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3D Printing: The Stories We Didn’t Cover This Week — June 20, 2015

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This week’s stories include two relating 3D printing and dancing. In one case, a Taiwanese company uses 3D printing to create objects for its haunting production, and in the other Hong Kong’s Print-Rite has printed a dancing robot with its printer Colido. Other fun/ctional 3D printed items include: bee boxes, a depth sensing camera, a multi-functional drink caddy, and a hanky to replace your fabric handkerchief. Also, 5axismaker is making waves with its multiple robotic arms printing concept.

Taiwanese Dance Company Uses 3D Printing

danceA Taiwanese dance performance called “The Inheritance” uses 3D printing to enhance its artistry. The performance received rave reviews both for its quality, which uses 3D projections to make optical illusions, and its story line that focuses on how national unrest haunts families. Storynest director Hsin-Chien Huang created “The Inheritance” which takes place in front of a giant screen with stereographic projections controlled by dancers through real-time motion capture data. Then, 3D prints were used to decorate the set, giving it an even more real feel as dancers move through images and objects related to the haunting story line.

Dancing Robot from Print-Rite

rev3There’s many different kinds of dancing, ranging from artistic to robotic! The Hong Kong-based 3D printing manufacturing company Print-Rite used its 3D printer, Colido, to make a flexible, dancing robot. The robot design took a full month, and its 3D printing and assembly took another month. The printed parts’ weight is important because it can complicate the process of balancing the robot and getting it to move. The company used in-house made PLA filament for all the plastic parts, and the smaller pieces were completed in under an hour. The electrical and mechanical parts, such as the PCB board, wires, and motors, are the only parts that weren’t 3D printed.

3D Printed HiveHaven Bee Boxes

rev2An Indiegogo campaign for HiveHaven, a Queensland, Australia-based company, is raising money–with an $11,000AUD goal–so it can make more of its unique bee boxes designed to keep honeybees working and alive. The boxes are 3D printed using HDPE (from recycled milk bottles), and are the first to provide environmentally friendly in-built biosecurity control addressing spore-based bacteria, the African small hive beetle, and Varroa mite. It is a sustainable alternative to using old growth pine wood. HDPE is a durable material requiring little maintenance, which provides beekeepers with improved returns on their time and investment.

Bristol Company Makes Depth Sensing Camera

brisMotion sensing input devices by Microsoft, like Kinect, have been designed for use with Xbox 360 and Xbox One video game consoles and Windows PCs. And since they were first released they have been hacked. One Bristol, England-based company, Bristol Interaction and Graphics, has hacked Kinect and liberated it from its “stationary set-up” to release it into a 3D printed device that is open-source and Wi-Fi enabled. With this, they have developed a mobile, battery-powered, wireless depth camera, Patina, based on (and compatible with) Microsoft’s Kinect. They are making available the circuit diagrams and PCB layouts you need for additional circuitry. You can check the project out on their website here if you want to do this yourself.

3D Printed iStein Drink Caddy

rev4There are beer mugs and then there is the iStein 3D printed drink caddy designed with a sturdy lid, hefty hinge, ergonomic handle, cooling bands, and interchangeable decorations (sigils). Chris Czech from Mutant Design covered his bases on this great design, and has even included a special “Game of Thrones” House Stark sigil to commemorate the final episode of the series. The stein can also be used to roast marshmallows, as a candle holder, or a lantern: its multi-functionality is as intelligent as the man (Albert Einstein) this stein design was inspired by.

Bold Machines and Designer Al-Hamad Create HANKY

hankyBre Pettis’ Bold Machines has teamed up with designer Nanu Al-Hamad to create, among other projects, “HANKY: Structured Pocket Wear.” This 3D printed piece goes in that funny shirt pocket known previously for housing real handkerchiefs or, yes, the infamous pocket protector. Al-Hamad is not a fashion designer by training, he was trained in Architectural Acoustics. His collaboration with Bold Machines focused on which material would be best for the HANKY. The mold was printed with a Solidscape wax 3D printer, and then it was cast in sterling silver to produce a design that is wearable.

5axismaker’s Robotic Arms Change Idea of 3D Printing

axisPeople may have first heard of 5axismaker during their Kickstarter campaign, introducing the company’s concept of using multiple robotic arms to 3D print multiple materials. This is definitely a shift in the way we think 3D printing happens. The 5axismaker machine measures 600 x 600 x 600 mm (you can customize its size) and it has a basic working volume of 400 x 400 x 400 mm. It can also be used with a wide range of different heads: a milling head, a touch probe head (for 3D scans) and, last but never least, an extrusion head for 1.75 ABS and PLA filament. The wave of the 3D printing future?

Let us know your thoughts on these news pieces in this week’s Stories We Missed forum thread at

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