industrial design

The Zortrax Apoller safely smooths 3D prints

Posted by | 3d printing, design, Emerging-Technologies, Gadgets, industrial design, microwave, TC, zortrax | No Comments

The Zortrax Apoller is a Smart Vapor Smoothing device that uses solvents to smooth the surface of 3D-printed objects. The resulting products look like they are injection molded and all of the little lines associated with FDM printing will disappear.

The system uses a microwave-like chamber that can hold multiple parts at once. The chamber atomizes the solvent, covering the parts, and lets the solvent do its work. Once its done it then sucks the excess vapor back into a collection chamber. The system won’t open until all of the solvent is gone, ensuring you don’t get a face full of acetone. This is an important consideration since this is sold as a desktop device and having clouds of solvent in the air at the office Christmas party could be messy.

“Vapor-smoothed models get the look of injection-molded parts with a glossy or matte finish depending on the filament used. With a dual condensation process, a 300ml bottle of solvent can be used for smoothing multiple prints instead of just one. This efficiency means that the combined weekly output of four typical FDM 3D printers can be automatically smoothed within one day without loss of quality,” the company wrote.

Given the often flimsy structural quality of FDM prints, this smoothing is more cosmetic and allows you, in theory, to create molds from 3D printed parts. In reality these glossy, acetone smoothed parts just look better and give you a better idea what the finished product — injection-molded or milled — will look like when all is said and done.

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Researchers discover a new way to identify 3D printed guns

Posted by | 3d printing, Buffalo, design, Emerging-Technologies, Fingerprint, Gadgets, industrial design, Makerbot, printer, printing, TC, technology | No Comments

Researchers at the University at Buffalo have found that 3D printers have fingerprints, essentially slight differences in design that can be used to identify prints. This means investigators can examine the layers of a 3D printed object and pinpoint exactly which machine produced the parts.

“3D printing has many wonderful uses, but it’s also a counterfeiter’s dream. Even more concerning, it has the potential to make firearms more readily available to people who are not allowed to possess them,” said Wenyao Xu, lead author of the study.

The researchers found that tiny wrinkles in each layer of plastic can be used to identify a “printer’s model type, filament, nozzle size and other factors cause slight imperfections in the patterns.” They call their technology PrinTracker.

“Like a fingerprint to a person, these patterns are unique and repeatable. As a result, they can be traced back to the 3D printer,” wrote the researchers.

This process works primarily with FDM printers like the Makerbot which use long spools of filament to deposit layers of plastic onto a build plate. Because the printers used in 3D printed guns are usually more complex and more expensive there could be less variation in the individual layers and, more importantly, the layers might be harder to discern. However, for some simpler plastic parts could exhibit variations.

“3D printers are built to be the same. But there are slight variations in their hardware created during the manufacturing process that lead to unique, inevitable and unchangeable patterns in every object they print,” said Xu.

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XYZPrinting announces the da Vinci Color Mini

Posted by | 3d printing, ceo, equipment, Gadgets, indiegogo, industrial design, office equipment, printer, printing, TC, xyzprinting | No Comments

XYZPrinting may have finally cracked the color 3D printing code. Their latest machine, the $1,599 da Vinci Color Mini is a full color printer that uses three CMY ink cartridges to stain the filament as it is extruded, allowing for up to 15 million color combinations.

The printer is currently available for pre-order on Indiegogo for $999.

The printer can build objects 5.1″ x 5.1″ x 5.1″ in size and it can print PLA or PETG. A small ink cartridge stains the 3D Color-inkjet PLA as it comes out, creating truly colorful objects.

“Desktop full-color 3D printing is here. Now, consumers can purchase an easy-to-operate, affordable, compact full-color 3D printer for $30,000 less than market rate. This is revolutionary because we are giving the public access to technology that was once only available to industry professionals,” said Simon Shen, CEO of XYZprinting.

The new system is aimed at educational and home markets and, at less than a $1,000, it hits a unique and important sweet spot in terms of price. While the prints aren’t perfect, being able to print in full color for the price of a nicer single color 3D printer is pretty impressive.

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Markforged announces two 3D printers that produce items as strong as steel

Posted by | 3d printing, Gadgets, industrial design, manufacturing, markforged, printer, printing, TC, technology, typography | No Comments

 Markforged, a 3D printer manufacturer based in Boston, has just announced two new models — the X3 and the X5. Both of these printers are designed to create carbon fiber-infused objects using a standard filament printing system and both can produce items that can replace or are stronger than steel objects. Both printers have auto-leveling and scanning systems to ensure each printed object… Read More

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The Markforged Mark X lets you teleport precision custom parts from designer to printer

Posted by | 3d printing, business, Gadgets, industrial design, manufacturing, markforged, office equipment, printer, printing, Startups, TC, technology | No Comments

screen-shot-2016-10-11-at-3-43-52-pm The promise of 3D printing has been kind of a dud. Aside from a few cool Yoda heads and some small plastic pieces, there have been no “indie” players doing much interesting in the space except Markforged. Markforged is a Boston company we featured last year that makes carbon-fiber reinforced plastic parts using traditional 3D-printing techniques. This means the objects they print… Read More

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Nine-year-old boy prints a mechanical hand for his teacher

Posted by | 3d printing, bionics, disability, Gadgets, industrial design, Startups, TC | No Comments

calr-906x682@2x Calramon Mabalot is a pretty wild kid. He likes 3D printing and, along with his brother, he builds lots of cool projects – including a mechanical hand for a local teacher he met while building 3D projects. In an interview with 3DPrintingIndustry, Mabalot described how he designed and built a prosthetic hand complete with full articulated fingers.
Why did he want to build a 3D-printed arm? Read More

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Five Good 3D Printers You Can Buy Before The Holiday

Posted by | 3d printing, christmas tree, Emerging-Technologies, Gadgets, gift guide 2015, industrial design, manufacturing, printer, TC | No Comments

slack-imgs-3.com If you’re looking to build your own Christmas tree out of plastic this year, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve collected my five favorite 3D printers that you should be able to order and receive before or on Christmas. While it might be tough to get one or two of these on such short notice if the ones you love want to do some 3D printing, you can do no better than these five. Read More

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Researchers Can Now Create 3D-Printed (Plastic) Hair

Posted by | 3d printing, carnegie mellon, Emerging-Technologies, Gadgets, industrial design, manufacturing, TC | No Comments

3dh_05 Researchers at Carnegie Mellon have created a system to put realistic-looking plastic hair on 3D printed objects. While this doesn’t help the follicularly challenged humans among us it does allow you to add cute hairdos to 3D printed characters and even simulate hard growth on living things. The system uses a standard 3D printer with special programming that extrudes a little plastic… Read More

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