Is 3D printing a fad? More 3D printed guns and printing Google Earth buildings

3D Printing Letter


November 9, 2012


Perspective on 3D printers from a mechanical designer

A Mechanical Engineer's take on 3D printing and its impact on manufacturing. Or lack of it.


Adding a new dimension to printing in Israel

A new industrial revolution is coming — and it will be led by an army of self-replicating machines that will change the landscape of Israel, and the world.

3D Printers Are Not Like 2D Printers: A Rant

People. Listen. 3D printing is not just 2D printing with another dimension added on. Yes, the names are very similar, but their uses are not even remotely analogous. We may reasonably conclude, therefore, that 1) 3D printing will not recapitulate the history of 2D printing, 2) as soon as you make an argument along those lines you lose all credibility and look like an idiot.

University of Michigan 3D Lab blurs line between virtual and reality

There’s a powerful room at the University of Michigan tucked away in the unassuming Duderstadt Center on North Campus. The “room” — three white walls and a floor — opens doors that could allow to you to fly past the second star to the right and straight on ‘til morning. The room, formally known as the Michigan Immersive Digital Experience Nexus (MIDEN, pronounced My-Den), is one component of the University of Michigan 3D Lab, a division of the U-M Library System.

UT student soon to unveil revolutionary 3D gun technology

UT law student Cody Wilson claims he is roughly three weeks away from printing his first gun using a 3D printer, a machine that creates solid objects from digital designs.

Chris Anderson on Why He's Leaving Digital for DIY

Wired's long-time editor in chief, Chris Anderson, announced on Friday that he was leaving the magazine to become CEO of his DIY-drone company, 3D Robotics.

3D-Printed Adapter Rescues Threatened iPhone Dock

The Elevation Dock for the iPhone is a classic Kickstarter story. An indie designer develops a better mouse trap, raises $1.4 million, and of course, delivers the product to backers, very, very late. These delays created a serious problem when they overlapped with Apple’s announcement of the iPhone 5 and its new Lightning connector.

3D manufacturing - printing a new nose

The suffering caused by the loss of a nose must be indescribable. In terms of function, a sense of smell is perhaps less important than the ability to see, hear and eat - and we can breathe through our mouth or nasal cavity. But somehow, a missing nose elicits a more profound sense of shock in other people than the sight of an eye patch.

New at the dentist: 3D printing dental crowns wile you wait

The trip to the dentist just got a little less painful, at least in terms of time spent there. A new system is being used by a handful of dentists to scan patients’ teeth and create crowns for them while they wait. A process that normally takes two weeks, now only takes an hour.

The Hobbit’s World Was Brought To Life With 3D Printers

Weta Workshop is one of the premier special effect studios on the planet. The studio is responsible for bringing The Lord of the Rings and other high profile films to life. Now they’re working on The Hobbit, and much of the modeling work is being done with advanced 3D printers.

How to print a 3D Google Earth building using Makerbot

With the rapid growth of 3D printing in the past few years, it seems likely that more people would want to try printing out their own 3D models. If you'd like to be able to hold your model in your hand, the folks at Instructables have written a tutorial on how to convert a Google Earth model to Makerbot. The instructions also work if you'd like to get your model printed from a service such as Shapeways, Ponoko or TechShop.

3D print your own punch card reader and relive the good old days

Just because computers can do billions of operations each second that’s no reason to forget our roots. If you’ve got a 3D printer and a little patience, you can create your own mechanical punch card reader to relive the origins of computing. Yes, before there were vacuum tubes, there were cards.

Products and Designs

[Product] Espresso Cup

Ever lose the little plate with nowhere to put your cup of espresso? It's confusing. After gaining some skills from designing breathable roots, the plateless espresso cup was born.

[Design] Low Poly Mask

Here's a blank canvas for the new you. Or your Halloween costume. Or maybe your audition for store mannequin. Or your general purpose anonymity needs.

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Curated by Philip De Smedt