Fabricators watch as an artificial hip joint comes together on the tray of a 3D printer. This, doctors say, is the high-tech future of joint replacement. The printer's lone nozzle squirts plastic polymer out into the precise shape. However, in the time it takes to make a new joint, you could watch half a season of The Bachelor, or drive from New York City to eat poutine in Montreal. One company is addressing the time barrier with a new software that enables faster, and much bigger, 3D printing. https://vimeo.com/157523884 Autodesk is creating a 3D printing system, dubbed Project Escher, will be able to create large objects in one pass. Project Escher divides larger designs into smaller instructional packages. The packages are sent to groups of printheads which work in tandem to produce the finished object. This factory-line approach speeds up the often painstakingly slow printing process for large, high-resolution pieces. The customization goes further: Project Escher's printheads are modular, making it easy to swap out different tools. For example, you could swap a printhead with a tool that removes supporting structures while the other five printheads churn out a product. This video shows just how this would happen. Printing large objects could have positive ramifications for architects: facades like this one could be fabricated in one session. Ornate wall-to-wall moldings or whole ceilings could be reproduced without interruption. Currently, larger-scale 3D printing is currently employed by archeologists replicating ancient buildings destroyed by ISIS in the Syrian city of Palmyra. To be clear, Autodesk is not building a new printer, just the software. The printer-savvy can build their own machines to accomodate the software, mere amateurs will have to wait for the hardware to catch up.
Posts tagged with "3D Printing":
Even for the old-school sundial, analog is out and digital is in, in a manner of speaking. French Etsy retailer Mojoptix has created a 3D-printed sundial that uses an intricate system of holes to display time like a digital clock, no batteries needed. Using an extraordinarily articulated dial, the apparatus uses light and shadow to display the time in 20-minute increments between 10:00a.m. and 4:00p.m. Mojoptix's not-so-digital sundial takes 35-hours to print and each one is made individually, something the shop describes as requiring "a lot of patience." Fulfilling your sundial trivia needs, Mojoptix's device is technically a "gnomon," the shadow-casting portion of the ancient tool. The company prints these gnomons on Ultimaker 2 3D printers using 0.1mm and 0.2mm layers of ABS plastic. "No batteries, no motor, no electronics... It's all just a really super-fancy shadow show," says Mojoptix. "The shape of the sundial has been mathematically designed to only let through the right sunrays at the right time/angle. This allows to display the actual time with sunlit digits inside the sundial's shadow." https://youtu.be/wrsje5It_UU
This month's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) brought more than 170,000 attendees to visit over 3,600 exhibitors. Navigating a sea of similar tech products may seem overwhelming, but there are a few products to note within the realms of smart home technology, 3D printing, and electronics to improve one’s health. House of the Future Nearly a Reality Still no self-cleaning floors, but a Jetson-like future is not far off with systems like Vivint, which syncs most of the controls in your home to your smartphone. Not only do these systems offer doorbell and ping security cameras that include two-way talk, you can also control the garage door, lighting, temperature, and DVR remotely. The newest addition to the Vivant family is the integration of Kwikset Smart Locks, the Nest Learning Thermostat, and the Amazon Echo. To keep things clean top to bottom, WINBOT is a new robot that cleans framed and frameless windows as well as horizontal glass surfaces and mirrors. All you have to do is spritz the cleaning pad, switch it on, and place it on the window. The bot does the rest by automatically scanning and calculating the size of the window or surface. Samsung debuted the Family Hub Refrigerator that brings a bunch of sci-fi tech to real life. With a 21.5-inch HD LCD display on the exterior, you can post family photos and calendars as well as stream music and watch live TV; so you never have to miss a moment of the big game or award show while refilling on snacks. One of the most impressive features is the set of three interior cameras that take photos every time the door is closed. Next time you are at the grocery store and can’t remember if you are out of milk, just peer inside the fridge from your smartphone screen. Skydrop, the new smart sprinkler controller, monitors local weather data and automatically sets the perfect time and amount of water its yard receives. The system can reduce water usage by 50 percent, which saves money while aiding the environment. Let’s Get Physical Knowing how many steps walked or calories burned in a day is so yesterday. With iHealth’s collection of medical-tech accessories, users can monitor every aspect of their health including blood pressure, glucose levels; weight and BMI; sleep, and blood oxygen levels. With the MyVitals app all data can be viewed in one place and easily shared. Swarovski has released activity tracking jewelry, called Shine, that transforms from watch to necklace to bracelet all while wirelessly syncing with the wearer’s smart phone. Humanscale has created two products that work in tandem to increase productivity and psychical activity in the workplace. The QuickStand Lite transforms any fixed-height desk into a standing desk, and can be moved easily allowing for users to sit or stand as often as necessary. The OfficeIQ was created in collaboration with Tome Software and uses sensor technology to gather data on sit-stand use. It measures caloric expenditure and sends real time notifications to users, reminding them when they have been seated too long. Print it Out 3DSystems recently released CubePro, a large-format printer that makes printing professional quality models at home a snap. Especially with new printing materials that include nylon, rinse-away support, and wood composite materials. The Nylon material is a flexible and long-lasting medium for functional prototyping. Rinse-Away allows designers to achieve intricate patterns that are easy to remove and leave no“support stubble”” residue. Lastly, its wood composite material can be sanded, nailed, drilled, stained, and painted to make artistic creations. Big news for those of us who are not in the position to buy large-scale printing devices, or have too much work for a home printer to handle. UPS is now offering over 60 printing locations in the U.S. that can quickly and efficiently turn 3D files into models.
Replicas of the entrance arch of the ancient Temple of Bel in Palmyra, Syria, will be recreated using a giant 3D printer for World Heritage Week in London and New York. The recreations are intended to defy the actions of extremist group the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which destroyed a large portion of the nearly 2,000-year-old temple building in August of last year. The arch, which is nearly 50 feet high, is one of the few relics standing after ISIS sought to systematically destroy Palmyra in an effort to erase the pre-Islamic history of the Middle East. https://twitter.com/middleeasthist/status/683281394202742784 Before the conflict in Syria ignited in 2011, Palmyra’s rich cultural heritage drew more than 150,000 tourists each year. The temple, which was founded in A.D. 32 and consecrated to the Mesopotamian god Bel, was exemplary of the fusion of Middle Eastern, Greek, and Roman influences and was considered to be one of the most important sites in Palmyra. The temple was converted into a Christian church during the Byzantine era, and then into a mosque when Islam arrived around the 7th century. In recent times, the Temple of Bel was an important cultural venue for Syrians, acting as a setting for concerts and events. The Institute for Digital Archaeology (IDA), a joint venture between Harvard University, the University of Oxford, and Dubai’s Museum of the Future that promotes the use of digital imaging and 3D printing in archaeology and conservation, is taking the lead on the recreation efforts. Last year, the organization collaborated with UNESCO in the distribution of 3D cameras so that volunteer photographers could document threatened cultural objects in areas of conflict in the Middle East and North Africa. The images are to be uploaded to a “million-image database” for use in research, educational programs, and ultimately 3D replication, as in the case of the Temple of Bel. Although the Temple of Bel was demolished before photographers with 3D cameras could capture it, researchers at the IDA have been able to create 3D approximations of the temple using ordinary photographs. The full-size replica arches, to be made from stone powder and a lightweight composite, will be created off-site and then assembled in Trafalgar Square and Times Square for display this April.
The frontier-era drama The Revenant, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy, may have won best picture at last night’s Golden Globes, but it’s the actors’ 2010 mind-bending film Inception that has inspired some seriously cool (yet questionably practical) furniture. The “Wave City Coffee Table,” created by Cypriot-based designer Stelios Mousarris, emulates the scene from the Christopher Nolan–directed thriller in which Ellen Page’s character Ariadne, a student at the Ecole Speciale d’Architecture in Paris, “messes with the physics” of a dream. The resulting bent cityscape mesmerized audiences around the world—and now around the coffee table. This cantilevering wood and steel table features an urban landscape bending over itself, as depicted in the film. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9hBWnh_O6A Mousarris, who previously worked for Foster and Partners as a modelmaker and for Duffy London as an assistant designer, created the unusual piece using 3D printing technology. His other work proves just as unique, and includes the “Carpet Sofa,” which can be custom-made with a carpet that fits your individual space, and the “Half Couch,” which is described by Mousarris as balancing on one side “whilst perfectly supporting the human weight on the other side.” The limited-edition table is available for purchase on the designer’s website for €5,000, although you may only be able to afford it in your dreams.
A high-performance building prototype which shares energy with a natural-gas-powered hybrid electric vehicle.A cross-disciplinary team at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have designed an innovative single-room building module to demonstrate new manufacturing and building technology pathways. The research project, named Additive Manufacturing Integrated Energy (AMIE), leverages rapid innovation through additive manufacturing, commonly known as ‘3d printing,’ to connect a natural-gas-powered hybrid electric vehicle to a high-performance building designed to produce, consume, and store renewable energy. The vehicle and building were developed concurrently as part of the AMIE project. The goal of AMIE was twofold according to Dr. Roderick Jackson, Group Leader of Building Envelope Systems Research and Project Lead for the AMIE project at ORNL: “First, how do we integrate two separate strains of energy: buildings and vehicles; and secondly, how do we use additive manufacturing as a way to create a framework for rapid innovation while not becoming constrained by the resources of today?” Additive manufacturing contributed to formal expression of the building envelope structure and offered efficiencies in material usage while significantly reducing construction waste. Jackson says the design and manufacturing process became embedded into the ‘rapid innovation’ spirit of the project. “The architects at SOM worked hand in hand with the manufacturing process, sharing the building model with the 3d printers in the same way that the vehicle shares power with building. For example, within the course of less than a week, between the manufacturer, the material supplier, the 3d printers, and the architects, we were able to work together to reduce the print time by more than 40%.” In total, the AMIE project – from research, through design, manufacturing, and assembly – took 9 months. The building incorporates low-cost vacuum insulated panels into an additively manufactured shell, printed in 2’ widths in half ring profiles, assembled at Clayton Homes, the nation’s largest manufactured home builder. The vacuum insulated panels consist of Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) with 20% carbon fiber reinforcement, a material which serves as a “starting point” for Jackson and his team: “We wanted to open up the door for people to say ‘what if?’ What if we used a non-traditional material to construct a building? I see this product as a ‘gateway.’ This might not be the final material we’ll end up using to construct buildings in the future. We’ll need to find locally available materials and utilize more cost-saving techniques. But we had to start somewhere. The ABS product will open the door for a conversation.” The project emerged out of fundamental questions concerning access to, and use of energy. Climate change, an increasing demand for renewable energy sources, and uncertainty in the balance of centralized versus distributed energy resources all impact the grid. In addition, more than 1.3 billion people worldwide have no access to an electric grid, and for an additional billion people, grid access is unreliable. AMIE will doubly function in the near future as an educational showcase to both the public who will learn of its story, and ORNL researchers who will continue to monitor how energy is generated, used, and stored. Will there be an AMIE 2.0? Jackson responds: “We don’t look at this as a one hit wonder. We really want this research to be the first stone thrown in the water that causes a ripple throughout the disciplines involved. Not only for us, but throughout the world. We want to put this out there so other smart people can look at it and brainstorm. If the end of the next project looks anything like AMIE 1.0, then we’ve missed the boat.”
The Detroit Design Festival returns this year with 30 events and exhibits put together with contributions from dozens of architects and designers. The festival, which runs September 22–26, kicks off with “industry day,” featuring 3D printing demonstrations and a lecture by Stephen Hobbs titled “Defensive Architecture.” You can view a full schedule of the events here.
Chocolate purveyor Hershey has jumped onto the 3D printing bandwagon. While not as aesthetically ambitious as Nendo's venture into custom sweets, there's something to be said for remaining true to the iconic, albeit simple, kiss-shaped treat. Initial ventures took from a few minutes to more than an hour to print; if you're really hankering for a chocolate fix, you might be better off grabbing a bag of the pre-fab variety. https://youtu.be/ovg19Ehjo7U
Soon, we might have 3D copy machines. Using powerful new technology, MIT's latest 3D printer boasts, according to Russia Today, almost "human-free usability" which allows it to print "ready to use" objects comprising of up to ten different materials. https://youtu.be/poRFPjiB9vw The development is being described by Gizmodo as a "giant leap" towards real-life replication as 3D printers strive for the ultimate goal of being able to produce functioning electronic parts. Already printers are capable of producing electronic circuits, however, MIT's printer named 'MultiFab' (echoing the name of the 'MultiVac' super-computer in Isaac Asimov's science fiction novel, The Last Question) is able to integrate these circuits into actual electronic components. This simplification of the manufacturing process hints at a future where a press of a button will be enough to produce such electronic mechanisms. A 3D scanner is also incorporated into the printer which allows the device to print onto existing components. This could mean that making future modifications to your smartphone, for example, is a very real possibility. Another advantage of this feature is that the printing process can be almost hands free. The scanner works in real time to make sure everything is aligned, telling the printer to make changes if necessary. In a release by the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) at MIT, the research team has described their printer as, "high-resolution, low-cost, extensible, and modular." Advocating its possible use in education they also said that "students and teachers will be able to create complex mathematical figures, physics sets, lens systems, and anatomical models."
Genius starts small: The world’s first 3D-printed fashion collection was created in the bedroom of a soon-to-be college grad. Starting with a less than rudimentary grasp of 3D printing, Israeli fashion student Danit Peleg rendered an entire ready-to-wear collection, initially feeding polyactic acid plastics (PLA) into a desktop 3D printer. However, the material proved brittle and inflexible, and for the next nine months Peleg cast around for an alternative. She then discovered FilaFlex, a strong and flexible plastic, with which she printed her first piece: a triangular-latticed red jacket called ‘Liberté,’ (the word is woven into the design) which was inspired by the painting ‘Liberty Leading the People’ by Eugène Delacroix. “I modified [the painting] so it would look like a 3D picture. I was inspired to work with the many triangles present in the painting’s composition,” Peleg wrote on her website. For this piece, she used 3D rendering software called Blender. Subsequently, Peleg began to experiment with an array of materials and printers, happening upon Andreas Bastian’s Mesostructured Cellular Materials, a synclastic material with snowflake-like patterning. She then enlisted the help of 3D printing experts TechFactoryPlus and XLN to acquire different printers and go all nine yards on her vision, which she would present for her graduate collection required to obtain her fashion degree from Shenkar College of Engineering and Design in Israel. It took 2,000 hours to print the collection using her Witbox FDM desktop 3D printer and flexible FilaFlex filaments. “I wanted to create a ready-to-wear collection printed entirely at home using printers that anyone can get,” said Peleg. Each A4-sized textile sheet took at least 20 hours to print, and each dress an average of 4,000 hours. The lace-like geometric detailing of each dress is strikingly three-dimensional, so that the dresses “have a topography and aren’t just flat textiles.” Peleg wanted her models to walk the runway in head-to-toe 3D prints, so she printed fire engine-red high-heeled shoes inspired by designer Michele Badia. Although ecstatic about the design potential she has unearthed, Peleg concedes that 3D-printed fashion is still conceptual. “I don’t think that people mostly would like to wear rubber for daily life,” she told the Times of Israel. “But I’m sure these structures will look much nicer if we can do it from cotton. In a few years, the material that we can put into the machines will be polyester maybe, and then it will feel better.”
London skyline as battleground: Designers render 3D-printed chess pieces in the shape of iconic architecture
City skylines can seem at times like battlegrounds, with architects vying for superlatives of tallest, grandest, and bizarrest. Skyline Chess, founded by London-based designers Chris Prosser and Ian Flood, reimagines chess pieces as miniature models of the city’s landmark buildings. The ubiquitous terraced house, oft seen in indistinguishable cookie-cutter rows, is recast as the humble pawn, while the iconic Big Ben plays the rook, the London Eye Ferris wheel stands in for the Knight, and the Bishop is supplanted with The Gherkin. Meanwhile, Renzo Piano’s 87-story Shard in Southwark, London, presides as Queen, while the reigning honor of King-dom is bestowed upon the 4.5 inch-tall Canary Wharf, one of the UK’s two main financial centers. “In developing the idea we thought long and hard about suitable alternatives for the chessmen, both in terms of their architecture and symbolic value as well as their value on the chessboard,” the designers wrote on their website. “We believe that as individual objects they are beautiful and when arranged across the board represent something unique.” Lovers of architecture, Prosser and Flood developed their idea over a series of chess matches, modeled the pieces in 3D, and then 3D-printed them in injection-molded acrylic. Each piece is double-weighted and has a felt base. In 2013, the designers launched a campaign on popular crowdfunding site Kickstarter, but won just over $14,000 in pledges of the approximately $39,000 requested to fund their startup. While crowdfunding fell through, seeing as the site operates on an all-or-nothing funding model, Prosser and Flood secured investment elsewhere. In addition to trotting out its first architecture-influenced edition, Skyline Chess creates bespoke chess sets for lovers of the strategic board game, and has its eye on developing sets based on the architectural icons of Rome, New York, Dubai, and Shanghai.
New to the list of job functions up for replacement by technology: bridge construction. Dutch designer Joris Laarman has founded MX3D, a research and development company currently tinkering with a never-before-seen 3D printer that can weld steel objects in mid-air. In 2017, Laarman will deposit the robot on the banks of a canal in Amsterdam and walk away. When he returns two months later, a 24-foot steel bridge will arc over the canal, built utterly without human intervention yet capable of accommodating normal foot traffic for decades. This potentially revolutionizing technology by MX3D and Autodesk can “draw” and fabricate city infrastructure on location, which has radical implications for the construction industry. Far from being makeshift, the finished bridge will feature an intricate design that looks more handcrafted than the detailing on a typical bridge. 3D printing allows for granular control of detail that industrial manufacturing does not, accommodating designs that are more ornate and bespoke than the detailing on most bridges. While 3D printers normally transact in resin or plastic, Laarman’s bridge will be fabricated from a steel composite developed by the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. It will be as strong as regular steel but can be dolloped drop by drop by a 3D printer. The unique printer itself has no printer bed. Using additive printing technology, it “works like a train,” according to Fast Company. “Except instead of running along existing tracks it prints out its own as it goes along.” The six-axis robot can move horizontally, vertically and even diagonally, and can hence traverse gaps like a canal or the empty space between walls. “We thought to ourselves: what is the most iconic thing we could print in public that would show off what our technology is capable of?” Laarman told Fast Company. “This being the Netherlands we decided a bridge over an old canal was a pretty good choice. Not only is it good for publicity, but if MX3D can construct a bridge out of thin air, it can construct anything.” Laarman enlisted design and engineering software company Autodesk to help rectify common 3D printing glitches – namely, designing a robot with a real-time feedback loop capable of correcting itself when errors occur. Typically, when a drop of resin is misplaced, the robot has no way of “knowing,” so that all subsequent drops are misplaced and the design is maimed. Given that the robot will build in public, foreseeable errors extend beyond internal mechanical failures. The machine must be primed to withstand temperature fluctuations that cause metal to expand and even “kids hurling beer bottles at the robot.” “Robots tend to assume that the universe is made of absolutes, even though that’s not true,” said Maurice Conti, head of Autodesk’s Applied Research Lab. “So we need to program them to have real-time feedback loops, and adapt in real time without even being told to.” If successful, MX3D’s technology could open up avenues for unprecedented design possibilities and cost efficiency in the fields of construction, architecture, design, and more.