As we all know, hurricanes are one of the America’s main environmental problems and every year the lives of millions of people are at stake – a terrible thing for the U.S. If we can’t make them disappear, we could as well turn those hurricanes into something less terrifying, is what Francis Reddy, a science writer at NASA, must have thought. He decided to 3D print this year’s Hurricane Iselle into an actual object.
The results are stunning, as you can see on the image. It makes you think of Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures sleeve, which was an image of radio waves made by Peter Saville – yes, that’s the one from the t-shirts. It kind of has a similar structure. Back to Francis Reddy, then: what he did was using images made by a satellite in order to 3D print a hurricane and turn this terror into art.
The general idea behind 3D printing something is that it enables you to create personalized objects by yourself. In other words: objects do not nescessarily have to look the same. This is exactly the kind of thought that a platform called Kwambio has. This website aims to become a big community where users can create their own customizable products, such as lambs and vases, and share their creations online.
This platform – or platforms such as Kwambio – can be highly interesting for the current generation of designers, as they can make money from every single creation of theirs. The website makes sure it is secure for all designers, because no-one will have access to their source files. Seen from the consumer side, a good question would be: do all online-designed products have a sufficient quality? According to Kwambio, it’s a “yes”, as they say every unique product is tested and verified by a team.
The long-awaited 3D printing documentary Print the Legend will officially premiere on Netflix on September 26. In order to turn this online premiere into an ‘offline’ media event, the streaming service will view the film in New York and Los Angeles as well. Print the Legend is a documentary, and zooms in at American pioneers in 3D printing technology, such as brands like MakerBot, 3D Systems and Stratasys.
Despite it had not yet been released, the movie already won a Special Jury Recognition Award for Editing & Storytelling in the Documentary Feature Competition at this year’s SXSW. The documentary is the work of Luis Lopez and J. Clay Tweel and it has behind-the-scenes of several giant 3D printing brands. The goal of the movie to show how this relatively young technology has developed and has started to seriously gain ground.
We automatically tend to link the concept of ‘drones’ with controversial war stories, but a Belgian team proves that this technique could also be used differently. Meet AirButlr, a 3D printed drone that is expected to be able to clean your house. A team is still working on the machine, but it will one day be capable of detecting dirt and using several cleaning materials to clean up the dirty places in your house. In other words: in the 21st century we don’t need the work of humans to make our cleaning work happen.
Wouter Nuytten (21) and Thomas Broekaert (20) from Belgium are the ones who are currently working on the robot, and will soon go to Kickstarter with their project. The idea behind their self-proclaimed ‘next-generation housekeepers’ is “to give people back more time to do what is truly important to them”, according to their Facebook page.
We would all love to own our own private castle, but unfortunately that’s really something for the happy few. If you, however, are searching for a budget way to become a castle owner, then 3D printing technology could do a great job for you. Andrey Rudenko, a 30-year-old man from Minnesota used the technique to create a children’s playhouse castle.
Despite his background in engineering and architecture, Rudenko said he experienced some difficulties during the process, as he explains: “printing the castle turrets by themselves was a bad idea as they were extremely difficult to lift and place.”
During the Second World War, Poland has had a hard time. It was the first country for the Nazi’s to conquer and at the end of the war 85 percent of its capital city Warsaw was destroyed by the Nazi’s. The Polish state, however, has one event in that disastrous war to proudly look back on and that was the so-called Warsaw Uprising. From August 1, 1944 the Polish resistance Home Army held resistance for as many as 63 days, making this the largest military effort against the Nazi’s taken by any European country. In Warsaw, a statue called Maly Powstaniec (or: Little Restistance Fighter) commemorates the Warsaw Uprising.
In a 3D film, viewed in the Warsaw Uprising Museum but also to be seen on YouTube, you can see with your own eyes the mess created by the Nazi’s. In this short movie, the makers show you what the city looked like from a helicopter view after the war ended. They couldn’t have chosen a better title for this than ‘City of Ruins’, as this movie painfully exposes the ruins of one of Europe’s largest cities.
3D printing is a useful technique to provide for low-cost prosthetics. Remember Project Daniel by Not Impossible? This organization provides low-cost prosthetics for victims of the Sudan war. But not just in Sudan, but all around the world people are using the technique to create prosthetics. The good thing about this whole thing is that most 3D prosthetics are currently an open-source thing, meaning anyone could just use the 3D programs to create their own prosthetics on a 3D printer. A new, heartwarming prosthetics project was initiated by a student, called Evan Kuester.
A friend of him, Ivania Castillo, only has one forearm, which made Kuester decide to 3D print her a new prosthetic arm. He is currently studying for his Master’s Degree in Architecture at the California College of the Arts and he has a a specialty in digital fabrication, which probably explains something about his capabilities to design a prosthetic arm. What he did was creating two versions of the arm: the first one was a white-colored version, which we’re shaped perfectly and made her very pleased.
We’ve been writing a lot about Olaf Diegel lately, as this guitar player is using 3D printing techniques to create electric guitars, as well as keyboards and even, recently, saxophones. Lots of people followed his example and we’ve seen 3D printed ukeleles, midi controllers and even violins passing the radar. A new London-based company, called Customuse, also feels inspired by Diegel and wants to make 3D printed electric guitars affordable for the masses. The company therefore comes up with customizable 3D printed guitars for 1500 pounds.
The idea for the company came up because founder Mahdi Hosseini wanted to learn to play guitar himself. His girlfriend wanted to give him a unique electric guitar, but she probably had an expensive taste, as Hosseini tells 3Ders: “she soon realised that anything remotely unique would set us back tens of thousands which was not really a possibility.” They then decided to step into the world of 3D printing, where you could easily make a unique, personalized guitar for a lot less than “tens of thousands”. He decided to cooperate with his friend and 3D printing enthusiastic Justas Cernas to start Customuse.
Several museums make good use of 3D printers, as the technique enables them to easily get an accurate copy of a statue, sculpture or even a dinosaur fossil. The problem with traditional reproduction is that it’s less accurate and time-consuming, and museums therefore try their luck with 3D technology. In this light, a new collaboration between paleontologist Jeffrie Parker, of Western Paleo Labs, and Kirk Brown of Stratasys reseller GoEngineer caught our eye.
They wanted to 3D print an entire dinosaur – more specifically the replica of a dinosaur’s skeleton. Parker had uncovered this skeleton in Wyoming and wanted a large model of the creature, counting 50 inches in length and 15 inches in height. An interesting case, because 3D printers have one disadvantage and that is that most of them cannot print out large objects. They, however, managed to do so by dividing up the scanned model into 20 different STL files.
Linkin Park is breaking its habit of just being a rock band, as the American group has taken its first steps into the 3D printing world. They now enable fans to purchase a 3D printed figurine of each individual band member. Yes, all members got scanned by a 3D scanner and are now off officially able to be collected as 3D printed figurines by their fans.
We dare to say the average young rock fan is not a millionaire, and there is nothing wrong with not being rich, but just enjoying some nice rock-’n-roll guitars. However, Linkin Park seems to estimate the average rock fan’s income extraordinary high. The band has six members and a 1:5 scale model of each member will cost you as much as 499 dollars. In their defense, such a figurine will be 14 inches tall.