Entries in usage (38)
But now we find a truly innovative use of rubber stamps that brings that pre-20th century technology into the 21st. It all has to do with something called "QR Codes". They are a standard of two-dimensional bar codes, and can be used for a variety of scanned identification purposes, much like the more common bar codes we'd find pasted on the side of grocery store items.
One use that's becoming more popular, especially in Japan, is to encode a website URL into a QR Code. Then by scanning the QR Code, typically done with a mobile phone equipped with a camera and some software, the URL is decoded, a web browser is launched, and presto - you're at the website!
One interesting bit in the video: Sony Ericcson maintains a library of their previous models, physically showing the entire history of mobile phone design!
Power goes out and you need to enough light to shut down the UPS-protected computers? LED puck. Camping and you need to find your gear inside your tent? Puck. Kidnapped and locked inside a trunk? Puck. (Also “cocktail party,” but that’s a different movie.) It’s dark and you want to show off a cool gizmo? Puck!You can read a series of posts by Keith as he develops the unusual device. But the post we're interested in is his experience with a 3D printer. His problem, the same encountered by many designers, is that he wasn't willing to commit to a final design without trying a prototype. He used a colleague's 3D printer (Dimension) to build the prototype of the Puck's case. The post takes us through the entire process, with images showing each stage of the printing process, and his commentary as a new user of 3D printing.
While the properties of the result from this printer were not quite what was required for the device, we suspect there might be other printers that could deliver what Keith needs.
No, they're not producing a magical 3D development framework with a ton of plugins. At least not that we know of.
No, they've just joined up with Beneluxspoor.net, a community of European model railroad enthusiasts. We've written about the application of 3D printing to model railways before, and it seems to be a natural fit.
Shapeways thinks so too, as they have just announced a special portal (or "Theme Page" as they term it) designed to accommodate the needs of the railroaders. At this page the works of the modelers are featured, and you can even press a few buttons to have Shapeways print them for you.
We think this is a fascinating way for Shapeways to connect with a specific group of clients and prospects. One can imagine Theme Pages for all manner of special interest groups. By establishing these groups early on, Shapeways may be able to gain a critical mass of participants and be the big dog repository in each area. Great idea, Shapeways!
As many other design firms have discovered, Intent Design has realized the benefits of using 3D printing in their business:
The ZPrinter(R) 450's simplicity, speed, color, quality and affordability foster fruitful design reviews and provide clients with deep insight into what we're proposing
ZPrinted 3D physical models give buyers a chance to touch, manipulate and scrutinize tangible objects from every angle instead of just viewing them on a flat screen. These capabilities help close deals and ensure client expectations are met.
For internal design review, Intent uses 3D printing to quickly and affordably create physical models of injection-molded parts - a stylish supermarket end cap, for example. These concept prototypes cost one-eighth of the money and hands-on time of CNC-milled prototypes, says Dodd, resulting in more prototypes and, ultimately, more highly refined designs.
Now this is the aspect we're interested in today. It's not just cheaper than before, although these days that might be highly desirable. It's the phrase "more highly refined designs" that grabs us.
Here's the idea: if it's cheaper to produce a model, then you can potentially make more of them. One after another. Each better than the last. A stream of incrementally improving designs lets a design firm gradually evolve the best solution.
That's how we think about it: 3D printing makes your designs better than cheap!
New Scientist reports on a medical breakthrough using 3D printing: exact replicas of finger bones have been produced. Christian Weinand of Berne Switzerland has been testing a new technique in which a 3D model of a finger bone is fed into a 3D printer, and an exact duplicate is printed. By using a suitable print medium (in this case "tricalcium phosphate and a type of polylactic acid - natural structural materials found in the human body") the resulting artificial bone can be inserted into the body and take over for the failed bone. Weinand says:
In theory, you could do any bone. Now I can put spares in my pocket if I want.
You're probably wondering exactly how you get a 3D model of a bone that requires replacement. If it's being replaced, presumably it's severely damaged, or even missing. The answer is straightforward - simply scan a model from its counterpart on the opposite hand! Obviously, this approach has some limitations, as there are singularly appearing bones, and what if both sides were damaged?
Via New Scientist