Using a special 3D printer, you can print edible “fruits”. Comprised of droplets of liquid surrounded by gel membranes, these creations “pop” when you bite them. While it is fun to recreate simple flavors, Gabriel seems to be more excited about creating interesting combinations such as strawberries with creme inside. Not only can you combine flavors, you can actually modify the texture of the edible itself.
Our annual guide to 3D Printing just came out! To celebrate, we’re going to spend a week focusing on 3D printing in the home. Each day we’ll focus on a different area such as the kitchen, bathroom, or workshop.
Today, we’d like to give you a long list of items that you could print to improve your game room. From table top gaming to watching a movie, there’s probably something you could print to make life easier or your game better!
3D printing is really becoming quite a storm in the table top gaming communities. Not only are people printing bits and pieces for already existing games, there are complete board game sets that are 3D printable.
Introducing Make: Volume 42, our annual guide to 3D printing! It’s a better time than ever to get into 3D printing. From scrappy laser-cut wooden kits only a few years ago to today’s sleek-looking machines, desktop 3D printing continues to evolve into evermore consumer-ready machines. However, since there are so many uses and user types for 3D printers, from schools and teachers to product prototypes and engineers, our guiding question was never “which printer is best?” but was instead “which printer is right for you?”
We tested a whopping 26 printers and judged performance through a series of different prints and tests designed to push these machines to the limits of their abilities. Check out our findings and find the best printer for your needs. Then, get tips on printing movable parts in a single print, make sure to stick your first print layer from the start, and get the skinny on Local Motor’s fully 3D-printed car.
2014 has been a full-throttle year for 3D printing with the introduction of dozens of new machines. It’s clear that additive fabrication has caught the attention of major brands and the push for the mainstreaming of this technology has hit a new plateau.
Print quality is more than just layer height — it’s a combination of visual perceptions and functional characteristics, like dimensional accuracy, surface finish, motion mechanics, material properties, slicing algorithms, and more. Here’s how we tested this year’s crop of printers.
Sometimes you just want fast prints for handouts, demos, or even while exhibiting at Maker Faire! Here’s the 3DP Test Team’s curated list of fast prints that work well on any machine and won’t take all day.
Print-in-place models are the height of design for 3D printing. These objects incorporate various types of joints, moving parts, and hinges, but the results of the print-in-place test provoked more questions than it answered. Can we expect all 3D printers to perform to the same threshold?
Tired of tying up your laptop with long print jobs? Then you’re ready for 3D-printer host software. It acts as a web server so that other computers and mobile devices can control your printer over a local network, or even the cloud.
The single greatest reason for print failures is a first layer that either wasn’t laid down well or didn’t stick to the platform. Here are the top tips from the Make: 3DP Test Team for getting that great first layer and making sure the print stays put.
A quick and classroom-safe way to add color to your prints is using Sharpie markers to color transparent or white filament. While there are 3D-printable adapters that color filament as it enters the extruder, it’s easy to color the filament by hand.
The next wave of desktop 3D printers will use fine powders bound by lasers, chemicals, and other means. Nylon and plastics will come first, but metal printers won’t be far behind. Here are a few that you may see soon.
Anyone that reads this site has probably heard of 3D printing, but the idea of printing fibers will be new to most. “The Bug” is a sort of composite fiber 3D printing machine. Instead of simply laying melted plastic (or other media) on top of itself, it lays fibers with a UV-cured resin on top of each other.
Naturally, an exotic process like this needed an exotic-looking extruding head. From the photo above, it looks reminiscent of an alien spacecraft shooting a laser beam down onto unsuspecting earthlings. It’s possible that I’m reading too much into it.
Regardless of how the extruder looks, the process is still in development. The original print tool path had to almost be generated by hand. With some development into this process to get the bugs (no pun intended) worked out, this could be a really amazing process. Carbon fiber or fiberglass parts could conceivably be made to order like “normal” 3D printed items.
You can see this fiber printer in action in the two videos below. The first shows the latest results, which are a huge improvement over what’s shown in the second video. Hopefully this process is able to mature and turn into a viable option for mainstream additive manufacturing!
I love experimental and alternative uses of tools. 3D printing is incredibly popular right now, but mostly we don’t see very much experimentation with the already established practices of laying plastic layers down. Earlier this week I found Drooloops which were very cool and this week I’ve discovered Vessel.
Vessel is an experiment that uses your 3D printer to create something that is a little bit more chaotic and natural feeling than most typical 3d prints. As you can see in the video below, the filament is sometimes deposited from quite a distance above previous layers to allow it to droop into place. Aside from just being delivered more looseley, the design intentionally utilizes gaps in layers to create this woven looking finish.
You can attempt to design your own on the website (I had best luck in google chrome). Once you’ve got something designed, the page will spit out custom G-code to use with your printer. I’m still attempting to tweak things to get an actual print out of it, but as you can see, the creator DavidLobser has done some very successful prints.
Doodaddoes is back with another very clear and helpful video for 3D printing beginners. This time he’s exploring some very common problems with the first layer of a print. If anyone has been printing for a while, they can tell you that the first layer is extremely important and that they probably spent a lot of time figuring out the tips in this video. I know I would have appreciated this when I was just starting out.
If you’re just starting out, you may notice that his printer is the Delta configuration, which has 3 dangling arms. That makes no difference on the lessons he’s teaching. These tips will apply to you no matter which type of filament based printer you use.
In another move embracing the maker culture, the White House has announced their latest challenge. Design a 3D printable holiday ornament and it could be selected to be displayed at the White House.
This contest is being run through Instructibles, and is open to everyone. You don’t have to have a 3D printer, simply design a file that meets certain criteria and submit it here. The only physical limitation is that your item should fit inside a 3″x3″ volume. 8 pieces will be selected to be displayed in the East Wing of the White House during the holiday season.
After the festivities are over at the White House, your ornament will move to the political history division of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, where it will remain.
On the topic of what you should include in your design:
The model should be no larger than 3”x 3” and reflect the magic and wonder of the holidays, so think ornaments that represent winter sports, toys, activities, symbols, and anything that inspires you during the festive winter season. Want to incorporate a little twinkle to your designs as well? Design a piece that fits or clips onto a string of lights!.
Using her friends Zcorp 450 3D printers and a 3D model based on this one, Imgur user Talaaya first created a pepakura helmet to get the sizing right (you’ll want to be completely accurate when you print or it will be a very expensive mistake!), which she has included all the sizing files for the helmet and rest of the suit here. The helmet had to be printed in 4 pieces due to the size of the printer bed, and it required a lot of work to put them together. After gluing the pieces together, the peices became a little warped during the curing process (dipping the piece in or covering it with superglue) and to get everything lined back up, bondo and some grinding was required. Talaaya also points out that because 3D printers print in layers, the results have a grooved wood grain-like texture, which she filled with a thin layer of bondo and sanded down.
A large part of obtaining Eagle scout status is to do a project that benefits the community. Often these are things like park benches, drinking fountains, etc. Jacob Bruner had different ideas though. He wanted to bring 3D printing to his community. I especially loved the fact that this project doesn’t just provide something to the community, but also encourages other people to make things!
Jacob, can you tell me a little bit about what you’ve put together?
For my Project I created a 3D printing Lab in my Local Public Library. It took me about 9 months from start to finish. In that time I attendend board meetings, raised awareness, taught the public about 3D printing, fund raised almost $3,500 and built the lab and put it into the library. I also am in charge of finding volunteers to run the area because the library cant quite yet devote a staff member full time.
How did you end up deciding to do a 3D printing space in your library?
Originally for my project I was just going to put in park benches, but one day over dinner I had this idea, and I just HAD to do it. I am really passionate about 3D printing. It’s been a huge hobby of mine for about 3 years now. It started when i saved up my money to buy and build a Thing-o-matic, and since then its sort of taken over. Ive built two 3D printers, and I also got one in our school. Ive done presentations in the library and local clubs that im involved in, and I think its something that everyone should have access to. It’s just so cool, and I really think its the future, and I want to bring people into the future.
What kinds of things are people printing there?
Well right now we have a whole range of things. Mostly toys printer buy younger visitors, but as word spread that the printer is available we have been getting requests by artists for pieces they’re working on, another person needed a new hinge for a boat window that can no longer be bought, and i spoke to a person who is interested in printer parts for his custom guitars he makes. I can foresee a greater variety in prints as time goes on, after all its just coming up on it 1 month birthday.
Where is this located, just in case a Make reader happens to be local and would like to visit?
A very common problem found in 3D printing is that your E-Steps aren’t perfectly dialed in. This can result in little bulges or spots that are too thin. Most 3D printer manuals suggest that you check your E-steps when you begin, but the description of how to test can be a bit confusing sometimes. This quick video will walk you through how to check your E-steps. If you’re looking for more in depth information, Triffid Hunter’s calibration guide probably has the most information available not only on E-steps but most other calibration as well.