Coral reefs are an important part of the world’s ecosystem. Made from calcium carbonate, these structures occupy less than 0.1% of the ocean’s surface but provide sanctuary to 25% of the world’s marine species.
Construction-scale 3D printers have been used experimentally to create artificial reefs, which are essential for conservation work in many parts of the world (A great app -> #3DPrinting Contributing to Underwater Conservation
Full Color Capabilities & More Personally I’m now a little sensitive when it comes to full-color capabilities of 3D printing. If you want (or can be bothered) to find out why, the story can be tracked on my blog earlier this year.
3D Systems Corporation announced that its Paramount advanced manufacturing team has received a $2.95M award to transition specially engineered materials and the company’s Selective Laser Sintering technology to the production of various components...
A versatile case to keep your next Arduino project protected and organized. This folding Arduino case was designed by Jason Welsh. It holds an Arduino and a breadboard, and it has two drawers for all the parts you need for your project.
Saul Schleimer, a mathematician at the University of Warwick, and Henry Segerman, a mathematician at the University of Melbourne, are the co-creators of the Thirty Cell puzzle. They are both theoretical math researchers who also enjoy using 3-D printing—a technique for manufacturing a three-dimensional object from a computer program—to create mathematical art and visualizations. (In August, Scientific American featured some of Segerman’s sculptures in a slide show from the Bridges math-art conference.) This puzzle is a projection of a four-dimensional shape into our three-dimensional world. To explain how the projection was created, Schleimer brings it down a dimension and starts with a three-dimensional cube. Imagine a cube sitting inside a sphere. Now put yourself at the middle, holding a flashlight. The light projects all the edges and vertices out to the surface of the sphere. “We replace the usual cube that we know and love with a roundy cube on the sphere,” says Schleimer. This process is called radial projection.
Segerman and Schleimer use the company Shapeways to print their models. They use programs such as Python, Adobe Illustrator and Rhino to create files of an object that they send to Shapeways to translate into very precise 3-D models. Shapeways uses the computer files to program a laser to fuse powders into the shape of a 3-D object. It can even print objects with multiple interlinked components, such as the the fidget above. Another popular type of 3D printer, MakerBot, melts new layers of a material over previously deposited ones, so the models must be supported during the entire process. Shapeways doesn’t have that constraint, but its printers are more expensive. The company lets people upload their models and then ships the printed material out to them, rather than having users own printers themselves.
Peters developed the 3D-printed ceramic bricks after participating in a six-week residency program at the European Ceramic Work Centre. His research examined the process of creating “ceramics at the scale of architecture” while working with fixed limitations such as storage systems and the size of a desktop 3D printer. Peters investigated various applications for ceramic during his residency, including using it to create interlocking bricks and stackable honeycomb bricks.
He tested fabrication methods, specifically focusing on the uniformity of bricks printed multiple times and variations in relation to a specific form (such as a dome). The bricks were printed from a liquid slipcast earthenware recipe; the only necessary modification was a custom extrusion head, an easy addition for most printers, according to the designer.
For his next research project, Peters plans to explore other materials. “It doesn’t have to be necessarily ceramic,” he explains. “It could be concrete or cement or any mixture of building materials.”
Three beautiful videos from the first Mini Maker Faire in continental Europe, last weekend in Groningen, The Netherlands. Plus news on upcoming international fairs in Japan, Chile and the United Kingdom.
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