Thingiverse

MakerBot Announces 2014 Lineup

The pace of 3D printer releases looks to be speeding up. Companies used to release information about one system at a time, slowly rolling out each new product. 3D Systems broke the trend at Euromold, and again at CES by announcing multiple systems simultaneously. Not to be outdone, MakerBot has announced its 2014 lineup of additive manufacturing (AM) systems and accompanying products.

On display at CES were promotions for three new AM systems from MakerBot; the next generation Replicator, Replicator Mini, and Replicator Z18. Alongside the new 3D printers comes an expansion of what MakerBot calls its “Ecosystem.” Adding to the library of downloadable objects at Thingiverse is MakerBot Printshop, the company’s first stab at simplified 3D design. Continue reading

Rapid Ready Roundup: ABS2, Formlabs, Disarming Corruptor, UK Police

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.

We’ll start today’s Roundup with a quick piece of materials news. Stratasys has released a new material named ABS2 for its line of Object Connex AM systems. According to the company, the new material has been designed to improve rigidity, durability and functionality for 3D printed objects with fine details and thin walls. Stratasys also claims ABS2 is ideal for printing cores and cavities for use in low-volume injection molding applications using thermoplastics.

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That Olde Tyme 3D Printing

The US Patent Office has become the source of considerable amounts of consternation in the last two decades. Corporate giants battle over what seem to many onlookers as commonsense innovations (such as the shape of a cell phone), and patent trolls squat on ideas in lieu of generating new designs. It can be enough to make people wonder if the entire patent system could do with an overhaul.

Stifling competition with cease and desist orders certainly wasn’t the original purpose of the patent office. Martin Galese, a New York patent lawyer, hopes he can resurrect some faith in the institution.  Instead of searching for patent violations, Galese has begun to comb through the archives in search of patents that have fallen into the public domain and rework those designs as 3D models for modern additive manufacturing (AM) systems. Continue reading

Study Predicts Home Use of Additive Manufacturing

I’ve been saying for a while now that it’s just a matter of time before additive manufacturing (AM) enters home use in a big way. Certainly not every expert agrees with me, but plenty of experts claimed people would have no use for personal computers, either. Even with the potential risks associated with desktop material extrusion systems (MakerBot, RepRap, etc.), owning a 3D printer offers enough value to be worth using.

Now I have scientific research to back up my claims. A new study from Michigan Technological University (MTU) has declared that the cost and personal manufacturing potential offered by home 3D printers has reached the point where it would be worthwhile for most homes to own one. The study is titled “Life-Cycle Economic Analysis of Distributed Manufacturing with Open-Source 3D Printers.” Continue reading

Rapid Ready Roundup: 3D Printing Journal, Google Glass, Artistic 3D, and Pip-Boy 3000

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.

We’ll start today’s Roundup with some literature. Beginning this fall, Mary Ann Liebert publishing will produce a quarterly peer-reviewed journal focused on AM titled 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing. Editor-in-Chief for the new journal will be Dr. Hod Lipson, the Director of Cornell University’s Creative Machines Lab at the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Continue reading