- Accuracy within 0.2mm
- Simplified mechanics: only the Z-platform moves; the DLP illumination handles the X-Y axis
- Extremely fine detail: minimum feature size is only 138 microns, due to the DLP resolution. Smooth!
- Apparently twice as fast as competing systems
- Each layer operation is the same in duration, as the DLP lights up the entire surface at once; no extra waiting if you're printing several parts
- Reasonably generous build size 26.0 x 16.0 x 19.0 cm
by General Fabb
It's a brand new, lower-cost option from ZCorp for building objects - but it uses a very different approach. It's not like their 3D printers, which use a fused-powder technique. Instead the ZBuilder Ultra uses "a high-resolution Digital Light Processor (DLP) projector to solidify a liquid photopolymer", similar to laser sintering.
Here's the specifications highlights:
We're quite intrigued with this new "parallel" building approach, which upon some thought seems a lot more like "printing" than "depositing". Perhaps this speedy new approach will be used in other devices to come?
The new 163Kg (360 lb) device will be available in July at a cost of USD$34,900. That's a lot more than hobbyists can afford, but the unique features of this device will surely be attractive to many manufacturing companies.
Who thought 3D printing would have seasons? Turns out that Shapeways does - they've just announced a special set of what they call "Summer Colors", available for inclusion in your Shapeways 3D prints until September.
The set of colors was chosen by popular vote, and include:
- Summer Blue
- Summer Green
- Summer Magenta
These colors, while very attractive, do have a cost: it will be USD$4 plus almost USD$2 per cubic centimetre after that. Is the price worth it? We think so, who could argue with the cute bunnies?
3D service Materialise has been working with the Signature F3 Euro Series team to fine tune their racing cars, apparently quite successfully.
The approach is to duplicate the aerodynamic scenario by testing a scale model of the proposed car design in a wind tunnel. By tweaking the shape of critical parts, the airflow can be highly optimized with great confidence the same effects will occur at full size on the track.
Materialise produced a starter set of 50 parts for testing, but this will increase to approximately 200 through the four test sets. The car model is scaled to one metre in length so that parts can be easily produced and tested. Precision manufacturing is absolutely required in order to ensure accurate airflow. Materialise achieved this using their laser sintering capabilities.
(Note: the image above is *not* from the actual Signature test; that, of course, is Top Secret.)
How did they do? They finished first and second in the initial two races!
3D Scanner manufacturer GKS Global Services has introduced a really simple method of obtaining complex 3D scans. They're addressing the scenario where you need a 3D model of an existing physical object, but you can't afford to buy your own scanner and/or don't happen to have the skills to convert the data into a usable 3D model.
How simple is it? There's only three steps:
- Send them a photo of the object in question. They'll use the photo to provide a quote for the work
- Send the part (assuming you accept their quote)
- Wait for your 3D model to arrive
We presume there's a fourth step in which your original part is returned, but they don't mention that specifically.
The service can provide STL, parasoled or parametric results. They also offer onsite scans if required - if your object doesn't happen to fit in a box.
A question on Hack A Day asks, "Im looking for someone with a 3d printer to help me manafacture 620 spools for old cameras. Anybody?"
We suspect there just might be some Fabbaloo readers out there that could definitely get this done. Try the link below to get in contact with the questioner if you'd like to help.
And what is a "620 spool" anyway? Check the Brownie Camera link for more images. According to Wikipedia, 620 format was discontinued in 1995:
The 620 format was introduced by Kodak in 1931 as an intended alternative to 120. Although mostly used by Kodak cameras, it became very popular. The 620 format is essentially the same film on a thinner and narrower all-metal spool (the 120 spool core was made of wood at that time)
Tomas Pettersson has created a pretty amazing sculpting tool in his spare time: Sculptris. The Windows-based software provides a very intuitive way to model freeform sculptures. Using simple controls, a designer can quickly produce symmetrical shapes of great detail and beauty. You must watch the video to appreciate how easily an artist can produce amazing models.
Right now Sculptris is free, although creator Tomas would appreciate a donation if possible:
I don't want to demand any payment for the application, but of course I will appreciate a donation if you feel like it is valuable to you. Take a moment to consider what it would be worth in your particular case.A pizza? A movie ticket? A day's salary?
Atomic force microscopy (AFM) or scanning force microscopy (SFM) is a very high-resolution type of scanning probe microscopy, with demonstrated resolution on the order of fractions of a nanometer, more than 1000 times better than the optical diffraction limit. The precursor to the AFM, the scanning tunneling microscope
A device of this staggering capability is surely massively expensive, no?
It turns out it isn't. And in fact, you can make one yourself using plans and STL files developed at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München by Ferdinand Kühner, Robert A. Lugmaier, Steffen Mihatsch, and Hermann E. Gaub. The tutorial explains in brief how it's put together and the parts list, but for a full explanation you'd best head over here to purchase the complete paper, but if you're adventurous you can download the STL files and get started right away!
There's a great photojourney of a visit through Aachen's FabLab at lekernel’s scrapbook, including images of their 3D printer, laser cutter and milling machine. What exactly is a "FabLab"? Here's the Wikipedia definition:
A Fab Lab (fabrication laboratory) is a small-scale workshop with an array of computer controlled tools that cover several different length scales and various materials, with the aim to make "almost anything". This includes technology-enabled products generally perceived as limited to mass production.
However, during the FabLab tour, some controversy is observed:
The 3D printer produces object of outstanding quality. It uses regular plastic wire (the same as in Reprap), however, the manufacturer is trying to make sure that only their wire (that they sell with a large profit margin) is being used in the machine. The wire cartridges come with a chip that prevents them from being refilled with inexpensive plastic wire. Unfortunately, the fablab people did not even try to hack the system for fear of breaking the machine. Come on!
That just might be the price to be paid to receive quality prints, at least until RepRap/MakerBot/BFB raise their products' capabilities.