What Is 3D Printing?

Frequent readers of this publication likely know quite a bit about 3D printing, but there are new readers that could use some more basic information about the technology.

Found in the 3D Printing Mailbox

As a popular and rapidly growing 3D printing blog, Fabbaloo receives a lot of email. We receive a great many tips, suggestions, questions, press releases and offers for guest posts. We also receive the usual gamut of “SEO expert advice”, “mutual links” and similarly suspicious business offers.    Lately we’re seeing a new class of… Continue reading Found in the 3D Printing Mailbox

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The Three Phases of Personal Data

Jordan Staniscia describes an interesting link between current developments in 3D printing and “2D media” that we’ve all been using for many years. His concept is “custom personal data”, data that can be mixed, manipulated and of course chosen by you.    In the increasingly distant past, such choices were made by media execs in… Continue reading The Three Phases of Personal Data


Another very cool KickStarter project has appeared: CubeSpawn, by James Jones. The project’s concept is to establish a standard approach to linking personal manufacturing machines together based on the common cube shape. In this vision, 30cm square cubes are placed adjacent to one another, and each contains some type of manufacturing machine. Results from one… Continue reading CubeSpawn

MakerBot Distributes Itself!

  The buzz over MakerBot, the budget 3D Printer is clearly intense. Sufficiently intense that demand for their amazing device has almost outstripped their manufacturing capacity. However, being an inventive crew, they’ve come up with a pioneering solution that we don’t think has been attempted before. They are crowdsourcing a portion of their manufacturing. Even… Continue reading MakerBot Distributes Itself!

Information, Objects and Business

  We just finished reading a fascinating 3-part post on Zeus Jones that resonated with many of the concepts we’ve been pondering. Fabbaloo readers will recall that our vision of the future includes a world where most people have desktop manufacturing equipment in their homes, and “shopping” for some, perhaps many objects is done by… Continue reading Information, Objects and Business

Open Manufacturing

  Reader Bryan Bishop points us to a new initiative: “Open Manufacturing”, which at the moment appears to be a watering hole for discussions about how to supercharge our space. Now then, exactly how would that be done? Their tagline: Open Manufacturing is about bringing free and open source software development methodology and philosophy to… Continue reading Open Manufacturing

Step By Step

Replicator has a wonderful post that lists the essential steps for accomplishing 3D printing, although with a ZCorp flavor. Here is what they say (and we agree) are the steps you must get done: CAD Preparation – Always the first step, and perhaps the most difficult. You gotta have a model, and you’re either making… Continue reading Step By Step

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40,000 Lights are Better Than One

That’s the claim made by Huntsman Advanced Materials, who recently announced the availability of their new Araldite Digitalis. It’s a stereolithography machine that produces 3D objects by selectively hardening pixel-sized areas of a resin. Most stereolithography machines utilize a laser to gradually “draw” each layer of pixels into the media resin. Huntsman Advanced Materials has… Continue reading 40,000 Lights are Better Than One

A 3D Spime Gateway in Every Home

We noticed an interesting article on the Cisco blog, where author Dennis Mancini postulates the future of Spime technology. Spime? Proposed by author Bruce Sterling, a Spime is “a type of technological device that, through pervasive RFID and GPS tracking, can track its history of use and interact with the world,” according to Wikipedia. While… Continue reading A 3D Spime Gateway in Every Home

Automake Makes

What do they make? Objects you design, or at least “co-design”. It’s a very interesting concept, somewhat reminiscent of the approaches used by Shapeways, Ponoko and other consumer-oriented 3D print services. Here’s the issue: printers can produce objects from 3D models, but where do the models come from? It turns out that you need quite… Continue reading Automake Makes

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Tipster Jean-François Allie points us at a couple of very interesting projects that exploit 3D fabbing in a way we hadn’t considered: ReFabbing! The idea springs from observation of tremendous waste deposits of unused manufactured gear. For example, what happens with that old toothbrush, cell phone or other non-functional plastic thingy? They get thrown into… Continue reading ReFabbing!

Programmable Matter

  Ok, this is it – 3D Printing is obsolete! No, we’re just kidding. But it could come to pass eventually if the predictions of Intel CTO Justin Rattner come true.   ZDNET reports on his keynote address at the Intel Developer Forum, in which he discussed a concept called, “Programmable Matter”: The idea of… Continue reading Programmable Matter

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3D Printing Gets FAT

No, we don’t mean the industry’s been eating too much. Instead we’re talking about a concept recently described by Design News. FAT is an acronym for “Fabricating and Assembly Tools”. Here’s the concept: 3D printers of today often don’t produce objects robust enough for use in retail products However, they do produce objects sufficiently robust… Continue reading 3D Printing Gets FAT

A Future 3D Media Problem

We’ve been thinking about the future world of 3D printing, where theoretically everyone has a 3D printer at home, probably sitting right beside their 2D paper printer. We predict a printing media issue will develop. What might that be? Consider the current situation of 2D paper printers: your 2D printer requires media (ink & paper,… Continue reading A Future 3D Media Problem

Tailor-Made Bones… by an AI

The Guardian reports on just-in-time fabbed titanium bone replacements. But that’s not what the story is really about. Siavash Mahdavi faced the problem of producing 3D objects that were both strong and light for robotics applications, where power is limited but robust limbs are also required. Simply making hollow objects was not sufficiently strong, so… Continue reading Tailor-Made Bones… by an AI

Atoms are the New Bits

Hank Williams is one of many who are discovering the world of 3D printing, and he’s written up his thoughts in a recent post. He’s intrigued by the idea of printing his own tools and clothes, but came up with a very profound notion: the truly more open and explosive playing field is in using… Continue reading Atoms are the New Bits

A Strange Fusion of Sculpture and Manufacture

Painting Polygons recently interviewed Chris Cornish, a 21st century artist and designer. According to his website, Chris Cornish works in photography, digital film, sculpture and 3D computer media. Recent film works address aspects of spectacle and reality, locating 3D environments within the illusory space of video. Although presented as moving images, Cornish’s films are marked… Continue reading A Strange Fusion of Sculpture and Manufacture

Scaling Up the Bear

A frequent item of discussion of 3D printers is the volume of the build space. You’d think that bigger is better, and we generally agree. However, there are times you may wish to print an object that exceeds the size of your build chamber. So, what are your options? Buy a bigger printer? Use special… Continue reading Scaling Up the Bear

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3D Printing As Replicator

  Steve Puma posts his thoughts on the future of 3D Printing, and envisions a Star Trek-ish direction. We agree, since the predicted widespread personal manufacturing technology of five years from now will become a fertile field for entrepreneurs to develop all manner of solutions and services. As Steve points out there are energy implications… Continue reading 3D Printing As Replicator

Second Level Servicing

  “Second Level Servicing”? What’s that all about? Well, it goes like this: services like TechShop provide access to high-power fabrication equipment that anyone can use simply by dropping by a TechShop. However, Breakpoint offers another possibility: He’ll drop by TechShop and build your project for you, thus creating a service on top of a… Continue reading Second Level Servicing

That 3D Pricing Effect

Previously we reviewed the amazing ZapFab 3D print service, in which users are permitted to post their own designs and have them used or even modded by others. The interesting bit we noticed was that we can browse the entire library of models stored at ZapFab and that includes seeing not only a pretty picture,… Continue reading That 3D Pricing Effect

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Two Services, Your Choice

One of the most popular posts here at Fabbaloo is the identification of new service bureaus. Readers can quickly access the list of such posts by hitting our “Service” tag.But there’s more to it than that. One of the patterns we are beginning to observe is that there are two emerging forms of services. One… Continue reading Two Services, Your Choice

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The Three Modes of 3D Printing

Over the past few months we’ve been observing developments in the 3D printing space, and it is becoming apparent that there are are three delivery modes for this technology: Industrial – This mode is common today, where high-quality, terribly expensive, difficult to operate fabbing devices are typically owned and operated by industrial designers, architectural firms… Continue reading The Three Modes of 3D Printing

Fabbing = Teleportation

Well, it happened faster than we had anticipated, but there are now people teleporting objects using 3D printing technology. De Zeen Design Magazine has a very interesting post and pictures of emailed objects that have been printed on a 3D printer, thus effectively accomplishing teleportation. We’re not quite sure about the scanning part on the… Continue reading Fabbing = Teleportation

Printable Computers?

HowStuffWorks has an interesting article describing methods of “printing computers”. Now you’d think at first this is simply printing out the semiconductor chips, but the article describes how MIT and others are attempting to use 3D printing to print the rest of the computer as well! So far MIT has managed to print thermal actuators,… Continue reading Printable Computers?

Considerations for 3D Printing

We frequently scan the Internet to find the latest on Fabbing, and lately we keep finding many postings regarding DesktopFactory’s sub-$5000 3D printer. We’re guilty of that ourselves.Many of these postings imply that 3D printing is going to be relatively straightforward. Just purchase the now-inexpensive printer and you’re good to go! But it’s not like… Continue reading Considerations for 3D Printing