24th June 2015 Written by Hannah Greethead Technology

3D Printing: Everything’s Gonna Change

3D printing has been around for a little while now, and it is starting to become clear that the future of this technology is set to be revolutionary. It’s tough to imagine any new development having more influence than the Internet, but 3D printing might just be the one… Imagine a world where you can send people objects in an instant, it’s less like email and more like a fax machine, with products transferred instantly and printed on the spot. 3D printing will disrupt traditional manufacturing and consumption chains, it will change our economy and even the way that our societies function. Pretty crazy! So that might be what is in store for the future, but what about right now?

The 3D printing industry is a lively one with a growing international following. Domestic 3D printers are now relatively accessible (although some are said to be more akin to the $30 printer that sits under your desk than to an awesome machine that perfectly builds any object that you can imagine) and there are now a number of companies offering 3D printing services, all you need to provide is a digital file of your design. But where do you look when you want to learn more about this growing industry? I recommend that you start with an industry insider… Angus Deveson is more than just a 3D printing enthusiast, he plays an active role in the 3D printing community in Australia, having worked for 3D printing companies in Sydney and Freemantle. Angus shares his experiences and advice on his YouTube channel, Maker’s Muse. His thoughtful comments are a great place to start if you’re keen to learn more about this exciting manufacturing technology. Check out his tips for making money in the 3D printing industry below.

 

 

Image: Angus Deveson via Maker's Muse

 

3rd July 2014 Written by Jasmine S. Technology

A Printer That Crawls Around The Paper

I’m going to cut to the chase—it’s a robot printer. That’s right, it’s a printer that crawls around and shoots ink out on paper.

The members of Israel’s ZUtA Labs started this project at the Jerusalem College of Technology in the Friedberg Entrepreneurship Program. They were instructed to create an idea with a sustainable business plan, and they came up with this little device. They’ve made a minimal-functioning prototype and are now creating the complete prototype. They even showcased the Pocket Printer at Microsoft’s innovation event in Israel, ThinkNext, and received positive responses.

The printer is simple, really. There’s a hatch at the bottom where you can pop in an ink cartridge, a USB port for charging, and an app for you to connect with the Pocket Printer. The greyscale inkjet lasts for over 1000 printed pages and the battery can stay up to an hour of continual use. Just place it on top of a paper on flat surface and let it do it’s thing.

Read more about ZUtA Labs and their Pocket Printer here, where you can donate to their Kickstarter and help them achieve their goal. 

20th May 2014 Written by Jasmine S. Arts

Make 3D Doodles out of Thin Air

We all doodle. It’s sort of human nature to create something, isn’t it? However, doodling on notebooks is so 2013, because now we can doodle in thin air, without paper. 

The Lix Pen is the pen of the future, because it combines the ingeniousness of 3D printing with the simplicity of household stationary. Created by Belgian founders Ismail Baran, Anton Suvorov and Delphine Eloïse Wood in July 2013, Lix is a professional tool that enables you to sketch in the air or on flat surfaces without the use paper and create freestanding rigid structures. 

You connect the Lix Pen via a USB port for power and insert the plastic filament in the opening at the top (like you would refill a mechanical pencil with thin lead). Once the plastic filament reaches the hot-end nozzle, it will begin to melt and create the ‘ink’ for your structures. One it is squeezed out of the pen, the ink will quickly harden, giving it the ability to ‘stand’.

The pen is made of aluminium and comes in matte black and matte grey, and fits in your palm like a normal pen. The Lix Pen can not only create intricate décor pieces, it can also be used for fashion accessories and engineering prototypes. Those who don’t want to mess with the complexities of 3D printing can use the Lix Pen to transform their thoughts into reality. 

To view their Kickstarter campaign and maybe have your own Lix Pen, visit their page here.

19th May 2014 Written by Jasmine S. Technology

Printing Makeup is a Real Thing Now

We’ve seen 3D printers build things from arm casts to houses, and now it has amazed us again. That’s right ladies and gentlemen, makeup can now be printed at home with Mink. Think of the printer as a mini Sephora, if you will, right on your vanity table. 

The brains behind this beauty is Grace Choi, a self-proclaimed ‘serial inventor’ who came up with the idea when she was in Harvard Business School. After realising the beauty industry jacks up the prices for products that are very easy and cheap to make, she decided it was time for a change—and boy is this quite a change. 

The printer is about the size of a regular one and uses a variety of FDA-approved materials to create the products. It can print out blush, eyeshadow, cream, and even foundation. The individual raw materials inside—such as clays, colour and emulsifiers—will conjure up whatever you want. 

Here’s the kicker; you can literally pick any colour you want your product to be. See that nice lipstick on Kate Upton? Just screenshot the colour and use the eyedropper tool to fill an entire page on Photoshop of MS Paint. Press print, and voila! 

The best part is that you don’t need any additional software for your computer because it works like a normal printer. Simply connect to the printer and you have yourself your very own beauty isle. If you ever run out of ‘ink', or the cosmetic ingredients, you can buy them individually (although it has not been stated where), but Choi has assured us that they are very, very cheap. 

The printer will be retailed at $300 but that’s actually a bargain considering makeup products can cost a fortune. Now, you won’t have to cry after buying a $70 foundation that is two shades darker than your skin tone because you can literally get another one for free. One that doesn’t make you look like a pumpkin.

Watch Choi’s groundbreaking presentation at TechCrunch Disrupt below. 

29th April 2014 Written by Jasmine S. Technology

3D-Printers Are Making…Houses?

A village in Shanghai created 10 houses in one day. No, this isn’t The Sims, but this is the future of 3D Printing. Each house took only $5000 to make and is partly made out of recycled materials. 

If you’re thinking of a giant printer that’s creating comically large houses, then you’ve been watching too many cartoons. Although the printers are huge—150m long, 10m wide, and 6m deep—they're not quite big enough to churn out finished houses.  Instead, they construct parts of the houses from high-grade cement, recycled construction and industrial waste, and reinforce them with glass fibers. The layers are then taken out and assembled by people. Voila! A house! 

The company behind this ingenious innovation is WinSun Decoration Design Engineering Co., who have taken years to perfect this project. They plan to build 100 factories around China to collect and transform aggregate waste for their printers. Kind of like ink, but way cooler. 

Incredible isn’t it? Maybe God used a 3D printer to create the world in 7 days. 

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