I still enjoy my DLP Bigscreen, but what other cool things can we do with DLP now that the technology isn’t as mainstream in TVs? Check out http://www.eetimes.com/author.asp?section_id=36&doc_id=1322765&_mc=NL_EET_EDT_EET_daily_20140617&cid=NL_EET_EDT_EET_daily_20140617&elq=e89e72eff8d2432380b43b3bee390acd&elqCampaignId=17597
There’s been a proliferation of Multifunction 3D Manufacturing machines lately. These products look really neat on the surface, but does the Jack of all trades, master of none principal apply? See the Microfactory and the Zeus.
3D printing does require a lot of tinkering to get right. The self-leveling feature of the Zeus would obviate a good portion of user care in theory. So long as the extra features don’t make these machines harder to setup and use, they could be a larger step forward in the 3D Printing landscape than we’ve seen in a little while.
3D Printing is relatively slow. And while the quality of 3D printed parts from entry level machines is acceptable for prototypes, it’s not up to par with most professional consumer level products.
Check out this video on a Hobbyist DIY Plastic Injection Molding System from LNS Technologies that was recently featured on Kickstarter. Make and perfect a prototype part or invention with a 3D printer, then produce it in medium quantities with a setup like this. Awesome!
With all the talk about 3D printing and creating STL files, I thought this was a fun link. Draw things in Minecraft and then print them into real objects!
Creating 3D Designs is getting easier! The topic seems to be getting much more attention now that we can use 3D printers to make objects a reality. Check this Design News link for a short video on tools to make design easier for everyone; not just CAD jockies.
MakeVR looks like a substantial evolutionary step to make things easier. The biggest progress may be in the development of new controls. While getting rid of menus may make the software _sound_ friendlier, the underlying concepts and operations one must learn to do effective 3D design look the same. Making a gesture with your hand may be quicker, but it doesn’t shorten the learning curve.
There are a lot of options out there for 3D CAD. Autodesk 123D is free, but feels pretty conventional, big, complicated, and a bit ugly to me. Sketchup “works”, but is limiting for rounded and organic design, is often time-consuming without the right aftermarket plug-ins, and seems buggy at times. You get what you pay for when you use it for free. I definitely don’t see myself paying $500 for the “Pro” version.
I really like MoI for designing 3D parts. It’s free to try for a month, and reasonably priced to purchase. It’s intuitive, powerful, and rock solid. The interface is a bit ugly in my opinion, but it’s very functional and a joy to work with. Best of all, it works on the Mac and PC.
What tools do you like?
Check out The Fun Side of 3D Printing for a slideshow of “fun” things to print.
Included are examples of:
- Cool guitar
- Scale buildings
- Action figures. Halo anyone?
- Airplanes and cars
- A crappy bicycle