This week’s stories move from Europe and South Korea, to the developing world, to North American academics and makers. This news includes: a Dutch company’s new weekly 3D printed lampshade; the Belgian company Hoet’s new eyewear line; Adafruit’s portable soundboard project; Michigan Tech’s research on 3D printed tools for developing world organic farms; a new add-on device to make 3D printing and removing objects easier from Penn State; Yale’s research on strengthening plastic printed objects with stronger resins; South Korea-based Carima’s new desktop 3D printer, the DP 110; and ShapingBits’ Kickstarter campaign for multi-material single and dual extruder printers. Catch up on all your international 3D printing news here!
Dutch Company 52Shapes Offers New Lampshade Weekly
3D design and printing of housewares is becoming more popular as designers and customers realize the unique shapes and styles made available by 3D printing technology. And people are also getting more savvy about their marketing strategies when it comes to 3D design and printing options. Each week on Sunday night the Dutch design team 52Shapes plans to unveil a new lampshade on its website. These shades are all 3D printed, and 52Shades is prepared to sell up to 250 of the weekly shade styles within 7 days after each initial release. Many designs have already been released, and you can view the company Facebook page to see past and present lampshades.
Belgium’s Hoet Design Studio Launches 3D Printed Eyewear
In other design news, the Belgian, family owned design studio Hoet has partnered with Materialise–a well-kown 3D printing company–to launch a new line of 3D printed eyewear, Cabrio. The idea is to use 3D design and printing to create captivating eyewear that merges functionality, technology, ergonomics, and, of course, aesthetics. This line of eyewear is guaranteed to be made in Belgium and the eyewear is available through shops that carry the Hoet design lines, listed here. If you are in the market for a new pair of frames to sport your 3D printing enthusiasm, be sure to check out this new collection.
Adafruit Makes Portable 3D Printed Soundboard
The Ruiz Brothers are know for their well designed and functional 3D printed objects, and they have now made available a 3D printed soundboard project that you can try at home. The soundboard runs using Adafruit’s Pro Trinket 5V, Trellis Driver PCB, and Audio FX Soundboard. You’ll need some wires and LEDs, a battery, a few switches, and a 3D printer or 3D printing service. The boards are soldered to speakers, using pre-programmed Arduino sketches, and ultimately housed in a 3D printed case which makes the soundboard portable as well. You can read all about how to make this soundboard here.
3D Printing for Small-Scale Developing World Organic Farms
Well, now that we’ve knocked those first world problems, like lampshades and soundboards, out of the way, we can focus on how 3D printing aids farms in the developing world. The RepRap Delta 3D printer is the printer of interest here, and Michigan Technological University’s Dr. Joshua Pearce is applying this rather simple technology to small-scale organic farming with excellent results. One-third of the world’s organically managed land is located in developing countries, and Dr. Pearce points out that many of these farmers use labor-intensive hand tools which can be replaced by much more functional and less labor-intensive 3D printed tools. In his article “Applications of Open-Source 3D Printing on Small Farms,” Dr. Pearce suggests that this option is also more cost effective. Dr. Pearce looks at five categories in the article where 3D printing can provide options for organic farmers, including hand tools, animal and water management, food processing, and hydroponics. Dr. Pearce argues overall that making 3D printing capabilities more available to the small-scale organic farmer is ultimately a justifiable expense that can help farmers grow more for less money and hardship.
Mobium Solutions Helps Automate Printing and Removal of 3D Printed Objects
A startup from two Penn State students offers the ECHOdrive, which can be used with most 3D printers, that allows users to print multiple objects at one time and remove objects with more ease. The startup, Mobium Solutions, is the brainchild of Justin Keenan and Kevin Pagoda, who both study engineering and saw the need to make all aspects of 3D printing easier for small businesses, schools, and private makers. The ECHOdrive functions mainly as an automated plastic sheet spool that can be installed on almost 70% of desktop 3D printers. The plastic sheet is pulled down onto the printer bed, much like a paper towel, and then vacuumed down. The vacuum releases after the object in printed, and the process repeats so that the sheet rolls up with the 3D printed object on it. A web-based program allowing users to upload their files also accompanies the ECHOdrive and allows users to print objects on plastic sheets in order of their queue; the program also recognizes typical printer malfunctions, and it even clears your build plate without you having to be in the room. It sounds like a great addition to 3D printers for people working on many projects at the same time who can benefit from any time saving measures.
South Korean Company, Carima, Releases New Desktop Printer
Speaking of 3D printers, Carima is a South Korean company founded in 1983 as a photo-conducting business that has morphed into a 3D printer manufacturer over the years. In 2009, the company developed its first industrial printer, the Master, and now it is making available a desktop 3D printer, the DLP 3D Printer DP 110. Manufactured and available within 3 weeks of ordering for $5,500, the printer has many technical specifications that make its manufacturer confident that the printer will take the desktop 3D printing world by storm. For example, this printer has a high-end DLP engine to create smooth objects using a semi-permanent Digital Micromirror Device (DMC). This technology uses thousands of mirrors to create light images. This printer also deposits thin films of material onto transparent sheets–this is known as Carima’s “sheet technology”–and the 3D model’s layers are applied using file input data.
ShapingBits’ Kickstarter Campaign for New 3D Printers
The 3FXtrud 2O UNO and the 3FXtrud 25 Duo are the 3D printer brainchildren of Bogdan Diaconescu and Difei Zhang, who are behind ShapingBits, which has launched its first Kickstarter campaign. These printers, single and double extruding free form fabricators, respectively, promise to be user-friendly and able to print with a variety of materials for casual and more serious 3D printing devotees. The Kickstarter campaign still has until May 22nd to go and has already exceeded its initial goal of its $15,730 goal. Go to the Kickstarter page to check out all of these printers’ specifications, and see how you can contribute to ShiningBits’ quest to deliver improved multi-material 3D printers to your doorstep.
FDM Parts Strengthened by Yale Scientists’ Research
In filament-related news, two scientists from Yale University’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and Material Science have innovated a new way to strengthen parts printed by FDM 3D printers. The idea allows users to combine the cheaper option of printing with PLA and ABS filaments while being able to infuse the parts with a stronger resin, too. This is possible by simply printing objects with hollow structures, the authors of the paper “Strengthening of Fused Deposition Manufactured Parts Using the Fill Composting Technique” explained. The “fill composting technique” makes sense: if you leave some parts hollow and fill them with a stronger resin, the parts can be strengthened–which provides a new option for small manufacturing and prototyping operations. This promising research is still in its initial phases, so stay tuned!
Those are the stories we didn’t cover for this week! Discuss in the Stories We Missed forum thread over at 3DPB.com.
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