3D printer company Makerbot lays off 20% of its staff all over again

MakerBot 3-D printer at  CeBit computer fair in Germany. [Reuters]

The only 3D printing company anyone’s heard of,” MakerBot, is laying off 20 percent of its staff for the second time in the last six months. Read the rest

3D print your own TSA Travel Sentry keys and open anyone's luggage


Watch this video on The Scene.

The TSA mandates that all checked luggage must be locked with a deliberately flawed lock that can be opened with one of a handful of skeleton keys that are supposed to be kept secret. It's been more than a year since the TSA allowed a newspaper photographer to print a high-rez photo of its universal luggage-lock keys, allowing any moderately skilled locksmith to create her own set. Ars Technica downloaded a set of key STL files from Github, printed them on a consumer 3D printer, and showed that they could gain entry to any luggage.

It's a model for what happens with any kind of law-enforcement/public safety back door: the universal keys leak and there's no way to re-key all those locks out there in the field. The FBI and UK security services are calling for backdoors in all crypto -- the code we use to protect everything from pacemakers to bank accounts. This is as neat an illustration of why that's a bad idea as you could ask for. Read the rest

3D printing beautiful glass structures


MIT researchers developed a new system for 3D printing transparent, colored, and strong glass structures from digital files. Read the rest

MIT demos sub-$10k 3D printer that can spew 10 materials at once


MIT researchers built a 3D printer from just $7,000 in off-the-shelf parts that can print ten different materials at a time. Current multi-material 3D printers generally can only spew out three materials and cost more than $200,000. From MIT News:

MultiFab gives users the ability to embed complex components, such as circuits and sensors, directly onto the body of an object, meaning that it can produce a finished product, moving parts and all, in one fell swoop.

The researchers have used MultiFab to print everything from smartphone cases to light-emitting diode lenses — and they envision an array of applications in consumer electronics, microsensing, medical imaging, and telecommunications, among other things. They plan to also experiment with embedding motors and actuators that would make it possible to 3-D print more advanced electronics, including robots.

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3D printed Immortan Joe mask

Andrew writes, "I made Immortan Joe's mask from Mad Max: Fury Road!" Read the rest

Behold: the kraken D20!

It's a 3D printed D20 studded with questing tentacles, made to order in a wide spectrum of metals and plastics. (via Geeks Are Sexy) Read the rest

3D printed chess set where each piece holds a tiny plant


After this Bauhaus-inspired pattern from XYZ Workshop is downloaded and printed, each chess piece is designed as a mini-planter. Read the rest

Huge, futuristic 3D printed mech-tank

Singaporean toymaker Michael Sng made Boudicca, a T1 Training Colossus -- a 3D-printed robot tank with 400 custom parts and servos controlled by an Arduino. Read the rest

3D printing blends rigid and soft to improve robot performance

Harvard's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences released an interesting demo of blending rigid and soft materials during 3D printing to create hybrid robots with enhanced performance for tasks like jumping and landing. Read the rest

Today in bad ideas: handgun replica iPhone cases


3D-printed handgun replica iPhone cases have been around for years as a joke. Now that street vendors and online shops are selling realistically-detailed versions, consumer and safety advocates are calling for bans. Read the rest

How quickly can you turn a meme into an object and back into a meme?

Rev Dan Catt has been experimenting with "flip-flops" since 2012, taking a popular digital image, getting a physical thing made from it, turning that into a new popular digital image -- but the Google "Inceptionism" image-processing shirt was a world-beater. Read the rest

3D printed steel Sonic Screwdriver pendant

In the style of the 11th Doctor, $26 from Niquegeek, whom we've featured here for their 3D printed Weighted Companion Cube dice. (via Geeky Merch) Read the rest

3D printing your organs before surgery


This is a 3D printed heart made from CT scan data. Smithsonian talks to Brigham and Women’s Hospital radiologists Beth Ripley and Tatiana Kelil whose 3D Print For Health effort to spur conversation and exploration around 3D printing in medicine. Read the rest

3D printed, bioengineered faux rhino horns


Biotech startup Pembient devised a system for printing bioengineered synthetic rhino horns they hope will kill the big business of poaching. Read the rest

Company to 3D print a steel pedestrian bridge in mid-air


By 2017, Dutch designer Joris Laarman plans to use his company's MX3D metal printing technology to 3D print a 24-foot-long steel pedestrian bridge over an Amsterdam canal. Read the rest

Man Who Sold the Moon wins the Sturgeon Award!

This weekend, my short story "The Man Who Sold the Moon" won the The Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award, a juried prize for the best science fiction story of the year. Read the rest

3D printed cochlear implants for your toys

Building on their Toy Like Me accessories, Makies has shipped 3D printed cochlear implants for your 3D printed custom doll, in white or pink. Read the rest

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