3D printers have become all of the rage these days and there are plenty of good reasons for that. After all, these devices can do some pretty amazing things like creating spectacular architectural models and even working gears that are ready to go immediately upon render. But how about printing a model airplane that can actually fly? Yes, they can now do that also.
This isn’t a small model either – it has a 6.5 foot wingspan. It was created by students at the University of Virginia’s School of Engineering and Applied Science and they have posted a video of the model actually taking flight. This isn’t the first time that 3D printer device has accomplished this feat, but it may be the first time it has been pulled off by students.
The era of 3D printing has certainly arrived and we are seeing better and more advanced projects appearing all of the time. We certainly aren’t at the point where we can print a real aircraft, but medical devices are already being developed using these incredible pieces of hardware.
Source: UVA Today
If you’ve never come across a MakerBot before, think of it is an inkjet printer, which instead of printing on paper with ink, prints a three dimensional object with plastic. Andy and Don investigate further with Bre from MakerBot.
Announced at CES, the MakerBot Replicator is bigger and better, with an increased volume capacity and the dual extrusion, i.e. able to create objects from two materials, most usually two colours. Model files can be downloaded from Thingiverse in the STL file format and there’s no shortage of different objects to try out.
Bre shows off some different objects, from hard cubes to stretchy bands, all of which were printed out on the Replicator previously. The Stanford bunny puts in a special appearance for modelling geeks.
The new Replicator costs $1750 for a single extruder and $1999 for a dual extruder. There’s a bit of a lead time at the moment because of its popularity with deliveries expected in a couple of months.
Interview by Andy McCaskey of SDR News and RV News Net and Don Baine, the Gadget Professor.
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The idea of creating a personal 3D item sound appealing, however the expense and the required design skills has kept it out of reach of most consumers. 3D printing has gotten cheaper over the last couple of years, however, even the MakerBot Thing-O-Matic a kit you can build yourself is over a $1,000. Which means they are not quite yet ready for the consumer market. However solutions to these problems starting to show up in the market. One such solution appeared this week in Las Vegas.
At CES 2012 Sculpteo a French based 3D printing company introduced an app for the iPhone and iPad. The app allows customers to create personal objects. You take a picture person in profile. You then choose the model from the collection that you want to co-design. The collection includes such objects as vases, mugs and other objects. You then order and pay for the design. Sculpteo prices run from $50.00 up to $450. Sculpteo then prints it up for you as a 3D object. The default printing material is ceramic, but you can choose different materials and colors. I expect overtime the process will get better, there will be more design choices and the prices will drop also. The 3D market for the consumer is just in its infancy, it can only get better. I’d be interested if anyone has used the app, and how they liked the product they received back.