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New tool gives structural strength to 3-D printed works. Objects created using 3-D printing have a common flaw: They are fragile and often fall apart or lose their shape.

New tool gives structural strength to 3-D printed works

"I have an entire zoo of broken 3-D printed objects in my office," said Bedrich Benes, an associate professor of computer graphics at Purdue University. The printed fabrications often fail at points of high stress. "You can go online, create something using a 3-D printer and pay $300, only to find that it isn't strong enough to survive shipping and arrives in more than one piece," said Radomir Mech, senior research manager from Adobe's Advanced Technology Labs. The 3-D printers create shapes layer-by-layer out of various materials, including metals and plastic polymers. Whereas industry has used 3-D printing in rapid prototyping for about 15 years, recent innovations have made the technology practical for broader applications, he said. "Now 3-D printing is everywhere," Benes said. Findings were detailed in a paper presented during the SIGGRAPH 2012 conference in August. The Year of 2011 in 3D Printing. As the year comes to an end, we often tend to reflect on the events that occurred within it and boy… was there lot to reflect on in 2011.

The Year of 2011 in 3D Printing

If there is one thing that became obvious to us, it’s that 3D printing has come a long way since our reflections of last year. This year the 3D printing world was dominated by an impressive amount of 3D Systems acquisitions, a tremendous growth of new desktop 3D printers and a much larger media coverage than it had ever received before. We went through hundreds of articles and news items on 3D printing and found it quite a challenge to scale down the amount of information.

A very difficult and tight selection process was made which became our year in 3D printing of 2011. As we made this selection, we quickly realized that we couldn’t sum up this year’s 3D printing events without a much more detailed Dipity Timeline. Click on the image to view the timeline 3DTin is born A web-based easy-to-use 3D creation platform is made available to the public.

Dr. Prepping Blender Files for 3D Printing. This tutorial was written by Shapeways community member Jeff LaMarche.

Prepping Blender Files for 3D Printing

Introduction Okay, I've been fighting the good fight with Blender for a few weeks trying to convert some models I originally created for rendering into a printable file. I've learned a lot in the process, so I thought I'd share some of what I've learned. Forgive me if some of this is obvious. Most of it, I was not able to find when I was looking, though I am admittedly not the most experienced Blender user in the world. Finding non-manifold edges If you have a model created from several objects or meshes, first make sure that each individual mesh is manifold (water-tight). The fast, easy to build, affordable 3D printer – 3D printing for everyone!

The Public Library, Completely Reimagined. Teaching Strategies Fayetteville Free Library, by Lauren Smedley You’ll hear a lot of talk about the “death of the public library” these days.

The Public Library, Completely Reimagined

It isn’t simply the perpetual budget crises that many face either. It’s the move to digital literature, and the idea that once there are no more print books (or rather if there are no more print books), the library as an institution will cease to exist. Librarians will remind you, of course, that a library is much more than a book repository. But these new formats will indeed change libraries — how they operate as well as how they look. Earlier this year, MAKE Magazine’s Phillip Torrone wrote a provocative article asking “Is it time to rebuild and retool libraries and make ‘techshops’?”

“Yes!” Lauren Smedley, assembling the MakerBot So far, the Fab Lab is equipped with a MakerBot, a 3D printer that lets you “print” plastic pieces of your own design. Smedley says she plans on adding other equipment as well, including a CNC Router and a laser cutter. Ultimaker: There’s a New 3D Printer in Town. The new Ultimaker 3D printer made in the Netherlands has arrived in the US.

Ultimaker: There’s a New 3D Printer in Town

The machine, which prints bigger and faster than MakerBot printers, was created by three Dutch makers who met at the Fab Lab in Utrecht, Holland two years ago. The Lab is one of dozens of digital fabrication centers around the world affiliated with MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms. Fab Lab/Utrecht’s manager, Siert Wijnia, collaborated with web designer Martijn Elserman and grad student Erik De Bruijn on the speedy new machine. “We wanted to have a better 3D printer, not necessarily to start a business,” says De Bruijn, who had built several open source RepRap 3D printers before tackling the project. “If Fab Lab wasn’t there, this whole thing wouldn’t have happened,” insists Elserman.