To mark the 47th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon-landing mission, the Smithsonian has made available a high-resolution 3-D scan of the command module “Columbia,” the spacecraft that carried astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin and Michael Collins to the moon. This highly detailed model allows anyone with an internet connection to explore the entire craft including its intricate interior, which is not possible when viewing the artifact in the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. The Smithsonian is also making the data files of the model available for download so it can be 3-D printed or viewed with virtual-reality goggles.
Disney Research has been on a serious roll with its 3D printing innovations and 3D printing patents. From high-res 3D printing processes, to replicating reflective properties onto 3D printed surfaces, to 3D printed wall-climbing robots, it seems as though Disney is looking to redefine how movie merchandise is made using 3D printing technology. But their latest study shows that they are also keen to bring 3D printing principles to other industries, for they have developed a new compiler that lets knitting machines behave like 3D printers and easily produce customized objects.
The soft silicone is sprayed onto an air-permeable mandrel which is then inflated and 3D scanned. Those scans are used to extruded 3D printed forms on the inflated mandrel with with a much harder silicone to form auxetic, ‘hexachiral honeycomb’ structures.
Rabbit Proto makes plugins that easily integrate into your 3D printer, enabling it to print complex conductive traces within 3D designs. Your 3D printer can now print interactive prototypes with capacitive and conductive features.
The team uses pre-op CT scans to create 3D models of the kidneys, which are then transferred to the printer. The kidney is then printed out of two different materials so that the tumor and vasculature stand out from the rest of the organ. This allows the surgeons to initially see the tumor and vessels that will be much harder to spot during actual surgery.
Really great article about how 3D printing will compliment other manufacturing techniques, and what it’s really good for.
Never before have we had a technology where we can so freely translate our ideas into a tangible object with little regard to the machinery or skills available. Yet just as the microwave didn’t replace all other forms of cooking as initially predicted, 3-D printing will not replace other manufacturing technologies let alone industrial-scale ones for a variety of reasons. It will complement them.
The RepRap project was how I first learned about 3d printing. It has the remarkable mission, in that I’m remarking about it, of printing all of the parts to make another printer. Wow. Well, in principle, all of the circuits can be replaced with pneumatic ones. And also, you know, it might make a cool theme for a sci-fi flick. Just imagine a 3d printer printing with a background of hydraulic valves, pumps and hoses. Generate a pressure difference with steam and you’ve made a steam punk wet dream.
“I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past…” – Thomas Jefferson