Apr 27, 2015

Best Linux distribution for 3D printing?

I researched a bit for a best Linux distribution focused on 3d printing and found CAE Linux. It is loaded with digital fabrication and 3d design software packages.

Here is the description for the project site:
Thanks to Open Source, now you just need to insert the CAELinux LiveDVD in your computer to turn it into a free and open engineering development workstation with CAD, CAM, CAE / FEA / CFD, electronic design and 3D printing features: no licence and even no installation is required !

Based on the open-source CAD/CAM software such as Freecad, LibreCAD, PyCAM and Cura and CAE softwares like Salomé, Code_Aster, Code_Saturne,OpenFOAM and Elmer , you can design your CAD geometry, perform multiphysics simulations to optimize your design, generate G-code for prototyping with 3D printing & milling, and even develop your own PCBs & microcontroller based electronic circuits for automation. 
For example, using Freecad, you can design your parametric CAD geometry with ease, generate a computation mesh and setup your simulation problem in Salome_Meca in a few minutes. After your design is checked you can go on preparing a G-Code for CNC milling a prototype with PyCAM or 3D printing it with Cura.
With the integrated open-source tools of CAELinux, you can simulate incredibly complex physics with the open-source FE & CFD solvers Code_Aster, Code-Saturne, OpenFOAM & Elmer: non-linear thermo-mechanics, coupled fluid-structure dynamics, seismic / non-linear explicit dynamics, contacts, visco-plasticity, fluid dynamics, heat exchange, convection heat transfer and radiation in other words nearly all physics problem can be addressed with the integrated solvers!! Then reload your results files in post-processing applications like Salomé, GMSH or Paraview to visualize your data in 3D... And don't forget all these features are based on open-source / free softwares, so now you don't have to pay for any expensive licenses and if you want, you can even improve it.

Here is a video overview of CAE Linux:

CAE Linux homepage: http://www.caelinux.com/CMS/

There is also good 3d printing support in Fedora 19 distribution.

Hopefully the CAE Linux team will update the distro soon since the last release is in 2013.

Here are series of video tutorials going into more details of the software installed by DrRMFithen. Great guides on how to use open source CAD and 3d design:

D-Coil handheld wax extruder for manual 3D printing

From project description:
D-Coil is a new digital 3D modeling approach using wax coiling to bring tangibility to the design of digital models. After defining a shape to extrude, the users follow the lead of a hand-held actuated extruder to instantiate the actual extrusion using wax. The tangibility of the wax extrusion sets the stage to create the next components until the digital model is completed.
The digital model affords all digital attributes (ease of transformation, distribution, and 3D printing) while the wax artifact can be discarded or kept as a one-of-a-kind memento.

We present a proof-of-concept implementation of D-Coil and showcase how this additive approach can also be extended to a subtractive process using a digitally actuated cutter. By adding a 6DOF mouse, users can also include scaling, rotation, and bending effects to create a wide variety of shapes often difficult for novices to produce in standard CAD software.

More information and detailed PDF paper:


It reminds me of FreeD handheld fabrication tool or Human 3d printer projects.

Materialise 3D printing factory

This facility looks amazing. I wish I could work someplace like that.

... I wouldn't even mind working in quality control checking if holes are round ...
... I know its a corporate commercial video, but hey, I think it's cool ...

Random guy doing something cool ... I envy you dude ...

Apr 25, 2015

You-SLS open source desktop SLS 3d printer

German student Lukas Hoppe wants do develop cheapest SLS 3D printer which should be very affordable since it would be open sourced. Since it should use widely available parts it would cost under 2000 USD!

He has started a Indiegogo campaign where you can help him fund this project and get more information:


I wish him all the best since we ALL WANT A CHEAP DESKTOP SLS!!! :-)

Apr 24, 2015

ShapingBits 3FXtrud 3D Printers

Here are some new 3d printers by Shaping Bits, 3FXtrud Uno is priced at $848 while the 3FXtrud Duo pricing starts at $1,399:

KS campaign:


Company web page: http://www.shapingbits.com/

Apr 23, 2015

Space Race with 3D Printed Rocket Engines Continues

Race for space is getting more heated and 3d printed parts are becoming present in every major project from rocket engines to 3d printed satellites. Everyone is competing: big government agencies, private companies, student groups and private citizens. We have even seen 3d printed open source liquid fuel rocket engine.
3D printed rocket engines can be very fast in production and affordable even as low as 500 USD for the open source version printed by external service provider.

Here are some new developments:

Vulcan 1 rocket engine developed by SEDS team

SEDS (Students for the Exploration and Development of Space) is well known for their previous successful Tri-D 3d printed rocket motor developments. Now they are crowd-funding further development of bigger Vulcan 1 3d printed rocket engine and launch their Vulcan 1 rocket over 10000 feet.

Check out their KS campaign:


NASA has developed a full size 3d printed copper engine

NASA successfully laser sintered full scale copper rocket engine.

They write:
“Building the first full-scale, copper rocket part with additive manufacturing is a milestone for aerospace 3-D printing,” said Steve Jurczyk, associate administrator for the Space Technology Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “Additive manufacturing is one of many technologies we are embracing to help us continue our journey to Mars and even sustain explorers living on the Red Planet.”

Numerous complex parts made of many different materials are assembled to make engines that provide the thrust that powers rockets. Additive manufacturing has the potential to reduce the time and cost of making rocket parts like the copper liner found in rocket combustion chambers where super-cold propellants are mixed and heated to the extreme temperatures needed to send rockets to space.

A selective laser melting machine in Marshall’s Materials and Processing Laboratory fused 8,255 layers of copper powder to make the chamber in 10 days and 18 hours. Before making the liner, materials engineers built several other test parts, characterized the material and created a process for additive manufacturing with copper.
“On the inside of the paper-edge-thin copper liner wall, temperatures soar to over 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit, and we have to keep it from melting by recirculating gases cooled to less than 100 degrees above absolute zero on the other side of the wall,” said Chris Singer, director of the Engineering Directorate at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, where the copper rocket engine liner was manufactured. “To circulate the gas, the combustion chamber liner has more than 200 intricate channels built between the inner and outer liner wall. Making these tiny passages with complex internal geometries challenged our additive manufacturing team.”

“Copper is extremely good at conducting heat,” explained Zach Jones, the materials engineer who led the manufacturing at Marshall. “That’s why copper is an ideal material for lining an engine combustion chamber and for other parts as well, but this property makes the additive manufacturing of copper challenging because the laser has difficulty continuously melting the copper powder.”
Source and more information:

Rocket Lab Electron Launch Vehicle

Rocket Lab is a private company that wants to provide cheap satellite rocket launch system for small satellites. Their Electron Launch Vehicle  rocket is made with carbon fiber and uses electrically powered 3d printed motor.

Rocket Lab uses Rutherford rocket engine that is almost entirely 3d printed:

Rocket Lab’s flagship engine, the 4,600lbf Rutherford, is a turbo-pumped LOX/RP-1 engine specifically designed for the Electron Launch Vehicle.
Rutherford adopts an entirely new electric propulsion cycle, using electric motors to drive its turbopumps, and is the first oxygen/hydrocarbon engine to use 3D printing for all primary components.

China has tested a 3d printed rocket engine part

China is making a progress forward, according to the report by 3ders.org:
Engineers from Institute 41 (part of the China Aerospace Science and industry Corporation) have already successfully tested an engine ignition device that has been created using 3D printing technology.

This is reportedly the first time Chinese engineers tested a 3D printed rocket component, but it seems to be very suitable for the job. Shell structures typically used for the ignition components in rocket engines are very difficult to design and produce, and are very costly and time-consuming to create. Engineers felt themselves bottlenecked, so a team from the ignition technology research laboratory of Institute 41 began incorporating 3D printing into their R&D process.
In collaboration with local manufacturers of 3D printing equipment, these engineers eventually and successfully 3D printed the first set of shells for ignition devices. To ensure these shells met all design requirements, researchers produced hundreds of 3D printed test samples, which were submitted to various extensive testing sequences.

We live in very interesting times... where will you boldly go?

FilaFab filament extrusion system and filament winder

Here is a new filament extruder and winder system named FilaFab that will enable you to make your own filament from pellets. You can also recycle old prints and other plastics, experiment with colors and compounds, and extrude materials like ABS, PLA, EVA, HDPE, and nylon.

FilaFab Kickstarter campaign with more information:


FilaFab company page: http://www.filafab.co.uk/

Limitless 3d printer and CNC mill hybrid

Project description from the maker:
Limitless is a revolutionary new automated multi tool. With Limitless, projects and ideas can be brought to life using one of many methods. Inventors and engineers can bring projects to life using the milling machine, 3d printer and other tools we plan to add such as a laser cutter. Limitless is a dynamic platform which is always changing to suit the needs of its users.

Unlike all other personal platforms, Limitless uses a robust controller similar to the ones found in industrial machines. We do not use all-in-one controllers for our automation. Each one of our large stepper motors has its own motor driver with separate power supply. We also provide the largest work space out of any other brand! With a granty clearance of 14 inches and a table size of 23.5 x 33 inches, we are the largest most versatile CNC combo tool one can buy!
With Limitless real prototypes can be produced! Since we have such a large work area, projects often do not need to be scaled down. Buy upgrading to our 6 axis controller a lathe option can be added as well, adding even more versatility to the platform. Also, all of our tools (Spindle, 3d printer, and, potentially a laser) are always installed on the “Z” axis, so there is no need to swap out tool heads. You just choose the profile you plan on using and you are good to go!
Company and product page: http://advancetecheng.com/index-Automaiton.html

KS campaign:


Apr 22, 2015

3d printed fish robots for behavior research

Motherboard has an interesting video on how scientist led by Mauricio Porfiri use 3d printed fish-robots for animal behavior experiments.

I welcome our aquatic robotic overlords

Apr 19, 2015

Emerging synergy of lasers and 3d printers with real-time scanning and cutting

What is cooler then lasers? Well, lasers and 3d printers combined! duh! At some time at past I have argued on some forums that lasers will become integral parts of 3d printers and I was met with lot of opposition. There have been some attempts to integrate laser based 3d scanners into 3d printers even in commercial products but it is far from wide acceptance.
Yet, adding a laser with sensing electronics can give you so much more then just cheap 3d scanning.

Here is a video by Claudio Di Leo, MIT student, who attached a Infiniter VLM-650-27 line laser to a Solidoodle which uses a 2MP web camera to scan printbed enabling it to 3d print on place object. The entire upgrade costs some 50 USD but increases the ability of the machine.

Now, what would happen if you turn up the power on the laser?

There are several simple DIY laser cutter projects based on replacing the extruder but what if a laser cutter would be a separate tool moving independently?

Here is a video demonstration of laser cutting 3d printed PLA object. As you can see it can be done easily.

Here is a project with detailed guide and software on how to make springs with a laser cutter from different materials but also features PLA 3d printed tube:

Here are detailed instructions for spring laser cutter:


So, what could we achieve if we integrate active lasers into 3d printers:

  1. 3d scanning
  2. real-time scanning of print volume for continuous 3d print calibration, sensing failure and continuation of aborted prints
  3. 3d printing on objects attached to a print surface
  4. laser cutting printed objects giving new dimensions to 3d printed objects
  5. "standard" laser cutting of sheet materials, engraving and PCB processing
This could be the next big thing :-)

Apr 17, 2015

Hack your FDM Delta into DLP 3D printer

As I was researching low cost DLP solutions I found this project by sirocco where he converted his old Delta into DLP SLA 3d printer by putting a projector on the top opening and adding vat resin. Delta configuration looks like good option due to hight.

I'm not sure how he moves his vat with salt water and resin, it could be done by separate mechanism or by some type of vat tray mounted on three points to the Delta frame and moved by existing motors.

Source, more details, but no clear instructions:


Print results look decent:

TestrBot DIY static dynamic tension and compression tester

Ever wanted to test your printed parts? Michael developed this project that uses 3d printed parts and can perform tension and compression test on various objects. It is very useful to get real results for different 3d printing materials and printing techniques. As it is easy to make with affordable price of around 300 USD it will certainly find place in many workshops.

Project description:
TestrBot is a $300 Universal Test Machine (UTM) and can be used to perform any type of static or dynamic testing in tension or compression up to 200 lbs. It was designed to run a gamut of physical tests on 3D printed specimens. 
3D printing is still new enough that there are many questions that do not yet have definitive answers. While the basic physical properties of raw ABS & PLA have been well established, there are still many esoteric material properties that cannot be determined without doing actual mechanical testing.
TestrBot is going to help the 3D printing community by figuring out these properties. As of this writing, I am at the beginning of the testing process but you can among the first to hear about the results as they become available by following blog here: www.EngineerDog.com

Here is TestrBot in action with description:

Detailed build guide and all the files needed:


Simple and affordable DIY hot end building tutorial

Andy M made this great video tutorial on how to make a simple and cheap metal hot end from affordable common parts.

Great job Andy!

For a tutorial on how to make a nozzle out of a single brass nut look at:


Disney develops innovative textile 3D printer for soft objects

Disney researchers have developed a completely new 3d printing technology for making soft objects out of textile. They call it "Layered Fabric 3D Printer for Soft Interactive Objects". It works by laser cutting fabric layer form a continuous band and then binding them with heat sensitive glue.

Video of it in action:

Description from the project page:

We present a new type of 3D printer that can form precise, but soft and deformable 3D objects from layers of off-the-shelf fabric. Our printer employs an approach where a sheet of fabric forms each layer of a 3D object. The printer cuts this sheet along the 2D contour of the layer using a laser cutter and then bonds it to previously printed layers using a heat sensitive adhesive. Surrounding fabric in each layer is temporarily retained to provide a removable support structure for layers printed above it. This process is repeated to build up a 3D object layer by layer.
Our printer is capable of automatically feeding two separate fabric types into a single print. This allows specially cut layers of conductive fabric to be embedded in our soft prints. Using this capability we demonstrate 3D models with touch sensing capability built into a soft print in one complete printing process, and a simple LED display making use of a conductive fabric coil for wireless power reception.
Project homepage:

Detailed PDF paper:

Apr 16, 2015

Printrbot Play 3D printer (with review and Cura tutorial)

Printrbot just announced their new Printrbot Play 3D printer which is aiming towards low cost market but has full metal body and aluminum platform.

They posted on their Twitter:

Coming soon….. Printrbot Play. $399 assembled. 100x100x130mm. Metal construction. Mic6 Alu bed.

Here is the video presentation of Printrbot Play by Brook Drumm:

Still no third party reviews or tests ...

Update: here is a print result video...


here is a review by Thomas Sanladerer:


Here is a guide on how to use Cura with Printrbot Play:

How stupid laws regulating 3D printing are ruining fun for everyone in California

Now this is just absurd and shows the sad state of affairs. Libraries are the key place where 3d printers should be accessible to everyone and now the LIABILITY and INFRINGEMENT protection are going to make them impossible to use.

From the source:
Here's a new bill in the California Assembly, AB-37*, which would require libraries that have 3D printers to post stupid signs warning people not to do nasty infringy things with those printers:
This bill would require every public library that provides public access to a 3D printer, as defined, to post a notice on or near the 3D printer that would alert users of the 3D printer of the potential liability of the user for misuse of the 3D printer, as specified.
This bill would require the Department of Justice to draft and distribute this notice, as specified, and annually review and revise the notice for accuracy. By imposing additional duties upon local officials, this bill would create a state-mandated local program.
In the actual text of the law, they're explicit about how it's about not infringing intellectual property:
The Department of Justice shall prepare and distribute to a public library that provides public access to a 3D printer a notice that would alert users of the 3D printer of the potential liability of the user for misuse of the 3D printer. The notice shall do all of the following:

(A) Provide citations to the applicable state and federal laws that may impose civil liability or criminal penalties for misuse of a 3D printer, including laws regarding copyright infringement and trademark and patent protection.
Source and more detailed information:


EPIC FAIL CALIFORNIA ASSEMBLY! Get your act together! Stupidity of this is beyond description!

Let people create and make stuff without fear of prosecution!

I am Groot

You can 3d print Groot on purpose like Marcel Meyer did:

Or you can get similar result by accident like Justin Soule did :-)

Great work guys! :-)

Apr 12, 2015

3D Printed Antenna Knowledge Base

Since I'm getting more involved with communal WiFi mash networks and open source smart city project in my town, I decided to research and make a small knowledge base on 3d printed antennas.
This post will be updated as I gather new information.

Basically, there are two main areas of 3d printed antenna development: High-tech industrial and DIY. The main difference is in type of machines and purpose. Industrial 3d printers are very diverse with applications ranging from aerospace to consumer electronics, while DIY printers use mostly FDM and are used in hobby projects, drones, HAM etc.

High-tech industrial and commercial 3D printed antennas 

Optomec Aerosol Jet Antenna 3D printing

Optomec is an industry leader and they integrate their antennas in wide variety of products.

Here is the summary from process homepage:

Mobile device antennas including LTE, NFC, GPS, Wifi, WLAN, and BT have been printed using the Aerosol Jet process and independently tested by a leading cell phone component supplier.
Measured antenna performance is comparable to other production methods. The Aerosol Jet printing process is scalable – antennas can be printed on up to 4 cases simultaneously on a single machine. Machine throughput for a typical antenna pattern measuring ~300 mm2 averages 30,000 units per week. 
The Aerosol Jet printer lower manufacturing costs for antennas used in mobile devices. The process works with standard injection molded plastics – no special additives or coatings are required. Based on Aerosol Jet technology, the digital process prints conformal antennas using conductive nanoparticle silver inks.
The printing process accurately controls the location, geometry and thickness of the deposit and produces a smooth mirror-like surface finish to insure optimum antenna performance. No plating or environmentally harmful materials are used in the process.

You can see more on Optomec homepage:

3D Printing antennas on curved surfaces with nanomaterials

From the source:
“Omnidirectional printing of metallic nanoparticle inks offers an attractive alternative for meeting the demanding form factors of 3D electrically small antennas (ESAs),” stated Jennifer A. Lewis, the Hans Thurnauer Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and director of the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory at Illinois.

“To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of 3D printed antennas on curvilinear surfaces,” Lewis stated. The research findings and fabrication methods developed by Bernhard, Lewis, and their colleagues are featured in the cover article,"Illinois Calling" of the March 18 issue of Advanced Materials (“Conformal Printing of Electrically Small Antennas on Three-Dimensional Surfaces”).

Source with more details:




Here is a similar technology used at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory:

Source article and more information:


Fractal antenna systems 

Fractal Antenna Systems is a company that has been working for some 20 years in creating specialized antennas for military and civilian sector based on fractal patterns. They recently published that they also use 3d printers to make some designs.

Company page: http://www.fractenna.com/

Here are some other works on the topic of 3d printed antennas:

Fully 3D Printed 2.4 GHz Bluetooth/Wi-Fi Antenna by Paul Deffenbaugh, Kenneth Church from The University of Texas El Paso:  





Origami antennas and packaging using 3D printing technologies by John Kimionis and Manos Tentzeris


From other media:

3D printed satellite and space based antennas

I made a more detailed post here with several projects and materiel sources: 


DIY 3D printed antennas


If you search Thingiverse you will currently find 500+ projects tagged with "antenna".

As far as I know all of them are arrays where the actual antenna is some form of non-printed metal wire held by 3d printed frame or enclosure.

DVB-T antenna deigned to hold metal wire on 3d printed frame and that can be mounted on a back of a TV screen

There are many models ranging from UHF satellite communication arrays to drone piloting antennas like this one:

You can also make supports and guides to make more complex antenna designs like this DIY clover leaf antenna guide:

All the files and instructions:



Here is a DIY Yagi antenna made for RTL-SDR satellite hunting for some 20 USD with carbon fiber rods and wire held together by 3d printed parts:

Source with more information and reception demonstration (it works very well):




So can we produce real metal antennas on DIY machines? In theory there are two project that enable you to embed wire into your plastic filament:

Slew ring wire embedding:


and Spoolhead:


Future will show are there any projects working with conductive filaments, but I don't know anybody currently developing antennas based on them.

Services like Shapeways can print in metal (they actualy make molds and then cast metal AFAIK) so Shapeways list 300+ products tagged with "antenna".

Link: http://www.shapeways.com/search?q=antenna

Here is an example of Shapeways made antenna:

Right Hand Polarized Antenna 5.8GHz 3D - for RG316

Let me know if you have anything related to this subject. Any feedback is welcome. 

3D printed Robotic Fighers

Here is a video of 3D PRINTED ROBOTS FIGHTING! Wonderful destruction of DIY Battlebots in the combat arena! It was posted by altapowderdog from CIRC BotBrawl 2014.

3DBenchy torture-test and calibration tool

You want to put your 3d printer to the hard torture test? Now there is a free high grade model and website for it: the 3DBenchy. It has a specially designed boat model that has all the different parts to test all various aspect of your machine.

3DBenchy model

3DBenchy models printed by +BjörnMarl to benchmark the left sliced with Kisslicer, on the right with Slic3r. He writes: "Both are within specs by 0.05mm, but the surface looks quite different. Also with Kisslicer the name on the rear of the boat is almost readable, no chance for that with Slic3r." 

Here is a description from the site:
What is #3DBenchy?
#3DBenchy is a 3D model specifically designed for testing and benchmarking 3D printers. It is a small recognizable object that you can download for free, make and share.
About #3DBenchy
#3DBenchy is designed by Creative-Tools.com as a calibration and torture-test part for 3D printers. Here you can download the STL-file and read more about 3D printing. #3DBenchy is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Official 3DBenchy video:

3DBenchy homepage:


On a personal note: first thing that came to my mind was "This is so great and useful how come I didn't think of this and maid it myself!" Kudos to the developers!

Apr 11, 2015

Aquero self filling 3D printed bottle

3D printing is used in water desalinization / purification and water cooling projects, but here is a innovative approach by Project Aquero to use 3d printed machine to create water from air. The cooling  element is thermoelectric metal unit.

Here is a project description for their page:
Project Aquero is an effort towards creating the world’s self-filling water bottle and it has thus far been successful. Our prototypes generate 50mL of water per hour in standard conditions of 80% Relative Humidity and 24°C. In a world where less than 2% of freshwater is drinkable, an alternative means of collection is necessary. Aquero condenses vapor in the air into potable water.
It is portable with a footprint not much larger than that of a standard refillable bottle. It is cost efficient, using key innovations and modern manufacturing to maintain low prices. It is effective, optimizing condenser technology to produce the greatest water yields.
They plan to use solar panels to provide electricity on future models.

Video promo:

Project homepage:


Related Reddit thread:


I really wander will this project be implemented. Prototypes look interesting ... but I see many obstacles ... For full production and distribution injection molded plastics is much cheaper but still it would be great to have open sourced 3d models ...

Calibration is difficult sometimes

Don Leo posted this calibration result :-) great work Don! ... on the image, calibration will need some tweaking ;-) I feel for you man. We have all been there ....

He uses some sort of Delta 3d printer with 175 PLA and his slicer settings are:
  • 0.1 layer height
  • 3 vertical shell
  • 3 top and bottom shell
  • 33% infill
  • 100 speed
  • 175 extruder
  • no heat bed

How to research 3d printing patents

After a guide on how to copyright your 3d printed work here are few sources that shows you all the steps needed for patent research if you want to apply for your patent or protect your work from being patented by someone else (like a big corporation).
They cover mostly US Patents and Trademark Office but remember that patenting is big international issue.

Source, full size image and more info:


Here is the official guide by USPTO:


Here is video showing the main steps:

Sega dual extruder powered with single motor

Here is an interesting dual extruder type where both extruders are powered only with one stepper motor. This setup makes the extruder much lighter and should improve any oozing issues.

The developer liusega writes:
The other problem with dual extruder is when one hotend is working, the second would cause ooze.
Ooze will make printing model caught a lot of unwanted results.
My solution is letting the second hotend to dock on a metal plate to block hot plastic drops from nozzle.
To do that first the second nozzle need to swing and raise above metal plate.
At the same time one filament need to be caught in between idler and extrusion gear teeth with enough pressure.

All the files and instructions to make Sega can be found at:


Sega extruder in action, the print looks great:

Jonathan Keep reviews WASP Delta clay 3d printer

Well known ceramic and clay 3d printing expert Jonathan Keep reviews WASP Delta 3d printer specially adapted to print clay with air pressure.

Complex clay shape made on WASP delta

Here is the video review:

Apr 9, 2015

Hacking Autodesk Ember

Here is a compilation of tutorials on how to hack and tweak your Autodesk Ember DLP 3d printer. It is interesting to see that this machine made by a major corporation can be easily open and tinkered with.

Accessing the control electronics block and USB to control the LCD projector

As always you do this on your own risk! Warranty will probably be voided. 

Here is a tutorial on how to increase power of Embers motors, unstuck frozen prints with brute force and make full volume printing easier. Motors will probably have shorter life span. Basic knowledge of electronics is needed.


How to access and control Embers internal Wintech projector via USB for more power and control. In theory it should enable higher speeds. This tutorial also goes into drivers and software.


Here is some research and testing on how will the PDMS tray window clouding influence exposure time:


... and to maintain the Ember resin tray: http://www.instructables.com/id/Resin-Tray-Care/

If you want to use different resins in Autodesk Ember, here is a guide on how to set it up and calibrate it:


... and to calibrate the head: http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Calibrate-Embers-Print-Head/

Here is simple guide on how to update Embers firmware:


You can find several more on Instructables: http://www.instructables.com/howto/ember/

How to upgrade Ember's motor control and front panel:


Here is a guide on how to disassemble Ember build arm:


If you have any problems and want to remove the Ember projector here is detailed instruction page:


There is also a way to get sub-pixel resolution on Ember which could also probably work on other DLP 3d printers. Here is the explanation video:

Here is the Instructables tutorial: http://www.instructables.com/id/Ember-Printer-How-a-Voxel-Grows/

Apr 8, 2015

3D printable open source liquid fuel rocket engine

Graham Sortino from New Jersey developed and tested 3d printed rocket liquid fuel engine. He went one step further and open sourced it! The engine is controlled by Arduino Uno! We live in amazing times!
The engine is made from three main modules: the igniter, injector, and the main engine body, all of which were SLS 3D printed by Shapeways and ExOne in bronze steel and machined afterwards to get the exact fit. Post-processing is a problem due to hardness of sintered metal so some tools break, the internal coolant lines are still not possible to 3d print due the geometry complexity and metal powder residues. 

The price is very low: 3d printed igniter costs some $60, the injector $80 and the rocket engine $260, for a total of just $400. Space exploration with extremely low budget!

The engine is still in development and not yet finished but it is a big step forward in open sourcing aerospace engineering! 

Engine specifications:
  • Fuel: GOX / Ethanol
  • Fuel Mass Flow: 0.0545 kg/sec
  • Oxidizer Mass Flow: 0.0545 kg/sec
  • Total Mass Flow: 0.1093 kg/sec
  • Design Mixture Ratio: 1:1
  • Design Force: 50 lbf
  • Design Chamber Pressure: 150 psia
  • Design Temp: 2572 Kelvin
  • Design Specific Impulse: 209 Isp 
Here are some photos of it:

Ignited engine. You can clearly see the mach diamonds.

3D printed engine and main lines / sensors

Here you can see a live test fire and mach diamonds:

Project homepage with files and instructions:


GitHub repository:


For previous 3d printed rocket engine named "Tri-D" look at:


To boldly go where no one has gone before!

Apr 7, 2015

How to make cheap Oculus Rift DK1 clone with help of your 3D printer

OpenVR is a cheap DIY virtual reality headset project based on Oculus Rift DK1 made on a 3d printed frame. It is relatively easy to make and will cost you around 150 USD. Project was developed by Ahmet Yildirim.

Main components:
  • Arduino Mini Pro
  • GY-85 9DOF IMU
  • USB to TTL Converter
  • 5.6” 1280×800 LCD Display
  • 12V Power Adapter for
  • 2x (50mm 5x Aspheric Lenses)
  • 3D Printed Case
  • Shoulder Sponge Pad
  • Some wires
Most of the software is open source.

Headset looks great. I'm huge fan of this '90tis cyberpunk look.

Here is a video of it in action playing Portal:

Detailed build guide with software and setup instructions:


for all the files look at: https://github.com/ayildirim/OpenVR

And check authors blog at: http://mclightning.com/

Another SF tech coming to relaity :-) Cheap homemade VR head set!

Apr 6, 2015

New fully 3d printed DIY speaker by Ted Kessler

Ted Kessler published overview and testing of his fully 3d printed speaker.

He writes:
This is an experiment in inventing a new tone as a tool for musicians. Speakers were invented between the 1860s-70s and have more or less been constructed with the same materials since. There was something interesting to me about reproducing a classic design with a cutting-edge technology and modern materials, so I did that.
As the speaker's utilitarian and scientific roles have been fulfilled for decades and are now used as art tools, I wanted to treat them as art tools.
The printed parts were done on a consumer-level Rigidbot FFF printer.
There's still development to be done on this project and I look forward to it!
For more info on the history of speakers: edisontechcenter.org/speakers.html

It doesn't sound great, but hey, it is not the reason it was made ...

Apr 5, 2015

3D Printing food by FabLab Maastricht

Thomas Sanladerer made this interesting video on 3d Printshow Berlin 2015 about 3d printing food items on a machine developed by FabLab Maastricht. They also involve local chefs and create food silicone molds for food pieces.

Here is the link to the FabLab page:


Here is a video with an interview:

Apr 3, 2015

Printrbot Paste Extruder

Brook Drumm of Printrbot posted on his G+ about Printrbot Paste Extruder.
He announced some possible interesting future implementations of this type of extruder:
  • Heated syringe (chocolate and human cells??)
  • Printable files to convert to dual chamber syringe with quick drying silicone and a mixer nozzle (off the shelf stuff)
  • quick setting UV resin paste with light on the end of the tip 
  • conversion to a Bowden type setup so the extruder can sit on the table getting all that mass off the printer
  • a sister extruder that will push moist clay through a bigger hose for big clay prints ready to fire
  • large pneumatically assisted reservoir for longer/bigger prints feeding a screw drive print head
  • new material mixes for sturdier paste and firmer clay to support the weight of the print (cellulose, etc)
  • metal construction to get rid of laser cut wood 
  • dabble in concrete then scale it up
  • -ugar paste for edible goodies
  • shortbread cookie recipes for cookie paste
  • pancakes, anyone?
  • 3d jello art
  • crazy ideas from the community welcomed here!!
Printrbot Paste Extruder with large pate syringe mounted on Printrbot Simple Metal

This extruder is still in beta and not yet available for purchase.
Here is the repository for Printrbot paste extruder BETA if you want to upgrade your Printrbot:


Printrbot Paste and Food Extruder is now released and here is a detailed operational video:

If you want different version of paste extruder developed by the community look at:


E3D Lite6 low cost high quality hotend

E3D is well known for their high quality hotends like E3D v6 and now they present new and low cost affordable alternative: the Lite6. It costs only 21,50 UK pounds and gives unbeatable cost/performance ratio.

E3D Lite6 homepage:


Here is the detailed video introduction of Lite6 by Sanjay Mortimer and Josh Rowley:

It looks great, I'll wait for independent review or test and probably get it for some future projects.
Kudos E3D!

Diamond Hotend mixes three filaments

Diamond hotend is a new attempt to make a hot end capable of mixing three colors from three filament inputs.

Key features from product page:
  • 3 pcs inputs for 1.7 mm filament
  • Common 0.4 mm nozzle orifice
  • Smallest possible mixing chamber for minimal waste and fast color change
  • Cutout for standard 40W heater cartridge and leaded thermistor
  • 3 pcs threaded mounting holes for state of the art E3D v6 HeatBreaks & HeatSinks
  • Combined mounting bracket and airguide for optimal cooling by a simgle fan
  • Optional pendant for attaching a 5015 blower fan for extrudate cooling
  • The key feature of The Diamond Hotend is the diamond shaped nozzle. We have designed the nozzle to have smallest possible mixing chamber, to make color shifts as fast as possible and to avoid unnecessary filament waste. To ensure rapid nozzle heat up we have constructed the nozzle as compact as possible.
Here is the KS campaign video:

Here is Diamond hot end printing in multiple colors on Prusa I3:

Additional links:


Company page: http://reprap.me/extruder/diamond-hotend.html

Kickstarter campaign: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wr3d/the-diamond-hotend-single-nozzle-multi-color-3d-pr/description

Diamond has raised some controversy and some negative comments were made. We will see what the future holds.

Win a 3d printer in 3d Hubs and Instructables giveaway contest!

They are giving away 13 best 3d printers if your project submitted to Instructables wins! Good luck!

Here is the summary from their campaign!
Incoming! We've teamed up with Instructables for an amazing 3D printing contest, here's the deal:
Write an Instructable about your 3D printed creations & hacks, telling us how you did it, and submit your project to the Contest. Anything 3D Printing goes, so let your imagination run wild.
Now here's the awesome, together with the 3D Printer manufacturers we're giving away 13 of best 3D printers (chosen by our Hubs) to the winning entries:
  • UP Mini,
  • UP Plus 2
  • UP Box
  • Lulzbot Taz 5,
  • Lulzbot Mini
  • 3x Rostock Max
  • Ultimaker 2
  • MakerGear M2,
  • Kossel Mini,
  • Sharebot Kiwi
On top of that, we're giving away a $2000 3D Print voucher and all contest entrants will receive $10 free print credit.

Sounds cool? Enter the contest on Instructables now.