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 Thingiverse.com. 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 hex3d.com 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.

Chevy Camaro LS3 V8 Engine – Scale Working Model

I am always keeping an eye out for cool 3D models to recommend for 3D printing. This one is no less than amazing at the amount of time and detail put into this full 3D model assembly.

Working model of a Chevy Camaro LS3 V8 engine.
Over 200 hours of printing!!! Engine block alone was 72 hours.
Modeled from cad files, pictures, specs, and service diagrams of the engine. I did not have the actual engine for this one.
It assembles just like the real thing!!!



This thing is cool as it gets. Fully working model with hardware. Over 200 hours of print time involved.  To see this thing in motion check out the following video. Includes a sped up time lapse of the entire assembly of the engine:

Fully working LS3 model. Everything was 3d printed except for the bearings and fasteners. Some parts were modeled from CAD files floating around the internet while others were modeled from pictures, repair manuals, and diagrams.

Very nice work…

If you feel this is too much print time for you take a look at the following, one of the available remixes. Scaled down to smaller than a can of soda http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1996991:


Now go out and do some 3D printing!

All quotes, images, and videos were sourced from Thingiverse.com. Click here to view the original web page at http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1911808

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.




Italian Food Maker, Pioneering The Way Toward 3D Printed Food

We have heard a little chatter here and there about some of the possibilities of 3d printed food for awhile now, but when it comes to the real thing, one company, Barilla is making great strides towards making it a reality.

When you think about 3D printed food, it is only natural to think of one food in particular that has a large selection of sizes and shapes, some very intricate, and limits itself only to the imagination. Pasta!

One company that does Pasta well and has been working on research and development towards a 3D printer for pasta is Barilla.

Barilla first introduced 3d printed pasta to the general public back in 2014.

In 2014, Barilla launched an international design contest, PrintEat, through the Italy-based 3D printing crowd sourcing online platform Thingarage, where the company was looking for pasta piece designs. Three pasta designs won the competition: ‘Moon’ (pasta in the shape of a full moon with ‘crater’ holes), ‘Rose’ (shaped like the flower) and ‘Vortipa’ (an elegant, sculptural pasta cone) – all of which can only be made with Barilla’s 3D technology.
All these shapes have a specific uniqueness in terms of texture experience or functionality and are not possible with the traditional pasta-making technologies. For example, you can fill the ‘Moon’ shape to make a spherical, filled pasta, or experience a new pasta texture with “Vortipa” thanks to the complexity of its geometry,” Cassotta tells just-food.

Although it may be some time before we see a 3D pasta printer on the market, Barilla has been making great strides toward that goal since they began their pioneer journey five years ago. In collaboration with Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) they now have a working prototype, showing it off at Cibus, International Food Exhibition, back in May of this year.
According to Barilla, they are working on getting it to print faster, but they have made great strides in bringing the speed up since the beginning.

Today, the prototype can print four pieces of pasta in just under five minutes and a plate of fresh pasta can be printed in about 20-30 minutes, the company tells just-food. “When the project was first launched, the time needed to make the pasta was much longer – it was 20 minutes to print one piece of pasta and today we can print four pieces in about two minutes,” Fabrizio Cassotta, R&D research manager for meal solutions at Barilla, says. “We are now working to improve the time to print; our target is to print one full plate of pasta in two minutes.”

The goal is to give consumers the option of designing their own pasta shapes on the computer and also decide what ingredients go into the pasta. Some of the options could be gluten-free pasta, wholegrain pasta, and also possibly a mix of vegetables and pulses.
Ultimately it will still be some time before we see anything on the market. The project is still in the early stages of 3D printed food technology. As Luca Di Leo, Barilla’s head of global media relations, confirms this is a medium to long term project.

Credits: Just-food.com – Images: Spadellatissma.com

No 3D Print Toys For Christmas! Matell’s ThingMaker Delayed Till’ Next Year

Apparently making an easy trouble-free 3D Printer kit for kids to use at home is not so easy as it seems. If you remember earlier this year Mattel unveiled its new version of the hit Thingmaker from the 1960’s and 70’s, this time around as a 3D Printer for kids to print custom action figures and toys. Originally the release was set for October of this year but according to Engadget Mattel has pushed out the release date until Fall of next year (2017).

This might upset some kids and parents. It seems Amazon has been taking pre-release orders for the Thingmaker since February 2016 with ship dates in October.

See the following statement from Mattel:

After much consideration, Mattel has decided to move its Thingmaker/3D printer launch to Fall 2017. At Mattel, we pride ourselves on delivering best-in-class products and the additional time will allow us to enhance the digital functionality to ensure we deliver the most engaging end-to-end experience for all family members. We are grateful for the excitement around this product and look forward to exceeding expectations in 2017. For more information/updates on product avail visit Thingmaker.com.


To read the original story check out Engadget

3D Printing Used By Scientists To Print First Printed Earth Excavator

3d_printed_earth_excavatorNow scientists at Oak Ridge National labratory are using 3D print technology to create the first 3d printed Earth excavator. All this to explore the possiblitity of printing with different metal alloys.

3D-printing, or additive manufacturing (AM), mostly uses plastics of some sort to create objects layer by layer. Plastics are cheap, light, and easy to melt, lending themselves to the process.
Metals, on the other hand, are heavy, costly, and melt at much higher temperatures – making them a challenging material for 3D printing.

To read more http://www.wired.co.uk/article/3d-printing-moving-machine


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 myminifactory.com

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


The X and Y Axis of 3D Printing, Is It Really Important?

3D printed resin model
3D printed resin model
3D printed resin model

All of you 3D printers and makers, we all have heard of resolution in the Z direction, aka layer size. The layer height determines the smoothness of the 3d printed model. The smaller the layer the smoother the model, the higher the resolution and so on.

  But what about the X and Y axis of 3D printers? Something hardly mentioned in most articles about 3D printing. Does the resolution of the X and Y axis really matter?
According to the folks at Fabbaloo the answer is sometimes it does.
” I believe it is, but not for extrusion machines. Instead, it’s important for comparing resin-based 3D printers using photo curable processes.
In these machines, UV (or other) light illuminates a liquid resin surface to solidify a layer. There are generally two approaches to doing so. One approach involves a laser rapidly moving to laboriously trace the layer’s solid portions. The other typical approach is to use a DLP light source to simultaneously illuminate an array of “pixels” on the resin surface.
And this is where X-Y resolution becomes important. Why? Because DLP light sources have a fixed pixel count. The array of light pixels might be 640 x 480, or 1920 x 1080, for example.
Imagine if you shone the 640 x 480 array on a resin surface 100mm wide. Now shine the same pixels on a resin surface only 50mm wide. Are the solidified pixels the same size? No! They are smaller when focused on the smaller surface area.
Similarly, the pixels are larger when focused on a larger surface area.
In this case, X-Y resolution becomes quite important. Essentially it refers to the effective size of the solidified pixels. “
 They go on to state that if you are printing something that is finely detailed such as jewelry you probably require a higher x-y resolution. In this case, you would not want to consider a resin printer that has a large surface area unless there are options for it to focus the pixel array on a smaller surface area of which, in fact, some resin printers do.