Grant Fowler, an Imagineering enthusiast, has a marvellous Thingiverse account full of fascinating historical Disneyland items to download and print.
Tomorrow, 3/14, is Pi Day in the USA (it will not be Pi Day in the rest of the world until the Martian Emperor subjugates us all to his sinister 14-month calendar). In celebration, Thingiverse user Thor4231 posted this great Eggbot design, ready to be automatically sharpied onto your favorite ovum by means of the wonderful Eggbot printer.
Yesterday at CES, Makerbot CEO Bre Pettis announced three new 3D printers, including a massive, fifth-generation Replicator capable of producing objects that are 45.7cm tall and 30.5cm wide/long. Interestingly, all three new models -- there's also a simple, one-button version and a desktop prosumer version -- sport clear plastic sides. 3D printers are very susceptible to disruption from even slight breezes (the wind cools the plastic between the nozzle and the previous layer) but there's a completely batshit patent on the totally obvious "invention" of putting see-through sides on a 3D printer, so in general printers don't ship with sides, and manufacturers don't publicly advise their customers to add plastic sides to their machines.
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."
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Life-cycle economic analysis of distributed manufacturing with open-source 3-D printers (paywall link), a new paper published in Mechatronics, examines the cost of common household objects and calculates the projected return-on-investment for a household that buys a 3D printer and makes their own everyday objects, using open design files from sites like Thingiverse, rather than buying them in shops. The researchers concluded that a family could quickly -- in less than "a few years" -- recoup the cost of the printer if they printed their everyday objects. I suspect that the real value of 3D printers isn't simply replacing household objects, but rather, in ushering in new ways of relating to objects -- the same way that email and VoIP don't simple substitute for phone calls, but rather enable entirely different kinds of communications.
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Tom sez, "I have been thinking for some time how it would be nice to produce a 3D printed book of textures and reliefs. To publish and distribute all the wonderful architectural patterning and decoration we enjoy here in Chicago and beyond. This is the prototype for that idea. The subject matter for this book is derived from 3D scans made of sculptures and reliefs, found at The Art Institute of Chicago and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The scans were all produced using a regular DSLR camera and a software package called 123D Catch. By taking multiple digital photographs of a subject, the user is able to create a lifelike 3D scan of an object, person or architectural feature."
Tom's book is available as a free, downloadable shapefile on Thingiverse.
Thingiverse's Cookie Cutter Customizer is a tool for taking doodles and sketches and turning them into 3D-printable cookie-cutters.
Bozardeux, a recent French graduate and Instructables user, has undertaken a project to make an open, 3D printed
DSLR camera. All the parts and designs are licensed CC Attibution-ShareAlike.
3D Printed Camera : OpenReflex by Bozardeux (Thanks, Gregory)
The OpenReflex is an Open-Source analog camera with a mirror Viewfinder and an awesome finger activated mechanic shutter (running ~ 1/60°s). What's more, it's compatible with any photographic lens with custom mount ring.
All the pieces easily printable on any recent RepRap-like ABS 3D-printer without using support material ! Everything should print in less than 15h and anyone should be able to assemble it within 1h.
All parts are separate ( Film receiver, Shutter and Viewfinder ) to simplify builds and modifications. The source files are available under the CreativeCommon By-Sa license, fell free to modify them if you want a new feature, and don't forget to share your improvements on the web ;)
A fanciful post to Thingiverse from 3DTOPO allows you to print out your own version of Arthur Ganson sculpture Machine with Concrete , a system of wormgears that produces a gear-ratio of 244.14 quintillion to 1.
This is a printable version of Machine with Concrete. The sculpture is a series of twelve 1:50 worm gears, with each gear reducing 1/50th of the previous gear. With 12 gears, the final gear ratio is a mind boggling 244,140,625,000,000,000,000 : 1 (244.14 quintillion to 1). With the first gear spinning at 200RPM it would take over 2 TRILLION years for a single revolution at the end of the machine, so the final drive shaft can be embedded in concrete or plaster.
I emailed Arthur Ganson a link to this page and he replied "looks FANTASTIC!".
RealAbsurdity's "Modular Snap-Fit Airship" on Thingiverse is a 3D-printable toy whose parts can interchangeably form part of a Saturn V rocket. More snap-fit vehicles are planned.
This is a fully modular snap-fit (no glue required) model of an Airship. It is the vanilla base for a series of absurd mashups that currently includes a Trireme and a Saturn V rocket. Designed for 3D print, it comes in two flavors: solid and shell.
Modular Snap-Fit Airship (Thanks, crystlem!)
A couple of weeks ago, the nice folks at Sample and Hold asked me if I'd like to drop into their east London studio to get my head 3D scanned. Not long after, my daughter's school shut for a professional development day, so I took the opportunity to bring us both down to Dalston for a 3D scanning adventure.
What followed was the most cyberpunk experience of my life, straight out of a William Gibson Sprawl novel. The Sample and Hold studio is at the bottom of a vibrant market where hand-lettered signs offer cheap money-wiring to Ghana and Nigeria amid stalls with huge displays of fresh fish on ice, dotted with more stalls selling astoundingly off-model cheap toy knockoffs -- Dora the Explorer toys that look like they cast from molds sculpted by someone who was working from a description conveyed over a crackling phone-conversation, Transformer robots that turn into random kitchen appliances and stylized skulls, logoed tees whose Disney characters look like they spent a turn in a toaster oven.
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These pieces were printed on a Makerbot Replicator 2 3D printer, by artist Cosmo Wenman, who printed them in several pieces and then assembled them. MakerBot is justifiably proud of these extraordinary achievements, which have really pushed the limits on 3D printing using low-cost, home-model printers. Here's some of Wenman's description of his thoughts behind Head of a Horse of Selene (a replica of a piece in the British Museum), on Thingiverse:
I find David Hockney's theories on the precocious use of lenses in Renaissance art very compelling. But living with this damned horse on my screen, and then in my house, for the last two months, it's hard to imagine how the original could have been designed two millenia ago without photography, let alone lenses. Its expression is so exacting, just an instant in time, I can't see how it could be modeled by eye from a live horse, or even a dead one. Maybe a contour gauge on a carcass with rigor mortis, but I don't see that either, not with this expressiveness and movement.
I imagine a Greek guy walking around 2,000 years ago with a camera obscura with some kind of light sensitive papyrus inside, trying to raise funds to get his light enscribing machine into mass production. Alas, there was no Kickstarter back then.
Or, maybe the artist and horse in bright sunlight, the artist covering his eyes. The horse's handler startles it into motion, and the artist opens his eyes for an instant, closes them again, then draws quickly with his eyes shut while the image fades in his retinas - the lens, film, and darkroom being his eyes... I dunno - either that or weeks of careful study, scores of sketches of impressions of a horse in motion, composited into this exacting model. But that doesn't sound like as much fun.