Entries in video (56)
by General Fabb
It's another week and obviously time for another new 3D printer launch on Kickstarter. This week the Zim 3D printer launched, hoping to raise funds for its first production run.
With new 3D printers launch almost daily, it is very difficult for new entrants to distinguish themselves above the other offerings. What does Zim offer?
First, we must say their 3D printing mechanism is quite comparable to alternatives. It uses similar filament, extruders and motion gear to produce objects on its (optional) heated bed with resolution similar or slightly better than the competition.
This is not sufficient to distinguish Zim from other 3D printers.
But we see they have explored two areas not previously addressed by other manufacturers.
First, their filament management seems superior to the traditional spools dangling nearby the machine. The Zim includes a unique filament cartridge that not only sits invisibly under the machine, but it can also accept any filament you'd like to use, too. The cartridge is also water-tight, meaning you can safely store water-soluble support material like PVA.
The second area of interest is connectivity. The Zim includes WiFi and Ethernet connections, more than some other machines offer. That's interesting and useful, but even more so is their app. The app connects to the Zim and can show you a live view of your print's progress via a tiny camera and light installed inside the machine. You can stop the print if necessary or even send an image of the print to your buddies.
We think the camera and app combination is terribly important. Any 3D printer owner will tell you that it is mandatory to watch your print, particularly lengthy prints, simply because there is a non-zero failure rate. There's nothing more frustrating than arriving tomorrow to see your 26 hour print as a jumble of extruded spaghetti. The Zim won't fix bad prints, but it will let you stop them before you waste your valuable plastic filament. What a great idea!
The Zim 3D project now seeks funds for their first production run. You can pre-order a unit for as low as USD$599 (USD$799 for dual head) right now, which is a very good price for an assembled personal 3D printer.
Is the Zim 3D different? We think so.
Here's an interesting marketing angle: Coca Cola Israel recently launched their new "mini bottle". To promote it they offered a free 3D print of the winners. Yes, "of the winners".
A contest selected a small number of winning entrants, who were then invited to Coca Cola Israel's factory, where sophisticated full-body 3D scanners captured their shapes. After a quick 3D print in a 3D Systems color printer, the winners were presented with a model of themselves.
The video describes the gift as: "we gave them a personal experience they will remember forever." While a 3D printed figurine is pretty unique today, we suspect in the future it won't be. And the quality of the print will be much better, too. Years from now they'll look back at the experience and realize they were slightly ahead of everyone else.
A new video has surfaced of experiments with 3D printed bullets. The video, produced by popular gun video enthusiasts Taofledermaus, shows three actual firings of said bullets.
One firing involves 1/10 of an ounce (3g) of powder, another is 1/2 an ounce (14g) and the third shows a very unusual shape, which fails miserably. The first two appear to work very well, to the surprise of the experimenters, who seem to have not seen 3D printed items previously.
The "bullet" is mounted on the a shotgun shell and fired from a shotgun. It does contain a small bit of lead because the bullet would not otherwise contain enough mass to work properly. The experimenters also suggest that firing in a rifled barrel (spirally carved) would dramatically increase the accuracy of the bullet.
While this development is not totally unexpected, such ammunition would be easily detectable as gunpowder residue would be significant. Another issue is the production time for these would be hours per bullet; no one is going to mass produce ammunition using this technique.
Stratasys has released a video detailing some of their secret (well, maybe not so secret) finishing processes. The video shows various tumbling media machines that operate similar to rock polishing tumblers - an object is tossed around within a bath of rough media. Gradually the objects become smooth after a relatively short period in the tumbler.
What's interesting for home 3D printer operators is the explanation of the different types of tumbling media used at Stratasys. Through extensive experimentation Stratasys has determined the best type of media for different 3D printed plastics.
This approach could easily be replicated by hobbyists using much smaller tumblers, if similar tumbling media could be obtained. We took a quick look and found sources for said media, but the minimum order was 800 pounds. Anyone need any?
Have an idle 3D printer and a GoPro action cam? Why not build yourself your very own GoPro steadicam mount? An Instructables by member haqnmaq shows you all the necessary steps, including 3D printing several parts for the key mechanism.
The Instructable includes the STL 3D models for the Fork and Gimbal pieces, which you can easily print. All other required parts are simply common screws, bolts, nuts, washers, a threaded rod, a shoelace and the handle from a paint roller. Easy!
Your 3D printer is designed to make stuff - for you. Make it so!
Fabbaloo's own General Fabb appears in a video produced by the Winnipeg Free Press. In the video our General introduces the concept of 3D printing in a minute or two for those who haven't been exposed to the technology.
The video takes place at Canada's largest makerspace, AssentWorks, another venture by the General. The 9,000sf makerspace is equipped with nearly USD$700,000 of advanced equipment, including several 3D printers that appear in the video.
PBS has produced a brief seven minute video providing an overview of 3D printing, including interviews with Solidoodle, Shapeways and Wired.
They cover the possibilities of the technology, whether for good or evil and generally get you wound up about the future. Exciting!
And now some 3D Printing history. This amazing historic TV clip originates with a show entitled, "Good Morning America" and is dated from 1989 - twenty-four years ago.
It's so ancient they don't even refer to the process as "3D Printing", but use "Stereolithography", the name of the process just then invented by Chuck Hull, who is also interviewed in the piece. Who's Chuck Hull, you ask? He's the founder of 3D Systems. That Chuck Hull.
The piece also features an early Apple Computer (as it was then known) using stereolithography to help design a modem case shown here.
Finally we can confirm that this video was actually taken in the 1980s by this screen cap of GMA then-host, the very beautiful Joan Lunden. Definitely 1980s. She says, ominously:
Boy, it will be really interesting to see how scientists take this now and apply it in the future.
Welcome to The Future.
Chief Correspondent Carolyn Jarvis of Canada's Global TV presented a very comprehensive look at today's state of 3D printing on their current affairs show, "16x9". We bring this to your attention as this is perhaps the most mature examination of the technology we've recently seen by the media, which recently has tended towards the spectacular, outrageous and outright incorrectness. Not so in this video.
In the 13 minute video, Jarvis not only explains how the technology works, but visits several key figures in today's 3D printing industry.
Dr. Anthony Atala of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Technology explains the current state of bio-printing, with a focus on printing human organs.
Cornell's Dr. Hod Lipson explains some of the more unusual uses of 3D printing that have developed since the advent of industrial prototypes some twenty years ago.
Bre Pettis, CEO of MakerBot, explains the process of public education his company has undertaken by opening a retail store in New York City for the public to view 3D printers and 3D printed objects.
Cody Wilson, spokesman for Defense Distributed, and also named one of the most dangerous people in 3D printing, explains his view on 3D printed weaponry. Wilson also demonstrates printing the critical lower receiver piece of the AR-15 rifle and even fires it on camera. It lasts for eleven rounds before failing.
The video also includes clips of many amazing 3D printed feats, such as the Urbee 3D printed car, chocolate printing and printing unborn children.
At CES we spent some quality time with Formlabs Co-Founder Maxim Lobovsky. After we sorted out the bizarre food ordering procedure at a funky Japanese burger food truck, we talked about Formlab's experience so far.
As a startup company, they're heavily concerned with focusing on delivering a quality product. Lobovsky says, "Everyone has ideas on what we should be doing", but their challenge is to work on only the critical elements to achieve success. They've kept the design of the Form 1 as simple as possible for the initial release, leaving more complex improvements until later.
Lobovsky could not tell us how many units have been ordered beyond their spectacular Kickstarter campaign, which sold an amazing 1,028 machines. However, we got the impression it was "lots".
Back inside the show, Lobovsky managed to give us a personal tour through the Form 1, demonstrating the simplicity of its operation.
The Form 1 is not yet shipping until May, but Lobovsky says they have a US-based manufacturing operation that can do the job. Meanwhile, they are still accepting orders if you'd like to own one of these USD$3,299 machines.