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World’s first 3D-printed apartment building constructed in China

World’s first 3D-printed apartment building constructed in China A Chinese company has successfully 3D printed a five-storey apartment building and a 1,100 square metre villa from a special print material. Although the company hasn’t revealed how large it can print pieces, based on photographs on its website, they are quite sizeable. A CAD design is used as a template, and the computer uses this to control the extruder arm to lay down the material “much like how a baker might ice a cake,” WinSun said. The walls are printed hollow, with a zig-zagging pattern inside to provide reinforcement. This also leaves space for insulation. This process saves between 30 and 60 percent of construction waste, and can decrease production times by between 50 and 70 percent, and labour costs by between 50 and 80 percent. In all, the villa costs around $161,000 to build. And, using recycled materials in this way, the buildings decrease the need for quarried stone and other materials — resulting in a construction method that is both environmentally forward and cost effective. In time, the company hopes to use its technology on much larger scale constructions, such as bridges and even...

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Amazingly Beautiful Insect Models Created With SLA from FormLabs

Amazingly Beautiful Insect Models Created With SLA from FormLabs FormLabs is, by now, a name that many, or most, fans of 3D printing are aware of. When the team at FormLabs themselves are breathless from the example of a customer’s 3D printing output on their forums, we know that it is something special. And the FormLabs Blog examples just that this week, with the awesome work created by model-maker Klaus Leitl. Using a FormLabs Form1+ stereolithography printer the Austrian artist has produced sublime life-like insects for the the ‘Life Under Water’ exhibition in Salzburg, Austria. Get ready for some brilliant images… Mr. Leitl conducted an interview with the impressed FormLabs team, during which he shared some insights into how he accomplished these truly fascinating and fantastic models. One of the most amazing facts is that the models are thirty times the size of the real-life insects: some of these fascimilies are up to 1350 mm (53.15 inches) in length. This was realised by 3D printing a number of finely honed pieces – up to twenty-two – that, when pieced together, create a larger-than-life whole. Leitl says he finds that collecting as many source representations as possible of the subject is a strong starting point. This includes hand drawn sketches as well as photographs. Indeed, the artist draws the subject matter by hand using a binoclear microscope to gain a real feel of its form and structure. From there Leitl creates a computer based digital model using computer aided design and rendering software such as zBrush and Lightwave. For the stereolithographic 3D printing process the model-maker suggests:“When printing, use the smallest possible wall thickness and make a hollow print, if possible. And it is very important to perform the cleaning and maintenance routines after each printing. Filter the resin and mix well, let the silicone layer breathe and check optical quality, examine mirrors for dust; after filling the resin tank, wait 30 minutes until most of the air bubbles are gone… When you use a new resin tank, run a small test print so that you can adjust the build platform precisely. It is important to check the model very carefully for any overhangs that may not have a support structure. In locations with a “suction cup effect,“ it is absolutely necessary to provide small air vents.” Before applying the colouring and coating the creator of these astonishingly beautiful insects...

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Go for 3D printing at new SingPost outlet

Go for 3D printing at new SingPost outlet At the Suntec City outlet, you can scan your face (above) which then goes into printing a toy figurine. The 3D printer can also produce accessories like bracelets. Shoppers at Suntec City can try out a new 3D printing service offered at Singapore Post’s newest post office, which opened on Monday. For now, items that can be printed are limited to certain accessories. Users can also customise 3D figurines using a face scanner available at the outlet. Printing charges range from $19.90 for a pendant or bangle to $459 for a full-body figurine. However, customers who have their own digital blueprints will not be able to print them at the outlet. Instead, they can consult staff from 3D Matters, the company collaborating with SingPost. The 3D printing service, which is on trial for at least three months, comes under the Suntec outlet’s innovation centre, which SingPost is piloting. Mr Elvin Too, SingPost’s vice-president for post office products, services and network, said the company hopes to stay relevant to Singaporeans. “Our customers’ needs are ever-changing. This innovation corner serves as a test bed for innovative new services that can be offered at post offices in the future, such as 3D printing,” he said. The Suntec outlet is also part of SingPost’s new generation of post offices that aims to provide more convenience to customers. Its self-service kiosks are open 24 hours. They include SAM, where customers can pay their bills and buy stamps, as well as POPStation, where users can collect their parcels outside of operating...

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3D Printed Prototypes Helped This Sleep Sensor Score Over $2 Million on Kickstarter

3D Printed Prototypes Helped This Sleep Sensor Score Over $2 Million on Kickstarter   Last month tech startup Hello launched a Kickstarter campaign for their Sense sleep aid system looking to raise $100,000 but found themselves with almost $2.5 million dollars and close to 20,000 backers. The Sense itself is a sleep aid system that monitors you while you sleep, recording the room’s temperature, the level of light and noise in the room, and even monitoring the level of airborne particulates in the air. It does this by connecting to a small Sleep Pill that attaches to your pillow and transmits data to the Sense ball that sits near your bed. It also has an integrated alarm that will wake you up at a natural point in your sleep cycle, making you feel more rested during the day. The entire device is controlled with a mobile app for your smartphone. This app records and shows you your sleep patterns and gives you the opportunity to experiment with your sleeping environment and make it more comfortable. Take a look at the Kickstarter video here: The Sense itself, while very small, is packed with a lot of technology. It includes a light sensor, a microphone, temperature sensor, humidity sensor, a speaker, proximity sensor, particulate sensor and Bluetooth and WiFi Low Energy connectivity. The Sleep Pill is even tinier and contains a six-axis gyroscope and accelerometer and Bluetooth Low Energy connectivity powered by a lithium battery. As you could imagine such a small product that contains so many components required a lot of prototyping and that’s where 3D printing came in. According to one of Hello’s industrial designers they created over a hundred prototypes of the Sense. Hello estimates that their 3D printer has spent 1,526 hours 3D printing prototype parts, using 16,000 grams of resin. That’s a lot of prototypes. There is an urban legend about Apple co-founder Steve Jobs that, while unconfirmable, seems relevant here. While playing with the first iPod prototype, Jobs rejected it for being too big. The engineers told Jobs that they had done everything they could to make it as thin as it already was and it was simply impossible to make it smaller. Jobs then got up from his desk, walked over to his aquarium and dropped the iPod into the tank. Once it fell to the bottom, several air bubbles escaped the device and floated to the top,...

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First Low Cost SLS 3D Printers Hit the Scene

First Low Cost SLS 3D Printers Hit the Scene  By Michael Molitch-Hou On Thu, August 14, 2014 · 3D Printers, 3D Printing, Industry news The reason that you’re reading this website is that, about five years ago, key patents surrounding fused deposition modeling expired, allowing a number of Makers working on home 3D printing machines to begin selling their wares to the public, including the startup that has become the face of desktop manufacturing, MakerBot.  As more patents begin to expire for other 3D printing technologies, similar explosions in affordable additive manufacturing are expected to take place. We’ve already seen a slew of stereolithography machines hit the market, but have not heard much regarding selective laser sintering, first invented by Carl Deckard out of UT Austin.  After Deckard’s key patent for SLS expired earlier this year, many had hoped that the cost of the technology, which can reach as high as $250,000, would be dramatically reduced, as it had with the other 3D printing methods.   It may be that that pattern is getting set to unfold, as one UK company called Norge Systems, which has announced a Kickstarter campaign for two lower priced SLS machines, the Ice1 and Ice9. The Ice9 is an Adruino 2 controlled uses a 40W tube laser to sinter polyamide/nylon powder to fabricate items up to 30 x 30x 45cm in size, with layer thicknesses of between .1 and .15 mm and print speeds 10 to 30mm/hour. It has a USB port, as well as an SD card reader, too.  I’m still new to the technology, being more familiar with other printing systems, so I’ll let some of the specs speak for themselves:  Powder feeding mode: Two-way powder feed system Scanning system: Theta lens focusing, high-accuracy magnetic encoderScan speed during build process: up to 4 m/s Laser power control system: PWM Digital signal Power Supply: 230VAC,50/60Hz,5KVA Software: Manual and automatic control mode; Real-time build parameters modification; Three-dimensional Visualization; Open Source Platforms   In addition to its laser sintering abilities, the Ice9 also has the ability to engrave and cut using its laser, displayed in the .gif to the left.  The Ice9 is also small enough to fit into an office environment and, most importantly, is 10-15% of the cost of the other affordable laser sintering machines currently on the market with a final expected price of 19,900 GBP + VAT (about $34,000 USD + tax).   The Ice1 is the “little brother of the Ice9″, with many of...

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