3D Printing Evolution: More in Common with the Internet or the Electric Car?

3D Printing Evolution? (art by Doug Mancosky of printingDDD.com)

3D Printing Evolution? (art by Doug Mancosky of printingDDD.com)

We’ve all read about amazing applications of 3D printing from food to firearms.  It’s been featured on crime TV shows and 3D printed gun fears were covered by the media.  Even Martha Stewart covered 3D printing!  We’ve read theories about new markets from consumer to small business to large corporations, the revolution is here!  I also remember, however, that I saw my first 3D printer 20 years ago and assumed the revolution was just around the corner then too.

Maybe it’s just me, but 3D printing doesn’t quite seem to be the darling of the media it once was a year ago.  It also seemed like last year every trade journal  had a couple articles about how 3D printing was going to revolutionize their industry, but it appears all these conversation have grown a bit quieter in the last 6 months.  So that raises the question, is mainstream 3D printing a passing fad or here to stay? Continue reading

Dremmel Idea Builder: A Mass Market 3D Printer?

When you think Dremmel you probably think a little spinning tool used for tons of applications from cutting to polishing to sanding, but perhaps soon you will think 3D printer?  Dremmel has released a pretty nice 3D printer that is being sold at some big box stores.  You can buy it now for $999 at Amazon and Home Depot.  There are lots of cool models are available here from toothbrush stands to toys to get you started too.  The $999 price point may still be a bit rich, but we’re inching ever closer to the elusive mass market 3D printer!

Mike Rowe @Bobbleheads made with 3D Scanning and Printing

Was watching CNN’s show “Somebody’s Gotta Do It” with Mike Rowe and they had a great piece that incorporated some quick mentions of 3D scanning and printing which were used to make his doll!  What was even cooler was that the company featured, Bobbleheads.com, was just down the road in Alpharetta, GA!  The show talked about the very involved custom process, but also touched on the difficulty in making a product like a bobblehead economically in the USA.  It looked like an awesome company with awesome people, may have to take a trek to Alpharetta and have one made sometime!

3D Printed Summer Fun!

We just passed July 4th, so I thought I’d give you a couple fun stories related to summer themes and 3D printing.  What goes better with a July 4th BBQ than an ice cold beverage?  You can use the Spin Chill to cool a beverage in minutes by spinning it witch this small mechanical device in ice (the spinning is smooth so it doesn’t create bubbles).  The original prototypes of the Spin Chill were developed with 3D printing and this was followed with a KickStarter campaign.  Speaking of beer, another company even makes 3D printed beer taps! Continue reading

NCIS Los Angeles Uses 3D Printing and Scanning Plotline

I watched a great episode of NCIS: Los Angeles that was totally centered on 3D!  In this episode a crime was committed in a dangerous place so the team decided to totally recreate the crime scene.  A team first infiltrated the site to for a laser scan and then it was printed full size to allow for a complete crime scene investigation.  So I can’t imagine this being an everyday police application, but it would allow CSI’s to recreate a crime scene anytime they wanted or even create exhibits for jurors.  Good to see 3D printing getting some positive Hollywood love rather than another plot based on an untraceable 3D printed gun used in a murder.

3D Print a Home on Mars? #MakerBotMars Challenge Winners!

Makerbot ran a great contest to 3D print a home on Mars.   In cooperation with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, contestants were challenged to create a mars base that could deal with the harsh conditions, dust storms, lack of oxygen and radiation found on the red plant.  Here are some fun Mars facts to give an idea of the challenges.  There were some great entries borrowing from nature with honeycomb to borrowing from the ancient engineering with a pyramid.  Head on over and check it out!