Snapmaker : The All-Metal 3D Printer/Laser Engraver/CNC Carver

Doing some casual research on Kickstarter, we came across a cool new 3D Printer that has some very cool features along with being very modular. Enjoying attachments for 3D Printing, Laser Engraving, and CNC carving. To top things off it is also made entirely of metal.

This machine looks to be a promising new entry into the small footprint of 3D printers. While it is not as bulky as some printers it packs a serious punch with all of the added cool features.

After many stages of analyzing the mechanical design and making prototypes, we’ve developed the Snapmaker 3D Printer to provide an enjoyable user experience. Moreover, It’s also a desktop makerspace, a combination of 3D printer, laser engraver, and CNC machine with interchangeable heads. We can’t wait to share it with the Kickstarter community and have you help nurture this unique machine with us.

It appears that it is very easy to swap out each head for whatever your next project requires. The modular design makes it fairly inexpensive and affordable for most. The metal extrusions enable a low-cost machine but high tolerance capabilities.

Snapmaker has an innovative modular design, which enables a flat-packed and low-cost shipping, quick assembly, strong expandability and manufacturing cost reduction. In particular, we designed a new type of linear module, which can be used in any of x, y, z direction and performs high precision linear motion.

According to the manufacturer, you can setup the printer in under 10 minutes. 10 parts in 10 minutes seem like it is very doable. Not something you can say about many other 3D printers.


No more hassle of prying loose your print from the print bed! Snapmaker comes with a hassle-free and reusable platform sticker, offering better results than traditional blue painter’s tape and glue sticks. Prints stick well on the printing sticker base and are easy to remove when completed.

Unfortunately, all of the $199 and $249 options are gone, but if you catch it early enough, you can get the next step up at $299 or more if you want to add laser engraver and/or CNC attachments.

Click here to view original web page at

3D Printing Pioneer Janne Kyttänen’s Resigns From 3D Systems


Rumor has it that Janne Kyttanen has resigned from his position with 3D Systems. Janne, a conceptual artist, and designer, is best known for his work in 3D printing. Founder of the “Freedom of Creation” studio and up until now Creative Director of 3D Systems, his work has been exhibited in museums and galleries around the world. Not to mention his time spent as a pro squash player, playing in two different world championships and also two team championships.

Well known for leading the pack in design for 3D printing, his studio, Freedom of Creation, was one of the first to work with in implementing 3D printed designs along with using rapid prototyping to produce textiles.

For the span of his career, his work has won numerous awards while being displayed in many museums, galleries, fairs and exhibitions throughout the world.

After selling his companies to 3D systems he spent time learning how things work in the corporate world. The experience of running into roadblocks while working toward bringing new ideas to the consumer side of 3D printing he soon realized that the corporate world was more interested in the industrial side. Taking this as a clear sign there was no purpose for him at 3D Systems he decided to jump ship and start a new journey. A journey to hopefully alleviate some of the roadblocks that do not add value. His new company ‘What The Future Venture Capital’ is working toward taking out the inefficiencies that the corporate world brings.

Janne Kyttanen – 3D Printed Sofa

In a recent interview, he was asked if 3D Printing is overrated in its use for the consumer market.

Yes, at the moment 3D printing is totally overrated . Only a selected few have machines in their homes. I still believe in the industry though. In the last 25-30 years, it has been growing steadily with 25-30% every year. There will surely be more consumer machines, especially now that the Chinese have joined the race and are cutting prices at an astonishing rate. However, it will take a lot longer than people expected.  […]

Click here to read more from this excerpt at

Check out more of his Lily Light:

Video courtesy of

Evolution and Advancement of 3D Printing Techniques Through Sharing

While searching for some new models to post I came across a fascinating model that had made the featured first page of 3D prints on The Model, Hairy Lion, was shared by Primoz Cepin from Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia.

The Model featured some very creative techniques to recreate the hair on the lion’s mane. Using a sacrificial wall surrounding the model of the lions head and putting strands of bridging filament attached from the lion head to the wall. Once the printed model is complete, the wall is carefully removed and then it is time for you to put your styling skills to work on the hair with the help of a heat gun or some other heat source.

While it may sound like an unusual technique, I found it even more interesting in how this process evolved over time from a small series of other shared models on Thingiverse.

According to Primoz, he did a remix of the Lion design from geoffro of on Thingiverse. The Thingiverse model named Lion HD was also a remix from another designer named 3DWP entitled Lion.

As for the hair technique used on the mane, Primoz said he created his first “hairy” 3d print when he created “Cousin It” from the Adams Family. I would like to note here that this is friggin sweet! Who didn’t love Cousin It?

From here, Primoz says he took inspiration to do the hair on “Cousin It” from “Furry Vase”, a model shared by Daniel Noree of Barspin Sweden. This model was also shared on Thingiverse.

According to Daniel Noree his furry vase creation was inspired by the Drooloop” idea by Mark Peeters of Kalamazoo Michigan. Mark had shared the drooloop technique on a model called “Super Flowers”. This involved printing filament strands in mid-air.

So following this timeline one can see how sharing can inspire others while expanding our techniques and creativity across many generations of models over time.

Without creative commons and open source think how much less advanced the desktop 3D printing industry would be now.

My hat goes off to everyone who posts their models and techniques to share with the rest of us. Without you, there would be far fewer sources for inspiration in this world.

Attack of the Cyber Octopuses

I love the concept of making effect laden viral short films, especially using old methods. While I still like the incredible things you can do with computer animation at home and on a personal PC these days, nothing seems as raw and imperial as using some of the old methods of putting in special effects by using models, lighting, and camera tricks.  Here is a great story of someone using standard desktop 3D printers to create props to put together a short film. Nicola Piovesan dreamed up this remarkable story and tribute to the 80’s Scifi movies. All without using CGI (with the exception of compositing and making graphics) using 3D printing and some cool camera tricks…

Basically, I came up with this idea in July. I wanted to make a short film with viral potential, a tribute to the
80s scifi masterpieces, like Blade Runner or Escape from New York, using the same methods they were using back in time… practical effects, model miniatures and lot of handcrafted things. All without using CGI (except for compositing and for creating vintage graphics, like the one for the cyberspace). This is me with the handmade city miniature, trying to look like an art director of the Eighties…

Nicola Piovesan – 3D Printed City Miniature

Nicola Piovesan was inspired to create a tribute to 80’s sci-fi movies such as Blade Runner or Escape from New York using some of the same methods employed from that time. Before extensive CGI was being used in film studios. The name of this amazing creation is “Attack of The Cyber Octopuses.”

3d printing- camera film tricks

Soon after coming up with the idea to create this short film, Nicola started writing the script and googling around on how to model making, DIY, kit bashing. Then came the design for the cyber octopus and the purchase of a cheap 3D printer. Then came the printing of the Cyber Octopus.


Next came the building of the flying cars. Then great detail was taken to build the entire city of Neo Berlin 2079 A.D. All created using 3d printing along with other “junk” and cheap materials.

Everything was ready for the shooting!
We shot in 3 days: 1 day for the city miniature and flying vehicles, 1 day with the main character only (that has more scenes than the others), 1 day with all the 9 characters (mainly for photoshooting) and especially with the 3 main ones (in a wonderful Soviet futuristic location called Linnahall in Tallinn). All together there were 16/17 people, from all over the world (USA, Estonia, Italy, Canada, Belarus, China and even Nigeria!).

After shooting was complete, a 1-minute teaser video was created. Help came from Andrea Ragusa who made the 80’s music; Dmitry Natalevich did the sound design, and Wesly Griffin recorded the voice over.

The teaser is almost ready and on Saturday 7th of January we’ll launch it. Then on Monday 9th we’ll launch the kickstarter!
Please consider this whole project is an indie zero budget film, so any donation, even few bucks, is very welcome.

Check out the info graphic video:

To view the teaser trailer check out the official Attack of The Cyber Octopuses Blog.

Meet the crew and cast:

To view or help fund the kickstarter campaign:

All quotes and images were sourced from

The New Ultimaker 3, Exciting Enhancements To Professional 3D Printing!

Ultimaker, a leading manufacturer of open source 3D printers, has announced
the third generation of their 3D Printing product line. Named the Ultimaker 3, the next generation of 3D printers has geared up to advance professional desktop 3D printing enable “users gain freedom of design never before accessible in the professional environment.”

Ultimakers first completely new desktop 3D printer since 2013, features 2 sizes. First, a regular size “Ultimaker 3” and second a larger version touted as the “Ultimaker 3 Extended”.

Gyro 3D Print – before dipping in water to dissolve the water soluble support material created by the 2nd extruder core
Gyro 3D Print – after dipping in water to dislove support material. Leaving behind a smooth surface and the inner gyro parts

“The new Ultimaker 3 and Ultimaker 3 Extended add dual extrusion to the Ultimaker’s industry-dominating 3D printing technology. With a host of new, intelligent features, the latest generation of Ultimaker technology is a technical tour de force. It demonstrates that Ultimaker is serious about meeting the growing demand for accessible, professional 3D printing.”

With the duel extruders, you can print in two colors or two different materials. See the images on the right. Printing in a material such as PLA or ABS using the first extruder and then a water-soluble support using the 2nd extruder, there is no limit for desktop 3D printing. You will be able to build extremely complex geometry with as much support material as needed. All without the headaches of having to break away the support material by hand and living with ugly surface marks and burrs left by the support. All you have to do is run your printed model under water and let the support material melt and dissolve away. Leaving you with a very clean model with smooth surface. Not a mark or burr left behind.

Some of the new features:

  • Dual Extrusion – The Ultimaker 3 offers dual extrusion right out of the box
    allowing you to print 2 materials or 2 colors. Very important for those that want to use water soluble material for supports to enable highly complex geometry. Print the design with your first choice of material then use water soluble support material on your second extruder. When done place your model into a tank of water and watch the support material dissolve away. Leaving your design intact with minimal sanding and hassle of breaking away support material. The Ultimaker engineering team has added a unique mechanism that automatically lifts the nozzle not in use, keeping it clear of the print job. Thus enabling a higher quality professional surface finish. Very important for a professional line 3D Printer.
  • Swappable Print Cores – Comes with print cores that you can swap out very quickly. Labeled as (AA) build materials and (BB) support materials.
    Ultimaker 3 Duel Print Cores

    They come with customized nozzle geometry per material. This allows for fewer clogs and much more reliable printing. This can be a major headache saver, spending far less time dealing with technical issues. I know from experience when printing quick prototypes or making quick prints for testing design options, this is a must for any printer billed for professional use. Being able to send out programs to the printer on the fly and doing multiple design iterations as quickly as possible. It can be very frustrating having to deal with clogging issues. Most of your time is better spent toward engineering your project.

  • Optimized Cooling – Ultimaker 3 features powerful fan system 2 radial fans and shrouds create more pressure buildup to increase airflow. This enables improved cooling and higher quality bridges and allowing faster print speeds with smooth surfaces.
  • LED Status Indicators – The Print Cores feature LED lighting to alert the user if any user interaction is required. This is something most systems do not have.
  • Enhanced Printer Automation – Eliminating guesswork by utilization of smart material detection through NFC technology. Along with active bed leveling, enables the Ultimaker 3 best settings for each material along with auto correcting bed leveling errors.
  • On-board camera – To monitor printing remotely. Very handy for those long print jobs or if you want to set up your printer to run lights out. Nothing worse than coming back to the office the next day and finding a whole roll of “spaghetti” in your 3D printer. It is nice to know you can view the status of your print job, enabling a peace of mind.
  • Better Connectivity – USB port, Ethernet, and WIFI all built in allowing greater options for connectivity.


Ultimaker 3 is now optimized for a large range of materials right out of the box. Providing Cura with profiles with best print settings allowing for less tweaking of your slicing program. To name a few, choose from Nylon, PLA, ABS, CPE and PVA. Also very important to those of us professionals who use 3D printing every day to test design, fit, and function on parts, jigs, quality gauges etc…

Ultimately the Ultimaker 3 has spent the last 3 years on major design improvements and looking to add greater efficiency with minimal downtime to make their product more attractive to professional users. As a Product Design engineer that has used 3D printers every day for several years now, I can truthfully say it appears that Ultimaker has achieved their main goals with their new Ultimaker 3 line of 3D Printers.

“Our team is constantly working to evolve the 3D printing market, and the Ultimaker 3 represents three years of development with the goal of delivering a product that serves the needs of demanding businesses,” said Jos Burger, CEO of Ultimaker. “3D printers have historically been tapped by businesses for straight-forward prototyping and short run production. The extended capabilities of the Ultimaker 3 introduce a wide variety of new applications and we’re excited to get them into the hands of professionals that can capitalize on the benefits of 3D printing across a variety of industries.”


Ultimaker 3 Extended
Ultimaker 3







As a Product Design engineer that has used 3D printers for several years now, I can truthfully say it appears that Ultimaker has achieved their main goals with their new Ultimaker 3 line of 3D Printers.

To me, there is nothing more annoying than having to stop and fiddle with your printer settings or disassemble a print head due to clogs in the middle of a large project with short lead times. This can throw your whole game off by interrupting your thought process and taking away from your design workflow.

Professionals want to be able to send their prints straight to the printer and go on working, with minimal user interaction. Hoping to get a good functional print and being able to evaluate their design and send another print job to the printer as quickly as possible if needed.




3D Printed Rhino Horns, Controversial Plan To Deter Poaching

White Rhino – 3D Printing Rhino Horns To Flood Market Will Help Stop Rhino Poaching…

There is no doubt that the Illegal wildlife trade is a large business with the side-effect of killing off thousands of endangered species every year. There is very few species harder hit than Rhinos. With Rhino horns fetching up to $100,000 per kilogram USD on the black market, poachers think nothing of taking this endangered animal in hopes of capturing one of these horns.

The horns are used to make very detailed carvings across Asia, and while there is a lack of evidence, many believe the horn to have curative properties in many traditional Eastern medicines.

Here is where Pembient, a Seattle-based biotech startup, come in. Pembient has created a plan to help solve the Rhino poaching problem, and all has to do with 3D printing.

Their idea is to 3D print using the same material that fingernails and hair are made out of, keratin, to bio-fabricate exact replicas of the rhino horns as Pembient’s CEO and co-founder Mathew Markus talked to Business Insider.

Markus Pembient and George Bonaci, who is now the VP of product, started Pembient in 2015.

Their idea is to 3D print using the same material that fingernails and hair are made out of, keratin, to bio-fabricate exact replicas of the rhino horns as Pembient’s CEO and co-founder Mathew Markus talked to Business Insider.

Markus Pembient and George Bonaci, who is now the VP of product, started Pembient in 2015.

3D Printed Rhino Horns To Stop Rhino Poaching
White Rhino on its back – 3D Printing Rhino Horns To Flood Market Will Help Stop Rhino Poaching…

As Rhino poaching is on the decline in South Africa, the problem is still very dire as almost 1400 Rhinos were killed in South Africa alone in 2015. That is a huge climb, up from just 13 in 2007 according to IUCN.
The problem stems from the art and antique market mainly in China. According to the journal Biological Conversation, most buyers purchase highly valued rhino horn carvings to keep as collectibles or to use as investments, according to the lead author of the study Yufang Gao.
Pembient’s goal plans to flood this market with these 3D printed horns. Making them genetically identical to the real ones down to the molecular level.
Once the 3D print process is perfected, the look and feel of the rhino horns will be so life-like making them almost impossible to distinguish them from the natural ones.

As the market floods, these fabricated horns will be sold as raw material to the master carvers in Asia to be used to produce valuable goods such as jewelry. These will sell for high prices on the black market.

Pembient’s strategy is an 180 from traditional approaches to curbing poaching. According to Markus the traditional demand reduction plan touted by conservationists is not working and also not ethical.

“These practices are based on thousands of years of cultural tradition – they’re a lot older than Thanksgiving,” Markus added. “We just can’t tell them to stop.”
The ultimate goal is to flood the market with cheap 3d printed bio-fabricated horns. This will eventually flood the market so much that it will drive the price down. People will not know if they are buying the real thing or a fake one.

As the price of Rhino horns gets cheaper, any incentives for rhino poaching should go down although many conservationists disagree.

According to the International Rhino Foundation and Save The Rhino International, most of the rhino horns on the black market are already fake. More than 90% of rhino horns currently in circulation are already fake, and poaching is going up, not down. Also, developing and marketing fake horns takes attention away from the real problem, stopping Rhino poaching. “While we both have the same goals,” Markus said. “There has been a lot of friction.”

Pembient is already looking to the future, according to Markus, the company would like to branch out into producing pangolin scales, elephant ivory, and other materials that are harvested from endangered species.

3D Model of a 57′ Chevy Corvette! Nice… For 3D Printing

For those of you interested in printing cool models I came across this very sweet 57′ Chevy Corvette model available for free download.

This model was created by Mao Casella specifically for 3D printing and uploaded to

The 13 files composing this assemblable model are conceived expecially for FFF/FDM 3dprinters, all objects are manifold and watertight, all intersections were created with boolean operations and the model was subdivided in pieces and pre-orientated in the print bed to have the less possible amount of support material.

According to Mao, the free download includes all of the files you need for the closed roof version. If you like this model then after tipping Mao per the links provided on the myminifactory website he will then email the 2 extra files required to print the open roof version… Nice


3D Printing and Aquatic Life Make New Underwater Worlds

3d printed sculpture

3D Printing and sculpture have long been a marriage made since the dawn of 3D printing. Just do a search for “3d printed sculpture” in Google Images and you will find a vast array of 3d printed sculptures ranging from the architecture of famous landmarks, busts taken from historical figures, characters and weapons from games, all of the way to 3D printed fractals and everything in between. Now a Japanese artist has combined 3D printing and aquarium life to create stunning pieces of minimalistic living art.

Misawa Haruka, the designer and founder of Misawa Design Institute, has created a series of aquariums entitled “Waterscapes”. These aquariums of minimalistic design include 3D printed objects that take their inspiration from underwater environments. These 3D printed sculptures mimic aquatic flora and fauna such as coral to create habitat for small marine life to use as hiding places. Using weight and mass to her advantage, she creates digital sculptures that would typically fall under its own weight but through the use of physics and the buoyancy of water, these underwater masses can exist without toppling over. Thus creating beautiful minimalistic living and hiding spaces for underwater life.

In the words of Misawa Haruka

“Underneath the surface of water is a unique environment that exudes an energy which is completely opposite from that which is surrounded by air.
The inner space of this fish tank is created by combining two simple elements of container and water, with an extraordinary world created that differs from the world with air.
Propelled by buoyancy, this is the result of an opposing gravity that is pushing upwards.
For example, when placed in midair, gravels and aquatic plants are bound to fall instantly to the ground, but when placed in water, the gravels would slowly sink to the bottom, and the aquatic plants would gently rise up to the water surface.
Moreover, delicate structures that are prone to damage caused by their own weight on land are able to maintain a stable state because of the relative force of gravity and buoyancy.
The interaction between gravity and buoyance is consciously controlled with this, seeking to explore from zero the ecology where aquatic beings dwell. The observations are then tangibly realized, transformed into the project, Waterscape.” 
 Credits: Combining 3D Printing and Aquatic Life – 3D Printing Industry

Can 3D Printing Really Save our Coral Reefs?

3D Printing Saving Coral Reefs

3D Printing Saving Coral Reefs With the impending changes in our environment due to man-made pollution and global warming (whether manmade or just due to cycles of the Earth), the warming of the oceans and other bodies of water stand to have a great impact on most living things including putting our coral reefs at a serious risk of extinction. With the tender balance of nature this can in turn have a domino effect of consequences to the rest of the fish and living organisms that make our oceans their home.

This makes it imperative that we find alternative ways to keep our coral reefs healthy by any means necessary thus ensuring that all of the anemones, barnacles and many other dependent species can thrive.

The following article makes a case for how 3D printing is already doing a great job as one means of recreating the shapes, colors, and rough surfaces needed to keep the reefs teaming with living creatures alive and well…

“Humans have tried to create artificial coral reefs for years by sinking ships, dropping concrete blocks etc. into shallow water. These provide a hard, rock like surface for coral, algae, anemones, barnacles and many other dependent species could thrive. With the help of revolutionary rapid prototyping and 3D printing methods, this process can be improved dramatically as the 3D printed reefs can be better shaped into mimicking actual hard coral.

, she explains that usually, baby coral polyps are more likely to be drawn to reefs that are white or pink in color. Pink and white are colors of a healthy reef and the polyps prefer surfaces that are uneven; contain crevices, grooves and holes. This ensures their safety from being eaten by predators of being trampled. 3D printers are working for rapid prototyping of corals in order to recreate this kind of desirable environment for coral polyps to thrive.”

 Check out the rest of the article: 3D printing could save our coral reefs – 3D Printing Industry


3D Printed Body Parts – A Look Into The Future of 3D Printed Prosthetics 2

It is no secret that in recent years, as 3D printing has become more affordable for the masses, it is having a large impact on 3D printed prosthetics. 3D printing manufacturers such as Airwolf3D sponsering Print-a-Thons and flash printing events to donate 3D printed hands to those in need have changed the lives of hundreds of people. 

Here is an excellent article by techchrunch on the future of 3D printed prosthetics:

 Credits: The future of 3D-printed prosthetics – TechCrunch

The recent ubiquity of 3D printers and innovations in prosthetic design, manufacturing and distribution offer a viable solution for the millions of people living with limb loss around the world. In the United States alone, close to 200,000 amputations are performed each year, yet, with prosthetics priced from $5,000-$50,000, having one can almost be considered a luxury.

Traditionally, the process of getting a prosthetic limb can take anywhere from weeks to months. Because prosthetics are such personal items, each one has to (or should) be custom-made or fit to the needs of the wearer. However, as 3D printers become more affordable, with some available for less than $200, the possibility of anyone being able to design and print a prosthetic limb in their home or local community is rapidly becoming a reality.

To fully appreciate the cost of prosthetic limbs, we can look at the economics of a family with a child in need. On average, each prosthetic has a lifespan of five years, and when considering younger children who are growing every day and are prone to breaking things, more frequent replacements are required.

Once you calculate the price of the prosthetic and its subsequent replacements, the total lifetime cost could place a considerable amount of strain on a family’s finances. Not to mention, it is also almost impossible to get insurance companies to cover that cost annually — CNN recently reported a new Medicare proposal that would limit access to limbs (currently, there are 150,000 amputees in the system).

The democratization of prosthetic design and creation through 3D printing enables millions of people around the world to reap the benefits of the newly popularized manufacturing technology. Open-source initiatives such as The Enable Community Foundation let anyone with a 3D printer customize and create a prosthetic hand. Those on the Enable team, a global network of passionate volunteers, are using 3D printing to give the world a helping hand, and it only costs $50.


Enable’s “Raptor Reloaded” prosthetic hand in action.