Will China soon be 3D Printing on the Moon?

Perhaps you have been following the news of China’s recent landing on the dark side of the moon.  The complex Chang’e4 setup has a rover and uses relay satellites to send the information back to Earth.  This is just part of a series of missions, however, with subsequent Chang’e missions looking to do things such  as bring moon rocks back to Earth with the overall goal of establishing a base on the moon.  Perhaps most exciting to us is that the Chang’e8 is scheduled to have a 3D printer on board to look at 3D printing structures for a moon base. Continue reading

Add a 3D Printer to Your Doomsday Bunker?

Do you know the guy who has the room in his basement with enough baked beans and chili to last a decade?  Commonly referred to as “preppers”, there’s a group out there who actively prepares for emergencies causing disruption in our modern lifestyle.  I saw this great read from 3D Printer Chat about a 3D printer for your bomb shelter and it made me think that a 3D printer really should be in every bunker. Continue reading

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.

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.

Now you Can 3D Print Gumby with @NinjaFlex3D

Saw this great new flexible filament by NinjaFlex.  Many 3D parts feel rigid and brittle, but there are so many applications that call for flexibility.  Some examples I can think of are cases for phones, kids toys, clothing and things like gaskets on the industrial side.  Our world is made up of objects of many materials from wood to plastic to glass to stone to steel to rubber and if 3D printing is to be a potential complete next generation manufacturing technology it must be able to work them all.  If you need a 3D Gumby file, here you go!

Got an Idea for a 3D Printable Small Robot to Assist in Bomb Disposal? Another @Innocentive Challege!

File:LA County Sheriff Bomb Robot 2.JPG

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department display at Public Safety Day in Lakewood, California. Photo by Eric Polk (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:LA_County_Sheriff_Bomb_Robot_2.JPG)

You may remember we have written a past article about Innocentive, well there’s another new great challenge.  You can earn $50,000 for designing a cheap 3D printed robot to help bomb squads. Continue reading