3D Printing no Longer Just for Prototypes?

Moving from prototypes to finished goods?

Moving from prototypes to finished goods?

It appears 3D printing is finally making a big push from prototype to finished consumer good.  3D Hubs has a ton of excellent data showing things like the most common color for prints to the most common brand of printer, but what I found most interesting was the trend chart above. Continue reading

Could You Be Sued for your Defective Designs? Product Liability and 3D Printing.

scales-of-justice

Nora Freeman Engstrom wrote a spectacular article in SSRN called, “3-D Printing and Product Liability: Identifying the Obstacles.”  The article describes how current product liability law could apply/change with widespread adoption of 3D printing. Continue reading

3D Printing to Help Rescue Coral Reefs?

My trip to the Great Barrier Reef

My trip to the Great Barrier Reef

On my trip to the Great Barrier Reef in 2012 you quickly and constantly hear about the disappearance of the reef and its environmental impact, some estimates put the coral loss at 50%.  You may have heard of groups intentionally sinking old ships to create artificial reefs and often cast concrete is used, but both these struggle to produce the complexity and diversity of a natural reef.  Enter 3D printing Continue reading

What do Elephant Reproduction, Heavy Industry and 3D Printing Have in Common?

Image courtesy of Tom Curtis at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Is momentum building for 3D printing in heavy industry? (Image courtesy of Tom Curtis at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

What does heavy industry and pregnant elephants have to do with 3D printing?  We’ll get to that towards the end I think the payoff will be worth it for you.  I subscribe to a number of diverse industrial journals and was surprised to see an article in Foundry Management & Technology about 3D printing of industrial pumps.  Maybe I’m foolish, but to me it was a sign, Continue reading

Mount Rushmore in 3.3 Billion Points: Digitally Preserving World Heritage in 3D

Sydney Opera House Perspective used with permission of Cyark

Sydney Opera House Perspective used with permission of Cyark

We’ve recently learned about an amazing laser scanning organization called CyArk.  If you remember the stories of the Taliban ordering the destruction of the 175 foot tall giant Buddha statues  in Afghanistan or saw video of the massively devastating Japanese tsunami, you’ll quickly understand CyArk’s purpose. Continue reading

3D Printing, Dollhouses and Broadway?

A while back I cam across the Projet x60 by 3D systems.  You can see in the video above its amazing capabilities to print objects in full vivid color, giving more of a finished look rather than a rough prototype.  So how do you get to Broadway?  Well unlike the joke answer, “practice”, did you know 3D printing is already commonly used by the theater industry? Continue reading

Print Your Own Prescription 3D Glasses?

Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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!

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

Image courtesy of Boians Cho Joo Young / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Boians Cho Joo Young / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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.