The Story of the Princess and the Magical Printer 3D!

I recently watched the Tedx talk above by the Creator of GoldieBlox, Debbie Sterling.  Her talk sucked me in instantly as it discussed the lack of female engineers, her inability to believe she ever “fit in” to the engineering world and her journey to create and fund GoldieBlox.  GoldieBlox is an awesome new toy set that seeks to introduce engineering themes to girls through the added context of reading and story which, through her research, more easily captivates young girls.

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BAAM! Why Emeril Lagasse will love the next BIG thing in 3D printing!

Emeril Lagasse, USAF

Big area additive manufacturing (BAAM) is beginning to become a reality.  Look for 3D printing to expand from little plastic trinkets to large lightweight, but strong structural components.  One of the places this is most evident is in aerospace.  The news has been littered with article about 3D printing a 19 ft x 4 ft x 4 ft “wing box” for an F-14 fighter jet to Airbus creating a BAAM titanium partnership with Airbus predicting it will 3D print an entire jet by 2050!  BAAM has even been covered by outlets like Popular Science Continue reading

3D Printing and the Olympics!

Me at the 2002 Olympic ski jump in salt Lake City

Me at the 2002 Olympic ski jump in Salt Lake City

Have you been sucked into the winter Olympics like me the last 2 weeks?  I’m a sucker for curling.  Have you wondered if there are any 3D printed equipment in use?  There are tons of examples of 3D modeling used in things like bobsled, but actual printing applications appear to be few and far between.   Continue reading

Print Your Own Prescription 3D Glasses?

Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane at

Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane at

So you’ve heard about getting glasses in under an hour, but what if you could make them at home?  The technology is getting to the point that not only can you print the frames, but 3D print a lens as well.  You broke a lens, print a replacement.  In a 3rd world country without an optics lab, no worries, you just need a 3D printer.  This gives new meaning to “3D glasses”!  Speaking of 3D glasses, maybe NFL player Ziggy Ansah of the Detroit Lions can 3D print himself a better pair!

A place for your 3D print fails?

There’s a great group on Flickr called, “The Art of 3D Print Failure“, that showcases the results of a 3D print gone wrong.  The goal of the group is to encourage discussion and “analysis of the failure and ways of preventing such failures in the future”.  The site can be quite entertaining in the way a blooper reel is and maybe you can help someone too.  Of course you can try to avoid errors all together by following good 3D printing practices like those found here.

On Valentine’s Day See How Victoria’s Secret Uses 3D Printing

As part of their annual fashion show, Victoria’s Secret used a set of 3D printed angel wings.  The effort is assisted by Swarovski Crystal and Shapeways.  You can see a summary of the process here that even went as far as scanning the model, Lindsay Ellingson, to assure the perfect fit.  It has even gotten press in fashion publications like Style.  You probably won’t see this in you local store, falling more in the “Million Dollar Bra” category, but it’s another cool high profile application of 3D technology.

Buy or Print? A decision that may become common in homes?

Image courtesy of Boians Cho Joo Young /

Image courtesy of Boians Cho Joo Young /

According to Michigan Technological University by Joshua Pearce, a household 3D printer could be an economic win for most families.  They’ve released a study (that was summarized in a recent article in Laboratory Equipment) that showed up to a $2,000 annual savings 3D printing 20 common household items rather than purchasing them.  The group chose items such as cellphone accessories, a garlic press, a showerhead and a spoon holder and costs included things like shipping from online vendors.