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3D printing will explode in 2014, thanks to the expiration of key patents - Quartz

3D printing will explode in 2014, thanks to the expiration of key patents - Quartz
Here’s what’s holding back 3D printing, the technology that’s supposed to revolutionize manufacturing and countless other industries: patents. In February 2014, key patents that currently prevent competition in the market for the most advanced and functional 3D printers will expire, says Duann Scott, design evangelist at 3D printing company Shapeways. These patents cover a technology known as “laser sintering,” the lowest-cost 3D printing technology. Whenever someone talks about 3D printing revolutionizing manufacturing, they’re talking about the kinds of goods produced by, for example, the industrial-grade 3D printing machines used by Shapeways. A huge drop in price and a flood of Chinese 3D printers Older models of 3D printers are already pouring out of China. Once the key patents on 3D printing via laser sintering expire, we could see huge drop in the price of these devices, says Scott. Many of those inexpensive 3D printers are being manufactured in—where else?

3D Printing You are in: Future Technologies : 3D Printing 3D Printing Imagine a future in which a device connected to a computer can print a solid object. A future in which we can have tangible goods as well as intangible services delivered to our desktops or highstreet shops over the Internet. Such a future may sound like it is being plucked from the worlds of Star Trek. The following provides an overview of 3D printing technologies and their present and likely future application. Current Technologies 3D printing is an additive technology in which objects are built up in a great many very thin layers. Another 3D printing technology based on the selective solidification of a tank of liquid -- or 'vat polymerization' -- is DLP projection. A final 3D printing technology that creates objects by using a light source to solidify a liquid photopolymer is known generically as 'material jetting', or commercially as 'polyjet matrix'. Commercial 3D Printers and Online Services Personal 3D Printing Finally(!)

Fast 3D printing with nanoscale precision 285-micron racecar (credit: Vienna University of Technology) Printing three dimensional objects with very fine details using two-photon lithography can now be achieved orders of magnitude faster than similar devices in a breakthrough by Vienna University of Technology (TU Vienna) researchers. The 3D printing process uses a liquid resin, which is hardened at precisely the correct spots by a focused laser beam. This fine resolution enables the creation of intricately structured sculptures as tiny as a grain of sand. This progress was made possible by combining several new ideas. Faster printing for large objects too “The resin contains molecules, activated by the laser light. In contrast to conventional 3D-printing techniques, solid material can be created anywhere within the liquid resin rather than on top of the previously created layer only. Because of the dramatically increased speed, much larger objects can now be created in a given period of time.

A very cool new video: A brief introduction to 4D printing It’s not often that you see a designer throw their creation on the ground and break it to smithereens. But that’s exactly what TED Fellow Skylar Tibbits does in the video above. Why? Because he works in the Self-Assembly Lab at MIT. In this video, Tibbits also explains his concept of 4D printing. This video is the latest in the Fellows in the Field series, which bring together young filmmakers and innovative thinkers who are a part of our TED Fellows program. Watch another amazing Fellows in the Field video, about a tool that may help micro-entrepreneurs in the developing world get formal loans »

RepRap *3D Printer that can print a 3D Printer* TEDxEWB Talk: Adrian Bowyer at Imperial College, London, introduces RepRap RepRap is humanity's first general-purpose self-replicating manufacturing machine. RepRap takes the form of a free desktop 3D printer capable of printing plastic objects. RepRap is about making self-replicating machines, and making them freely available for the benefit of everyone. is a community project, which means you are welcome to edit most pages on this site, or better yet, create new pages of your own. RepRap was the first of the low-cost 3D printers, and the RepRap Project started the open-source 3D printer revolution. RepRap was voted the most significant 3D-printed object in 2017. RepRap state-of-the-art is well represented by John Mulac's Mulbot and Mike Jeffs' ReprapMJ. About | Development | Community | RepRap Machines | Resources | Policy

Maybe We're Making It Too Easy For The Machines To Take Over This article is part of ReadWrite Future Tech, an annual series in which we explore how technologies that will shape our lives in the years to come are grounded in the innovation and research of today. We have seen the future, and it's starting to look a lot like Skynet. That self-aware computer system—yes, the one that tries to exterminate the human race in the Terminator movies (and one TV show)—is a potent symbol of Frankensteinian hubris. See also: Chips 'Inspired' By The Brain Could Be Computing's Next Big Thing The Singularity may never happen. Here, we'll just assume the worst comes to pass. Creating The Tools Of Our Demise What if computer code could write itself? See also: How Researchers Map The Future Of Innovation Scientists are already researching computer chips and networks that act like the human brain. We may look back one day and see this as the first step towards our doom. Computers and machines need instructions to do just about anything. Brains And Building

3D Printing Will Change the World I'd love for Emma Lavelle, a four-and-a-half-year-old, to be able to move her arms on her own. She was diagnosed at birth with Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita (AMC), a rare neuromuscular condition in which joints develop in the wrong places. When Emma was born, her legs were attached to her ears. But what's that, you say? Emma's already been given a robotic exoskeleton with custom-made appendages that allow her to move her arms. Incredible. Then I'd like a new house, please... I'd like it custom-designed and completely constructed in the next 20 hours — including plumbing, electric, and all fittings and finishes. Wait, what? Then I want custom cases for all my electronics, with design and aesthetics that relate to my hobbies and interests, and that are fully functional. Throw in a made-to-order charging dock in any shape or pattern I want that doubles as a speaker amplifier. These are also on the market? C'mon, you're telling me creating new organs from my existing ones can already be done?

The First 3-D Printed Book Cover Is Here It was only a matter of time: the first 3-D printed book cover has arrived. Published by Riverhead Books on Tuesday, a limited edition of Chang-Rae Lee’s novel On Such a Full Sea features a white slipcover with the title’s letters rising off the surface, making the book double as a sculpture. Designed by Riverhead’s art director Helen Yentus, the slipcover initially took 30 hours to print, until some streamlining reduced production to 15 hours each. Given this arduous creation process, the limited edition books are selling for a whopping $150--way more than the Kindle eBook edition, which is $11.99. The slipcover “re-introduces the idea of the book as an art object,” author Lee said in a statement announcing its release. The sleek design is fitting for a novel that takes place in the future. The 3-D printed limited edition of On Such A Full Sea is available for purchase here.

Foam-squirting quadcopter becomes a flying 3D printer The swiftlet may not look much different than other little birds, but it has one unique ability – it builds its nest out of its own saliva. Inspired by the swiftlet, scientists at Imperial College London's Aerial Robotics Lab have created a robotic quadcopter that can extrude polyurethane foam while in flight. By targeting where that foam goes, it can build up simple structures, essentially becoming a flying 3D printer. View all Developed mainly by Graham Hunt and other members of a team led by Dr. In its current form, the aircraft uses GPS and an external system of 16 infrared cameras to identify targets upon which to spray the foam, within an indoor lab. Down the road, however, Kovac's team hopes to create fully-autonomous UAVs equipped with their own high-speed cameras and 3D depth senors, that could function in a variety of chaotic, real-world conditions. It's a hexacopter, and instead of an extrusion system, it just has a disposable flat surface on its underside.

Scientists 'print' new eye cells 17 December 2013Last updated at 19:54 ET By Michelle Roberts Health editor, BBC News online Many teams are researching different ways to repair the sight-giving cells of the retina Scientists say they have been able to successfully print new eye cells that could be used to treat sight loss. The proof-of-principle work in the journal Biofabrication was carried out using animal cells. The Cambridge University team says it paves the way for grow-your-own therapies for people with damage to the light-sensitive layer of tissue at back of the eye - the retina. More tests are needed before human trials can begin. Continue reading the main story “Start Quote This is a step in the right direction as the retina is often affected in many of the common eye conditions, causing loss of central vision which stops people watching TV and seeing the faces of loved ones” End QuoteClara Eaglen of the RNIB The printed cells remained healthy and retained their ability to survive and grow in culture. Retinal repair

Filabot Turns Your Plastic Junk Into Material for 3-D Printers | Wired Design It’s all too easy for forget the first two R’s before “recycle”: “reduce” and “re-use.” By letting makers reuse their plastic scrap, Filabot helps skip the recycle box. Photo: Whitney Trudo Filabot promises to help turn your plastic crap into 3-D printed fanciness, alleviating one of the biggest sustainability problems for 3-D printing. Just over a year ago, Tyler McNaney was on break from college. For desktop 3-D printers to work, they need some kind of material to work with. Think a meat grinder on top of a pasta maker and you get the general idea. The need for something like this is enormous. “I am working on this because this is the next system that is needed for at-home manufacturing,” says McNaney. “3-D printing is in its infancy, and when coupled with a Filabot a 3-D printer will be a complete closed-loop recycling system on your desk, office or school. Unlike some of the more outlandish promises about how 3-D printing might save the world, McNaney’s project has a point.

9 Things I Learned From Attending the World's Largest 3D Printing Conference (HPQ) 3D-printed prototypes from Stratasys. Source: Author. I recently attended EuroMold 2014, the world's largest 3D printing conference, held in Frankfurt, Germany. Here are nine things I learned about the industry. 1. 2. 3. At EuroMold, TNO, a research organization based in the Netherlands, showcased a "racetrack" 3D printing platform concept, whereby print beds visit various 3D print-head stations, boosting print speeds by up to 10 times compared to conventional 3D printing methods -- in an extremely similar manner to 3D Systems' own "racetrack" 3D printing concept. 4. At the same time, it's frightening for industry prospects that HP is entering the space, because HP brings decades of inkjet-based experience, has nearly five times as much cash on hand as the industry generated in worldwide revenues last year, and comes armed with an extensive reseller network. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. The smartest investors are betting big on this Apple supplierNow we know.

voxeljet Concept: The First Continuous 3D Printer If there ever was a major leap in the evolution of the 3D printer, the voxeljet Concept is the benchmark machine to follow. In the explosive arena of start-ups that produce innovative 3D-printers, voxeljet has decided to challenge and change the direction of how 3D printers work. Taking a look at three specific factors that set this process apart from others on the market, it becomes quite clear just how revolutionary this concept is. The ability to have a continuous supply of consumables delivered to the machines as it is making a model. At a layer thickness of 150 to 400 microns, the resolution is decent when compared to others 3D printers but it is worth noting that this is still in the concept phase so there is the possibility to improve the layer thickness. Continuous 3D-Printing Technology represents a new dimension in the manufacturing of moulds and models without tools. Check the promo vid after the jump...

This Robot Can 3-D Print A Steel Bridge In Mid-Air In 2017, Dutch designer Joris Laarman will wheel a robot to the brink of a canal in Amsterdam. He'll hit an "on" button. He'll walk away. And when he comes back two months later, the Netherlands will have a new, one-of-a-kind bridge, 3-D printed in a steel arc over the waters. This isn't some proof-of-concept, either: when it's done, it will be as strong and as any other bridge. That's the plan, anyway. MX3D isn't some high-tech concept; it actually works. "We thought to ourselves: what is the most iconic thing we could print in public that would show off what our technology is capable of?" The finished bridge will be around 24 feet long, support normal Amsterdam foot traffic, and feature a beautiful, intricate design that looks far more handcrafted than the detailing on most bridges. Most 3-D printers use resin or plastic to construct objects. As for the printer: it isn't much like a Makerbot or any other desktop 3-D printer. Laarman isn't going this alone. Take error control.