3D Printing News

The Entire Country of Bahrain Got 3D Printed

A regular map is nothing more than a flat micro reproduction of a region or a country. Very useful, but if we look at it from an artistic angle, then some improvements could be made. Micro CADD Services (MCS) probably thought the same and therefore designed a 3D version of a landscape of the entire country of Bahrain, using a Matrix 300+ paper 3D printer by Mcor Technologies. In other words: they managed to 3D print a landscape of an entire country solely using paper.

They 3D printed a 1:10,000-scale model of the island Bahrain. It, however, is not a regular map you could easily take with you while visiting the island, as it measures 5.4 meters long by 2.2 meters wide. Nevertheless, the country’s national and local leaders are interested in the map and it might as well take the place of traditional counterparts while planning future events.

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US Army Might Use Food Printers in the Future

Food printers could be used on several occasions. They could for instance improve your kitchen, help astronauts to provide for better meals, and they might as well be useful for soldiers. So thinks the US Army. Their department Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center (NSRDEC) is currently investigating how food printing could help the military world. Researchers think the technique could help to eliminate food waste and reduce costs, to make it easier to create personalized meals and even to improve a soldier’s health.

NSRDEC representatives recently met with researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Laboratory and talked about how food printing could be used in the military world. Mary Scerra, a food technologist at NSRDEC thinks there will be a financial benefit: “It could reduce costs because it could eventually be used to print food on demand. For example, you would like a sandwich, where I would like ravioli. You would print what you want and eliminate wasted food.”

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BMW Introduces a 3D Printed Eco-Friendly Car

BMW has come up with something interesting, combining 3D printing technology with ecology. They’ve been working together with Swedish architect Erik Melldahl to design what they’ve called Maaisaica, a 3D printed BMW car, which uses degradable materials. It was built in Sarengeti in Africa and Melldahl got his inspiration from the Maaisai culture as well as new ways of manufacturing.

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They’ve created a concept, which has to go to the Maasai tribe in Serengeti. The striking thing is that this car uses lots of degradable materials. The main body of the car is made of a mixture of mycelium mushrooms and grass and this is grown on top of a 3D printed structure. In only a few days, this degradable structure can be printed. The vehicle uses a membrane, which collects fog during the night and creates a self-sufficient system to cool the motor and greenhouse. This water can also be used to collect water for nearby villages.

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Students Develop an Ice Cream Printer

A lot of food printers have passed the radar recently; pancake printers, chocolate printers, candy printers and even an apple printer. However, there wasn’t anything such as an ice cream printer, but you can imagine that it couldn’t take long before for this kind of printer to see the light. Now three students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) come up with the scoop: a working ice cream printer.

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Kyle Hounsell, Kristine Bunker, and David Donghyun Kim are the students who have been working on an ice cream printer and their printer extrudes melted ice, after which it immediately freezes the material in order to use a layer-to-layer technique to print the ice cream in the shape of a star on a cooled plate.

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New: 3D Printed Skull-Shaped Earphones

Last week we’ve been covering a story about Normal, a Manhattan-based company producing personalized earphones. It seems like they have a serious competitor now, as OwnPhones started a new Kickstarter campaign.  Not only does this company enable you to design your own earphones, but their phones are also wireless and you can entirely choose your favorite design yourself.

Just like Normal, this company seems to be focussing on joggers, as the wireless element makes their earphones useful in sport situations, because they won’t fall out easily. And then there’s the customizing part: users can choose from as many as 10,000 different colors and designs, meaning you can go for wings or for a skull. We have to admit: the result looks a bit silly sometimes, and it’s not very likely we would go for skull earphones ourselves, but Internet does prove us wrong: more than 50,000 people have funded the project on Kickstarter already, which is 20 percent of their final goal of 250,000 dollars and the campaign still runs until August 25.

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Australian University 3D Prints Body Parts

Apparently a little problem for today’s medical students is that there are a lot of them while people are living longer, which means there’s less material for medical education. Of course this isn’t a real problem, as it’s basically the medical world’s goal to make us live longer, but those students have to learn their techniques in some kind of way. Monash University in Australia therefore found the answer: 3D printed body parts.

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In a press release, they’ve announced that they have now brought a commercially available anatomical body parts kit to the market, which can be used by medical students and is not just useful, but also soft-effective. The cadaver has 3D printed items such as limbs, a chest, a head, abdomen and a neck. It, however, does not feature human tissue.

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Home Depot Starts Selling MakerBot 3D Printers

It’s becoming easier and easier to buy a 3D printer. This Monday, Home Depot Inc., which is the world’s largest home-improvement chain, has started selling 3D printers by MakerBot in twelve of their stores in California, Illinois and New York. In addition, you will also be able to buy a MakerBot on their website. Home Depot is following the example of chains such as Hema, Staples and Amazon, who recently started flirting with the technique.

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For Home Depot this will be a pilot, where they could test whether selling 3D printers will be successful or not. The company also hopes that it puts them on the forefront of a new technique, and it makes them the next giant company to jump on the bandwagon of 3D printing technology.

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This 3D Printed Construction Set Connects Lego, K’Nex and Tinkertoys

For ages kids have been playing with construction toys, but one point of irritation has been that there are several kinds of construction sets on the market and they can’t fit connect with each other. Until today, Kids weren’t able to connect Lego bricks with Tinkertoys or K’Nex, which might have limited their construction fantasies. Two companies, Sy-Lab and F.A.T. Lab therefore came up with a universal construction kit, which is a set that connects with any kind of construction toy.

Their universal construction kit has as many as 80 different adapter bricks, which you can download via Thingiverse. The bricks are all 3D printable and they can be used to connect ten different types of construction toys. They can help children to connect Lego, K’Nex, Tinkertoys, Zome, Gears! Gears! Gears!, Loncoln Logs, Fischertechnik, Zoob, Krinkles and Duplo.

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Japanese Company 3D Prints Wedding Couples

In Japan they’re not really fans of 3D printed vaginas, as we learned from yesterday’s bizarre story. Marriage, however, seems to be something the Japanese are much more into. 3D printing company Morisaki Jushi jumps on the bandwagon with their new project ‘Mariage Poupée’, which is French for “marriage doll”. To be a little more specific: the Japanese company enables marriage couples to get a 3D print of themselves.

Of course the technique isn’t something new, and on a global scale many parties are working with this technique. A perfect example comes from retailer Hema, which lets customers use a scan lounge to get a 3D print of themselves. But thanks to parties such as Morisaki Jushi, the concept is now also being applied to the field of marriages. Whether you find it shoddy or romantic, the technique behind it is surely interesting.

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