For the first time, Europe has had the chance to see the hardware and technology behind some of NASA’s projects. Called “NASA: A Human Adventure,” the exhibition, which launched in January 2011, has assembled a collection of instruments, artifacts, and spacecraft.
NASA’s space exploration equipment has moved from Stockholm, Sweden to Madrid, Spain, and to Istanbul, Turkey, through the space act agreement. White Room Artifacts used a variety of materials and processes, including 3D printed models produced by Solid Concepts, to manufacture the necessary pieces. Continue reading
While I enjoy breaking up all the tech heavy talk about additive manufacturing (AM) here at Rapid Ready with stories about how 3D printing is being used in unexpected ways, I haven’t forgotten that rapid prototyping is still the heart of the AM movement. Yes, on-demand manufacturing is growing by leaps and bounds, but, overall, most AM systems are still chugging away making prototypes.
The devil is in the details. I find snippets, here and there, from companies that mention they’ve begun using AM, but not much in the way of specifics. Until recently, it almost seemed like 3D printing was something businesses were trying to keep behind closed doors. That is beginning to change, and for the better. Continue reading
Scientists are experimenting non-stop with additive manufacturing (AM). Moving into realms far beyond rapid prototyping, AM offers researchers the flexibility to build whatever tools or experimental objects are required. This does, of course, require some trial and error, but each successful step makes using AM technology that much more attractive.
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are using 3D printing to create what they call “bio bots.” Generally, when people think of robots, they envision machines built from materials such as hard plastic or metals. Those kinds of materials are hardly ideal for certain applications, however, such as diving into the bloodstream of a patient. Continue reading
In the course of my diligent efforts to keep you good people up to date on the state of additive manufacturing, 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.
Like it or no, defense spending is a huge part of technical innovation around the world. Nothing promotes research and development like a healthy cash flow. 3D Systems has landed a $2.95 million award from the U.S. Air Force. The award is intended to foster development pertaining to the use of selective laser sintering for parts production in the F-35, and other weapon systems. Continue reading
Lately, I’ve had the privilege to cover the release of a number of new and interesting 3D printers. Some of these additive manufacturing (AM) systems are intended for industrial use, but a few are targeted at home users and small business. MakerBot’s new Replicator 2, for instance, promises to be an excellent tool for rapid prototyping and hobbyists alike, all at a reasonable price point.
I won’t go into my spiel about 3D printing moving into homes again here, but suffice it to say that I’m a believer. I came across what I feel is more proof of this notion today in a new AM project being funded via Kickstarter, called FORM 1. Continue reading