Today, consumers have a much broader range of choices when it comes to 3D printers, including a small (but growing) group of them that are available for less than $300.The latest addition to this burgeoning category is the $160 Monoprice Mini Delta: a printer that, when released in the spring of 2018, will be the cheapest fully-assembled 3D printer on the market.So is the ultra-cheap Mini Delta worth buying, or is it just a great way to transform $160 into a pile of molten plastic and bubbling frustration?Check out what this thing’s packing: A sturdy, all-metal frame; a heated build plate that helps prevent warping; automatic bed leveling functionality; a maximum resolution of 50 microns; a full-color LCD screen; WiFi connectivity; and compatibility with a wide range of materials.Now in all fairness, this printer isn’t without its own set of downsides – arguably the most glaring of which is its minuscule build volume.Monoprice doesn’t currently offer any kind of setup wizard or walkthrough for the Mini Delta, so figuring out how to load filament and initiate the first print will likely be confusing for users who aren’t familiar with 3D printing.
Everything seems to be labeled “smart” now that we’re in the age of artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things.Now researchers at the University of Washington have made it easier to bring mundane objects online, enabling them to connect to Wi-Fi without electronics or batteries.Perhaps unsurprisingly, the researchers turned to another emerging tech staple, 3D printing, to bring their device to fruition.Beyond mere pieces of plastic, the 3D-printed objects and sensors are capable of collecting valuable data when attached to household items, such as laundry detergent bottles.“We were inspired by the idea of being able to print Wi-Fi radios using a 3D printer,” Justin Chan, a doctoral student who co-led the project, told Digital Trends.“With this capability, it would be very easy to fabricate communication devices in your own home.
Let’s face it: while we may say we put more emphasis on value over price, most of us will look at the price first anyway.That’s no different with 3D printers, although up until recently the idea of “cheap” in this market was still well north of $1,000 – likely not your definition of “cheap.” Thankfully, things have changed.Budget-friendly models such as the Monoprice Maker Select Mini v2 and the M3D Micro have ushered in a new era of 3D printing which nearly everyone can afford with a little savings.Why should you buy this: It has all the important features you need in a filament-based 3D printer, and it sells for well under $1,000Who’s it for: Beginner and intermediate usersHow much will it cost: $669 (less for refurbished models)
We love 3D printers, but they sure can take their sweet time to print something.Large objects can take several hours to make it from our desktops onto the print bed.Now, a team of researchers, led by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, think they’ve found a better, much faster way.And for bonus “awesome tech” points, it involves using laser holograms.Instead of the classic method of printing an object by putting down one layer at a time, the team’s new “holographic” printing technique utilizes special resins that solidify as soon as they are exposed to light.By shining three laser beams simultaneously at a vat filled with the resin, the researchers have showcased the ability to fabricate a 3D structure in only 10 seconds.
In the year 2020, when the Earth is overrun by aliens, it will be mandated by the Galactic Council of Extraterrestrial Life that all children must walk around with 3D-printing backpacks.Why not get a head start with the MakeX Migo backpack that lets you care your ultra small 3D printer anywhere you need to go?This wild, see-through backpack is designed to hold a Migo 3D Printer (the thing MakeX is actually trying to sell).The backpack fits the Migo perfectly and offers the maximum visibility for your 3D printer thanks to the clear hardshell outer casing.The printer itself is fairly standard.It prints ABS or PLA plastic and includes modeling software.
Scientists from Tomsk Polytechnic University are creating 3D-printed models of children's hearts.They are printed based on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of real patients.These models are used as simulators for cardiac surgeons to plan and pre-work forthcoming operations.The new project for 3D-printing human hearts is developed on the basis of the TPU Modern Manufacturing Technology Scientific and Educational Center.The center fellows print plastic copies of real hearts on the basis of magnetic resonance imaging.Having a tangible model, cardiac surgeons will be able to study organ defects in detail and choose proper surgical treatment plan.
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A new technique by which to 3D print metals, involving a widely used stainless steel, has been show to achieve exception levels of both strength and ductility, when compared to counterparts from more conventional processes.The findings, published in Materials Today, outline how a joint research team from the University of Birmingham, UK, Stockholm University, Sweden and Zhejiang University, China were able to optimizing the process parameters during 3D printing to achieve the results.3D printing has long been recognized as a technology which can potentially change our way of manufacturing, allowing us to rapidly build up objects with complex and customized geometries.With the accelerating development of the technology in recent years, 3D printing, especially metal 3D printing, is quickly progressing toward widespread industrial application.Indeed, the manufacturing giant General Electric (GE) has already been using metal 3D printing to produce some key parts, such as the fuel nozzles in their latest LEAP aircraft engine.The global revenue from the industry is forecasted to be over 20 billion USD per year by 2025.
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Researchers at the University of Washington have created a way for 3D-printed plastic devices to interact with a wireless network, without using any batteries or electronics.Dubbed “Printed Wi-Fi,” the technique allows the manufacture of printed wireless sensors that can communicate with RF receivers.The Seattle Times provides more details on the project, which is a product of the Paul Allen School’s Networks and Mobile Systems Lab.The plastic devices, created by a 3D printer, include a plastic and copper filament that’s used as an antenna.The objects use the mechanical movement of gears and springs to trigger a sequence that can be detected and decoded by a smartphone or laptop.As the switch in the object toggles on and off, the metal antenna either reflects or absorbs the ambient signals from a Wi-Fi router.
3D printers are useful devices for all kinds of reasons, but most have a critical weakness: they simply take a long time to actually make anything.That’s because additive manufacturing generally works by putting down an object one microscopic layer at a time.But a new holographic printing technique makes it possible to create the entire thing at once — in as little as a second or two.Light-based 3D printing techniques generally use lasers to cause a layer of resin to harden in a pattern, but like extrusion printers, they have to do it layer by layer.But what if you shined multiple weaker lasers through the resin, none of which was powerful enough to cure it except when they all intersected?That’s the technique developed by a team led by researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
As a Renaissance polymath skilled in painting, science, and engineering (to name just a few of his interests), we think Leonardo da Vinci would have been impressed by a recent project carried out by researchers at the California Institute of Technology.They have taken his iconic Mona Lisa painting, probably the world’s most famous piece of art, and reproduced it at nanoscale using strands of DNA.Sized just 700 nanometers in width, it’s the world’s tiniest ever re-creation of the “Mona Lisa” — which originally measures at 2.53 by 1.74 feet.“We developed a series of rules for assembling simpler DNA nanostructures into more complex superstructures,” Philip Petersen, a graduate student in the department of biology and biological engineering, told Digital Trends.“Further, [we] demonstrated the applicability of those rules by creating unprecedentedly large DNA ‘canvases’ capable of having arbitrary patterns drawn upon them.”Lulu Qian, an assistant professor of bioengineering, described it to us as being a bit like a “display for molecules.” There are 8,704 pixels in all, each one about six nanometers apart.
Who says construction can’t be fashionable and fashion can’t be sustainable?A new project by 3D-printing company Ai Build and luxury fashion brand Bottletop has recently launched in London, where the brand’s flagship brick and mortar store was finished using robotic fabrication and recycled materials.The interior of the 3D-printed store was created using filament from Reflow, an “ink” provider whose filament is entirely upcycled from plastic waste.The project serves as an example for how construction and fashion can combine in sustainable ways, without turning their backs on beautiful design.“What is so special about 3D printing is that it opens up the possibility to control precisely where every single drop of material will be placed to form a physical object,” Daghan Cam, Ai Build’s co-founder and CEO, told Digital Trends.“That basically means that the material is deposited only where it needs to be, [in contrast] to conventional subtractive manufacturing methods which can be extremely wasteful.”
DT Products of the Year: The staff at Digital Trends had the arduous task of picking what they consider to the best tech products of the year, in a number of different categories.There debates and there were difficult decisions, but the list is now posted on the site.Today, we’ll cover a few of the many products, but you can check out the entire list and detailed articles here.Overall Product of the Year: Nintendo Switch.Bursting back onto the video game scene, this hybrid home/portable console has successfully brought Nintendo back to the forefront.Emerging Tech Product of the Year: Formlabs Fuse 1 3D Printer.
Death isn’t a subject we talk about too often in tech.It’s a world where CEOs are already onto their second startup at age 21, billionaires are minted at 30, and people plan to retire long before their bodies start physically failing them.Even when we do discuss old age, it’s more likely to be in the context of ways to extend life — or cheat death altogether by uploading the mind into a machine.Dr. Philip Nitschke is concerned about a different aspect, though.He is one of the most outspoken proponents of euthanasia, referring to deliberate intervention taken by a person to end his or her life to relieve suffering.And as the founder and director of the pro-euthanasia group Exit International, he is using tech to help his cause.
It’s a little more high-tech than the tattoos you might remember from your school days.Engineers at MIT have developed a temporary tattoo that’s 3-D printed with living ink.The tattoo is made up of bacterial cells that are genetically programmed to light up when exposed to different types of stimuli.While a living, light-up tattoo seems like it might make a great accessory to your office holiday party outfit, the researchers at MIT are not exactly out to make a fashion statement.Writing this week in the journal Advanced Materials, the researchers describe a vision of the tattoo as a sort of living sensor.It could, for example, be designed to detect pollutants in the environment, sending its wearer a signal when they’re in the presence of dangerous toxins.
From personal pizzas to rocket parts, there seem to be few limits to the things that can be 3D printed.Even living cells have been squeezed through these 21st-century tabletop machines.And now, genetically engineered bacteria cells have been successfully 3D printed by a team of researchers at the Massachusettts Institute of Technology (MIT).Programmed to light up when in contact with certain stimuli, the new kind of living ink is layered to create three-dimensional and interactive structures that can signal the presence of specific compounds.Led by MIT’s Xuanhe Zhao, the research team has dubbed their method “living tattoos,” which can be placed on surfaces where the network of cells respond to chemical stimuli and information from one end to the other.“Our ‘living tattoos’ refer to a wearable thin film which contains the genetically programed bacteria cells in different patterns,” Zhao told Digital Trends.
These devices have no batteries or circuits, but can connect to the internet.For the first time ever, objects made of plastic materials have been connected to the internet without any electronics and batteries.These sensors make use of ambient Wi-Fi signals and either absorb or reflect them.The reflection and absorption patterns are read by a receiver – which could be a smartphone – and they register as 0s and 1s, said the team."Our goal was to create something that just comes out of your 3D printer at home and can send useful information to other devices," said co-lead author and UW electrical engineering doctoral student Vikram Iyer.By replacing circuitry with mechanical switches, it becomes possible for objects that do not conduct electricity to still make use of Wi-Fi.
Boffins from the University of Washington embed connectivity in (mostly) plastic trinketsIn an effort to make objects more chatty, boffins at the University of Washington have developed a way to create 3D printed plastic baubles that can communicate over Wi-Fi with other devices, without batteries or electronics.The technique, developed by UW doctoral students Vikram Iyer and Justin Chan, in conjunction with UW associate professor Shyam Gollakota, involves embedding plastic materials with metallic threads to they reflect Wi-Fi signals."We realized we can't 3D print a Wi-Fi chip or electronics on 3D printers today," said Chan in a phone interview with The Register.The embedded copper and graphene in the objects reflects Wi-Fi signals, creating signal backscatter that can be detected by smartphones or other Wi-Fi-enabled devices.Iyer likened the process to signaling with a bright light and rotating mirror that can modulate the message into on or off states.
These patient-specific organ models, which include integrated soft sensors, can be used for practice surgeries to improve surgical outcomes in thousands of patients worldwide."We are developing next-generation organ models for pre-operative practice.The organ models we are 3D printing are almost a perfect replica in terms of the look and feel of an individual's organ, using our custom-built 3D printers," said lead researcher Michael McAlpine, an associate professor of mechanical engineering in the University of Minnesota's College of Science and Engineering and a 2017 recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).McAlpine said his team was originally contacted by Dr. Robert Sweet, a urologist at the University of Washington who previously worked at the University of Minnesota.Sweet was looking for more accurate 3D printed models of the prostate to practice surgeries.They also lack an ability to provide quantitative feedback.
The internet of things just got a big boost from researchers from the University of Washington.Researchers from that university have announced the creation of the first 3D printed plastic objects and sensors able to collect useful data and communicate with other WiFi devices on their own.The team behind the project is offering the CAD models to the public so people with access to 3D printers can create their own devices.The objects can be created out of commercially available plastics and are able to communicate with other smart devices.The devices include a battery-free slider that can control music volume and a button that orders more cornflakes from Amazon.Other possibilities include a water sensor that can send an alarm if a leak is detected.
MIT's 3D-printed sensor lights up on detecting certain chemical compounds.MIT researchers have developed a "living tattoo" – a 3D-printed patch that uses an ink made from living cells and can respond to a range of stimuli.The new tattoo goes beyond conventional smart devices and uses genetically modified bacterial cells to serve as a living sensor.Essentially, it is the ink of the tattoo that lights up on coming in contact with certain chemicals.To develop the ink and then print the tattoo, the researchers first had to determine what kind of cell would survive the forces applied to ink as it is pushed through a 3D printer's nozzle.Once they found bacterial cells were the ideal candidate, they genetically programmed the cells to light up and mixed them with a specific type of hydrogel and nutrients required to maintain their functionality.
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