Thursday, March 26, 2015

SLA 3D printer using an old projector and $10 in parts

Although MakerBot has managed to position themselves among the more famous in 3D printers, the Fused Deposition Modeling method that their machines use leave many wanting to have higher resolutions and increased material flexibilities such as those offered by FormLabs in the form of the Form 1+.  However, for those not ready to spend over $3,000 on a new 3D printer and costly resins, getting SLS or SLA parts made can prove to be a difficulty.  For one motivated 3D printing enthusiast, he took matters into his own hands and crafted his own SLA 3D printer using little more than some borrowed parts, an Arduino Uno and less than $10 in supplies.
Build Vat and Linear Drive - About 5CM Z​
buildyourownsla web forum user ‘mystamo’ wanted to quickly put a printer together to test out SLA 3D printing in general while also seeing if his sourced projector (an ACER 5360 720P) would work for curing resin without any modification. Although he had to remove the focus screw so that he could pull out the focus wheel more to focus on the build plate, no other modifications were needed.  
Stepper controller with connectors​
Arduino With Connectors​
After some initial testing, mystamo concluded that the printer had a 50mm x 37mm x 40mm build envelope and set about creating his first 3D prints.   
Everything Connected Together​
Since the printer doesn’t have any Z-axis limits, he set the build plate slightly above the resin surface with some resin protruding through the perforated board holes.  In order to create the layers, mystamo exposed the first 3 years with 8-second exposures to help build a sturdy foundation.  For all other layers, a 2.5-second exposure was used with a resolution of .05mm per layer.  
My Setup with projector and Servo Shutter (I also had an old servo kicking around)​
The sourced parts - aside from the borrowed projector - all cost mystamo less than $10.  These parts included an Arduino Uno that he purchased from Ebay for $5 for running code, an A4988 stepper driver from Ebay for $2, a rectangular glass vat from Dollerama for $2 to house the uncured resin, a DVD drive laser rail from Ebay for $1 and finally, a 12 AWG wire and perforated board that he already had on-hand for the build plate. 

new anti-microbial 3D printing PLA filament

While science teachers everywhere are already calling for the inclusion of 3D printing courses in high schools, a new Korean innovation suggests it can even be taught in junior high. For plastics manufacturer BnK (Books and Kimchi) have just announced a new line of PLA filament that has anti-microbial properties. They believe this filament, called Purement, is the first of its kind and is perfect for use in homes with children and in schools.
While you could argue about the point of introducing kids as young as eight or ten years old about 3D printing, the concept behind this filament is very clever. Anti-microbial substances kill or inhibit the growth of a vast number of bacteria, and Purement itself has been extensively tested for these properties. ‘According to company studies, Purement has been proven to eliminate 99% of staphylococcus aureus and colon bacillus bacteria in laboratory tests and also prevents them from spreading, thus helping to reduce the risk of infections,’ BnK reveals. This company, for the record, specialized in manufacturing plastic components for the automobile industry but have recently moved into filament production as well.
Their anti-microbial properties are further certified by a Korean patent, while a US and international patent is pending. As BnK revealed, their properties were even certified by KOLAS and are compliant with RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) regulations, which have been developed by the EU. ‘This means that it doesn't contain lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls, and polybrominated diphenyl ethers. These restricted materials are hazardous to the environment and pollute landfills, and are dangerous in terms of occupational exposure during manufacturing and recycling,’ BnK reveals. Purement’s harmless properties are also backed by the SIAA (Society of Industrial technology for Antimicrobial Articles) and SGS (Société Générale de Surveillance).

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

3D printed wireless Nikola Tesla desk lamp

Nikolas Tesla, the biggest inventor of the last two centuries, was known throughout the world for his role in developing today's electrically-powered world. He has been gaining more credit an appreciation in recent years, especially in the engineering community.

Meanwhile, he is becoming something of a role model and inspiration for some, such as electronics designer David Choi from Long Island, NY. David is a physics graduate from Wesleyan University recently began dabbling in 3D printing. As he explains, Tesla has always intrigued him – both as a person and as an inventor. "Tesla, the inventor of the radio, AC motor, and a multitude of important everyday inventions, had been forgotten in time. Recently brought back into the home through Tesla Motors, but people still fail to realize Tesla the inventor and electrical genius is much more than just a modern car company," David says. "He figured out how to wirelessly transmit power. Imagine a world without wires. This was his dream."

To emphasize his respect for the man, David has already named his cat after Tesla, but has recently been taking things a bit further. For as a tribute to his hero, David has developed a 3D printed lamp that functions on one of the core principles of Tesla’s inventions: wireless transmission of electricity. To harness that principle, David has created a wireless power table filled with 3D printed components that is capable of powering a light bulb. "My idea was to wirelessly power whatever I wanted on this table. Powering a lightbulb was my proof of concept--if I could power a light, I could power almost any household item," David explains and as you can see, its working very well.

But of course, you’ll need some components (especially the coils) that are beyond the power of a desktop 3D printer and David began his project by focusing on those. "The receiving coil is a spiral inductor as can be seen in the base. There's a certain beauty to air-core inductors and it has to do with their simple construction--a loop. After doing my calculations, I realized I needed to construct a spiral air-core inductor to match to the 25W lightbulb load," David says.
These coils are the core of the system, alongside dual RF transistors (MRF150), and function either as a transmitter or as a receiver. "The first coil transmits power magnetically to the secondary coil. This secondary, along with the primary coil, both transmit power magnetically to the third receiving spiral coil," David explains. "The transmitter is a center-tapped, double wind, 0.34uH coil. This tank circuit is tuned to 6.5MHz. This first coil is magnetically coupled to a much larger secondary coil which is approximately the diameter of the table (2.5x2.5ft). This secondary coil's purpose is to store greater amounts of reactive power when tuned to resonance at 6.5MHz."
The fourth coil (the receiver), meanwhile, consists of a spiral coil and a 42pF capacitor which tunes it to resonate at 6.5MHz and is directly wired to the lightbulb. "By having two coils resonating at the same frequency, the distance of coupling between them can be greatly increased. To capture this resonating reactive power is a single loop coil that follows the circumference of the spiral inductor," David explains. This will enable the lightbulb to receive power at 6.5MHz vs the tradition 60Hz (or 50Hz). "This high frequency aides in increasing the quality factor of the coils and thus the coupling between them," David adds.
The coils itself are made from copper tubing. To harness the fluctuating magnetic field that is being generated, David designed a circular loop inductor around the spiral inductor. "This has a wire that attaches to the bulb itself. I did not want any wires visible so one of the lamp legs serves as a conduit for the wiring. The spiral coil receives its power wirelessly through the table which has a power transmitter built into its underside."
Aside from the electronics, only the bulb itself hasn’t been 3D printed. That means this project is easily reproducible and fortunately David has shared all of his designs on Thingiverse to enable everyone to harness the potential of Tesla’s inventions. To make these parts, David relied on his MakerBot Replicator 5thGen 3D printer. All parts have been 3D printed in PLA with 15% infill and a resolution of 0.2 mm. The results can be easily assembled with just a little glue. ‘After printing, all I had to do was lay the copper tubing into the coil form. This is easy for anyone to recreate as traditionally, large coils such as these are handmade at home and it is difficult to create them repeatedly with the same dimensions and ultimately inductance,’ David explains.
All in all, this is a very fun project for everyone looking for a bit of unusual electric experiences and a perfect tribute to a great inventor who should not be forgotten. It should be highly reproducible with parts you have laying around and it should work with most typical light bulbs. David intentionally went for a vintage Tesla bulb reconstruction for the theme, but that’s a matter of personal convenience. "Were I to have chosen an Edison or Marconi bulb, Tesla would be rolling in his ashes," he adds, but I think you’ll get away with it.

XYZprinting releases new da Vinci 1.1 Plus 3D printer with W-Fi, free mobile app

XYZprinting, Taiwan based manufacturer of affordable consumer-grade 3D printers, announced the release of the da Vinci 1.1 Plus, an enhanced version of its da Vinci 1.0 3D printer. The da Vinci 1.1 Plus features WiFi connectivity, and remote control capabilities through XYZprinting's new free app, XYZapp, for iPad and Android table devices.

The XYZapp allows users to set up print jobs from their devices anywhere. The da Vinci 1.1 comes with a built-in camera, enabling users to monitor the status of a 3D print job. The camera sends picture updates to the app and users can then share these images through social media or upload to XYZprinting's 3D design collection. The XYZprinting Cloud Library offers 3D models available to share, create, and print online. 
The da Vinci 1.1 Plus also features a USB port and Android-based 5'' color LCD touch panel, and it is a completely stand-alone printer which can be operated without a connection to a desktop or laptop computer.
With its easy-to-install filament cartridges system available in 12 colors, users can easily refill the printer, switch colors, or switch between ABS and PLA filament.

New tech speeds up 3D printing by 100 times

The 3D printing technology developed by Silicon Valley startup, Carbon3D Inc, enables objects to rise from a liquid media continuously rather than being built layer by layer as they have been for the past 25 years, representing a fundamentally new approach to 3D printing, researchers said.
The technology allows ready-to-use products to be made 25 to 100 times faster than other methods and creates previously unachievable geometries that open opportunities for innovation not only in health care and medicine, but also in other major industries such as automotive and aviation.
The technology, called Continuous Liquid Interface Production (Clip) manipulates light and oxygen to fuse objects in liquid media, creating the first 3D printing process that uses tunable photochemistry instead of the layer-by-layer approach that has defined the technology for decades.
It works by projecting beams of light through an oxygen-permeable window into a liquid resin.
Working in tandem, light and oxygen control the solidification of the resin, creating commercially viable objects that can have feature sizes below 20 microns, or less than one-quarter of the width of a piece of paper.
"By rethinking the whole approach to 3D printing, and the chemistry and physics behind the process, we have developed a new technology that can create parts radically faster than traditional technologies by essentially 'growing' them in a pool of liquid," said Joseph M DeSimone, professor of chemistry at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and CEO of Carbon3D.
Through a research agreement between UNC-Chapel Hill and Carbon 3D, the team is currently pursuing advances to the technology, as well as new materials that are compatible with it.
Clip enables a very wide range of material to be used to make 3D parts with novel properties, including elastomers, silicones, nylon-like materials, ceramics and biodegradable materials.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Robert Downey Jr. Gives a Real Bionic Arm to an Incredibly Dapper Kid

In case you need another reason to love Robert Downey Jr., the Iron Man star recently presented a 3D-printed, real-life bionic arm to a little boy named Alex.

Monday, March 9, 2015

All-in-one 3D printer, CNC mill and laser engraver!

While desktop FDM 3D printers are great for toying with at home and making small and fun parts, its potential for serious and multi-material manufacturing is sadly quite limited. Anyone wanting to take things to the next level is currently forced of spending thousands on buying various manufacturing machine. But why not go for an all-in-one option? For a 3D printer that can simply be fitted with another tool head to turn it into an entirely different machine?

That option is becoming more realistic on a daily basis. While several multi-functional manufacturing machines are currently being developed, a highly promising model just launched its crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter: the BoXZY, an all-in-one 3D Printer, CNC Mill, and Laser Engraver. Developed by Joel and Justin Johnson, two brothers from Pittsburgh, this machine is shaping up to be a multipurpose masterpiece that will appeal to both beginning and experienced users.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

3D printed 2-string violin-like instrument

When it comes to sonic experiences however, Florida-based MONAD Studio wants to turn everything you know about instruments and sound environments up on it’s head.  
Founded in 2002 by design principals Eric Goldemberg and Veronica Zalcberg - both of whom studied architecture in Buenos Aires, Argentina and New York, USA - MONAD is a design research practice that focuses on “spatial perception related to rhythmic effect” with a focus on everything from urban plans and buildings to landscapes and product designs.   
Although the design team have focused on a wide variety of projects, it is perhaps their designs that center around sound that have garnered the most attention - particularly due to to their generative design methods that resemble what some might consider an futuristic spaceship aesthetic.  Of course, these wouldn’t be possible without additive manufacturing techniques.
The studio’s two-string Piezoelectric Violin (one of five instruments designed by the pair along with musician Scott F. Hall) would likely not be interpreted as a violin unless somebody saw one of the press photos, which features a musician playing the form like a traditional violin.  The design more closely resembles a scale model of a spaceship - however it is perfectly capable of playing a tune thanks to a piezoelectric sensor, which is used commonly used as a “pickup” on musical instruments to amplify sound.
The violin, which will be on display at the Javits Center in New York on April 16th and 17th, is a part of an installation titled ‘MULTI’, which aims to interweave the sonic artifacts within a backdrop activated by piezo mics that metamorphose into a complex meta-instrument in the tradition of a one-man band.

Three-legged dog to get 3D printed prosthetic leg

While Hobbes is still capable of walking and seems full of energy, he does have to hop along which quickly fatigues him. Therefore Bledsoe and two of her fellow UC Davis graduate students are now determined to make a 3D printed prosthetic leg for him. As Randy Carney, postdoctoral fellow in biochemistry and molecular medicine, added: "And he’s so young and full of energy that it seemed like a waste if he couldn’t get moving like he wanted to."