3D printers really seem to be able to do anything. Earlier on this year, a Chinese company managed to 3D print an entire house in just 24 hours. Now, during the International Manufacturing Technology Show 2014 in Chicago, an Arizona-based company called Local Motors managed to top up the wow effect, by creating a working car in 44 hours.
The car, Strati, costed 18,000 dollars to produce and it’s an ecologically approached vehicle as well: the vehicle uses battery-power to speed up. It has a battery range of between 120 and 150 miles. In addition, while regular cars use 20,000 components, Strati only uses 40 parts. However, it’s not a fast car, as Strati has a top speed of only 40 miles per hour.
Fashion often embraces new techniques, and 3D printing definitely is one of them. Designer Bradley Rothenberg has debuted a series of 3D printed textiles at the New York Fashion Week. The series was a collaboration between Rothenberg and Katie Gallagher and Katya Leonovich. They officially debuted it on September 9. The striking thing about this ‘3D printing meets fashion’ project is that the clothes actually seem to be wearable. Most often, 3D printed fashion projects end up being interesting pieces of art worth looking at – but Rothenberg seems to take a leap.
He created, inter alia, a fully wearable tanktop as well as 3D printed details for skirts and jackets. The reason why his clothes are actually wearable – and comfortable as well – is that he used flexible materials such as thermoplastic elastomer and thermoplastic polyurethane.
Having to wear a cast is not the best possible scenario you could think of for your arm. Nevertheless, what ‘kind of’ makes this still a funny experience is casts’s ability to not just be a cast, but a scrapbook as well. We mean: whenever someone needs to wear a cast, friends can write their own supportive messages on it. 3D printing has proven its ability to be a proper way to create personalized casts, but the problem with those plastic ones is that you can’t write on them. Well, meet #CAST (Hash Cast): a 3D printed cast solely made from messages.
This project comes from California-based company FATHOM. The team wanted to use the concept of social media to improve the way we could produce casts. The idea is that whenever you’re having a broken arm, your friends can write you a personal message via Twitter, which will be included in the print of the cast. Patients can use their mobile phone to select which messages will be included and which don’t.
The 3Doodler has proven its ability to create beautiful art. Only just a couple of months ago, an English artist used the pen to create beautiful ‘Tour de France’ art. What you probably didn’t expect is that the 3D pen could also be used in order to create clothes. Yes, clothes. A Chinese art house from Hong Kong, which goes by the name SHIGO, has created an actual dress using the 3Doodler.
The result is what you call a stunning dress. As you could expect by seeing the detailed structure of the garment which uses the shape of shells, it took them a long time to produce it. More precisely: they needed three months to make it happen and they 3D ‘penned’ all parts of the dress, except for the buckles on the side.
For many 3D printing designers, this weekend will be an exciting one, as today until Sunday the official 3D Print Show 2014 will take place in London. Part of this world-famous 3D printing exhibition will be the election of the 3D printing Artist of the Year. There are 14 great contenders who all made lovely designs using 3D technology. 3dprinting.com provides you with a summary of this year’s work: our staff picks.
The first interesting 3D printing design comes from Tobias Klein and is called ‘The Garden of Earthly Delights’, pictured above. What he made is a tower block, with odd, colored wires growing out of the buildings. It stands for the long-standing struggle and clash between the man-made build and the natural environment, as described by 3D Print Show’s website. It’s one of those pieces of art that is striking and makes you think about the current state of this world.
In Russia, a lot of things seem to get banned momentarily. First there was a ban on homosexual ‘propaganda’ and since last month it’s also illegal to manufacture or sell underwear made from synthetic lace. It seems like the Kremlin worries that the material is bad for the health of the Russians. However, 3D printing has proven to be a perfect technique in order to circumvent laws and the technique used its powers again. In other words: if you can’t buy it, you can just print it out yourself.
Russian designer Viktoria Anoka contacted Moscow-based company 3DPrintus and asked them if they could help her to create new underwear, reports The Moscow Times. Her brand new underwear is a two-piece design, which the company made for lingerie brand Lascana and it will be 3D printable in 3D studios in Moscow later this year. It underwent months of testing and it’s made of shells and durable nylon. Customizers can buy the underwear it their color of choice.
The summer ends – and unfortunately no-one can deny this. However, when summer ends, we often find ourselves celebrating an indian summer, isn’t it? So let’s hope for good things to happen in September, we would say. In case your local weather still allows to throw a barbecue party in your garden, the people at Household Hacker could have an original invention for you to spice up your BBQ; a 3D printable watermelon keg.
They collaborated with 3D printer manufacturer Robo3D to create a watermelon keg, which can entirely be 3D printed. It’s a free download, which you can download yourself via this link on Thingiverse. Basically, the only thing you will need to have is a properly working 3D printer.
3D printed instruments have been passing the radar a lot of times recently. Whether it’s an electric guitar or a ukelele: it can be 3D printed. But those are only ‘band’ instruments, so what about tools for electronic music? A new project by Adafruit made something in this category: a 3D printed Mini OONTZ 16 button Midi drum machine.
It looks very flashy, with the implementation of several disco lights. In other words: just like the real thing. The case was 3D printed and the other tools needed to be inserted (4×4 Adafruit Trellis Monochrome Driver, a Silicone Elastomer 4×4 button keypad, a Arduino Leonardo and four 10k Potentiometers).
Maybe it has been the influence of the current hipster scene: the hype among urban biking. Apparently urban biking requires entirely different bikes than suburban biking does and therefore a Bike Design Project started where five design studio’s across five cities had to come up with a perfect urban bike. The winning bike will be manufactured for a limited run of 100 bikes and will be in stores next year. Industry, a Portland-based studio came up with a very interesting bike: one that uses bluetooth and handlebars that tell you when to stop or turn.
Industry worked together with Ti Cycles to create a bike with a 3D printed titanium frame. The bike is called Solid and can connect to a smartphone app: My Bike. This app alarms a user when a light needs replacement and if something gets wrong with one’s brakes. There is also software called Discover My City, which has a series of routes through Portland’s most trendy neighborhoods, with suggestions about where to eat and shop.
Are you interested in 3D printing, but don’t you know where to start, because you think you don’t have the right technical skills? Well, you’re not the only one, as the technique is still kind of underground. But it’s getting bigger and bigger, and if you would like to join the bandwagon of 3D printing, then you’ll find it useful to read New York’s Met Museum’s MediaLab’s brand new 3D printing booklet for beginners. In this free booklet, the museum accurately describes how one could 3D print an object.
The idea is that digital tools such as GarageBand and iMovie have turned everyone into a ‘maker’ and 3D printing could be the text level. The problem, however, is that many still don’t know how to use the technique properly. This new booklet could change that, as the museum explains step-by-step how to get a 3D print of something.