Rachel Park is a freelance writer and editor focused on 3D printing since 1996. She owns RP Editorial Services and is a Director of PYL Associates — and she is our Women in 3D Printing guest #274.
The Time Is Ripe For TikTok 3D Printing
Charles Goulding, Jr. considers the creative intersection between TikTok and 3D printing.
24 Hour 3D Printed Housing: This Has To Stop
Mass media continues to be fooled by the fake news of “3D printed homes in 24 hours”. We vent our thoughts on this ongoing debacle.
A Caution For Vendors Attending AMUG 2019
There’s something 3D printing vendors should know about AMUG.
Some Advice For 3D Printing Marketers
As formnext 2018 approaches, we have some thoughts about 3D print marketing.
A Big Step for MyMiniFactory?
MyMiniFactory announced a very interesting partnership.
A Culture of Making “Anythings”: More 3D Printing Misunderstandings
I noticed a tweet from Mashable that got me a bit riled.
A 3D Printed Building Rises in Copenhagen, But Is This Ready For Wide Use?
The “3D Printed Construction Partnership” has begun extruding a hotel/office in Copenhagen.
Please Make It Stop: “3D printers are never going to be a thing”
A piece yesterday in Mashable made myself and no doubt many others in the 3D print world upset.
Negative 3D Printing Hype is Highlighting Burst Bubbles, A Dying Industry and A Dire Threat
Over the last month or so I have found myself once again increasingly frustrated at the nonsensical hype being spouted from some quarters about ‘3D printing’.
Faberdashery Sells PLA With a Twist
A new service for 3D printer owners has emerged: Faberdashery. They sell plastic filament that’s suitable for use in several types of popular 3D printers, including MakerBot, Bits From Bytes, Ultimaker and the many variants of RepRap. The difference at Faberdashery, beyond their broad color selection and exclusive sales of PLA, is that they… Continue reading Faberdashery Sells PLA With a Twist
i.Materialise Glitters with Gold and Silver
3D print service i.Materialise now offers printing in Gold and Silver metals. They’re not the first service to offer this ability, but it’s wonderful to see another golden service. Specifics: In addition to the sterling silver, there are three colors of 14 kt gold offered, bright yellow, reddish tinge and white gold available. Prints… Continue reading i.Materialise Glitters with Gold and Silver
Who likes gray? It’s a dull, less-than-noticeable color that blends into any background. A gray car? Never! However, there’s something intriguing about i.Materialise’s new 3D printing material: Prime Gray. Objects just seem to look terrific in this color. According to i.Materialise’s Joris Peels: Some of us (OK, me) we’re skeptical about the gray color.… Continue reading Gray Materialises
Fiberglass Reinforced 3D Printing?
We ran across what appears to be an experiment by remote control flyers who are trying to hack super-strong airplane parts. The video doesn’t really explain what’s going on, but it appears that they might be trying to sandwich some strong fiberglass fabric within a 3D print. If so they’d have to design their model… Continue reading Fiberglass Reinforced 3D Printing?
Shapeways Glazes Over
We are continually amazed at the ingenuity of the Shapeways 3D print service; they seem to come up with new materials for their service almost every other week. Typically they experiment with them to see how well they are accepted and then decide whether and how to continue offering them. In the past they’ve pioneered… Continue reading Shapeways Glazes Over
3D Printed CubeSat
You may have seen a freight train pass by hauling endless standard-sized shipping containers. Those containers make freight economical because the entire transportation system can safely assume their characteristics and adapt appropriately. There’s a similar standard for space satellites: CubeSat. It’s a one-liter 10 x 10 x 10 cm cube that can weigh no… Continue reading 3D Printed CubeSat
Shapeways Introduces New Detail Material
Shapeways, one of the leading 3D print services, is trialing a new pair of print materials that are specially designed for high detail. They’re taking cues from a survey in which clients demanded more detail and smoother prints. The new materials, dubbed eloquently in the typical Shapeways style, are “Frosted Detail” and “Frosted Ultra… Continue reading Shapeways Introduces New Detail Material
Variable Steel Print Pricing At i.Materialise
When i.Materialise introduced stainless steel printing earlier this year they used a very straightforward pricing scheme: price by volume. Now they’ve announced a new scheme in which you’re encouraged to print larger steel models because the price drops as you increase the size of your model. The new pricing scheme is slightly more complex: … Continue reading Variable Steel Print Pricing At i.Materialise
3D Printing in Wood. No, Really!
It was April 1st this week, the day when every blog post must be read with great suspicion. One very clever post from Freedom of Creation described an incredible experiment in 3D printing using powdered wood. The following day it was revealed to be a hoax – and a good one. Their very realistic post… Continue reading 3D Printing in Wood. No, Really!
3D Print Objects In Wood
Amazing? Yes. Inevitable? Probably. A huge step forward? Definitely! Of what do we speak? It’s Freedom of Creation’s latest successful venture into 3D printing using wood as the print material. Their new “Tree-D Printing” process involves using actual sawdust as print material. Their process is powder-based (or in this case, “sawdust-based”, we suppose) in… Continue reading 3D Print Objects In Wood
MakerBot Takes A Bath?
Most 3D printing companies and services experiment by introducing new products from time to time, and MakerBot is definitely one of the most experimental of companies. This time they’ve introduced something quite radical that may revolutionize personal 3D printing in the future: Dissolvable print material. How does it work? Their new polyvinyl alcohol plastic… Continue reading MakerBot Takes A Bath?
Self-Made Biodegradable Plastic?
We’re reading a post on LifeHacker talking about making your own biodegradable plastic. Evidently the recipe is straightforward: Grab some milk or cream, and some lemon juice or vinegar. Put the cream in a saucepan and heat it, using the lowest setting on the stove and stirring constantly to keep it from burning. When… Continue reading Self-Made Biodegradable Plastic?
Metal and Plastic Materials from EOS
It’s press release season at EuroMold, and here we see that laser sintering equipment manufacturer EOS has released some pretty amazing new materials, as you might notice in the image of a laser sintered automobile engine exhaust manifold made in nickel alloy. Here’s the new materials: A flame-retardant polyamide, PrimePart FR, that is especially… Continue reading Metal and Plastic Materials from EOS
Hot Ice For Support Material?
What’s “Hot Ice”, you ask? It’s not exactly water, as you might suspect. Instead it’s a totally bizarre liquid-to-solid material that just might be useful for 3D printing as support material. This mysterious substance is very simply produced: mix sodium acetate crystals with water, and cool. The result is a clear liquid that appears to… Continue reading Hot Ice For Support Material?
High Glossing Shapeways
Another development from always-inventive Shapeways 3D print service this week: you can now print in High Gloss Glass material. The material is indeed glass, made by depositing crushed glass powder with a binding medium. The resulting (and at that moment very fragile) object is then fired in an oven to remove the binder and… Continue reading High Glossing Shapeways
Nicholas Lewis has discovered that the Blue PLA filament build material he’s been using glows when illuminated by black-light. The picture above tells the story. Imagine the build possibilities! The PLA is available from UltiMachine at the link below. From the description: This is Natureworks PLA4042D extruded into 3mm filament. This is a… Continue reading Glowing Objects
Golden 3D Prints with Shapeways’ Midas Touch
Shapeways is experimenting with another print material, one you’ve always wanted to have: Gold! They’ve managed to develop a process where a gold-plating step is added to normal stainless steel 3D printing. The results, as you can see in the image above, are terrific. The major concern with Gold Printing, is of course… Continue reading Golden 3D Prints with Shapeways’ Midas Touch
We know it’s spring and things are warming up (at least on the top side of our planet), but it’s time to talk about ice. Specifically, ice printing. Along with numerous other print materials, plain water can now be added to the list. The “computer assisted ice printing” experiment was developed by professors and… Continue reading Ice Printing
Glass Objects from Shapeways
The big news this week was clearly Shapeways surprise announcement: they now provide glass as print material! Glass printing has been the subject of much investigation and experimentation this year, and now it appears that Shapeways has made enough progress to offer commercial 3D printing using it. Even better, the glass used is recycled… Continue reading Glass Objects from Shapeways
Stratasys Reduces Support Material by 40%
Stratasys, makers of the Dimension series of commercial 3D printers has announced a breakthrough in support technology. For those who don’t know, support material is frequently used in 3D printing to overcome the problem of printing overhangs. If there’s no support material to hold it up, the printer can’t properly deposit the build material. Support… Continue reading Stratasys Reduces Support Material by 40%
Digging Through eBay for 3D
Following up on our earlier article in which we sought out used 3D printers on eBay, we noticed that printers are not the only relevant 3D item you can find on eBay. We’ve located several instances of individuals selling print services via eBay, but we’d use them only if their price was less than… Continue reading Digging Through eBay for 3D
Ceramic 3D Printer?
Unfold is experimenting with printing ceramics. They’ve acquired a RapMan 3D printer kit and “Currently we are working on a toolhead that can extrude clay.” This is not something the RapMan was originally designed to do, but what are kits for if not to modify? The test vase, shown above appears impressive, but it may… Continue reading Ceramic 3D Printer?
Fabbaloo managed to lay our hands on a sample 3D print from Solido, one of the major commercial 3D printer manufacturers. The print, in the image above, is a palm-sized horse. We were very impressed with the strength of the object – it’s quite stiff to handle, and according to Solido’s website, prints are suitable… Continue reading Sampling Solido
Dr. Adrian Bowyer of the University of Bath and the father of the RepRap 3D printer takes us on a video tour of RepRap, including the new Mendel RepRap model. Bowyer speaks enthusiastically on the device, tools for 3D modelling and 3D model repositories. The Mendel RepRap is physically smaller than its predecessor model,… Continue reading RepRap Explained
Inventables – The Material and Technology Marketplace
Tipster Zach points us at a new service: Inventables. Here’s the premise: Inventables exists to make it easy for vendors of materials and technologies to get an initial introduction to potential buyers. These buyers (engineers, designers, marketers) browse our online marketplace with the hope to find and work with vendors that manufacture materials and technologies… Continue reading Inventables – The Material and Technology Marketplace
One Blue Ring
The guys at Open3DP seem to have made a breakthrough in their quest to develop glass-based 3D printing. Every week they seem to make progress, and this week we see a “semi translucent blue glass ring”. There’s no details on their blog to describe how they managed to create this magical item, but if… Continue reading One Blue Ring
Full Color 3D Printing
Yes, that’s right – Shapeways now offers full color 3D printing. They’ve scored a ZCorp 650 3D printer, which provides the color capability. The “Full Color Sandstone” material is able to handle color texture maps. It’s obviously more work to prepare color models. You must create a texture map in your 3D modelling software… Continue reading Full Color 3D Printing
New Image Plastics
Need some plastic for your 3D printer? Unsatisfied with your current choice of print media? There’s another option for you to consider: New Image Plastics, who manufacture a variety of different thermoplastic rods: We manufacture and stock a vast inventory of the finest quality, zero porosity (voidless) plastic welding rod and welding wire for all… Continue reading New Image Plastics
Material of the Year!
Last month blog Material ConneXion announcement the winners in their new MEDIUM Award for Material of the Year. This is the first annual presentation of this award, and it was given to Concrete Canvas’s Concrete Cloth material. This innovative material mixes fabric with concrete that “allows it to be quickly and easily molded and… Continue reading Material of the Year!
3D Ping Pong by Materialise
Materialise, one of the larger 3D print services recently did an experiment using their new “Extreme” stereolithography material. They call it extreme because it’s quite robust, with an impact strength of 0.45J/cm. How robust, you might ask? Apparently strong enough to make ping pong paddles from the material and play a real game with them:… Continue reading 3D Ping Pong by Materialise
Shapeways Expands Materials
As they’ve done many times in the past, the Shapeways 3D printing service has expanded the materials available for builds. This time they’ve announced some very interesting options for makers: “Grey Robust” is a rigid material similar to their previous “Cream Robust”. But let’s face it: “Cream” just doesn’t sound very robust, does it? Accordingly,… Continue reading Shapeways Expands Materials
Get Ready for Printed Electronics
We were all quite impressed when the RepRap printer managed to reproduce itself some months ago. But in fact the reproduction was only of its structural members, whereas the metal bits and electronics were not actually reproduced. No worries, it will eventually happen. Metal printing has emerged in several 3D print services, but what about… Continue reading Get Ready for Printed Electronics
More Glass 3D Printing Experiments
The folks at the University of Washington continue their experiments with 3D printing with glass, and it’s looking even better now. Here are some of their latest results: A glass pot, this time fired at a different heating temperature curve than previous experiments. Notice the glassy sheen. They’re getting close! A test glass puck, post-firing… Continue reading More Glass 3D Printing Experiments
Timothy Mayer tips us to an example of a robot built by the Cornell Computational Synthesis Laboratory. The robot’s structure was fabbed with a [email protected] 3D printer using KraftCreation’s FabEpoxy media. Of course, the electronics weren’t printed out, but that will come some time in the future. Readers might want to peruse some of the… Continue reading Robots!
Objet Has 48
Forty-eight different kinds of digital materials, that is. They’ve just announced a eighteen more materials to add to their ever-increasing set. From their press release: The pack provides 3D printing users with 18 new materials comprised of combinations of VeroWhite and TangoPlus or TangoBlack Plus, the latest addition to the Tango Family. The new materials… Continue reading Objet Has 48
We’ve seen many different materials being used as the print medium for 3D printers, including the obvious (titanium, wax, plastic) and a few rather bizarre ones (paper, nutella, pasta and sugar), but we haven’t really noticed Glass yet. Until now. According to PhysOrg.com news: A team of engineers and artists working at the University of… Continue reading Glass Printing
Shapeways has added a new material: White Glaze, or as we like to call it: Smooth! Evidently the white coats in Shapeways’ secret lab toiled for weeks trying various concoctions until they came up with White Glaze, which exhibits terrific reflective characteristics as you can see in the image above. By the way, White Glaze… Continue reading Ooo! Smooth!
Stratasys Adds Four More
Four more build materials, that is. Specifically made for their Fortus 900mc 3D printer, the new materials have improved properties: SABIC’s ULTEM 9085: Strong and lightweight, this material’s claim to fame is its resistance to heat, smoke and toxicity. We suspect it might show up in aircraft. PC-ABS: Similar to existing materials, but has added… Continue reading Stratasys Adds Four More
Objet, makers of the Polyjet line of 3D printers, have introduced “Castaldo®’s VLT™ [Very Low Temperature] molding rubber”, which should greatly simplify the making of jewelery prototypes. The new material should permit the creation of jewelry molds in “as little as one hour”. The advantage of the rubber is that it cures at a… Continue reading Objet Rubberizes
If you were to purchase a big-time commercial 3D printer from one of the industry leaders (Dimension, Objet, ZCorp, etc.) you get more than just the printer. You also get the right (or obligation) to purchase specialized print media from the manufacturer, sometimes at high prices. The quality is good, as the media is… Continue reading Kraftmark’s FabEpoxy
ZCorp Gets Harder
New material is now available from one of the most popular 3D printer manufacturers: ZCorp. They recently released zp150, a “premium composite build material” that can be used in their 450 and 650 3D printers. What is so interesting about this material? 40 percent increase in “green” strength for improved ease of use 40 percent… Continue reading ZCorp Gets Harder
The Objet Connex350
Today Objet announces their newest printer, the Connex350, joining the Connex500 in Objet’s flagship product line. Like the earlier Connex500, the new Connex350 has the unique ability to print with multiple materials, and we don’t mean that you stop the print, change the cartridges and resume printing with that other squishy material. No, these… Continue reading The Objet Connex350
The Force is Strong…
Those guys at MakerBot (including Bre Prettis pictured above) certainly know how to have fun. In this amusing short video, they not only persuade their amazing and inexpensive Makerbot 3D printer to punch out a Darth Vader head (to illustrate their newly available Black ABS plastic material), but they also push their printer to… Continue reading The Force is Strong…
RC Racing with RP Parts
RP = Rapid Prototyping. We all know that – RP technologies are traditionally used to create rough “test” objects, suitable only for eyeball inspection. This is due to current limitations in materials that result in solid, but not so robust printed objects. Don’t sit on that model! “Yes, it looks good, now send it… Continue reading RC Racing with RP Parts
Shapeways Lowers Media Pricing
Shapeways, the innovative 3D printing service announced they’ve lowered the pricing on their most popular print media, “White Strong & Flexible”. It’s now 10% less expensive than before. This means we can order that Neko Woman for only USD$23.76! Erm. Coincidentally, Ponoko also recently reduced (albeit temporarily for 24 hours) the price of some… Continue reading Shapeways Lowers Media Pricing
Stone-Age 3D Printing!
There’s always complaints about the price of 3D print media, as exhibited in our comments in recent days. People say it’s not the cost of the printer that matters, it’s the ongoing cost of the media! But today there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Mark Ganter, University of Washington Engineering professor,… Continue reading Stone-Age 3D Printing!
RedEye on Demand, one of the larger-sized 3D print services now offers a new printing material: ULTEM. What is it? We believe it to be the “superman” of materials, offering “a variety of exceptional thermoplastic properties”, according to RedEye’s specs. Does it leap over tall buildings or save cats from trees? Not yet, but… Continue reading ULTEMate Material?
Once again another print media has emerged: Coffee Grinds! Yes, this one-of-a-kind specialized printer actually uses coffee grinds as its print media. It can also use tea dregs, according to the documentation. It was an entry into Core77’s Greener Gadgets Design Competition by Jeon Hwan Ju of Korea: RITI Printer is a eco-friendly printer… Continue reading Coffee Printer!
DiMora’s V16 Engine Powered By 3D Printer
Admit it – you need a 1200-HP car, just like us. But now they’re being made much more efficiently due to the use of ProMetal‘s “Rapid Casting Technology”, which can build molds and casting cores of sand directly from 3D models. DiMora Motors is using this new approach to build the startling 1200-HP motor… Continue reading DiMora’s V16 Engine Powered By 3D Printer
It’s All Wax
3D Systems has announced the ProJet CPX 3000 3D printer, and it’s claim to fame is that it can produce objects of fine detail using wax as the medium. This is a pretty specialized device, as you can’t just print a wrench or part requiring stability and strength using wax. And yes, it won’t sit… Continue reading It’s All Wax
Shapeways Goes Dark
No, they’re not shutting down; rather they are expanding by now offering a new hi-res black color for your 3D prints. The busy 3D print service has added this new color just in time for the Halloween object printing season. (Side note: is there a “halloween printing season”? Hmm.) According to the press release: Black… Continue reading Shapeways Goes Dark
Stratasys Gets Harder
New print media materials were recently announced by Stratasys for use in their FDM 360mc and FDM 400mc 3D printers. Both PC and PC-ABS are available for the 360mc, while the 400mc may now use ABSi and PC-ISO. According to the press release: PC is particularly useful for design or manufacturing engineers in the automotive,… Continue reading Stratasys Gets Harder
Shapeways Gets Bent
Shapeways, the latest consumer-oriented 3D printing service that’s making a huge splash across the internet, slipped in an announcement last month about a new print media: “White Strong & Flexible”. This unusual material enables designers to make objects that bend! The example shown above illustrates the possibilities. While most printing services do not… Continue reading Shapeways Gets Bent
What Z-Corp Ink is Made Of
We’ve been following a thread in the reprap forums that discusses the composition of inks, started by a post linking to two UK Material Safety Data Sheets that evidently show the composition of Z-Corp’s binder and powder. The binder contains: 1-10% Glycerol 0-2% Preservative (Sorbic acid salt) <1% Surfactant <20% Pigment 85-95% Water The powder… Continue reading What Z-Corp Ink is Made Of
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
MPP: Metal Printing Process
A interesting article appeared this week describing a new approach to 3D printing being undertaken in Europe by Norwegian research institute Sintef. The process attempts to use powdered metals “based on the process principles of xerographic printers”. This additive process works very similar to that photocopier machine down the hall: by changing the electrostatic properties… Continue reading MPP: Metal Printing Process
If it flows, melts or powders, someone will eventually stuff it down the media hopper of a 3D printer. Today’s discovery is “Nutella” printing. Yes, it’s true. Darkeye squeezed some of that brown goodness into a [email protected] unit and printed elegant edible edifices on bread! For those readers keeping track, here’s a list of the… Continue reading Nutella Printing
We’ve seen some strange materials being used in fabrication before, including Paper, Metal, Sugar, Iron , Live Tissue, and even Pasta! Now we see another media: Wax! Dutch company Delft Spline Systems makes the DeskProto software that can be used with inexpensive desktop milling machines, like the Roland JWX-10. Aimed at the Jewelry Maker’s market, the 123WaxRing… Continue reading Wax Milling
Clean Media for Your 3D Printer
One of the main concerns with any 3D printer is the media. To a large extent, its characteristics govern the quality, appearance and robustness of a printed object, beyond the object’s design itself. We’ve even seen edible media, such as sugar, used in homemade printer projects. However, sugar-based objects generally have poor characteristics, even though… Continue reading Clean Media for Your 3D Printer
We spotted this interesting idea: improve the robustness of printed objects by altering the mix. Evidently a Swinburne professor mixed iron powder with a nylon polymer, extruded it into a composite filament for their Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) machine and printed some inserts. This increased the longevity of the printed parts substantially. Even better, they… Continue reading Media Mixing