World Maker Faire 2013: Liquid Metal 3D Printing

Scott Vader and his son Zachary showed a early prototype model of their Liquid Metal Jet Printer.

Although the printer was non-functional at Maker Faire, Vader, with over 30 years experience in manufacturing and engineering speaks with a lot of confidence and is sure he will be able to bring the product to market in the near future.

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World Maker Faire 2013: Innovative New 3D Printer Design

Nicholas Seward at ConceptForge gave us a demonstration of "WALLY", an innovative new 3D RepRap design at Maker Faire.

WALLY uses a SCARA/pantograph approach that totally eliminates linear rails, appears to be more compact, and is able to print parts for a next generation copy/clone that is 20% larger than itself. According to Seward the process can be repeated with each generation being as much as 20% larger than it's predecessor.

The part print quality was a bit rough, but Seward explained that the prototype WALLY on display had only been running for 3 days. He expects the print quality to match other 3D printer designs on the market after he has a few weeks for fine-tuning.

WALLY features a 3/8" water jet cut basalt bed with a laser cut registration grid; Anubis hotend equipped with a FEP Bowden tube (similar to Tantillus) that minimizes the print head mass resulting in smoother prints; linear motion drive utilizing 100lb test braided fishing line (another design approach similar to Tantillus); and is wall mountable.

The print envelope is 200 mm in diameter by 150 mm tall. The printer is designed to use 1.75mm PLA filament, though it could probably be modified for use with other filament sizes or types.

Seward estimates that WALLY will cost USD$450 for a "print your own" version and plans to offer a full kit priced around USD$600.

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World Maker Faire 2013: 3D Printed “Pot Head”

It's surprising how rapidly the capability and capacity of affordable 3D printers has increased.

There were several exhibitors at Maker Faire in NYC last week showing off printers with print envelopes large enough to print really big objects. Of course the print times can be extremely long, and there is also the issue of warping with large parts. Still, the results were very impressive and encouraging.

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World Maker Faire – Day Zero – David Lang – Zero to Maker

130920 Maker Faire David Lang

Great session with David Lang discussing his new book "Zero to Maker: Learn (Just Enough) to Make (Just About) Anything", and the passion for exploring that inspired him to make projects like OpenROV a reality. He has a great story to tell, and wants you to join him in the quest.

I'll be posting the details of our conversation soon, probably right after Maker Faire wraps up on Sunday evening.

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Makerbot User Group NYC Meetings Available via Ustream

makerbot user group

Just discovered that there's a regular Makerbot User Group meeting in New York City and the meetings are shared live via Ustream.

Archived videos of meetings are available online, though it looks like they just started adding content. Could be a treasure trove of information and inspiration as more meetings are added in the future. 

I won't embed the stream here because it tends to auto play in some browsers, but you can access it via the via link below.

Via: Ustream.tv: ユーザー makerbot: MUG MeetUp NYC, MUG MeetUp NYC. その他

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Should The Hackerspace Movement Remain Pure or Accept Military Funding?

makerspaces & the military

There's a significant debate going on in the hackerspace/maker community over acceptance of funding from DARPA, the research organization of the US Department of Defense to underwrite the creation of high school makerspaces.

The 'Yes' side of the argument is personified by Dale Dougherty, the founder of MAKE Magazine and Maker Faire, while Mitch Altman, a pioneer in the hacker/maker movement, is vehemently opposed to the point that he is actively boycotting Maker Faires and related activities.

Both sides of the debate are presented in detail by both Dougherty and Altman in the "Makerspaces & the Military" segment on this week's episode of Spark.

For those not already familiar with the excellent programming by Spark, it's a regular 'radio' broadcast (also available via podcast) produced by the CBC. Spark's charter is to create "An ongoing conversation about technology and culture."

Via: Spark 181 – May 6 & 9, 2012 | Spark

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Affordable 3d Printers Hit The Market…? (Video)

3d printer

Last week I visited the iheartengineering headquarters in Brooklyn and was surprised to find that they have managed to build a rapidly expanding business around the print-on-demand model and unique product designs. Besides their abundant creativity, the heart of their business is a first generation MakerBot 3D printer that manufactures parts as orders come in the door (or over the internet).

It's not unusual for them to keep the printer running for hours, and sometimes days, at a time when orders peak. They've developed some special techniques for producing large parts with some unique fill patterns that I will post more about later.

Most important, the work, and the business model, that iheartengineering is pioneering convinced me that all the buzz about 3D printing generating a rebirth of manufacturing and creativity in the U.S. is much more than just hype. It is a practical and achievable goal, one that may soon be a reality for a growing number of start-ups.

(more…)

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