We are pleased to announce a special event tonight Tuesday June 18th. We are teaming up with Instructables to help celebrate the return of Tinkercad as it joins the 123D family. Join us as we have fun using these great tools that make 3D modeling easy. We will kick off around 7pm at AS220 Labs in Providence, RI. This event is free and is part of Labs weekly Open Hack night.
Not quite there, but hopefully someday.
One of the most exciting (and misunderstood) ideas to emerge with the explosion of 3D printing is using the technology to create living tissue. This new field of Bioprinting promises replacement organs, 3D printed steaks, and a range of new “biomaterials”. But, as is the case with all emerging technologies, there is a gap between the concrete deliverables and the conjectural possibilities. Wednesday night’s talk aims to explore both the current state of Bioprinting as well as its potential development, with emphasis on how the hacker/maker community might be able to contribute.
Join us at 7PM on Wednesday, June 12th at AS220 Labs for this presentation and stick around after to join in the conversation. As always this meeting is free and open to the public.
Well, as any of you on the mailing list know we are fast on our way to our first printer build event. Last night Jason, Dan, Simon, Kelly, and Andrew made their way through tapping all of the extrusion for the kits. This get’s us a long way towards being ready for our build weekend but there is still lots to do. With all of this going on we are taking this month to work on prepping for our build. If you are interested in seeing what all goes into putting this kind of event on or want to help us in our prep then please join us tonight (Wednesday, May 8th, 2013) at 7pm at AS220 Labs. If you are having bot problems and need some help feel free to bring your bot down too and we will try to get you up and running. As normal there will be tons of discussion about the current trends and topics in 3D printing also.
At previous meetings we have discussed modeling tools that are either very easy to get started with ore are more oriented to creating precise models for parts and useful objects. Most of these tools though are not great at making sculptural things. This is where ZBrush shines. ZBrush allows you to make models more like you are actually sculpting them instead of relying on geometric shapes like Sketchup or OpenSCAD. Jason Loik is a profesional sculptor and toy maker. He will guide us through the basics of what ZBrush is and how we can get started. This meeting will be on Wednesday April 10th starting at 7pm. Like always we will be meeting at AS220 Labs in downtown Providence, RI.
A few months ago I was having a discussion with a friend about what was going to come along in 2013 for desktop 3D printing and he predicted that 2013 would be the year of materials. Thus far he is once again being proven to have his finger on the pulse. The past 6 months have seen multiple new filaments come to market. These filaments are not just experimental filaments that are fun to play around with but are actual working thermoplastics with properties that add new possibilities to our prints.
Join us for our March meeting, where we will discuss some of these new filaments, how to print with them, and why you would want to. This is your chance to find out more about the cool properties of Laywoo-d3 and the resilience of Taulman 618. This meeting is free and open to the public. We will be meeting at AS220 Labs as usual and will be getting started around 7pm on Wednesday March 13, 2013.
When printing with an FDM 3D printer, such as a Makerbot or RepRap, you run into problems when printing objects that have large overhangs or bridges within your model. While SLS printers can use their extra material to make spacing for working mechanics within a print, that can be difficult to achieve in FDM prints. FDM printers can print support structures that are made with excess printing material, which can later be torn away, however this excess material must be on the outside or accessible within the print.
The solution to these problems is dissolvable suport material. Dissolvable support material can be printed to create a support structure within your model, but can later be removed by placing the print in a solution that removes that material. Many materials have been tried for use with hobby printers but without great results… Until now!
I have been working with HIPS (High Impact Polystyrene) plastic from Filaco, printing in combination with ABS. When printed as a tearaway support structure, HIPS can be easily torn from the ABS – leaving an even finish behind. The real power, though, comes from the ability to remove the HIPS support material by dissolving it away. HIPS is soluble in a chemical called Limonene. When a print is placed in a bath of Limonene, the HIPS portions are completely dissolved away – leaving behind just the ABS sections. This opens up the potential for moving parts and more complicated structures to be printed in one print instead of multiple.
I made my prints with a Makerbot Replicator 1 with two extruders. My process was simple.
- Both extruders set to 235C.
- Heated bed set to 115 (HIPS sticks really well at this temp and I did not have any curling issues).
- Wait for print to fully cool. HIPS stays very pliable until it’s cool and will bend when removing from your plate if not fully cooled.
- Place in a glass jar with enough limonene to cover for 24 hours, agitating as frequently as possible. Time may vary depending on the amount of material used, so monitor status every couple of hours.
- Remove your print and rinse in fresh water.
Your print will maintain a pungent smell of oranges – but hey, that’s not so bad, right?
New on Kickstarter is the 3Doodler, a 3D printing pen. This item is essentially a hand held extruder that allows users to draw their designs in 2D or 3D space. I think the novelty of this will appeal to many users but I think there are hidden benefits to the device also. The pen should also be able to be used as a welder to attach two prints together or to fix cracks that may have occurred in your prints. This option alone could be worth the early bird $75 entry price but I feel like there will also be lots of fun 3D doodles in our future.
After over a year without a new version, OpenScad 2013.01 has been released with a large list of features and bug fixes. Although most of these wil probably seem transparent to most users, it’s a good sign that this powerful and open tool is still progressing. Marius has also indicated that there will be another new update coming shortly.
Official Site and Downloads
Sailfish, the incredibly full featured alternative firmware for MakerBot printers has released a new version. Sailfish 4.2/7.1 was released on February 10th and includes some great new features.
- Replicator 2 Support
- SD Card Folders
- Long File Names
- Speed Control
These are just some of the highlights in this significant new release. If you own a MakerBot and you are not running sailfish, this is a perfect time to upgrade. If you have already jumped in the boat, then I’m sure this update will bring features you have been waiting for.
Sailfish Official Blog
Makerbot has finally implemented and launched an API for Thingiverse and with this a handful of apps that take advantage of it. The most significant thus far is Customizer. Customizer allows designers to easily be able to make designs using OpenScad and then allow others to personalize those items using simple menus without the need to edit the code. The first few days saw a flurry of custom iphone cases and rings that quickly clogged up the Thingiverse new items feed and forced Makerbot to reevaluate the way they display new items. This also showed the success and the possibilities of a system to allow anyone to be a designer. We will demo customizer and talk about how you too can get started with this new tool as well as demoing some of the other apps that are available with the API.
I am often asked about what types of materials can be printed on standard hobby 3d printers. As a bonus I am also preparing some demo prints to show off some of the new types of filament that are becoming available along side the classics.
This event is free and open to the public at AS220 Labs in Providence, RI. We will be kicking off around 7pm on Wednesday, February 13th.