Autodesk is blowing off the metal shavings of static shop-side subtractive manufacturing, delivering the first of its kind collaborative CAM solution. Today, the software product/service company kicked off Autodesk University 2013 in a chilly Las Vegas announcing Autodesk CAM 360, pushing the computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) process to the cloud and milling out a sweet little oily spot for manufacturing in their Autodesk 360 cloud portfolio.
File this under that ever-expanding ‘Why Didn’t I Think Of That?’ pile: Swedish travel and lifestyle photographer Jens Lennartsson was feeling like he wanted to get a little more attention from potential agency clients, so rather than going the traditional route and creating ‘the mother of all business cards’, he omitted the card altogether and went straight for a friggin’ action figure: the GI Jens.
We’ve seen quite the gamut of unique bicycle designs over the past year. From the 19th century velocipede re-imagined with today’s bicycle technologies to custom bicycle designs that utilize rapid manufacturing methods and everything in between, riders looking for a funkier ride have never had more options. The Sandwichbike from designer Basten Leijh is the latest funky bicycle design to hit the market and comes in the form of a flat-pack design a la IKEA—however don’t get your hopes up if Swedish meatballs and lingonberry juice aren’t an included option.
It was only yesterday that we took a look at Autodesk’s Project Shapeshifter and explored how it is moving away from existing simple modeling apps and into more complex modeling aimed at the consumer market. Although 3D printer sales have surged (and will continue to do so), the bridge between concept and well-executed print is still a long one for most consumers: there’s a reason why we have four-year industrial design and mechanical engineering degrees. Yet this long divide presents a plethora of opportunities for new platforms to bring that division a little closer while keeping designs more exciting than the typical pre-made pencil-toppers, cups, and figurines. The Kinematics app from Nervous System is the latest platform that not only wants to bring 3D printing to the consumer market, but the self-assembling 4D printing experience as well. We took a look at the platform to see how quickly we could throw together our own little 4D jewelry collection.
Autodesk has been making headway with various announcements leading up to next week’s Autodesk University in Las Vegas. A little over a month ago we saw the release of their Project Miller preview, which is aimed at optimizing and validating designs before hitting that heavy ‘Print’ button to send a file off to a 3D printer. Their latest technology preview Project Shapeshifter comes in the form of a 3D modeler that allows new CAD users to develop complex geometry out of common primitive shapes with very little effort…essentially creating a generative modeling experience of sorts without having to dive head-first into Grasshopper. Let’s take a look at how quickly we can put together a vase and export the STL for a ceramic 3D print.
Consider it a handheld 3D printer of sorts—and not of the stringy-glue gun variety. The FreeD is MIT’s latest cool piece of tech that is essentially a handheld milling machine that allows a user to sculpt a pre-defined shape from a 3D model. As 3D printer manufacturers are moving towards higher resolution and accuracy in their prints, the FreeD’s aim is just the opposite: how do you add a handmade appearance to otherwise smooth surfaces?
With it’s earthy tones and fibrous appearance, it almost looks appetizing enough to eat. Inspired by alternative manufacturing processes that could help re-shape the Greek economy, University of Edinburgh grad Spyros Kizis has developed a way of using Artichoke Thistle fiber mixed with a new waste-oil biological epoxy resin to create a plastic-like material that is one-hundred percent biodegradable. Here, we get to see how Spyros processes the raw material and uses it to create his Artichair chair design.
Having been friends since childhood, Are Audio founders Richie White and Ross Connolly shared a common passion for engineering, physics, and high-fidelity sound. Today, the two are hard at work with their custom audio speaker company based out of St. John’s Newfoundland. The hand-manufacturing process that goes into making anything audio-based is always a slippery-slope: not only are there multiple listening styles out there with high demands for their audio sound quality, but those listeners are oftentimes also looking for particular aesthetic qualities that become conversation starters. In this process video from Are, we get a behind-the-scenes peak into how much patience and detail goes into crafting a boutique speaker.
When looking at companies embracing the 3D printing movement, it’s hard to deny that Microsoft is taking large strides towards making their products more seamless in the 3D printing experience for the mass market. With the combination of introducing native 3D printing support into their recent Windows 8.1 update—a first for an operating system—to the introduction of MakerBot ‘mini-stores’ within their Microsoft retail stores, it was only a matter of time before Microsoft introduced their own native 3D Printing app. The 3D Builder app is the latest in Microsoft’s attempt to be the leading (and most accommodating) operating system for the 3D printing community.
For many of us fabrication fanatics, one of the more exciting aspects of the 3D printing industry is that it is bringing manufacturing back to the US. From one-of-a-kind prototypes to mass-produced retail-ready products, the versatility of 3D printed objects is broad, and the potential for their applications, almost limitless. But with so much focus on the latest pioneering efforts in the maker world, it is easy to lose sight of some of the more practical, everyday objects that can be printed, as well as the business potential behind them.