Will Oculus Rift and 3D Scanning be New CSI Tools?

Are you a fan of shows like CSI like me?  Maybe you’ve seen them do digital recreations of a crime scene?  Imagine not just showing that to a jury, but transporting them virtually there.  With the help of 3D laser scanning and an Oculus Rift style headset this may soon be possible.  Maybe in the future a 3D laser scanner will become standard CSI equipment to have a digital copy of the crime scene forever and not be limited by just pictures and measurements.

NASA and @MadeInSpace E-mail a Wrench to Space

Commander Barry Wilmore with the 3D-printed wrench. (photo courtesy of NASA)

Commander Barry Wilmore holding his new 3D-printed wrench. (photo courtesy of NASA)

Our friends at Made In Space haven’t wasted any time putting the new ISS 3D printer to good use.  The crew at Made In Space heard that ISS Commander Wilmore really wanted a ratcheting socket wrench, so they went to work and designed one.  The group of files was then sent to NASA who transmitted them to the 3D printer aboard the ISS to make Commander Wilmore his early Christmas gift.  This marked the first time an object was designed on Earth and transmitted to space for 3D printing.  It’s so cool to see the printer being employed to make useful needed tools and not just novelty proof of concept work already in its very early days.  You can read all about it on the Made In Space blog.

Will you Have a 3D Printed Christmas Ornament this Year?

3D printed ornament

3D printed ornament available on Etsy for only $11! (photo courtesy of CarryTheWhat Etsy store)

If you’re a purist like me the Christmas season is just a couple days away as Thanksgiving fades into Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  We expect the biggest ever 3D printed Christmas and wonder how may trees will have a 3D printed ornament this year?

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3D Printing to Make the NFL Safer?

The NFL has announced the winners of its Head Health Challenge.   The National Football League, Under Armour and GE put out a challenge to find new tools for detecting concussions and protecting football players from traumatic brain injuries.  One of the winners was a partnership of UCLA and  Architected Materials for a new energy-absorbing 3D-printed “microlattice.” material that could replace the foam padding in existing helmets.  We wrote earlier about 3D printing for increasing performance in football through 3D printing cleats for the Super Bowl and hopefully it can be a small part of making the game safer for the professionals and amateurs who play it too.

3D Print in Gold

Amazing animation showing how 3D printing can even be done in gold!  We’ve talked about crazy materials in the past from glass to rubber, but I think this takes the cake.  A collaboration of EOS and Cookson Precious Metals (CPM), you can read more about here.  The benefits here are immense from total freedom of design to making hollow elements to save on material.  This may bring a whole new element to designing an engagement ring!

Watch 3D Printing of a House in Clay on @PDandD Newswire 113

We’ve talked before about PD&D Newswire and their love of 3D printing before and they’re back at it again covering a 3D printer called the WASP Delta 3D Printer that works in clay!  It’s awesome to to see people printing in local natural materials and for good like housing.  Sometimes it seems like 3D printing has more of a small object future, but then you see videos like this or an article about printing homes in one day in Japan and maybe there’s a big near future.