Kwambio 3D design platform

A new platform called Kwambio , founded by Volodymyr Usov, Kwambio is a community for people who’d like to create different customizable products (lamps, vases, coat-hangers, etc.) and share them with the world.

Designers can come to Kwambio and make money from every creation. They can securely sell their original products, without worrying about piracy. Nobody else will have access to their source files. Each product will be carefully verified and tested by the Kwambio team prior to be listed on the platform.

Platform users can customize and personalize products with a few clicks of a button. They will have options to change the product shape, and add any text to the design. The platform is anticipated to stream data directly to user’s 3D printer, in a few clicks anyone can create their own beautiful, unique design. “No two persons are similar, so should be the products.” notes Kwambio.

There are five main categories of products on the platform: design, fashion, gadgets, decor and art. At the moment users can find more than 20 different products (vases, coat-hangers, lamps, etc.) which can be modified into an innumerable quantity of goods.

It’s designed to be a creative community where everyone becomes a creator. Users can like and share products created by others, they can also follow their favorite designers to discover new unique products.

For the first few months the platform will be free to use, but eventually users will pay per print. The beta version of will be launched in October 2014

Worlds first rapid 3D nanoscale printer for nano tech research

A new AU$30 million research facility at RMIT University in Melbourne will bring to Australia the world’s first rapid 3D nanoscale printer.

The new MicroNano Research Facility (MNRF) was launched last week by Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Margaret Gardner AO. Professor Gardner said the opening of the state-of-the-art laboratories and clean rooms was the start of an exciting new chapter in cross-disciplinary nano research.

“At the heart of the MicroNano Research Facility’s mission is bringing together disparate disciplines to enable internationally-leading research activity,” she said. “RMIT has long been a pioneer in this field, opening Australia’s first academic clean rooms at the Microelectronics and Materials Technology Centre in 1983.

“Over three decades later, this investment in the world-class MNRF will enable RMIT’s leading researchers to continue to break new ground and transform the future.”

Among the equipment available to researchers in the 1200 square metre facility will be the world’s first rapid 3D nanoscale printer, capable of producing thousands of structures – each a fraction of the width of a human hair – in seconds, RMIT said.

The MNRF also offers researchers access to more than 50 cutting-edge tools, including focused ion beam lithography with helium, neon, and gallium ion beams to enable imaging and machining objects to 0.5 nm resolution – about 5 to 10 atoms.

Director of the MNRF, Professor James Friend, said 10 research teams would work at the new facility on a broad range of projects, including building miniaturised motors to retrieve blood clots from deep within the brain, which will enable surgeons to perform minimally invasive procedures on people affected by strokes or aneurysms. The team will also improve drug delivery through the lungs using new techniques that can atomise large biomolecules – including drugs, DNA, antibodies and even cells – into tiny droplets to avoid the damage of conventional nebulisation, RMIT said.

“This facility is all about ensuring researchers have the freedom to imagine and safely realise the impossible at tiny scales and beyond,” said Friend.

“Having access to purpose-designed laboratories and leading-edge equipment opens tremendous opportunities for RMIT and for those we collaborate with, enabling us to advance the development of truly smart technology solutions to some of our most complex problems,” he said.

NASA tests 3D printed Rocket engine

NASA said that it has successfully tested the most complex rocket engine parts ever designed by the agency and printed with 3D printing, on a test stand at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The part is a rocket engine injector, a highly complex part that sends propellant into the engine.

The 3D printing process allowed rocket designers to create an injector with 40 individual spray nozzles, all printed as a single component rather than manufactured individually. Making the injector with traditional manufacturing methods would mean 163 individual parts need to be made and then assembled. But with 3D printing technology, only two parts were required.

NASA tested two 3D printed rocket injectors for five seconds each, producing 20,000 pounds of thrust. The two rocket injectors were manufactured by two separate companies — Solid Concepts in Valencia, California, and Directed Manufacturing in Austin, Texas. Each company printed one injector. Designers also created complex geometric flow patterns that allowed oxygen and hydrogen to swirl together before combusting at 1,400 pounds per square inch and temperatures up to 6,000 degrees Fahrenheit (3,316 Celsius).

“We wanted to go a step beyond just testing an injector and demonstrate how 3D printing could revolutionize rocket designs for increased system performance,” Chris Singer, director of Marshall’s Engineering Directorate, said in a statement. “The parts performed exceptionally well during the tests.”

Additive manufacturing not only helped engineers build and test a rocket injector with a unique design, but it also enabled them to save time and money. The in-house 3D printers allows designers to produce parts quickly and apply quick modifications to the test stand or the rocket component.

“Having an in-house additive manufacturing capability allows us to look at test data, modify parts or the test stand based on the data, implement changes quickly and get back to testing,” said Nicholas Case, a propulsion engineer leading the testing. “This speeds up the whole design, development and testing process and allows us to try innovative designs with less risk and cost to projects.”

NASA’s goal is to reduce the manufacturing complexity and the time and cost of building and assembling future engines. “Additive manufacturing is a key technology for enhancing rocket designs and enabling missions into deep space.” states NASA.

Just bought a Lock, beware : Is 3D printing making your home unsafe ?

With 3D printing, it is possible for anyone to duplicate a key without going out to a hardware store. Recently lockpickers Jos Weyers and Christian Holler unveiled their technique to take the 3D printed key to the next level: they can 3D print a “bump” key in plastic that opens any pin tumbler lock in seconds.

Lock Bumping :

Lock bumping is an effective way to open over 90% cylinder type locks and it takes only an instant to open the lock.

According to Wikipedia :

“When bumping a lock, the key is initially inserted into the keyway one notch (pin) short of full insertion. Bumping the key inward forces it deeper into the keyway. The specially designed teeth of the bump key transmit a slight impact force to all of the bottom pins in the lock. The key pins transmit this force to the driver pins; the key pins stay in place. Because the pin movements are highly elastic, the driver pins “jump” from the key pins for a fraction of a second, moving higher than the cylinder (shear line of the tumbler), then are pushed normally back by the spring to sit against the key pins once again. Even though this separation only lasts a split second, if a light rotational force is continuously applied to the key during the slight impact, the cylinder will turn during the short separation time of the key and driver pins, and the lock can be opened while the driver pins are elevated above the keyway.”

A false sense of Security ?

Holler said that the manufacturer specific details about the lock series are easy to obtain, since the major key blank manufacturers provide software including large databases that list all the specific characteristics per manufacturer and system. From that information, Weyers and Holler can create a 3D model of the requested bump key using their own software “Photobump“. The 3D model can then be manufactured through 3D printing. Weyers says that his technique wouldn’t even require knowing the lock’s make or model. “I’m working under the presumption I’m starting with zero knowledge of the lock,” says Weyers.

Weyers and Holler said that they aren’t trying to teach thieves and spies a new trick for breaking into high-security facilities; instead, they want to warn lockmakers about the possibility of 3D printable bump keys so they might defend against it. And they don’t plan to release the Photobump software publicly.

While many lock makers rely on their keys’ restricted shapes, or their “key profile”, the two lockpickers say they’re trying show people that “3D printing has changed lockpicking in ways that may leave previously secure locks vulnerable.” “It’s a kind of false sense of security,” says Holler. “If a protected profile is your only protection, you should be aware that’s no longer enough.”

Project Love : Let your emotions materialize with 3D printing

Human emotions are perhaps one of the most intricate and complex phenomenons in the living world, and many would agree that these emotions can only be triggered by objects, which bring back memories. Having said that, Most people will also agree that objects can reflect or contain emotions. All of us will have objects lying around that have little actual value, but are actually personal treasures that remind us of important events and loves ones. But can objects themselves be embodiments of those emotions?

Project Love :

Project Love seeks to actively give shape to emotions by capturing emotions in computer-generated models and printing these shapes with 3D printing technology.

The face behind this project is that of 34-year old Brazilian designer and architect Guto Requena. Having won various design awards in his native country, this 34-year old is often referred to as one of Brazil’s most promising modern architects. Various modern buildings throughout Brazil are of his design, including the Brazilian headquarters of Google and Walmart.

With this design project, Guto Requena seeks to do something entirely different by attempting to combine emotions and technology. Participants in this project are hooked onto computers using various sensors that measure the speed of their heartbeats and fluctuations in their voices and brain activity. This way, physical and emotional responses are measured while the subjects recount their love stories and feelings. While doing this, participants are isolated from others, to remove any inhibitions one might feel when sharing your emotions in front of others.

As the team behind ‘Project Love’ explain, this recently-launched project is a ‘study in design, science and technology that captures the emotions people feel in relating personal love stories and transforms them into everyday objects. The project suggests a future in which unique products will bear personal histories in ways that encourage long life cycles, thus inherently combining deeply meaningful works with sustainable design.’

While participants are telling these stories, data and patterns are drawn from their changing emotions which is transferred to specially-developed software. This software has been designed by the Brazilian D3 studio, who have created a graphic interface in Grasshopper that transforms all this data into unique grid patterns. And when projected on top of each other, these graphic displays of emotional activity take shape as vase-like structures.

These structures can then be printed with 3D printing technology into a variety of different materials, including ABS, Polyamide, Glass, glass, ceramic or metal. And, as Guto Requena explains, ‘Each product is unique and contains the most intimate emotions of the participants love stories’, though all the current software will project all emotions into vase-like structures. Indeed, the first version of this experiment created three different objects: a vase, a lamp and a fruit bowl.

A large portion of  ‘Project Love’ is thus also aimed at democratizing 3D printing technology and increasing its availability and potential. And that is no less exciting than transforming emotions into objects.

The new Mercedes S Class (2018), may feature 3D printed components

Car manufacturers are always trying to include as many of the latest technologies in the design of their latest models as possible, and it looks like 3D printing is not going to be an exception. For German giant Mercedes, following in the footsteps of their American competitors Ford, have speculated that 3D could be extensively used to design interiors in the near future.

Whats Cooking ?

In an interview concerning their progress on the next generation Mercedes S-Class vehicle, Mercedes’ chief designer Jan Kaul hinted that the new car, that is projected to be made available in 2018, could include a whole load of new innovations, such as gesture controls and infotainment tablets, and also 3D- printed components. Mercedes is looking to rebuild their reputation for beautifully-designed, slick and smooth interiors – which has recently been the forte of Audi and Tesla – and key to this seems to be lightweight, single piece and trim fittings and details throughout the car, and in this, 3D printing could be instrumental.

However, at this point in time Mercedes’ chief designer will not go any further than speculation, as it also news to be financially viable. When asked about the potential of 3D printing, he responded positively, but emphasized that “this is a question of margins – we must be making [thousands of these]components to be sure the quality and cost [is viable].’ Small, intricate components and details like air vents, dashboard features and speaker grills could benefit from 3D technology to make them stiffer, lighter and easier and quicker to manufacture.

This is all we have at the moment, but stay tuned for more news

HP to enter 3D Printing Market soon…

Hewlett Packard, one of the leading manufacturers of Computers and peripherals is all set to enter the marketplace of 3D printing, by the fall of 2014. HP has nearly 40% of market share of 2D printing, so it is a natural progression for HP to enter into 3D printing business. As a lot of core patents have expired or are expiring this year, it will be a good timing for HP to enter the market so they won’t have to spend time and huge amount of money on developing the technology.

HP is one of the largest computer companies in the world, with 317,000 employees and $112 billion in annual sales. In the past years, Meg Whitman – Chief Executive Officer (CEO) – HP, has focused on reducing costs and has now returned the company to profit. HP has also focused on introducing new products, such as water-cooled servers and 3D printers. Whitman announced earlier this year that company is planning to enter the 3D printer space by the end of this Fiscal year (31st October.), so many people have been waiting for HP’s entry into this market.

Meg Whitman said HP’s in-house researchers have resolved limitations involved with the quality of substrates used in the process, which affects the durability of finished products. She said that the company is solving a number of technical problems that have hindered broader adoption of the 3D printing process, including the slow speed at which things print, and the quality.

Is this the first Announcement?

This is however not the first time, HP has decided to foray into the 3D printing market. The company had an agreement in 2010 to market HP-branded Stratasys 3D printers, but the deal dissolved in 2012. More recently, HP has provided inkjet print heads to Z-Corp, a 3D printing company that is now owned by 3D Systems. Meg Whitman also acknowledges that 3D printing as an industry has some areas it needs to improve before it goes main stream. She further pointed out that the quality of the 3D prints were not as good as it should be, however, she also noted that HP’s late entry into the 3D printing market may be a turning point, as she thinks HP has been able to finally solve the above problems. Although Meg Whitman, did not disclose exactly what is the “Big announcement”, but she did say that whatever HP offers will focus on large scale manufacturing primarily, before HP enters the consumer 3D printing market.

“We think the bigger market will be in enterprise space, that is, helping companies manufacture parts and test prototypes rather than helping regular folk’s 3D print Hershey Kisses at home.” said Meg Whitman, President and CEO of Hewlett-Packard.

French Man uses 3D printing to steal money of innocent ATM users

A man in southern France used 3D printed fake cashpoint facades and stole thousands of euros from bank users. The thief, named Hamid P, used the 3D printer to make fake fronts for ATM machines which could clone the card details of other people. He was recently arrested with his girlfriend at his home in Marseille.

The case is dated back to September 2013 when Caisse d’Epargne discovered two false fronts on bank machines in the towns of Nimes and Saint-Ambroix, Southern France.

Skimmers (credit card readers) which register card details were found behind the fake machine fronts. The machine would then dispense cash as normal, so nobody was aware that their bank details were stolen. A local policeman said: ‘The fake fronts were of a good quality and were different to those we normally see.’

Hamid P was on the run with €30,000 of stolen money before the bank discovered the fake fronts. The fact is, he had made a mistake by using his own card in one of the machines to test whether it worked. Police then tracked him down, and when they found the 3D printer at his home he admitted to the scam. He has been charged with fraud. Back in September 2011 an American gang was prosecuted for stealing more than $400,000 using the same 3D printed fake ATM fronts. And in 2013 Sydney police reported that a gang of suspected Romanian criminals used 3D printers and computer-aided design (CAD) to manufacture ATM skimming devices to steal Sydney residents’ funds.

Aerojet Rocketdyne gets U.S defence contract

Aerojet Rocketdyne announced on August 18, 2014 that the company was recently awarded a contract by Wright-Patterson Air Force Base through the Defense Production Act Title III Office. Under the contract, Aerojet Rocketdyne will make parts ranging from simple, large ducts to complex heat exchangers, and include metals such as nickel, copper and aluminum alloys. The program scope is expected to replace the need for castings, forgings, plating, machining, brazing and welding.

The contract will secure multiple large selective laser melting machines to develop liquid rocket engine applications for national security space launch services. Aerojet Rocketdyne and its subcontractors will design and develop larger scale parts to be converted from conventional manufacturing to 3D printing.

“We have developed and successfully demonstrated additive-manufactured hardware over the last four years but the machines have been limited in size to 10-inch cubes,” said Steve Bouley, vice president of Space Launch Systems at Aerojet Rocketdyne.

“These next generation systems are about six times larger, enabling more options for our rocket engine components. We are extremely honored to have received this contract, and foresee the day when additive-manufactured engines are used to boost and place important payloads into orbit. The end result will be a more efficient, cost-effective engine.”


U.S. Army using 3D printing to create safer helmets

Using 3D printing technology, ARL researchers are developing the skull simulant using synthetic materials. Researchers have used images from a CT scan to get the geometry and structure of the skull right, and will use these images and 3D printing technology to produce models of bone-like surrogates which will be used to test new helmet padding materials in simulated blast and impact conditions.

U.S. Army helmets provide the best known defense against ballistic weapons but no one knows how well they can stand up against combat’s shock waves. Army Research Laboratory scientists are using different approaches to study the impact of shock waves inside, on and outside of the skull, and one of them is 3D printing.

In a battlefield, high-order explosive such as C4 or TNT produces overpressure shockwaves and can cause significant brain injuries. To discover how, and to what degree, these waves cause brain damage, and what’s needed to make Army helmets go beyond protecting the head to protecting the brain, ARL researchers are creating synthetic cranial bones that look and behave like the skulls of 20- and 30- year old Soldiers. These synthetic cranial bones will be tested in laboratory experiments that mimic combat-like blast events to develop new prototype of military helmet pads, shells, and other protective equipment.

More information on this latest development, can be found here.