Category Archives: Stuff We Think is Cool

Spaceways

Launching a 3D printer into space just makes sense, right?  Instead of catapulting an inventory of replacement parts into the cosmos, it seems better to ship raw material up there and 3D print whatever is needed.  Not only that—rocketing objects into space is expensive, and extreme vibration carries the risk of major damage.  Enter Made in Space: the company that intends to pioneer additive manufacturing in space. And what better partner could a 3D printing service prospecting the final frontier find than NASA?  When we caught up with Made in..

Bay Area Maker Faire 2013 Day 1 Recap: 5 Things We Loved

Day one of the Bay Area Maker Faire was today!  In upcoming weeks, we’ll be blogging at greater length about the cool stuff we saw, new companies we met, and new trends  we sniffed out.  But, first, 5 things we absolutely loved about today: 1. Brook Drumm of Printrbot.  We’ve met Brook before and came to Maker Faire with solid knowledge of his Printrbot line–his consumer grade home printer kits retail from $299 to $1499 and show astonishing quality for the price.  We went to see him speak because, frankly,..

3D Printing Enables Other Awesome and Beneficial Technologies

Another societally-beneficial, common-sensical, business case justified use of 3D printing came to our attention this week: scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS in Dresden have improved upon the traditional manufacture of thermoelectric generators (TEGs) used in some power station cooling towers to capture residual energy from the main generation process.  Those columns of steam that come rushing upward from cooling towers represent up to 60% of generated energy that traditional power plants don’t capture from the core process.  The use of specialized TEGs creates the..

“WOOF” Wins 3D4D Challenge for Waste Plastic Reuse Method

Congrtats to the University of Washington Open Object Fabricators, a.k.a. “WOOF” on their recent 3D4D Challenge win.  Team members Bethany Weeks, Matthew Rogge, and Brandon Bowman were recognized at the recent 3D Printshow in London, where the honor was bestowed and the grand prize of $100,000 was announced.   The winning entry is beautiful in its intention and inspiring in its success–WOOF isn’t the first team to envision using waste plastic to make 3D printing input material, but they are among the first to develop a functional, replicable method.  The..

The Distinctive Pork Flavor of Bioprinted Meat

Finally!  An exotic meat product that doesn’t taste like chicken.  Columbia, MO-based startup Modern Meadow is in the business of bioprinting meat!   You may be wondering: wouldn’t it be cheaper (let alone easier) to slaughter a beef cow if you’re craving a hamburger or a steak?  Sure, but the long-term goal is to produce a cost model that makes sense.  And, according to Co-founder Andras Forgacs, not only is printing your dinner more humane and less of an “environmental train wreck”–it’s much, much cooler to talk about at parties…

MakerBot at San Diego Comic-Con 2012

We were surprised (and pleased) to see MakerBot this year at San Diego Comic-Con.  Nestled between a collectibles stand and a try-your-hand-at-comic-drawing station, comic enthusiasts and sci-fi geeks gathered, rapt, around three working printers at the MakerBot booth.  The familiarity of the fascinated group seemed much lower than that of the Maker Faire and other maker community events.  It was clear that the Comic-Con crew had seen nothing like this before. “We’re the only 3-D printing outfit here,” admitted MakerBot Head of Sales, Jeff Osborn.  We think they’re simply the..

Pixels are dead. And 2D vector tech is looking a little green…

Want to know why? Because voxels are here. Voxels, as in, volumetric pixels that can be placed as deliberately and precisely as their 2D predecessors. That’s right–you can now design your manufactured items, voxel by voxel, for 3D manufacture, as raised at today’s AMUG conference by Objet. So, how big is a voxel? You’d do better to ask how small. Right now, 4 Million voxels are required to make the smallest Lego block. We’re not afraid to say we think that Objet’s voxel editing capabilities are really, really cool. Vive..