Tag Archives: 3d printing

Ten photos of 3D printed bridges, buildings and other supersized structures

By , June 22, 2015, 6:20 AM PST // @nickjheath

If you thought 3D printers were only good for building tiny plastic toys then you’re mostly right, especially when it comes to desktop models.

However, there are people using the technology to realize grander designs, to create bridges and even buildings. Here are 10 projects promising to make 3D printing bigger and better.



A Dutch start-up, MX3D, plans to use robotic arms to weld layer upon layer of molten steel together into a steel bridge across a canal in Amsterdam. MX3D hopes to begin work on building the bridge, using the process seen in an artist’s impression above, in September.

Image: MX3D



This five-storey building was built using a 150-meter long 3D printer, using “ink” made from recycled construction waste. When it was built earlier this year, the structure in Suzhou Industrial Park, Shanghai, China, was claimed to be the “world’s tallest 3D-printed building”.

Image: WinSun Decoration Design Engineering



This concept for a 3D-printed lunar base was devised by the European Space Agency with architects Foster+Partners. Their vision is for two robot 3D printers to mix lunar soil with other materials and layer it over an inflatable dome to form a protective shell over a moonbase, which could house four people.

Image: ESA



The Strati is an electric car with a 3D printed body and chassis made of just 40 parts, compared to more than 20,000 in a typical vehicle. The vehicle is built from a single block of ABS plastic reinforced with carbon fiber and takes 44 hours to print. Manufacturer, Arizona-based Local Motors, says the car, due for release in 2016, will have a top speed of 50mph and range of about 62 miles.

Image: Local Motors



This nine-feet high pavillion measures 12 by 12 feet across and is made up of 840 3D-printed bricks. The structure was made by researchers at UC Berkeley, who developed a new type of iron oxide-free Portland cement polymer formulation, which allowed for faster and lower cost construction than alternate materials for 3D-printing structures.

Image: UC Berkeley



Even though it’s described as a house, this is at best a 3D-printed room, and a rather cosy one at that. The pod, created by students in the US and England, packs a toilet, kitchenette, and furniture into a compact structure. It took 60 hours for the voxeljet VX4000 printer to make and cost about €60,000.

Image: voxeljet



This plane is full of 3D printed parts. This Airbus A350 XWB plane has more than 1,000 flight components made using high-end additive manufacturing 3D printers. The A350 XWB is Airbus’ extra wide body plane that seats about 315 passengers and has a range of 7,750 nautical miles. The parts were made out of ULTEM 9085 resin using an FDM 3D Production Systems machine.

Image: Airbus



Satellite company Rocket Lab says its Rutherford rocket engine is the first of its type to use 3D printing for its primary components. All its parts – the regeneratively cooled thrust chamber, the injector, the pumps and the main propellant valves – can be printed from titanium alloys within about three days using a 3D printing technique called electron beam melting. Traditionally manufacturing the parts would take months, according to Rocket Lab.

Image: Rocket Lab


Sizable sculptures

Resembling a Minecraft creation made real, this 3D-printed head by artist Miguel Chevalier depicts the Roman God Janus, who legend claimed could gaze into the past and the future at the same time. Printed in 40 hours as a single block using a voxeljet VX4000 printer, it weighs 120kg and measures 1000 x 1000 x 820 mm.

Image: voxeljet


Building bots

The Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia claim their Minibuilder robots can construct large structures of many different proportions. The bots use robotic arms, rollers and vacuum suction cups to build layer by layer, as seen above.

Image: Institute for Advanced Architecture

About Nick Heath

Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic UK. He writes about the technology that IT-decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.


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Custom Make-up From 3d Printer!

A Harvard Woman Figured Out How To 3D Print Makeup From Any Home Computer, And The Demo Is Mindblowing

Grace Choi MinkGrace ChoiGrace Choi

Grace Choi was at Harvard Business School when she decided to disrupt the beauty industry. She did a little research and realized that beauty brands create and then majorly mark up their products by mixing lots of colors.

“The makeup industry makes a whole lot of money on a whole lot of bulls—,” Choi said at TechCrunch Disrupt this week. “They charge a huge premium on something that tech provides for free. That one thing is color.”

By that, she means color printers are available to everyone, and the ink they have is the same as the ink that makeup companies use in their products. She says the ink is FDA-approved.

Choi created her own mini home 3D printer, Mink, that will retail for $300 and allow anyone to print makeup by ripping the color code off color photos on the internet. It hooks up to a computer, just like a normal printer.

She demonstrated how it works, then brushed some of the freshly printed makeup onto her hand. She answered a lot of the tough questions about how she’ll move beyond powders to creamier products and team up with traditional printing companies in the video below.

Here’s how Mink, Choi’s makeup-printing machine, works.

This is the Mink printer. It uses regular printer ink.

3d makeup printerScreenshot

First, find a color you want to print. Choi says her machine will print creamy lipsticks or powdery eye shadows.

Mink makeup demoTechCrunch Disrupt

Use the color picker to copy the hex code of the color you’ve chosen. In this demo, Choi chose pink.

Mink makeup demoTechCrunch Disrupt

Using Photoshop or Microsoft Paint, paste the hex code into a new document. You’ll see the color you want to print pop up.Mink makeup demoTechCrunch Disrupt

Print the color just as you’d print any other document on your computer.Mink makeup demoTechCrunch Disrupt

Here’s Choi printing the pink eye shadow.Mink makeup demoTechCrunch Disrupt

This is what the finished product looks like. It comes in a little Mink-provided container that looks just like eye shadow.Mink makeup demoTechCrunch Disrupt

Choi dips a makeup brush in the freshly printed powder to show it really is makeup.Mink makeup demoTechCrunch Disrupt

Then she brushes the pink on her hand. “Mink enables the web to become the biggest beauty store in the world,” says Choi. “We’re going to live in a world where you can take a picture of your friend’s lipstick and print it out.”Mink makeup demoTechCrunch Disrupt

Now check out the video demo and listen to Choi answer tough questions about how she’ll bring the printer to market below:

<div style=’text-align:center’><script type=’text/javascript’ src=’http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=281&width=480&height=401&playList=518220223′></script><br/><a href=’http://on.aol.com/video/print-your-own-makeup-with-mink-518220223&#8242; style=’font-family: Verdana;font-size: 10px;’ target=’_blank’>Print Your Own Makeup With Mink</a></div>

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/mink-3d-prints-makeup-2014-5#ixzz3aZNmrrmc

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Powerful 3D-printed rifle fires NATO rounds

3d gun5.jpg

A 3D printing enthusiast recently created a lower receiver for a high caliber Colt CM901 rifle. (printedfirearm.com)

A group of gunsmiths just 3D printed a bigger, better caliber rifle.

PrintedFirearm.com , a website devoted to 3D printing of guns, announced that one of its members successfully developed a lower receiver for a Colt CM901 rifle. The receiver for the CM901—which is considered to be a much stronger brother of the popular AR-15 assault rifle—was crafted on a XYZ Da Vinci printer, which normally costs around $500 – considered cheap in the 3D printer world. While they were not the first to 3D print a lower receiver, it seems as if Printed Firearm has taken an evolutionary step.

“This is the FIRST EVER 3d Printed AR-10 (CM901/LE901) lower receiver by JT,” reads a blog post on PrintedFirearm.com. “OH YES WE DID!!!!!!! Yes people its pure awesome sauce and it has been tested, fired with little to no issues.”

The CM901 has a similar design to the AR-15 but can fire a heavier and more powerful 7.62 millimeter round, which results in higher range and stopping power. The standard NATO rifle cartridge has a 7.62 mm diameter and a 51 mm case length.

“Is it as strong as metal, no, is it as strong as wood, probably not, is it strong enough to work, yes and it has proven just that.”- PrintedFirearm.com blogger who asked that his name be withheld

The rifle is also a modular weapons system, which allows for multiple modifications, so it is also capable of firing lighter 5.56-millimeter rounds as well.

Printed Firearm posted a five-second GIF of the lower receiver in action at a firing range. Like most 3D printed objects, the part is made from a plastic-like filament so it is not clear how many shots could be fired before it breaks or becomes damaged.

“This receiver is durable enough to work,” The Author of Printed Firearm’s blog, who asked that his name be withheld, told FoxNews.com.  “The reality is the lower receiver in an AR style weapon does not need to be that strong.

“Is it as strong as metal, no, is it as strong as wood, probably not, is it strong enough to work, yes and it has proven just that.”

The blogger adds that the creator of the part claims to have fired over 100 rounds of ammunition without any issues of visible wear and tear.

Blueprints for parts like a lower receiver for the AR-15, have been available on the web to download for several years but this is the first instance where it has been drafted with an affordable printer and has raised the question among some in the community that an affordable rifle — from barrel to stock — will eventually be as simple as hitting the print button.

Others say it will be a long while before that is a reality.

“It’s good for the narrative for the improvements in 3D printing,” Cody Wilson of Defense Distributed, another group that made what was considered the first working 3D printed handgun back in 2013, told FoxNews.Com “But it’s going to be a long time before a rifle can be made on an affordable 3D printer.”

Makeshift gunsmiths have focused mostly on printing lower receivers because it is the only part of the rifle that has federal regulations. Every other part, such as the barrel or the handgrip can be purchased without any sort of permit.

Under current law, there are no federal restrictions on making a gun for personal use – so long as it is under the parameters of both the Gun Control Act and the National Firearms Act.

Officials for the Bureau of Alcohol,Tobacco,Firearms and Explosives told FoxNews.com that they are monitoring developments in 3D printing technology.

“[The] ATF routinely collaborates with the firearms industry and law enforcement to monitor new technologies and current manufacturing trends that could potentially impact the safety of the public,” Dannette Seward, a spokeswoman for the ATF said in a written statement.

Printed Firearm says that the reaction of this latest lower receiver and the low cost will increase the number of hobbyists but would do little in terms of advancing technology.

“At $500 it is something a hobbyist like myself can potentially own,” The blogger said. “The reality is most of us involved in this area of technology are doing it simply to understand what is possible.

“If one wanted to create a stronger, more reliable, item 3D printing would not likely be the best tool to use.”

Perry Chiaramonte is a reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter at@perrych

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New 3D printer lets home cooks print their dinner


Foodini is a 3D printer that can print pizza, ravioli, burgers and more. (Natural Machines)

Here’s an appliance to help you make perfect pizza every time, and we mean every time.

The same technology being used to make guns, toys and even diamond rings, is being applied to homemade food.

Barcelona-based 3D printing startup Natural Machines is releasing the Foodini, a 3D printer that allows cooks to create perfectly formed meals, reports the BBC.

Users can combine up to six ingredients to at a time, and with a push of a button, the food comes out of the nozzle in a preprogrammed pattern. Think evenly made pizzas, burgers, and ravioli.  And it’s designed so the ordinary home cook can use it.

The Foodini, which looks a bit like a miniature oven, can also perform other useful food prep tasks, like decorate cakes.

However, it can only print in one material at a time, so you’ll have to switch different ingredients as you print. And it can only combine ingredients and not actually cook them.

But the concept is interesting because while it automates food production, it also allows home cooks to make items they would otherwise get from the box, like pasta.

The Foodini is expected to go on sale this spring for about $1,400.


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Print Your Own 3D Printer Porsche

The DIY 3D-printed Porsche



Is that Porsche you always wanted still out of your price range?

Well, now you can build one yourself. Just don’t expect to go very far in it.

The automaker is now offering the data needed to 3D print an accurate model of its Cayman sports car, saving you the trouble of driving a full-size one through a massive 3D scanner.

The download is available on Porsche’s website, and can be used to print cars in a variety of sizes and colors, depending on how large your 3D printer is and the filament used.

Those adept in the art of 3D printing should even be able to modify the data to design customized Caymans of their own creation.

Think you can do better than Porsche’s own designers?

Be sure to check out our review of the real car before you give it a shot.

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How does a $50 3D-printed hand match up to $42G prosthetic?

How does a $50 3D-printed hand match up to $42G prosthetic?

Published April 23, 2014·

Jose Delgado, Jr., 53, was born without most of his left hand and has been using prosthetic devices for decades. His current device, a myoelectric prosthesis, is valued at around $42,000.

Due to the high cost of prosthetics, groups like e-NABLE, comprised of a global community of volunteers, have been formed with the goal of providing free 3D-printed devices and parts for people in need.

Jeremy Simon, an e-NABLE volunteer and founder of 3D Universe, had an idea: make a 3D-printed mechanical hand using $50 worth of materials and see how it compares to the $42,000 prosthetic. The results were shocking.

“Certainly we’re not making an apples to apples comparison — these are entirely different kinds of devices — but the comparison I was trying to draw with Jose was strictly in terms of day-to-day functionality what’s more useful,” Simon told FoxNews.com. “It turned out [the 3D-printed] one was.”

Delgado Jr., who tested the device, told Simon the grip of the 3D-printed hand made it more functional in many cases than the more expensive prosthetic.

“It’s useful for carrying boxes,” Delgado Jr. said. “These are more grip and won’t let go of much.”

Simon found the design for the 3D-printed via e-NABLE.

“We’re talking about 3D designers, university professors, occupational therapists, medical professionals, all sorts of people are in this community and they all give completely freely of their time and efforts,” Simon said.

Simon hopes the 3D printing movement will continue to grow, and hopes philanthropic efforts like those of e-NABLE will thrive.

“As long as there’s still people willing to do this kind of work, the technology is going to continue to get more accessible and more affordable,” Simon said.

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3D-printed toothbrush ‘perfectly’ cleans your teeth in just six seconds

3D-printed toothbrush ‘perfectly’ cleans your teeth in just six seconds

Blizzident 3D printed toothbrush

No, it isn’t the misshapen genitalia of the eponymous creature from the Alien movies: It’s a 3D-printed toothbrush that promises to give you “perfectly clean teeth” in just six seconds, with optimum plaque removal and protection of gums.

Called the Blizzident, it is essentially a custom-made toothbrush that’s perfectly formed to the shape of your teeth. You go to your dentist, get a 3D scan of your mouth, and then upload the model to the Blizzident website. The company uses a 3D printer to create an inverse mold of your mouth, and then attaches “soft, ultrafine bristles” to the mold to turn it into a toothbrush. (See: What is 3D printing?) To brush your teeth, you apparently just insert the Blizzident and then bite and grind your teeth 15 times — which takes roughly six seconds. Because the toothbrush is so perfectly formed, and because there are so many bristles, it cleans your teeth perfectly.

Rounding out the technical details, the Blizzident costs $300, and you’ll need to replace it every year ($160 for a new one, or $90 to have your current one refurbished with new bristles). Getting a scan from your dentist will probably cost between $100 and $200. To brush your teeth, you put toothpaste on your tongue, move it over your upper teeth, and then the act of biting and grinding will let the toothpaste flow over your lower teeth. The Blizzident apparently cleans your tongue, too, and the cleaning process (the Bass technique) is so perfect that you apparently don’t need to speed much time flossing. Blizzident is also usable by kids (but their teeth move around, so it’ll cost you dearly to get new molds made regularly).

The appeal of the Blizzident, of course, beyond having perfectly clean teeth, is the massive time saving. If you brush and floss your teeth properly, it should take you around 10 minutes per day; with Blizzident and some basic flossing, it takes a total of 60 seconds per day. Saving nine minutes per day equates to 3285 minutes — just under 55 hours — per year. If you’re the kind of person who wished that days were a bit longer, the Blizzident may be exactly what you’re looking for.

At this point we should note that the makers of Blizzident haven’t yet published any clinical trials for the new toothbrush, but they’re coming “soon.” Not that you really need FDA approval for a toothbrush, but in case you’re concerned, the plastics used in the production process have FDA approval. Some comments made by dentists elsewhere on the internet suggest that the Blizzident might be good at cleaning your teeth, but the short brushing duration might not give the fluoride in your toothpaste time to sink into your teeth. Mostly, though, the overwhelming reaction towards Blizzident is that people want to see it in action, with some real-world testing, before they spend $300 of their hard-earned dollars.

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