Warning: all of this week’s creative ideas may give you the bug to buy or win a 3D printer of your own…and you can do just that by entering Ultimaker’s giveaway contest on their Facebook page. Yes, that’s correct. They are giving away two free 3D printers to you and a friend, as a way to celebrate the ongoing success of the Ultimaker2. There are almost no limits to what you can do with a 3D printer, as this week’s range of stories reveals. You can see people 3D print designer chocolate molds, family portraits, Kerbal Space Program designs, a space “Marstini,” and even the Jurassic Park theme song!
Austin Company Will 3D Print Custom Molds for Chocolate Printing
One golden rule should be to always begin with chocolate. Lehrmitt Design Studios in Austin, Texas is making it easier for 3D printable chocolates to bear remarkable and intricate design patterns. While many 3D printing chocolatiers prefer to make their own molds, if you’d rather outsource that time-consuming detail to them, you can send in your artwork designs and they’ll print out the desired molds — or “Surface Skins.” You can send them your design in a 3D file or any format you want: they’ll convert it for you. The final result will be your 3D printed silicone molds arriving at your doorstep in time for you to rev up that chocolate printer and start printing!
Twindom Offers New Instant Scanning System for 3D Photos
In the age of the selfie, do we ever tire from photographing ourselves? I think not. What about printing ourselves, too? While digital photography has proliferated the amount of photos we all have, how many statues do you have of memorable moments with loved ones? Berkeley-based Twindom has launched Twinstant, an instantaneous full-body 3D scanning system that is not inexpensive at $60,000. The company also offers full 3D printing services. This scanning system allows for a quick and easy 3D print of a group photo — a 3D printed photo — and is an interesting evolution of the selfie or the conventional family portrait. So, it used to be that the graduation cap and gown photo with mom and dad was good enough, but Twindom is upping the ante for memorable moments with their 3D scanner that can guarantee quick prints.
3D Print Your Own Kerbal Space Program Designs with eucl3D
Kerbal Space Program is a game that allows people to invest their time building spaceships and rockets using NASA-approved real-world physics. Now you will be able to 3D print your customized designs thanks to eucl3D. Eucl3D has begun offering a service to 3D print your game designs — your own rockets and spaceships — in sandstone or wax, for a $99 flat fee. The final 3D prints are able to preserve intricate details and colors that would otherwise be lost through other 3D printing methods.
In space, things are pretty spartan for the astronauts. But there’s a company about to change all of that. Cosmic Lifestyle Corporation (CLC) wants to provide comforting products that make space travel more enjoyable for all involved. The Zero Gravity Cocktail Project is their first product, which is intended to improve liquid consumption in microgravity. CLC has a Kickstarter campaign to print the open air container glass aboard the International Space Station, using a Made in Space Zero G Printer, and that is their goal. After one flight test through ASTRAX in Japan, they’re hoping to print the glass aboard the International Space Station, bringing a whole new dimension to the phrase “Don’t Drink and Drive.”
Jurassic Park Theme on a 3D Printer
3D printers recognize g-code, and so a man named Andrew Sink decided to create the “Singing 3D Printer,” utilizing a downloaded MIDI file of the original Jurassic Park theme song from Moviethemes.net. 3D printers and other machines determine paths for creating a part (or parts). In the case of Sink’s project, the code was used to control what would ultimately be popular movie notes. Sink used HomeConstructor.de to convert the MIDI into g-code, examine the MIDI file in Garageband to find the melody’s channel, and programmed the printer’s X and Y axes with code, finally leading to the song’s notes.
Senvol Database Gains in Popularity
Since October 2014, the Senvol Database, which is known as “one-stop shopping for 3D printers and material specs,” has grown significantly in popularity. Free online and easy to access, users can search the database that had more than 30 fields that include machine material type, build size, and material tensile strength. In October, America Makes added Senvol as a Gold Member. Senvol is also a member of the ASTM International F42 Committee on Additive Manufacturing Technologies, and its founders have been featured speakers at many industry trade shows, summits, and conferences.
Ford 3D Prints Smart Bike Prototypes
Speaking of trade shows, Ford Motor Company used 3D printing to unveil prototypes of its new bicycle line in Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress on Monday, March 2nd. The MoDe:Me and MoDe:Pro smart bicycles feature sensors that alert riders about upcoming vehicles, tactile handlebar feedback that alerts a rider about turning, and propulsion based pedal assistance based on a rider’s heart rate. The bikes are part of Ford’s electric bicycle exploration: it wants to see what future urban commuters need. Ford’s Smart Mobility Plan is also exploring other concepts, such as autonomous vehicles. In the Handle on Mobility component of the Smart Mobility Plan — focused primarily on bicycles — the smart bicycle designs will include a 200-watt motor and a 9-amp-per-hour battery to provide an electrical assist for speeds up to 25 km/h.
China Announces a National Plan for 3D Printing
This week, we reported that 3D Hubs’ January report ranked China’s CTC Electronics number two for desktop printer. This news came at the same that the company has unveiled its BIZER III, and announced the opening of its London office. Now a national plan for 3D printing has just been unveiled by the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT): The Country’s Additive Manufacturing Industry Promotion Plan 2015-2016. As the title suggests, this plan’s goal is to create a manufacturing (or simply 3D printing) industrial system by 2016. The Plan expects businesses to engage and stay abreast of 3D printing innovations internationally, achieve the international level of advanced 3D printing for complex industries such as aerospace, while taking and maintaining a large share of the international 3D printing market.
Ultimaker to Give Away Two 3D Printers
The latest 3D Hubs Trend Report has listed the Dutch Ultimaker 2 as Europe’s most popular printer. The company, which has received over 100,000 “Likes” on Facebook, is celebrating its popularity by giving away two 3D printers: one for you and one for your Friend. All you have to do is enter a comment and tag a Facebook friend explaining why you need an Ultimaker 3D printer — and giving a fun and creative explanation will catch their attention, it seems. The winners of the contest will be announced March 10, 2015. So win your printer and dust off all of those projects!
Recycled Car Parts and Water Bottle Filaments Developed
I try to end our weekly review with filament news. Ahhh, filament: the stuff that stuff is made with. It seems that the sustainable 3D printing market churns along and this week’s filament news is one of the more exciting and innovative filament developments in a while. InnoCircle, a project between Dutch filament manufacturer Innofil3D and CiorC, has created a unique monofilament line made from recycled PET water bottles and ABS car parts. So, next time you walk by a pile of water bottles and old car parts, don’t sweat it. More of that stuff will be coming to a 3D printer near you, eventually.
Those are the stories we didn’t cover this week! Let us know what you think about this crop of stories over at the 3D Printing Stories We Missed forum thread at 3DPB.com.