There’s been some serious competition in the 3D printing marketplace so far this month, bringing affordable and very desirable items to the public — all via the annual vehicle of surprise known as April Fool’s Day. Tomfoolery abounds, and there’s really no choice but to hop on board and enjoy the ride, embracing the often almost too well-veiled jokes produced by industry pranksters.
With all the truly incredible and sometimes downright outlandish innovations being created for real on 3D printers, our industry is ripe for pranks — and planted, false stories on April 1. The thing about some of these ‘announcements’ — and we’re sure many will agree — is that many of the fictional products would be awesome to have.
With a plethora of mind-blowing 3D printed innovations being presented to the public either on crowdfunding sites or being marketed by the larger 3D printing companies, we’re inclined to believe most anything these days — so how about 3D printed wine, moon dust, or even glitter?
We’ve had plenty of other April Fool’s amusement going on in the 3D print industry this week, and we’d like to share some of the highlights. The frustration with a number of these items is that not only do they sound like so much fun — they are great ideas that we would really enjoy — and you must ask yourself if they are really so outside the realm of possibility. One can just see the headlines in the future as they become true products one day: “While once presented as a mere April Fool’s joke…”Below you will find some of the cleverest 3D Printing April Fools jokes of the day:
Made in Space Unveils 6D Printing
Made in Space challenged themselves to come up with the ‘next thing after the next thing’, and that thing is 6D printing. We already are aware of the rapidly expanding market for 3D printers, as well as 4D printing which adds time and movement to the equation, but 6D printing?
“Combining the power of 3D printing with the power of telekinesis, users will be able to use their ‘6th sense’ to instantly and conveniently 3D print objects just by thinking about them,” explains Made in Space.
Instead of requiring special 3D modelling skills, anyone can simply think of an object and send it off to be printed via this new 6D printing interface. They even have a Beta Program, which has already filled up apparently.
Apple Partners with Symme3D to Release Delta-Style 3D Printer
April Fool’s Day simply wouldn’t be any fun without something Apple-related. Keeping that in mind, Symme3D is releasing an amazing new Delta 3D printer that will be free, to the tune of 10,000 of them being given away with “Applɘ Inc.’s” blessing. As you are rushing to get in the line of gullible enthusiasts quickly wrapping around the block, keep in mind that your new 3D printer comes with a couple of Jobs-like stipulations. From “time to time” you will need to include the “Applɘ” logo on your 3D prints, and milled PCBs must have “Made by Applɘ” text included on them. Ten thousand lucky go-getters should be enjoying this gift via Applɘ.
Calcified Whip Cream 3d Printer – WhipPrint3D
Mark Burhop released a video today showing off his incredible new 3D printer called the WhipPrint3D. The prototype machine prints using canned whip cream, which apparently serves as an excellent calcium transport mechanism. When the printed cream is mixed with a ‘hardening agent’ it calcifies, leaving a light weight object which is as strong as any ceramic material. Check out Burhop’s hilarious video below:
Again, regarding some ideas being a little too close to something that could be considered necessary and popular if actually 3D printed, we reported yesterday on the Skiddle ‘Give It Some Welly’ promotion with some trepidation as to whether we should announce it as truth or prank.
The idea of a bus traveling around to rock concerts in the UK speedily printing out boots for foul weather in under an hour was — although a great idea that someone should latch onto — ultimately, indeed a joke. Concertgoers who are tired of watching their favorite bands outdoors, schlepping through the rain in their hipster sandals and sneakers, will have to consider purchasing sturdy footwear the traditional way for now.
Shapeways Introduces New 3D Printer Material: Moondust!
If you can imagine a faux press release being sent out with a straight face, the award would go to Shapeways for their completely hilarious and very dry explanation of how they’ll now be introducing a new and logical material to their offerings — by way of moon dust. Yeah, not a big deal.
Simply, they now quite effortlessly offer this shimmering new material to customers as it “shares many of the same properties as the nylon powder” used in SLA printers — meaning it’s so convenient that they won’t even have to change any design guidelines to produce it for you. The moon dust material will allow you to sport new 3D printed items like smartphone cases and even apparel (bow ties?) that sparkle like magic only in the light of the moon.
Indeed, you will be ‘wowing’ friends and family when they start offering this extraordinary product through collaboration with those “friends at NASA.” This sounds like another great challenge for a ship-shape R&D team to pull off for real in the near future. Let’s get right on that, okay? To the moon!
3D Printed Wine
For all of us out there who love the idea of producing our own tantalizing libations and may have burned out or failed miserably on the home micro-brewery scene, April Fool’s joke or not, we’re thinking a 3D printer that pumps out wine would be the bomb.
Submitting to the ‘latest announcement’ by 3D Systems, released verrrrrrrry suspiciously on March 31, for the purposes of fooling us today into thinking we might be able to turn our 3D printers into wine-makers, we think that’s not only a great joke, but something that needs to be on the market, and soon.
Can’t you just envision yourself running your own 3D printing mini-factory, and making a nice Bordeaux or shiraz to settle down with while contendedly watching your 3D models coming to fruition? According to the ‘announcement’ released last night, 3D Systems, in collaboration with Napa Valley winemakers, may be working on this for you…but hmmm…you have to wait until 2017. Who knows, maybe that’s enough time to really pull this off.
Presented in the form of the ‘VinStant’ (Vino-Instant), the new wine 3D printer is in the trial stages of development. The idea would be that the new gadget works via cartridges of powder that are then mixed with purified water, with the entire mixture going through an intense blending and filtration process.
While we don’t know what the quality or expense of these fictional cartridges could be, certainly boxed wine would be getting a run for its money — and casual wine drinkers wouldn’t have to worry about multiple runs (ahem!) to the grocery store anymore. With VinStant, the concept is that one cartridge allows you to choose the grape, and thus the type of wine such as a cabernet.
Other cartridges would allow you to choose:
Apparently, the only grape cartridge in production for the VinStant is that of cabernet sauvignon, but there are also plans right now for a Bordeaux, as well as shiraz.
The VinStant 3D printer will also allow the user to control specific items like alcohol content, including the option to remove it from the wine altogether, for those — and especially children — who prefer a sophisticated grape juice sans alcohol instead. While pre-programmed wines certainly make imbibing at the end of the day easier, VinStant will most likely also offer recipes that can be downloaded — sort of like 3D designs for tangible 3D models — so wine aficionados can begin to produce fine wines from the desktop.
“The required levels of tannin, oak, sugars, acidity and other elements that make up a wine can easily be controlled by the user to create wines in a style they prefer. Furthermore, pre-programmed volumes of each component that correspond to a particular wine label…such as Opus One for example, can be downloaded and input into the printer’s system for immediate replication, time after time” Hugh Evans, the Vice President of Corporate Development and Ventures at 3D Systems, was purported to say.
With a reported price tag of around $1200 expected for its ‘release’ in 2017 by 3DS, with ambitious coverage for both the desktop and commercial front, the VinStant, joke or not, would undoubtedly be a hit with the savvy technogeek crowd that loves their vino — and what a way to show off to fellow oenophiles.
US Military Drones to Deliver Hot 3D Printed Pizza to the Troops
Take this next idea perhaps, and run it by anyone in the military to see if they’d like it to become real — drones delivering hot 3D printed pizzas to military personnel stuck out in the field. Bringing a whole new non-reality to the MRE (Meal, Ready-to-Eat), which is normally a contained meal meant for one person, 3D printed drones could feasibly be turning war into a pizza party, “according to researchers at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Systems Center.” With great surprise, they call this “an unexpected breakthrough,” with deliveries starting cleverly on April Fool’s Day 2016.
“It’s great to be able to offer the warfighter a little slice of home with the MRE pizza,” said John Harlow, supervisory culinary transfer engineer at Natick, “but we never lost sight of our true goal — delivering piping hot, complete, custom pizzas to our men and women in the field. Who deserves them more?”
Apparently, the idea was inspired not only by their own MRE pizza which can last up to three years, but also by the methods NASA has used to create menus for astronauts. The 3D printers whipping up pizzas took, apparently, many diligent hours of work.
“Pepperoni was one thing, but anchovies are another,” said Max Maxfield, a culinary team scientist. “We still haven’t cracked the code on that ingredient, but we’ll never give up until we can offer Soldiers a full pizza menu.”
Not only do these dedicated researchers plan to feed the soldiers situated far away at military outposts, but they plan to do it with pizazz, service, and speed after soldiers dial in their orders and the specified pizzas are 3D printed and placed into special 3D printed, insulated bags made at Natick.
“That’s where we come in,” said Taz Mouton, an Army drone pilot. “And if I can’t get it there in a half an hour or less, it’s free. We control the airspace. We can fly nap-of-the-earth missions and really push the envelope. We just have to stay under a certain altitude to avoid interfering with helicopter missions.”
We aren’t sure how soldiers would do, isolated, out in the midst of potential enemy fire, drowsy and content with bellies full of the Italian-American delight we all love so, but you can bet most of them might like to try the idea on for size.
3D Printing With Glitter Resin Thanks to Formlabs
And not to be topped, Formlabs has also announced a new product just in time for the national day of pranks in the form of some jazzy glitter resin, available in a number of royal shades from gold and silver to the most festive hues like purple and bright green.
“A lot of hard work and development went into glitter resin. It’s a fine balance between printability and glam, and I think we nailed it. We can’t wait to see what our users do with it,” says Formlabs’ material scientist Lindsay Hunting.
Tinkerine Introduces Invisible Filament
That’s right. Have you ever had the urge to print something invisible? Well, Tinkerine has come up with a solution, introducing their invisible filament. Composed of revolutionary metamaterials, this filament is able to bend light, causing anything printed with it to be invisible to the naked eye. Additionally it is lighter than air, stronger than graphene, and does not require any support material. Check out the video they have provided outlining the specs of this new filament below:
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