3D Printing

DE Editor Digitally Captured in Photogrammetry and Hand-Held Scanner

Recently, by sheer coincidence, I found myself in two successive press briefings where I was digitized into a 3D mesh model, by two distinctly different methods. During a visit to the Autodesk Gallery in San Francisco, the Autodesk ReCap team offered to digitize me through its photogrammetry technology (previously called 123D Catch). A few days later, while visiting 3D Systems‘ San Francisco office, the product managers offered to digitize me using Cubify Sense, a handheld scanner. This serendipitous alignment of tech demos gave me the opportunity to observe in person how the different approaches work. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

What Would You Do With Your Mojo?

Your don’t need a sorcerer’s talisman or a wizard’s charm to turn ideas into tangible prototypes. You can do that with the industrial magic of a 3D printer. We have the power to give away one such printer — Mojo from Stratasys.

The Rapid Ready Sweepstakes is back! Like last year, you can enter to win a Mojo 3D Print Pack, which includes:

  • a Mojo 3D Printer;
  • print wizard and control panel software;
  • WaveWash 55 support cleaning system;
  • Start-up supplies.

Last year’s sweepstakes winner Joe Lutgen, who owns and operates the RSI Mechanical LLC. consulting business, began offering affordable printing services to his clients. When we caught up with him a few months after he collected his prize, Joe said, “I’m printing everything, from blow-molded parts and brackets to fixtures that can be glued together. One of my main clients now regularly asks me to print stuff, and smaller clients sometimes also ask me to print designs. It’s been nice to be able to bring [a prototype] to their office, show them what I’ve made already so they can see how it works.”

It turns out, the entire Lutgen household benefited from the presence of the Mojo. For a class assignment, one of Joe’s sons designed a crumb catcher — a tray that snaps onto the edge of the dinner table. Today, a 3D-printed version of Lutgen Jr.’s invention keeps the floor tidy. Last Christmas, Joe also designed and printed a few dangling ornaments for the family Christmas tree.

Mojo uses Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) to build concept models. According to Stratasys, the printer “[builds] spot-on, functional concept models and rapid prototypes in ABSplus thermoplastic. With the lowest price, fastest build and finest layers of any Idea Series 3D printer, Mojo’s good vibes inspire boundless creativity.”

The estimated value of the Mojo 3D Print Pack is $13,900 — and it can be yours, courtesy of Stratasys and DE.

So start thinking about what you might do with your Mojo, and go to the online sweepstakes form posted here to enter.

The 3D RV, Collecting Stories of Design and Innovation Across the U.S.

A blue RV painted with and gadgets and branded with high-tech logos is making its way across the U.S., from California to the New York Islands. The vehicle is commandeered by TJ McCue, a writer and 3D enthusiast. The road trip’s goal is to “[celebrate] the creative process, while illuminating the impact of design through firsthand customer stories, consumer creativity and student innovations,” as TJ puts it in his blog.

The 3DRV, as the journey is called, will cover more than 100 stops in eight months. The road trip is made possible by Autodesk, NVIDIA, HP, and Stratasys, among others. So far, TJ has met with people developing a 3D printer that’ll work in space, an underwater camera that could survive shark bites, and footwear that could double as a cellphone charger. As of today, the RV has covered 6,209 miles, made 54 stops, and TJ has gulped down his 269th cup of coffee. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

Go Go GADgET: Girls Take on Design Engineering and Manufacturing

When you think of summer camp, you usually think of silly songs, lots of new games and running around in the woods exploring. Except at GADgET, its 16 participants spent part of their summer learning how to use SolidWorks and visiting several manufacturing companies in the Chicago area. The program aims to provide its all-girl participants aged 12 to 16 with a window into the engineering and manufacturing world and empower them to pursue STEM (science, technology, engineering and manufacturing) careers.

Short for Girls Adventuring in Design, Engineering & Technology, the first GADgET camp ran in 2011, running for just one week with an initial grant from the Nuts, Bolts and Thingamajigs Foundation. As interest grew, so did opportunities for participants. The camp ran for two weeks in June this year. “The kids were so excited, so they learned a lot, but they wanted to do more. It was an interest by the family members and the youth [that brought the two week camp],” said Antigone Sharris, coordinator, engineering technology at Triton College and camp co-director. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

Sensing the World in 3D

The growing popularity of 3D printing among the hobbyists as well as professional designers suggests a comparable rise in the use of reality-capture devices — hardware that lets you scan and capture the shape and geometry of physical objects. With 3D printers, Microsoft is betting the consumer models will pave the way for costlier, bigger professional models. (For more, read “Microsoft Adding Plut-and-Play 3D Printing to Windows OS,” May 7, 2014.) There’s good reason to make a similar assumption about 3D scanners as well.

Priced $399, the Cubify Sense seems ready to capture not just geometry but also the attention of early adopters and curious tech users. Measuring roughly 7 x 5 x 1 inches, the 3D scanner is smaller and lighter than a typical hardcover book. The device has no independent power source. It operates through a USB connection to a tablet or computer. The computer is also required for downloading the Sense software to activate and drive the device. Since whatever you want to scan may not be located close to your desktop, a laptop or a mobile tablet you can carry around is the best option for operating the scanner. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading