Last week the enthusiasm over 3D printing culminated in the acquisition of Brooklyn’s own MakerBot by the publicly traded Stratasys. But not everyone’s as excited about this particular disruptive technology. Take the head of Foxconn, for example, who recently insisted to the Taiwanese press that it’s just not that big a deal.
Life in 3D
It’s so very easy to overestimate the power of 3D printing. DIY semiautomatics, for example, are a terrifying prospect, but they’re not exactly right around the corner. Likewise, it’s easy to dream of a world where surgeons can simply 3D print a new liver. But the Wall Street Journal reports that current medical applications are a little more mundane. Read More
After the events in Newtown, the gun control debate has taken on a new urgency. Suddenly 3D-printed firearms look a lot less like a thought-provoking experiment and more like a danger to the public–and Makerbot wants nothing to do with that.
CNET reports that just yesterday, it was possible to get the blueprints for the lower receiver of an AR15 semiautomatic rifle on Makerbot’s wiki Thingiverse. Today, there’s nothing but this listing where the downloads used to be. It’s part of a wider crackdown across the site on 3D-printed weapon parts. Read More
3D printing aficionados eager for the new technology to disrupt the vice market were dismayed to discover this week that the much-hyped 3D printed gun fired six shots before falling the f*ck apart. But fear not: Kurzweil AI reports that a new 3D printer has been developed, and this one prints drugs. Read More
Defense Distributed, the group that wants to create an entire Wiki of blueprints for 3D printed guns, tested out one of its new models this weekend. And it turns out that as of right now, it ain’t worth a damn, son. Wired reports that the AR-15 rifle (which was only partially 3D printed) got off a mere 6 shots before the back popped right off, hitting the ground with a sad ping. Read More
When one mulls over the future of manufacturing, naturally the first question that comes to mind is: How we can we as a nation effectively mass produce cornerstone products, like a plastic bust of performer Will.i.am?
Luckily, Mr. Am–who last we heard was hurtling our planet towards a Martian attack–has ushered 3D printing into the mainstream by including it in his newest video, “Scream and Shout,” also featuring the eminently GIF-able Britney Spears. At around 1:38 in the video, a 3D printer sitting on a platform displaying the Makerbot logo is seen printing thin layers of plastic to create a bust of that vital American commodity: Mr. Am’s head. Read More
At the Makerbot pop up shop in Nolita, you can purchase mini figurines made by high-tech 3D printers in shapes like cats for $5 a pop. They’re a cute novelty, but there’s nothing personal about them; they’re basically mass-manufactured balls of plastic. But a new invention showing at an exhibition space in Japan puts a personalized spin on the 3D printing market. The Omote 3D printer is a photobooth, but instead of printing out your photo on paper, it prints a miniature replica of you. Read More
Is there anything 3D printers won’t wholly revolutionize? There’s the gun trade and illicit narcotics market, there’s the fine art of burrito making, and now, Atlantic Cities reports, a USC professor is working on a means of using them to wholly disrupt the construction business. That’s right–he proposes that we jettison prefab Read More
Feeling like you could use a good cry? It’s okay, we all need one sometimes.
3D printing company Stratasys developed a Dimension 3D printer that can print a custom robotic device that improved the range of motion for a little girl. The 4-year-old, Emma Lavelle, has a congenital disease that keeps her from being able to move her arms. By using a 3D printer, doctors were able to develop a custom robotic exoskeleton that fit her tiny frame.
Go ahead, let it out. There, there. Read More
While we’re all for robotic mechanisms that build things to make our tummies happy (love u/miss u BurritoBot), we’re justifiably wary about a 3D printer that can apparently print weaponry. A gunsmith over at the gun forum AR15 claims that he has assembled and successfully tested the first fire arm printed with a 3D printer. Read More