UP! Mini 3D Printer Arrives!

Ben Mininberg at Prometheus Rising Studios has been cranking out his Bounce Tortoise mech figurines like there’s no tomorrow, all in the name of the 3D printing accuracy science!

He’s got an awesome series of photographs comparing the quality of output of a consumer-grade FDM 3D printer (Up! Mini) with the same size model printed by Shapeways using laser syntered polyamide (nylon). Well, you should see the very nicely done pictures for yourself but I would say for small prints the FDM quality is just not there (yet?).

Still, having a printer right here and spending $3 and 3 hours on a print which may or may not be a successful model instead of $30+ and 2 weeks to get a great quality one from Shapeways makes a lot of sense, especially if you know that some intermediate prints may be required.
So, the ideal work flow for the 3D artists appears to looks something like this:

  1. Create the initial model (Blender)
  2. Print cheap/quick on a personal FDM 3D printer
  3. Verify the look adjust model as needed
  4. Print again on the personal FDM one
  5. If satisfied, get the model printed professionally (Shapeways etc.)
  6. Receive professionally printed model, smooth details, polish surfaces where required.
  7. Make an RTV mold from the finished professional print
  8. Cast yourself urethane resin pieces.
  9. Finish resin into product.

Hope I haven’t missed an important step!

Prometheus Rising Studios

On Monday I received a package.  I attended MakerFaire NYC back in September, and was blown away by all of the consumer-grade 3D printers being shown there.  I had been looking at Makerbot Industries’ offerings, which are something of a standard for the home level 3D printer market, but they are still out of my price range.  Makerbot’s machines also are a bit large for the space I ave available.  Then I saw the AC Gears booth, where they were showing the recently debuted UP! Mini from UP! 3D.  AC Gears is a tech retailer in New York City, and they had a coupon for UP! 3D’s two printers.  I was so enamored by the look, size, and quality of the UP! Mini that I went and ordered one as soon as they went live.

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3D Printed Cross Stich USB Drive

Intrigued by multi-color 3D printing? Wait until you see this multi-media 3D printed art(sy) object by Ashley Marcovitz! Sure, you could 3D print jump drive body before. And you could also buy tiny strips of plastic cross-stitch canvas and cobble together a body of a jump drive (copious amounts of hot glue would probably be needed to keep this all together). But 3D print yourself an ABS body that tightly fits over the jump drive electronics and has a built-in 5×6 cross-stitch canvas and you have a unique piece of technology that can be customized after it’s been 3D printed and still looks every bit a professionally made device.

I also think that the cross-stitch pattern looks like a physical representation of the memory arrays which is what the device is, but that’s probably because I’m a little predisposed towards tech rather than art. Another (also more practical than visual) application for the cross-stitch field might be to encode a simple PIN code or something like that needed to unlock the jump drive content. A 5-bit binary pattern can encode (almost) every letter and digit (or just stick to letters and you can have all 26 of them), and you can have up to 6 symbols encoded. Or flip that and encode 5 symbols with 6-bit pattern – there you can have all letters and digits for sure.

Great idea and pretty cool looking 3D printed object, Ashley!

Half Craft Studio

usb 1I talk a lot about 3D printing on this blog, and I’m long overdue for a bit of an overview for those who may be uninitiated. I’m going to share a bit of the process by taking you through how I made this USB drive. The USB component is store bought, it’s a standard USB drive that I bought and took out of its original casing. It looks like a tiny circuit board with a USB port stuck on the top. The case that I made is printed in ABS plastic, which is very durable and is good for everyday use. I made the case, a cap, and a small washer that fits over the case to sandwich the USB component inside. I wanted to make my drive special so I made a gridded area that I was able to do a little cross stitch in.

The process begins on the…

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