3D Printing World Firsts Announced Today: 3D Print with Incredible New Materials, Meet a Voice-Controlled 3D Printer


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For some reason, this time of year is always rife with 3D printing announcements of an unbelievable caliber. The latest, utterly incredible 3D printing materials come center stage alongside 3D printers right out of Willy Wonka’s factory. Keeping up with all the announcements can be exhausting, but to kick off April 2017 we’ve gathered up a look at some news that may have come from Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes.

UpDog: The Future of Shapeways Materials

Shapeways has long been known for industry-leading innovation, bringing about a trusted and broad array of materials for 3D printing all kinds of creations. Today, they announced on Twitter the future of Shapeways materials: meet UpDog. With a fully outlined release schedule, we can see that UpDog has been in the works for quite some time, beginning with having validated user demand last spring.

Official details have not yet been released in full, though the final testing phase has begun. As we await the release, we’re left with only one question: What’s UpDog?

Breakfast Hot Off the Form 2

Less uncertain are the materials Formlabs has cooking, as they may be familiar from your own kitchen. Introducing today a new line of Form 2 Kitchen Extensions, Formlabs is set to take care of all your desktop needs, so go ahead and toss out that old electric griddle taking up space on your countertop. With Lunch and Dinner extensions and cells to follow at a later date, the company has started off with the most important meal of the day.

Using your Form 2, you can engage with all-new Pancake Batter Resin that responds well to an advanced photocarmelization setting for the perfect design; you can also install a Waffle Platform compatible with Pancake Batter Resin to create waffles. Egg Resin will work with the EGGstension for a variety of formats of egg preparation, offering “dimensional accuracy and repeatable high-resolution flavor.” As a bonus (for Formlabs), increased use of the breakfast resins, which feature a fairly high sugar content, will surely drive demand for their line of dental resins.

Please do note, however, the company’s disclaimer regarding the new offerings (in which they are quite right about the hearty water bear):

Disclaimer: Food printed with the Form 2 is not safe for consumption by humans, dogs, pigs, or other animals, but may be safe for tardigrades. We didn’t test that, but have you seen what those things are cool with?

And for Lunch, Bake Pasta on Your Build Plate

Ready for lunch and thinking pasta? Turn to your 3D printer for that, too! While we’ve seen a few viable examples of 3D printed pasta, FABtotum has decided to try a new approach, turning to the trusty heated build plate. Collaborating with Proto-pasta for the perfect solution, today FABtotum announces:

A #new #challenge completed: here you have our#PastaBot! #Make your #spaghetti or #macaroni and #bake them on the heated plate!
Thanks to Proto-pasta for studying with us the right mixture for good #italianfood!
#3Dprinting #madeinitaly #tomatosauce#pasta #filament

We don’t yet have a lot of details for the PastaBot, but they’re probably serious about the ketchup thing. Which is fair warning, and a good reminder to all home cooks: tomato sauce and ketchup are not interchangeable.

Date Night? Don’t Carry Cash, 3D Print It

Now that you’ve had a good, 3D printed breakfast and hearty 3D printer-baked pasta lunch, it’s clearly time for dinner. Your 3D printers are tired, you’re tired, and you just want to go out for dinner. Why bother about remembering things like your wallet? No one is going anywhere without their smartphones these days, and a new phone introduced in Australia today is set to replace your wallet as it can just 3D print your cash on demand.

“We believe that getting cash out of your account should be easy and free, we’ve taken that belief one step further to put our money where our phones are,” ING Direct announces. “Here’s our sneak preview of a new prototype we’ve been working on that does just that. Presenting, the ING DIRECT iTM!”

Especially impressive for a pocket-sized device, it is said to incorporate an extruder and employ both fused filament fabrication and selective laser sintering technologies. For 3D printing paper, I’d have thought they might look toward technology from Mcor, but it seems they wanted to keep all development in-house. Called the iTM (no word how Apple feels on the name), the prototype device is designed for ease of use, allowing users to avoid the tedium that is an ATM, running through an app (available for both iOS and Android) to 3D print cash on demand, as well as checking their balance and other traditional banking app uses.

Why 3D Print When You Can Replicate?

Representatives Davis and Hunter in a spliced image

Many people new to the technology think that 3D printers are like Star Trek replicators, so it was really only a matter of time before the tech took off light years ahead. And now, as San Diego County’s East County Magazine reports, we’re seeing just that with a new replicator technology set for California, touted by Congressional representatives Duncan Hunter and Susan Davis.

As Davis said, “Light years ahead of 3-D printer technology, the Vespuccia Replicator is capable of scanning, processing and instantaneously replicating objects ranging from bridge supports to tanks.”

The replicator is set to do just about everything, and will lead to massive tax cuts across the board, as well as generating jobs in the local area; the replicator is set to be headquartered near El Cajon’s Gillespie Field. Need new car parts? Replicate them. Medical devices for the VA? Computers for public schools? Replicate them! Even — get this, thirsty California — water.

“According to a public records search obtained by East County Magazine,  Hunter and Davis were first contacted by inventors of the replicator technology several months ago and given an exclusive demonstration late one night at a secret location in the Nevada desert,” the magazine reports. “They were astounded to learn that the replicator can even replicate water—creating a potentially endless supply for drought relief and firefighting.”

The only lingering question is whether it can provide beverages other than water. Tea, perhaps? Earl grey? Hot?

But I Still Want to 3D Print, and Tell My 3D Printer What to Do

With just one replicator so far, before it replicates itself we’re still well ahead of ringing the death knell for 3D printers. And thank goodness, too, as YouTube’s own 3D Printing Nerd has just introduced us to the world’s first voice-activated 3D printer. With the help of some young helpers, Joel Telling today takes the new tech for a spin.

As with any first-of-its-kind device, this brand new voice-controlled 3D printer does have a few bugs to work out. But if you’re into straight lines drawn to not look at all like the circle you might have wanted, this might be the new tech for you!


I’ve been waiting for today for a while now, as I admit that April Fool’s Day is a favorite for me as we experience the true humor underlying some of the cleverest companies and makers in our field. Last year, we were introduced to invisible materials, and the year before that to 6D printing, among other bell ringers, as well as 3D printed wellies for summer festivals. Keep it fun, makers! And keep making us laugh. Discuss in the April Fools forum at 3DPB.com.

(If it hasn’t been clear, please note all products and announcements contained herein are meant as April Fool’s jokes only and are not indicative of real products.)


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