBot Series posts →