3D Print 200 Million Year Old Dinosaur Skull From CT Scan!

For those interested, you can now 3d print a dinosaur skull from a full recreation of a 200 million-year-old dinosaur, thanks to PhD student Kimberly Chapell, from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The dinosaur, known as Massospondylus carinatus, lived in the Early Jurassic. Found in the upper Elliot to lower Clarens Formations of South Africa and Lesotho. One of the first dinosaurs ever described in the importance of South African Paleontology for the study of dinosaur evolution. 

Until now, research has been restricted on M. carinatus due to a lack of detailed internal cranial descriptions.  Thus the current research aimed to produce a 3D representation of the braincase and skull of M. carinatus.  Allowing researchers to describe the cranial anatomy and internal structures and in turn, making it possible for them to establish possible cranial autapomorphies of M. carinatus.

Massospondylus was a mid-size sauropodomorph, around 4 meters (13 ft) in length,  weighing approximately 1,000 kilograms (2200 lb). Researchers have long debated its diet and lifestyle, though recent studies strongly suggest that it was herbivorous or omnivorous, not carnivorous. Interestingly, scientists have also found fossils where these dinosaurs had rocks inside their stomachs. This was interpreted as a gastric mill, to aid ingestion of plant material, compensating for its inability to chew – as is common with several modern birds.

Thanks to Kimberly Chapelle, the 3d scan is available for free download. So anyone wanting to 3D print their own dinosaur skull can do so.

Journal reference  Kimberley E.J. Chapelle , Jonah N. Choiniere. A revised cranial description of Massospondylus carinatus Owen (Dinosauria: Sauropodomorpha) based on computed tomographic scans and a review of cranial characters for basal Sauropodomorpha. https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.4224

3D Printing Degradable Biomaterials

Using a stereolithographic technique, biomaterials can now be printed for the purpose of being put through a controlled degradation using ionic crosslinking. This, in turn, could become useful for new applications that require a biomaterial that is adaptive and responsive to certain stimuli such as drug delivery applications.

Stereolithographic printing typically uses photoactive polymers that link together with covalent bonds — which are strong, but irreversible. A research team from Brown University experimented with using potentially reversible ionic bonds to create 3D printed structures.

A simplistic view would of using a 3D printer is to build attachments between polymers then remove them when needed. Basically building a support for a structure then removing the support once the structure is ok to stand on its own. They can pattern the transient structures then dissolve away when needed.

Using different compounds derived from seaweed and using different combinations of ionic salts, researchers were able to create structures with a varying stiffness that could be dissolved away at different rates.

The research demonstrated that temporary alginate structures could be useful for making lab-on-a-chip devices with complex microfluidic channels and for making dynamic environments for experiments with live cells. To demonstrate, researchers surrounded alginate barriers with human mammary cells and observed how the cells migrated when the barrier was dissolved.

For more in depth view please read the full article https://www.photonics.com/

“Maverick” 3D Printed Pilot Skull

Here is another cool 3D print that you can do at home. A 3D printed skull, aka Maverick the pilot skull!

This one was submitted by Paul Braddock at myminifactory.com

This was originally made as a pendant, however, people were asking for a more display friendly version, without the top loop.

We think it is above and beyond in detail when compared to most modeled skulls. Very creative use of detail in his design including the helmet and face mask.

This image shown here was printed by Paulo Ricardo Blank. Printed on a Minibot 120 3D printer:

Silver PLA

.15 mm layer height

50% Scale and 25% Scale from the original model.

Both at 40mm/s

Minibot 120 3D Printer Silver PLA 0.15mm layer 50% and 25% scale models 40mm/s print speed

You can view more user 3D prints and see the original model plus download at www. myminifactory.com 

I would love to see any and all prints of this thing so please send to me if you would like for me to post and share here. (info @ makingit3d.com).

The Design Process For A 3D Printed Airsoft Gun Holster

This is an older article I came upon while combing the internet for cool information on 3D printing. It came from a makerspace blog located in Southampton, UK. A nice short tutorial on designing a new holster for a modified airsoft gun.

Starts with a little intro on what the model looked like in Autodesk123D all of the way to the finished product. A very short and sweet insight of the design process. If you enjoy, please leave a comment or click on one of the share icons.

On Saturday 7th August, SoMakeIt Member Lee came to the space with an interesting challenge. He had purchased a torch attachment for an Airsoft gun which he was using for a costuming project, but the large barrel of the torch meant that the gun no longer fitted in the supplied holster. So of course we decided that using 3D printing we could quickly make a replacement that fitted perfectly.

Click here to view original web page at blog.somakeit.org.uk


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 www.kickstarter.com

Worlds first 3D Printed Skyscraper in Dubai!

Worlds first 3D Printed skyscraper to be built by a Dubai construction technology firm, Cazza.

Cazza announced plans to build the first of its kind 3D printed skyscraper using a new technology called ‘crane printing’. Cazza will outfit cranes with added units created specifically for use in 3D printing tall building structures.

CEO of Cazza, Chris Kelsey, said: “When we first thought of implementing 3D printing technologies, we were mostly thinking of houses and low-rise buildings.

“Developers kept asking us if it was possible to build a 3D printed skyscraper. This led us to begin researching how we could adapt the technologies for taller structures.

Through these technologies, it will be awesome to see how fast a skyscraper will go up compared to standard construction methods. Not to mention what materials will go into the 3D printing process itself.

The cranes will print specific parts of the building while the rest of the construction is to be completed through normal construction methods.

Using existing cranes and outfitting with new 3D printing equipment will save time and cost opposed to having to build a complete 3d printing/crane from scratch.

One can see how a standard crane could be easily adapted to the 3D printing process.

According to Xavier Hernand, mechanical engineer at Cazza, the printing process will include components typically required for tall buildings such as steel rebar.

Xavier Hernand, mechanical engineer at Cazza, said: “The material side leaves vast possibilities with concrete and steel being just one of many materials that can be used with 3D printing.”

Cazza’s crane printing process includes all major structural components required for tall buildings, including reinforcement with steel rebar.

The cranes will 3D print specific parts of buildings, with the rest of construction undertaken through existing methods.

Fernando De Los Rios, chief operating officer at Cazza, added: “The crane printing system can be easily adopted with existing cranes which means we don’t have to build cranes from scratch.

“We are adding new features to make it adaptable to high wind speeds along with the use of our layer smoothing system that creates completely flat surfaces. You won’t know its 3D printed.”

Cazza has already been in the 3D printing construction business using mobile 3D printing robots with existing construction methods to lower costs, speed up development processes, and also make things more environmentally friendly.

Click here to view original web page at www.constructionweekonline.com

Has Ultimaker Turned to The Dark Side? Dutch Manufacturer Files First Patent

The world renown Dutch 3D printer manufacturer, and leader in the open source 3D printer community, Ultimaker, has filed its first patent.

The patent in question is NL2015361:

According the present invention a print bed levelling system of the type defined in the preamble is provided, wherein the print bed levelling system comprises a nozzle head assembly movably arranged with respect to a substantially flat print bed member, the nozzle head assembly comprising one or more nozzle bodies each having a nozzle end, and a contactless sensor member disposed at a print bed engagement end of the nozzle head assembly, wherein the contactless sensor member comprises a sensing surface in sensing engagement with the print bed member over a relative sensing range between a distal sensing position and a proximal sensing distance.

– Reference: NL2015361

Has Ultimaker gone over to the Dark Side? At first glance, it would seem that way. But not so fast says the Ultimaker Community and Event Manager Sander Van Geelen. “Owning a patent is one thing, but how we act upon it is another.

Sander went on to state that they will not change their behavior and attitude toward other users and goes on to explain why the patent is necessary for a company that has made their roots in open source.

Well, with the Ultimaker 3 in particular, we are tapping into a new market of enterprises and competitors who play a whole different game. Forcing the competition out of the market through lawsuits and court is not uncommon. And we need to be prepared. Hence this defensive strategy.

It seems their intention is not to flex their muscles with casual users but to continue supporting collaborations and help stimulate research.

They also plan to keep sharing the files of the Ultimaker 3 and so on at their Ultimaker GitHub page. The file sharing should help alleviate some fears as to their real intentions.

When you think about it, it makes total sense as to why Ultimaker would want some protection from the harsh tactics of big business.

Only time will tell how this affect the relationship between them and the open source community. For now, we will have to take their word on it. If you have an opinion and would like to share then, please leave a comment below.

Click here to view the original announcement made by Lana Lazova at ultimaker.com.

Click here to view the statement made by Sander Van Geleen along with some good conversation and many questions from others in the 3D printing and open source community.

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 fashnerd.com

Check out more of his Lily Light:

Video courtesy of https://www.dezeen.com/2015/12/02/janne-kyttanen-unveils-metal-and-volcanic-stone-table-made-with-explosion-welding/

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: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/piovesan/attack-of-the-cyber-octopuses

All quotes and images were sourced from http://cyberoctopuses.blogspot.de/

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.