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!

3D Printed Religion?

So today is Fat Tuesday that is followed by Ash Wednesday tomorrow, so I figured we’d talk religion and 3D printing…yes, there does appear to be some connections and not just a 3D printed Jesus!  Jahovah’s Witnesses do not believe in receiving blood transfusions and this often limits their ability to undergo lifesaving surgery.  Here’s a great example of a blood recycling device made with 3D printed parts where new technology can save lives while still respecting religious beliefs. Continue reading

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.