The hot new thing, it seems, is mixing 3D printing with insects. First, MIT got a bunch of silkworms in on the action; now, to promote its new Dewar's Highland Honey Scotch whisky, Bacardi is getting in on the buzz -- with bees.
Somewhere on campus at North Carolina State University, an interesting thing happened. Researchers took a liquid metal alloy of gallium and indium at room temperature and made more than just a puddle. They made a 3D figure. They made a wire. They even made tiny letters. The remarkable occurrence was that it all held together.
The researchers have spent years developing a method of 3D-printing liquid metal at room temperature. The resulting paper, "3D Printing of Free Standing Liquid Metal Microstructures," was recently published in the journal Advanced Materials.
The process uses a syringe needle to dollop tiny spheres of metal together. A thin oxide skin holds it all together and prevents the printed structures from just collapsing into metal blobs. It can be used to create extruded metal wires or put together tiny structures crafted from spheres. … Read more
When he was born in a high school biology lab last November, little Buttercup wasn't like all the other ducklings: His left foot was turned backward, making getting around a bit of a trial for the little guy. Although his caregiver at the school worked on turning the foot around the right way, it couldn't quite get there.
So when he was transferred to Feathered Angels Waterfowl Sanctuary in Arlington, Tenn., new owner Mike Garey realized pretty quickly that something had to be done.
"With his deformed foot, he would have been in pain and had constant cuts and foot infections walking on the side of it even at our sanctuary here, and foot infections on these guys is always a serious matter," Garey said. … Read more
We've seen some very sophisticated 3D-printed objects recently, but never a tiny 3D-printed battery -- one that's as small as a grain of sand, no less.
A group of U.S. and Korean researchers has managed to print a lithium-ion microbattery that can fit on the head of a pin.
Although it weighs less than 100 micrograms, it can store as much power per gram as larger Li-ion batteries used in laptops or electric vehicles. It could even power tiny robots or medical devices. … Read more
MakerBot, one of the most well-known desktop 3D printing companies, has been acquired by Stratasys, the companies said Wednesday.
In a release, the companies said it was a stock-for-stock transaction worth about $403 million, based on Stratasys' stock price as of Wednesday. Stratasys will exchange 4.76 million shares of its stock for 100 percent of MakerBot's outstanding stock. By agreeing to be acquired, MakerBot becomes part of one of the leading industrial 3D printing companies. The deal also allows the publicly-traded Stratasys to compete more directly at the consumer level with 3D Systems and that company's Cube … Read more
Australia is known for its overly large bugs, like the up-to-20-inch Titan stick insect. But the country also has tiny insects, like the itsy-bitsy wheat wheevil. Researchers with Australia's national science agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), are trying out a method of super-sizing insects through 3D printing.
Small, sometimes nearly microscopic, insects from the Australian National Insect Collection are run through a 3D-scanning system and then printed out at magnified sizes in titanium. Why would you want to do this other than to leave one on someone's seat as a prank? The bigger versions give scientists a better look at the insect's anatomy in order to learn more about their surface characteristics or determine gender. Plus, it's just plain cool.… Read more
We've been hearing about the possibility of 3D-printed, full-size houses for some time. We may even get our first one sometime this year, thanks to the efforts of a couple of different architectural firms. Now you can get an idea of what it would take to create your own home from 3D-printed blocks.
Real estate blog Movoto has created a "3D Print your House" calculator to give you the daunting numbers involved with using a 3D printer to make your abode. The numbers are based on the time and cost of materials of using a MakerBot Replicator 2 to print out plastic bricks.… Read more
In another step toward 3D printers finding a place in everyday businesses and homes, online retailer Amazon has dedicated a section of its site to selling 3D printers.
The site sells 3D printers from well-known manufacturers such as Makerbot, as well as others such as Cubify and fabbster, alongside 3D printer filament and spare parts.
Prices for machines range from the $1,099 JET/Open Source 3D printer Replicator G to $2,479 MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D printer.
New York lawmakers are the latest to crackdown on 3D-printed guns.
Both a member of the New York city council and a state assemblywoman have introduced two different pieces of legislation that would either regulate or ban the manufacture of 3D-printed guns, according to New York Daily News.
The bill for New York City was introduced by Council Member Lewis Fidler on Wednesday. This bill aims to make it illegal for people to produce any part of a firearm using a 3D printer unless they are licensed gunsmiths. Also, each weapon must be registered with the police within a 72-hour … Read more
MakerBot, one of the biggest names in the personal 3D printer business, is in acquisition talks.
That's according to The Wall Street Journal, which reported Wednesday that the Brooklyn, N.Y., company is in discussions with possible buyers.
MakerBot, which produces the $2,200 Replicator 2, one of the most popular 3D printers of its kind, has been a leader in the industry for several years. Its CEO, Bre Pettis, has become a spokesperson of sorts for the 3D printing industry and was the opening keynote speaker at this year's South by Southwest Interactive festival.
The Journal reported … Read more