There are some weeks that this review covers mainly hardware, software, and business news. And then there’s weeks in 3D printing news where printed and printable items dominate. This week’s news reads like a catalog of 3D printed/printable items: an elephant bottle; a smart cooler; parenting sensor gadgets; a pinhole camera; and a battery tester printed with conductive filament. In other news, South Korea’s interest in 3D printed fashion seems to be expanding, and Sciaky, Inc.’s EBAM metal printers are now available in a global distribution partnership with EFESTO, LLC.
Italy’s Sipa 3D Prints Elephant Bottle
Northeast Italy’s Sipa, a division of Zoppas Industries, has started using 3D printing for its plastic bottle designs. This is quite a change for a company that has been designing plastic bottles for over twenty years, and they’ve proving successful in their latest endeavor: a 3D printed elephant bottle. Using PLA polymer filament and an “entry level” 3D printer, the company wanted a great design for the November 2014 Brau Beviale exhibition in Nürnberg, Germany. The elephant idea was chosen because it would both display 3D printing design capabilities and it is aesthetically pleasing. After developing three different bottle prototypes, which took six hours each to print, they decided on a design which is functional and communicates elephant greatness, as it reaches its trunk (bottle neck) for the leaves.
3D Prototyped Smart Cooler is Very Cool
From Sipa to nipi in news: a bottle is one thing, but sometimes we have to keep them cool, right? Well, if you had one of these, you’d be anxious to use it: because it is also a portable solar generator with smartphone charging USB capabilities as well. The “nipi SMART cooler” has launched its Kickstarter campaign to raise $60,000 by September 8th. With well over $52,000 pledged already, it looks like there’s a high demand for this kind of machine. The design was perfected through the use of 3D printed protoyping–and what a design! It does things like retain ice up to 6 days; has a divider and cutting board, cup holders, internal and external LED lighting, and dry lockable storage; and it’s a solar generator. The wave of the future for the good old fashioned cooler, to be sure. 3D printing helped along the design of the overall concept, the handles, and the wheels.
3D Printed Parenting Gadgets from BleepBleeps
Parenting, especially if it’s a new experience, can leave people sleepless, befuddled, scared, and sometimes even despondent. No one would argue with a company, using 3D printing, to design gadgets that ease parental duties, right? BleepBleeps was born out of just such new parenting frustrations, and its aim is to 3D print a family of sensory devices — ranging from fertility and baby monitoring to geolocating. All sensors, which have different shapes, sizes, colors, and character names, link to an app that allows you to monitor multiple features at once. BleepBleeps used MODO for the design portion of the project and then 3D printed the little “guys” that are soon bound to be popular. Recently, the now $78 Sammy Screamer Motion Alarm (pictured here) raised more than $90,000 in a successful Kickstarter campaign. Parental support using cute gadgets linked to your smartphone app just makes sense!
Easy 35 Pinhole Camera is 3D Printed
Clint O’Connor launched a Kickstarter campaign for a “Pinhole, Printed” camera in 2013 that sold out in 20 days. It was that popular, and we covered his enthusiasm and maker’s spirit back in November. Now, he’s offering what he calls the “Easy 35” camera that uses 35 mm film and is smaller and easier to print than his other cameras. The camera requires “just a pinhole” to assemble, black tape is the shutter, and a rubber band secures its top. How basic is that? Plus, the camera’s body is one easy-to-print (in PLA or ABS) piece. It looks like the world of 3D printed pinhole cameras is getting better refined with O’Connor’s latest Easy 35 offering!
Conductive Filament Used to Make Battery Tester
Conductive filament has opened many new possibilities up for 3D printing, and the Ruiz Brothers at Adafruit have made it very straightforward to make your own 3D printed coin cell battery tester using high-quality conductive filament. They used a dual extruder 3D printer so they could combine PLA and conductive filaments for the project, making working circuits. Get everything you need to try this at home off of the Adafruit website here.
South Korean 3D Printed Fashion
The 5th Indie Brand Fair was held in the Gangnam district of Seoul, South Korea, featuring over 130 indie brands — including men’s and women’s clothing and fashion accessories too. One brand, CCRECC, uses 3D printed design accessories for caps. These kinds of accessories included ones rigged with LED lights and another that allows the wearer to grow a plant on his or her head! Another 3D printing focused company, 3D One, is actually an education company expanding to include fashion printing. So, it looks as if we can look forward to interesting Korean designs in the 3D printed fashion world, which has already been quite inspiring for its originality and an abundance of creativity as well.
Sciaky, Inc.’s Metal 3D Printers Now Available
It seems like most of this week’s news has focused on 3D printed items, but we have a bit of hardware news for you here at the end. Phillips Service Industries has now made available its Electron Beam Additive Manufacturing (EBAM) large-scale 3D metal printers through its subsidiary manufacturer, Chicago-based Sciaky Inc. The wider availability is made possible through a structured reseller agreement with Sciaky and Michigan-based EFESTO, LLC. The distribution strategy is to target selected countries (Australia, Brazil, China, India, Japan, Nigeria, Poland, Russia, and South Korea,) and “named accounts” in the Middle East and the US O&G sector. This will definitely increase sales for the company that has been using these printers in aerospace projects for years, but hasn’t made them publicly available. These EBAM metal printers are expensive, but you can bet some parties will be thrilled at the chance to purchase one or more. As the Sciaky website states: “Made in America. Deployed Globally”!
Let us know if any of these stories caught your attention in this week’s Stories We Missed forum thread over at 3DPB.com.