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The shape of things to come: A consumer's guide to 3D printers

The shape of things to come: A consumer's guide to 3D printers
CES 2013 proved to be something of a coming out party for consumer-facing 3D printers. Sure MakerBot earned a fair amount of attention at last year's show with the announcement of the Replicator, which snagged its share of awards from various press outlets. This year, however, saw a relative deluge in 3D-printing representation, with strong showings from 3D Systems, FormLabs, MakerBot and the cloud-based 3D printer, Sculpteo. Even with so many companies rising to prominence, the dream of truly mainstream 3D printing still feels a ways off -- if that is indeed where we're inevitably heading. These nascent days are an exciting time, with a diverse array of companies and organizations vying to be the first to bring the technology to our homes. In a sense, many roads lead back to RepRap, the open-source, community-fueled project aimed at creating a self-replicating machine. 3D Systems 3D Systems has been in the 3D-printing game since before the term was coined. Bits from Bytes Eventorbot Pwdr Related:  Archive

FoldaRap FoldaRap2 Release status: working In my obsession dreaming of a folding RepRap, I finally started to make one, after 5-7 months of development I'm able to travel with it around the town/country/world :) (adventures pictured on flickr / youtube / ustream) And now several people have build one : FoldaRap_Hall-of-Builds, even some by sourcing themselves the parts : google-maps (the red dots) Specifications Printed Parts: 33 Non-Printed Parts: 285 (including every bolts/nuts/washers/ferules/etc.) Special Features Foldable ! Community FoldaRap 2.5 new plates arrangement for the v2.5, to ease color associations ;) FoldaRap 2.1 after several tries and suggestions with Xav83, I ended with this simple piece that hold an endstop with a zip-tie :) (for the Z-endstop, or any machine using 20x20 extrusions) FoldaRap 1.0

Is Antibacterial Soap Bad For You? It seems like everything is antibacterial these days, from soaps and lotions to mattress pads and pizza cutters, which really makes you wonder how the world got along before the discovery of Triclosan. Ah, Triclosan, the miracle-working active ingredient in antibacterial soaps, toothpastes, and a galaxy of other consumer products: this unassuming antibacterial compound has infiltrated nearly every aspect of our lives. In my posts for this week and the next I’ll be exploring the profound effects Triclosan has on human health, the environment, and antibiotic resistance, all to answer the (deceptively) simple question: is antibacterial soap bad for you? Bacteria are attacking our pizza? What is Triclosan, and why is it in Pizza cutters? Triclosan was developed as a broad-spectrum antibiotic (that is, to kill a wide range of bacteria) and has been used in clinical settings since the late ‘60s to help prevent nosocomial (that is, hospital-borne) infections. “Out, damn’d spot! Human toxicity?

DIY BioPrinter We started out by messing around with an old inkjet printer that we literally saved from a sidewalk somewhere. There's already plenty of interesting things you can do with an low-end off-the-shelf inkjet printer, but they do have some limitations, which we'll get into in the next Step (or skip straight to Step 3 for how we built our own bioprinter from scratch, that you can see in the first picture above). Undressing the Printer We disassembled an abandoned HP 5150 inkjet printer for use as a bioprinter. Just rip off all the plastic covers you can find, but make sure you can still operate the reset buttons etc. on the front panel. There's a little momentary switch that senses whether the cover is open. There's also a momentary switch inside the paper handling mechanism that senses whether paper has been loaded. Once you've got your printer all undressed, and figured out how to activate the cover-closed switch - print something! Cartridges Prep Filling the Cartridges

Experiments Find Strongest Shapes with 3D Printing Physics lab uses 3D printing to test complex qualities of shapes made via computer Newswise — Prof. Heinrich Jaeger’s research group examines materials and phenomena that appear simple at the surface, but which reveal tremendous complexity upon close examination. Jamming lends itself to soft robotics, in addition to other applications as explored in a workshop at the University of Chicago last October. Miskin and Jaeger addressed a daunting question in their research: Given a design goal for the jammed aggregate, for example to have it as stiff or as soft as possible in response to an applied force, what particle shape will best produce the desired outcome? The computer designed particles by starting from a random shape, and then iteratively altered its configuration, at each stage performing a series of simulations that tested how close the performance approximated the stated goal. Comment/Share

Metamáquina - Metamáquina - criamos máquinas que criam máquinas End robocaller, solicitation, and hangup calls with Asterisk & Raspberry Pi | Technical Intercession Do you have a land-line that is constantly barraged with unwanted robo, solicitation, and “hangup” calls, even though you’re on the do not call registries? This project uses a Raspberry Pi and an OBi110 voice-bridge to create an Automated Attendant (AA) to screen calls for you! The annoyance calls on my line have dropped from five or six/day (with many more during political “seasons”) to zero. Raspberry Pi and OBi110 You won’t need to dive deeply into Asterisk to create this project. Basic Analog Phone with answering machine Secretly, what we’re doing is turning your old analogue phone into a VoIP phone using the OBi110 (a voice bridge), so that calls can be handled digitally by the Raspberry Pi. Configuration of the OBi110 can be done via the phone hand-set, but it’s (much) easier using the web interface. Note: The configuration described in this post assumes that you have only a single phone or base-station on a POTS line. The basic steps for this project are: dpkg-reconfigure tzdata

Guest Post: Cory Doctorow for Freedom to Read Week | Blog | Raincoast Books ← Back to Blog by Dan Guest Blogger + YA Fiction / February 24, 2013 Freedom to Read Week is an annual event that encourages Canadians to think about and reaffirm their commitment to intellectual freedom, which is guaranteed them under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. To mark this year's Freedom to Read Week, which starts today, we asked author Cory Doctorow to contribute a guest post on libraries and technology. Libraries, Hackspaces and E-waste: how libraries can be the hub of a young maker revolution Every discussion of libraries in the age of austerity always includes at least one blowhard who opines, "What do we need libraries for? Facepalm. The problem is that Mr. Libraries have also served as community hubs, places where the curious, the scholarly, and the intellectually excitable could gather in the company of one another, surrounded by untold information-wealth, presided over by skilled information professionals who could lend technical assistance where needed. Cory Doctorow

3D Printing Technologies to receive a £7 million boost | NPI Blog The ‘Inspiring New Design Freedoms in Additive Manufacturing’ competition, launched recently by science minister David Willetts, is expected to promote advances in 3D Printing when it launches on 3 December. The competition is funded through the Technology Strategy Board (TSB). Willets said: “3D printing technologies offer huge potential for UK businesses to compete successfully by embracing radically different manufacturing techniques that could be applied across a wide variety of global market sectors, from aerospace to jewellery.” “We believe this new investment will help UK companies make the step change necessary to reach new markets and gain competitive advantage.” The TSB chief executive Iain Gray added: “By working together to stimulate innovation in this exciting and challenging area, we aim to accelerate the transition from fundamental research to the creation of new design, production and supply-chain competences, capitalising on work we have previously funded.”