In the course of my diligent efforts to keep you good people up to date on the state of additive manufacturing (AM), I come across many interesting news items. I’ll gather them up every so often and present them in a Rapid Ready Roundup (like this one). You can find the last Roundup here.
Let’s start this Roundup with matters of national security. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has put out a request for information about AM, specifically in the realm of rapid prototyping. Along with NAMII, this is another positive sign the government is taking 3D printing seriously. DHS hopes to use rapid prototyping to assist research in multiple fields, including U.S. border and maritime security, chemical/biological defense, cyber security, resiliency and first responders.
Next up, let’s have some education. MakerBot has announced it will be hosting a series of weekly 3D printing workshops at its retail shop in New York City. The workshops will begin on February 8, and are open to both children and adults. Details about each workshop can be found in the events area on the MakerBot site, and interested parties can pre-register at the store.
“With 3D printing, seeing is believing, and we hope that these workshops, classes, lectures and educational series, will bring 3D printing expertise to our current MakerBot owners, and expose 3D printing to the next generation of engineers, industrial designers, architects and entrepreneurs,” said Bre Pettis, MakerBot CEO.
And now for some timely news. Austrian designer Paul Kweton has designed and built a watch through the magic of 3D printing. While, the entirety of the watch wasn’t printed out (give it a year or two more for that), Kweton was able to print the casing of the handsome timepiece he calls the “Shifted Watch.” I almost think he missed a trick by not printing out the band the watch is attached to as well, but maybe next time. This is the sort of customization that will bring AM to the forefront of public consciousness.
Finally we come to a special Valentine’s Day surprise for that special someone. Has your significant other ever expressed a desire to eat your head? If so, FabCafe has just the thing for you. The on-demand 3D printing service will be holding a workshop for women to scan in images of their face and head to make 3D printed chocolate replicas. The catch here is you have to be in Japan to take part in the workshop, but I’m sure you can get by with the usual box of sweets.
If you’re still looking for that perfect gift for Valentine’s Day, you might have time to put in an order with one of the many AM service bureaus for a one-of-a-kind gift. Maybe you can get some ideas from the following video about Shapeways.