3D Printing: The Stories We Didn’t Cover This Week — April 18, 2015


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There are lots of 3D printed items in this week’s stories we didn’t cover, including keycaps from Adafruit, an ecological lampshade, customized shoe insoles, and a Saudi-designed airplane seat. Shanghai-based design group Xuberance won the prestigious Milan Design Week SalonSatellite Award for their incredible digital design work, and if any or all of these stories inspire you, XYZprinting released its new plug-and-play desktop 3D printer, the da Vinci Jr., for a mere $349. Finally, Google finishes up this week’s news with an invite-only price reduction on its Project Tango tablet that features real time spatial mapping capabilities.

Adafruit’s New 3D Printed Keycaps

3keysD printing design team Adafruit understands the nostalgic click that accompanied old computer keyboards. The click sound came from mechanical keyboards that relied on physical switches beneath the keys. Some writers like the click sound, because it harkens back to the old typewriter days, when writing was just plain loud and hitting a key signaled to the writer that yes, despite the pervasive writer’s block they may suffer from, work is actually getting done. Adafruit has made available for users of the louder mechanical keyboards — particularly those with cherry MX switches — a host of 3D printable keycaps featuring a simple slot mechanism that allows for easy pressing of these homemade keys in whatever place you choose for customization. You can either download pre-designed keys or design your own, which Adafruit suggests is not as difficult as it looks — if you follow Adafruit’s tips here. Both SLA and FDM printers work for this job, and Adafruit’s keys were printed at 25 microns and a 2.5 exposure time, taking about 40 minutes to complete.

Plumen Releases New 3D Printed Lampshade

lamp“Designer low energy lighting” company Plumen makes ecological lightbulbs and has teamed up with designers at Formaliz3d to bring us 3D printed lighting that is both attractive and conveniently uses Plumen’s lightbulbs too. “Kayan” is the name of a lampshade designed by Formaliz3d’s Matteo Meraldi, Simone Colombo, and Dario Sartori, who use 3D printing to make furnishings, fashion accessories, and lamps. Elegantly functional, the Kayan can be ordered through the Plumen website, and it will be printed in ABS. It is available with either a black and white, or a red 1.2-meter long cable, and the shade’s dimensions are 220 x 150 x 150 mm. It comes with a Plumen lamp as well. At $158, it is rather pricey, but 3D printing devotees, environmentalists, and designers will no doubt take an interest in the latest offering from this joint effort.


Finally, a Comfortable 3D Printed Economy Class Airplane Seat!

saudi-plastics-developer-sabic-develops-printed-innovations-1‘Tis true: comfort is paramount–whether we need customized shoe insoles or a better, more ergonomic flight experience from a 3D printed economy class airplane seat. Saudi plastics developer SABIC has developed 3D printable thermoplastics, including some resins, meeting regulatory requirements. Showcased in Hamburg’s Aircraft Exteriors Expo, SABIC has 3D printed an entire aircraft seat to show off their materials’ potential. This includes a 3D printed economy class airplane seat, printed by Stratasys using SABIC’s ULTEM 9085 resin. The ULTEM resin is perfect for 3D printed options: it is toxicity compliant with low moisture absorption, and it is a highly flexible design material. The seat features fewer than 15 components, exciting many of us about the future of airplane travel, even for us lowly economy class passengers.

Shanghai’s Xuberance Wins 2015 SalonSatellite Design Award

weddingAs you can see from all of the previous stories here, the design concepts for 3D printing just keep coming. Personally, I am a complete sucker for the art nouveau design motif, and the Shanghai-based design group Xuberance perfects and expands the art nouveau design aesthetic, having recently won 1st Prize in the Milan Design Week’s SalonSatellite’s award for their 2015 “Sheng…Tang” theme. “Sheng” is a word for something that is “extremely blooming” and “Tang” refers to the Tang dynasty. All of Xuberance’s products for this show refer to Chinese classical literature, while their cutting edge use of digital design and 3D printing lands them squarely in the twenty-first century as their work evokes classic elements from Chinese history.

Xuberance specializes in digitally designed lamps, tableware, dresses, shoes, and even wedding cakes — and much of this was on display in Milan. It appears that Xuberance’s over the top, exquisite wedding items won them the award in the final analysis, and you can check out all of this team’s work here for more 3D design inspiration.

XYZprinting Releases Affordable da Vinci Jr.

xyzprinting-da-vinci-jr-3D-printer-review16If you filed your taxes late like me, you waited until April 15 to find out that you got a pretty decent amount returned. Now what to do with it? Is it a coincidence that on the same day as the US IRS’ tax filing deadline, XYZprinting unveiled its new very affordable, plug-and-play, user-friendly desktop 3D printer for $349 — doing much to expand options for desktop 3D printing folks with its new da Vinci Jr? I think not!

This printer has many great features, including a 5.9” x 5.9” x 5.9” build size; a non-heated bed; a built-in SD card reader and LCM screen for untethered printing; an easy loading proprietary filament mechanism; a 12kg weight; and power consumption of 75W. So, if you want to do something special with that tax return cash, you can check out the new da Vinci Jr., or better, order one directly from the XYZprinting store now.

Google Reduces Project Tango Price for Invited Developers

tanGoogle’s Tango tablet price has been slashed in an effort to remain competitive and reach more developers through their tablet-based technology that seeks to wed the average mobile device with 3D technology. Originally asking $1024 for the tablet/phone with 3D scanning abilities, Project Tango offers real time spatial mapping capabilities now to “invited” developers for half the price: $512.  Given this important price reduction, more people will be able to access this new technology which gives mobile and Android devices an authentic motion and space experience in real time. Chosen developers for the deal were emailed the offer by Google.

These are this week’s 3D printing stories we missed! Let us know what you think about them in the Stories We Missed forum thread over at 3DPB.com.



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