Scientists study fossils without having to remove them from rock

Here you can see a lump of rock with embedded fossils of bird bones trapped in the matrix. Below the rock are 3D printed models of those same fossils, created by paleontologist Brett Nachman. Other scientists captured the fossils inside the rock using CT scans that can see through the stone with the help of x-rays.

Last year, journalist Charles Choi wrote about the massive backlog of fossils in storage at most museums and suggested the possibility of using this kind of technology to study fossils that might not otherwise ever be removed from the hard matrix. Now, Charles is writing about people like Nachman who are doing just that — using technology to get at fossils that are too labor intensive to study.

Price-drop for Makies, design-it-yourself 3D-printed dolls


Makies, the 3D-printed toy company that lets you design your own poseable action doll, has just announced a major price-drop, to £69 (down from £99), just in time for the hols! Makies is based in east London, and ships worldwide.

(Disclosure: I'm extremely proud to be married to Alice Taylor, the founder and CEO of MakieLab)

3D printed, trainable robot arm with Arduino controller

Joly sez, "Maker navic09 demos a prototype trainable robotic arm, made from 3d printed parts, an Arduino, and Adafruit analog feedback servos. Inspired by the Baxter robot, this arm can be trained to move with your own hands. Once the train button is pressed, you move the arm and gripper as needed while the Arduino stores the positions in EEPROM. After that the arm will replay the motion as needed."

The gripper and arm are on Thingiverse.

Trainable Robotic Arm 1 (Thanks, Joly!)

Glowing 3D printed squid filled with bioluminescent soup


Rebecca Klee and Siouxsie Wiles's "Living Light" is a 3D printed hollow squid filled with bioluminescent bacteria. They've thoroughly documented their build-process, and the project is really shaping up to be gorgeous.

From the lab to the park (via O'Reilly Radar)

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Give your doll a makeup-friendly finish with PVA glue

The folks at Makielab have created a sweet series of stop motion animations featuring their 3D printed, custom Makie dolls in a variety of adventures, and giving advice on modding, improving and tweaking your doll. The latest installment demonstrates a technique for coating a doll's face with PVA glue to create a washable finish that will stably hold makeup until you wash it away, allowing for multiple facepaints.

Makies How To: Easy Doll Makeup!

(Disclosure: My wife Alice is the founder and CEO of Makies)

3D printed ukulele!

Lung X Lung printed out a Makerlele form Thingiverse, and in this video, demonstrates the beauty of a 3D printed uke!

全台灣第一支 3d 列印烏克麗麗 3d printed ukulele (Thanks, David!)

Manchester cops trumpet seized "3D printed gun" -- turns out to be parts for a 3D printer


Police in Manchester, UK made a huge show out of having seized a "3D printed gun." Then, it turned out that they'd just seized parts for a 3D printer. But it's still very scary, as Assistant Chief Constable Steve Heywood copsplains: it might have been a 3D printed gun, and they had "intelligence" about a 3D printed gun, and if we search the computers we stole, we might find plans for a 3D printed gun, and also, our botched, humiliating cockup "opens up a wider debate about the emerging threat these next generation of weapons might pose."

Thanks, Officer Hypothetical, for saving us from this dire threat!

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Micro dronecopter aerobatics

Joly sez, "Experts, activists, and makers from all over the world gathered last weekend for the first ever Drone and Aerial Robotics Conference (DARC) in NYC. One theme was miniaturization. Smaller UAVs are more agile, and less dangerous, although, as of now, they still suffer from the same FAA restrictions as their larger cousins. Another popular feature was FPV (First Person View) where flyers drive their drones via remote displays. One spectacular demo that combined both was from Eirik Solheim of the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation who flew a 25 gram 3D printed $169 Micro Quadcopter out the stage's backdoor and into the backstage passages of the venue, and back. (here's video of the entire first day)"

DARC22 Eirk Solheim - Micro Quadcopter (Thanks, Joly!)

6-axis 3D printer can print on irregular surfaces

Yong Chen and his team at USC Engineering have built a six-axis-of-freedom 3D printer that can rotate its build platform and heads to enable it to print on irregular, curved and slanted surfaces; shown here, a 3D print on a curved bottle.

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Send a Togolese 3D printer made out of ewaste to Mars

Afate is a Togolese hacker who uses the WoeLab makerspace in Lome, Togo (the first makerspace in west Africa). He's invented a 3D printer made out of the ewaste that is piled high in neighborhood-sized ewaste dumps in Agbogbloshie, near Accra, Ghana. He's raised money on Ulule to standardize the printer, called the W.AFATE, so that anyone can turn ewaste into a 3D printer. The W.AFATE design has already won NASA's Space App challenge with a concept for building trashbot 3D printers on distant planets.

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Blokify: simple 3D modeling software

MAKE: "Blokify's custom block-based 3D modeling software makes it easy for folks, especially kids, to build object models, which they can then send directly to a home 3D printer."

Open source prosthetics Google+ hangout this Friday with Adafruit and Makerbot

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Our friends at Adafruit are hosting a month-long program on Google+ "aimed at crowdsourcing the manufacturing and delivery of the Robohand prosthetic to people in need." The next hangout is this Friday 10/11 at 8pm ET and MakerBot CEO Bre Pettis will be joining! Details are here.

Filamaker: turn misbegotten 3D prints back into filament


Joris sez, "I interviewed Marek Senický about his Filamaker today. The device is a grinder and filament extruder that recycles waste plastic and turns old unwanted 3D prints into new ones. I think its amazing and will greatly reduce the cost of 3D printing. Effectively to zero if waste is used [Ed: that's artistic license -- I'm sure Joris is familiar with the second law of thermodynamics]. It will also make 3D printing much greener."

I wrote about Filabot, a competitor of Filamaker, last January. Joris explains the difference: "Filamaker has a grinder and extruder. So it grinds up old 3D prints and turns them into filament. It can also grind up ABS waste products and turn those into filament. So you take any old ABS item and grind it and filament pops out. The Filabot is only an extruder that takes pellets and turns them into filament."

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Blizzident: 3D printed whole-mouth-at-once toothbrush

Blizzident is a custom-made, 3D printed, whole-mouth-at-once toothbrush that claims to be able to clean your teeth in six seconds. It uses a mold of your teeth, lined with "a dense field of tailored bristles" that work with an integrated tongue-scraper and floss to conduct what appears to be a thorough scraping, brushing, and flossing of all the significant mouth-surfaces.

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Seej: a 3D printed, free real-world tower defense game


Zhreng3's Seej is a free/open 3D printable tabletop war-game, a real-world tower-defense game you print and play at home. Seej's players come up with all sorts of innovations that are integrated into a constantly updated set of free designs.

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