3Dprintshow 2014 rocks London once again.

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The return of the 3Dprintshow to London was one of the most highly anticipated 3dprinting events of the year. The event started three years ago as a small get together of growing 3dprinting enthusiasts/companies  and it has now turned into a Global brand expanding year on year helping spread the 3dprinting revolution. Year one was solely London, year two was London, Paris, New York and now year three is London, Paris, New York, Dubai, Berlin, California, Milan, Madrid and Mexico with further plans announced at the annual awards for even more destinations in year four. One thing has to be certain is that every year the 3Dprintshow tops the previous year and is a standard barer for the rest of the 3dprinting community to try and follow.IMG_8058 On show was an unbelievable exhibit of the latest 3dprinting fashion, technology and consumerism for the world to see with possibly the best art exhibition I have ever seen. More innovative exhibits ranged from the 3Dprinting of soil to Bio Printing of  stem cells by PHD graduate Alan J Faulkner who won an award for ‘Inspirational Individual’ for his research into creating a Bio Printer to aid with Stem Cell research. The use of 3dprinting in the medical industry is one that will change lives beyond anything we have ever seen, I wonder what will be in the ‘3dprinted hospital’ next year?

Thrown onto the show floor was the usual printer companies jostling for the title of best consumer printer with big players such as Ultimaker and Makebot dominating, along with growing brand Beethefirst. Last year Beethefirst exhibited on a single table, this year they claimed the show floor with their award winning brand of printers that won best ‘consumer printer and best prosumer printer’ at Thursday nights’ Global 3dprinting awards. This brand has won the design contest of all the printers hands down. Anything that resembles an iphone is a winner by my book and they have a infectious likeability factor that draws you to their printers. This company is one to watch in the future. Shapeways exhibited their brand with their European team on hand to answer any questions and their enthusiam for 3dprinting is a reflection of how much we owe to the Dutch in their pursuit of world leaders in the technology. IMG_8105Holland has thrown out Shapeways, Ultimaker and 3Dhubs (who have just had a cash injection of$4,5 million) and there are many more smaller Dutch companies waiting in the wings that are sure to make an impact. From such a small country they are surely making their mark in the world of 3dprinting.

The annual 3Dprintshow Global Awards were held on the banks of the river Thames with a stunning backdrop of London Bridge and the Shard. They celebrated the industry and individuals who have significantly contributed to 3dprinting through their work/projects. Here’s a list of the winners;

 

Artist of the Year (Sponsored by Adobe) PussyKrew

Fashion Designer of the Year (Sponsored by Stratasys) Noa Raviv

Green Award MCor Technologies

Educational Excellence Philip Cotton (for the 2nd consecutive year).

Rising Star Julia Koerner

Positive Change 3D Control Systems

Inspirational Individual Alan Faulkner-Jones

Best Business Newcomer (Sponsored by Fabbaloo) M3D

Best Online / App-Based Service Tinkercad (aka Autodesk)

Best Consumer Product Ultimaker 2

Best Consumer Software Cura by Ultimaker

Best Consumer Printer BeeTheFirst by BeeVeryCreative

Best Prosumer Printer BeeTheFirst by BeeVeryCreative (not a mistake – they won both categories).

Best Professional Software Adobe Photoshop CC

Best In Show 3D Hubs

Industry Icon Enrico Dini

Brand of the Year (Sponsored by Things3D) Autodesk

The 3Dprintshow was again another great spectacle of 3Dprinting and I can’t wait for the next one. Like my first ever blog about the 2013 3dprintshow I could go on for ever describing the event, however I will let the photos do the talking…….

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Bring Birds back to the city with 3dprinting and ‘Printednest’.

3dprinting to help birds? We all know how 3dprinting can help people, almost every day there are more news articles explaining how 3dprinting is revolutionising the medical industry. The E-Nable group is making great strides with prosthetic hands and helping disabled people through a community of volunteer 3dprinters who print limbs for people. Now there is a growing 3dprinting community helping nature called ‘Printednest’. photoPrintednest’s aim is to bring nature back to the city with an innovative design for a bird feeder. The bird feeder being 3dprinted of course and in usual 3dprinting fashion the design is spectacular and unique. Rahim Petruska from Printednest, explains the philosophy behind printednest is ‘to show people, how 3D printing can realize any idea, creativity, and connect different professions together.’ The concept truly defines how 3dprinting can innovate and change the course of nature. With the increased urbanisation of towns and cities, the presence of nature within cities is dwindling. This project aims to reverse that by providing feeding stations to entice birds to migrate back to the city. The design, if printed from PLA will biodegrade within a year and by that time you would assume the residents would have ‘fled the nest’. In addition to this all the designs are open source and have been listed on multiple 3dprinting communities such as Thingiverse, 3dfilemarket and Shapeways. The design is also based upon nature as well, the main body of the birdfeeder resembles an egg shape and then the ‘perch’ is based upon a deer’s antlers. Truely unique design with a nice ‘biomimicry’ twist. Printednest state the ‘cornerstone of their philosophy is feedback from users who they consider part of their design team’. They describe it as ‘open cloud design’. Users can download the latest versions of the designs, 3dprint their own bird feeder and then register it on printednests global community. Currently there are 36 bird feeders in 23 cities in 6 countries and they are expanding fast. Even if you don’t have your own 3dprinter you can customise your own bird feeder through their customisation app on their website. You choose the colours and the personalised message, then order and they will 3dprint and dispatch to your address. (Just click the link below to see how it works).

http://store.printednest.com/

To download the files for free then click the birdfeeder below;

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This is a great project to give something back to our society by encouraging nature to return to the cities! You can also donate to printednest through the 3dfilemarket.com by clicking the image below.

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‘MakersAffair’ to launch 3dprinting workshops in London

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Do you want to learn how to 3dprint, but you don’t know where to start? Do your children ask to learn about the technology but you really have no clue how to meet their demands. The answer could be here with the launch of Maker’s Affair 3dprinting workshops in London. Maker’s Affair was set up by Loh Hu, a graduate from Singapore who came to the UK to study a Masters degree in Business Innovation at Birkbeck College. Upon graduating she was endorsed by the university as Graduate Entrepreneur to set up a company in the UK, so she set up  Maker’s Affair.profile pic The idea of the company is to provide quality workshops on 3dprinting for complete beginners. Loh explains she is, ‘conducting 1-to-1 Hands-On 3D Printing Workshop for complete beginners with full attention and guidance provided. During the 3 hours workshop, the maker will learn how to design, slice and print their very own customised pen (PC, printer and all materials will be provided). I believe this is one of the most efficient ways to truly learn and understand 3D printing process. In essence, I stand by the principles of “learning by making” when designing the workshops’.  The best thing about this is at the end of the workshop you will have a usable product to take away with you. As an educator myself this seems like a great place to start and I totally agree with her statement of ‘learning by making’. Many times in the classroom I have found that students learn better and understand concepts in greater detail when they are actually making something rather than simply studying the theory.

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As well as 3dprinting workshops, Loh is providing a 3dprinting service via 3DHubs. Loh explains, ‘Anyone can upload their 3D object digital file, choose a filament to print it with and get an instant quotation before confirming the order. It is a pretty cool platform where you can get someone living near your area to print your 3D object.’  So, even after completing the workshops you can still 3D design at home and then have Maker’s Affair print out your design if you don’t have access to a 3dprinter. In addition to standard 3dprinting, she has also acquired some 3dprinting pens that children can use their creative freedom to design and make things. These pens are great as you don’t need any experience at all to use one. Also you could have all the CAD experience in the world, but that means nothing when it comes to the 3dprinting pens. Everyone is equal and there are no barriers apart from your imagination.  Maker’s Affiar is situated at the ‘Old Street roundabout’ on the boundary of the boroughs of Hackney and Islington (there seems to be a 3dprinting explosion in London at the moment with the 2013 3Dprintshow being situated at the business design centre in Islington last year) so it is ideally placed to serve the whole of central London with easy access to transport links. I really think we need more of these workshops, maybe Maker’s Affair could just be the start of a whole new business model……

For more information about MakersAffair please visit the website and check out the workshops section;

http://www.makersaffair.co.uk/workshop.html

To download a free copy of her pens then visit the 3dfilemarket link below;

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InMoov – 3Dprint your own life size humanoid robot

 

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It’s 2013 and I was at the 3dprintshow in London. There was a large crowd gathered around a stand so naturally I was intrigued to see what the excitement was about. I knew the 3dprintshow was about to impress beyond anything I had ever seen before but nothing could prepare me for this. After manoeuvring through the bodies I came face to face with a 3dprinted robot that bore a striking resemblance to the robot from the movie ‘i robot’ with Will Smith. I had to find out more, this was the stuff of science fiction right here right now. The robot was responding to voice commands given by an operator and seemed highly intelligent, the robot could even take a ball out of a child’s hand when commanded to do so. The crowd was naturally left speechless and so was I. Upon further investigation I found out through Gael Langevin, the projects creater, that the whole design is open source and the files are freely available for anyone with a 12″x12″ 3dprinter to start experimenting. Without any real robotics experience Geal has created this fully functioning 3dprinted voice activated robot, that  is free for anyone to have a go at printing their own. The fact that it is open source means you are free to adapt and improve the designs.

The project started when Gael was tasked with creating a 3dprinted modern looking prosthetic hand for a commercial photo shoot. He had acquired a ‘Bits from Bytes’ 3D touch printer (one I am extremely familiar with myself, having used one in education for the past three years) to prototype the hand on. The photoshoot ended up being cancelled but Gael still wanted to develop the limb, so he added  servos and a ‘Arduino’, an open source electronics prototyping platform and created a fully programmable electronic hand. After posting the designs online for anyone to experiment with, the feedback he received was all positive and 3dprinting enthusiasts wanted more so he developed the project further into a full scale responsive robot. The result now being the InMoov project has a legion of followers world wide and Gael’s designs have been downloaded thousands of times.

This is why 3dprinting is so powerful and is really changing how we view and access technology. This project was usually the preserve of high tech research and development teams at Blue Chip companies or university PHD students, now the everyday consumer, through 3dprinting can access this project through it’s open source origins.  When he was asked why the robot is open source he states, ‘I have no idea if they will improve our lives, robots are created by us. They will be our extensions somehow. Just like any tool they will be what we want them to become. I trust the human race even if everyday news shows mainly our negative side’. Truly inspiring words from the creator of this innovative project. This is one project I will follow to see how it develops. Fancy like having a go at 3dprinting your own InMoov robot?  Download the files here;

http://www.inmoov.fr/download/

InMoov will be at two shows in June the first being;

http://www.futur-en-seine.fr/fens2014/projet/inmoov/

The second show will be the Paris Makerfaire on the 21st and 22nd June. Click the link below;

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For more information on this ground breaking project click the robot below;

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GaGaël Langevinël Langevin

Joshua Harker – “Mazzo di Fiori”

 

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Now this is exciting, ‘Joshua Harker raising funds to complete the Research and Development of a revolutionary new 3dprinting technology’. This leaves my taste buds salivating. For the past few years consumer 3dprinting has been pretty much the same, a spool of PLA/ABS, an extruder and a build plate. Yes there may be differences in one companies claim to offer a higher print resolution or another companies statements of  faster printing speeds, but really most of them produce the same outcome baring a few microns. I often think to myself what is next with the consumer 3dprinting market? We are still waiting for the killer revolution to shake the market up.  The technology still has its draw backs before it can really be accessible to everyone. However, Joshua Harker’s new kickstarter campaign sounds just what we need to breath new life into the crowded printer market up. ‘A 3Dprinter being developed by one of the worlds top 3dprint artists? Now that is a campaign I would back.’

I had the privilege to meet Joshua at the 3dprintshow in London 2013.IMG_4460 I had followed him from his first kickstarter campaign (Crania Anatomica Filigre) as his artwork is truly stunning and ground breaking. He gave a lecture at the show detailing how he progressed into 3dprinting at the very start of the technology, and from what he explains we have a lot to thank this guy for. Joshua’s artwork is progressive and pushes the boundaries of what is possible in the art world,in the ‘earlier days’ he pushed what was physically possible with 3dprinting technology and demanded more than what the technology could offer. It sounded like the 3dprinting was playing catch up to his creativity and imagination. Luckily 3dprinting has caught up and he is making the printers work hard for him with ground breaking art work. The campaign offers 3dprinted elegantly designed flowers and are stunning in aesthetics (you won’t get these down the local florists). Joshua explains on his kickstarter page, Flowers are a universal gift of “thank you” & given that I’m asking for your help, I want to thank you in a meaningful way.  I have created a series of 3d printed filigree flowers called “Mazzo di Fiori”.  There are 12 Flowers, a Lotus/Lilypad, & the Ripple Vase.  The composition celebrates the harmony & beauty of opposite & opposing forces.  The water surface depicts the plane of separation between liquid & gas with the reaching flower transcending & binding both worlds… an environmental yin yang.  All pieces are 3D printed in SLS polyamide (essentially a nylon powder fused together with a laser).’

My final thoughts? This one is worth a pledge!  Click the image to visit his campaign.

By Philip Cotton

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3doodler – The kids just love it… so do the teachers.

There was the hype on Kickstarter and then there was relative calm for 6 months whilst 3doodler sorted their thousands of orders ready for shipping. The 3dprinting pen that had created a storm of interest was about to be tested and let loose in a Bolton classroom. Myself and the Art Teacher both placed an order and had waited in anticipation for them to arrive. After a few delivery mishaps and customs clearances the 3doodler had landed.

When you first take it out the box it’s quite big thing. It’s more of a stylus rather then pen and was very easy to set up. It’s was almost fool proof actually, you simply plug it in, wait for the green light and load a PLA/ABS stick of into the end of the pen. Then it’s simply up to you what you create (or should that be #whatwillyoucreate ). It’s actually not the easiest thing to operate at first, you have to spend a few minutes getting used to the speed of the plastic extruding and also you need to feel out the correct amount of pressure to apply when drawing a 3d object. The videos from 3doodler make it look so easy!!! Once you have your technique then the world is your oyster……

Myself being a technology teacher one of the first things I decided to do was take the thing apart. Its pretty basic on the inside and was simple to put back together. One thing that could be an issue after a few years of using one is the build up of filament dust internally. We had only been using it for a few weeks and somehow the inside showed signs of the filament residue

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However once you get started with this pen its great fun. It is almost therapeutic, you can escape the world of reality and express your creative genius with no limits to what you can create. The only limit is your imagination. Below is the effort by Chet Mistry the Art teacher. In class the students went wild for it and I had a waiting list of pupils wanting to doodle. It is actually a good tool to ensure children work to their highest potential…. just bribe them with the phrase ‘show effort and commitment in lesson with your work and you can have ten minutes on the 3doodler pen’. It worked a treat. This is great fun and is an excellent creative tool, I just hope the material price is cheap and affordable so we don’t have to worry about the cost of running the pen.

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My final verdict is a thumbs up for the 3doodler pen. Also a big thanks to http://www.goprint3d.co.uk/ for donating a pen to the school.

Project Daniel. ‘A call to arms for 3Dprinters’.

There is the discussion and debate about the role that 3dprinting has in our society. Many people are asking how 3dprinting can actually be relevant in our everyday lives? The question asked by some is,  ‘what use would I have with a 3dprinter in my home?’ Will it actually be a benefit for me to personally print my own objects? What is the point in 3dprinting when I can just go the store and buy the object? Sometimes, I find myself having to defend 3dprinting and justify the reason why it will eventually transform our lives like the internet did over the past 15 years. On open night at school, when parents look around deciding if they are going to send their children to our school, many adults simply look at the machine in action printing away layer by layer and simply walk away. They do not even start to question what they have just witnessed in front of them. It’s probably just too much for some to comprehend. Some even make flippant comments such as ‘it’s a bit slow isn’t it’ and ‘what’s the point in that then?’ Well here’s the point in 3dprinting, it can drastically change your life and is doing so in Africa through the 3dprinting of limbs for children that have lost arms through war and conflict. I played this video to all my classes and I have never seen teenagers so lost for words. One student even said to me, ‘sir why are you here, you need to be out there helping those kids, we will be ok whilst you are gone’. It struck a chord with me. 3Dprinting is changing these childrens’ lives beyond our immagination. The video states 50,000 children have lost limbs since war broke out. Imagine if every school in the UK/USA and Europe printed out a set of parts to make a 3dprinted limb. Imagine the difference that could make? In design and technology education we are often questioned how the projects we teach children are actually relevant in our modern tech savvy world. Well this is a project that is the most relevant I have ever seen. Imagine if every school had an afterschool 3dprinting club where the aim is to print out the parts and assemble an arm. You could also teach children how to alter the design and possibly even find improvements. They would also learn the mechanics of assembling all the parts and problems solving. One major aspect of learning that most children need more time involved in, is the ability to solve a problem. Many students see problems as a major issue and don’t know how to deal with them, well imagine if you had the problem that these children have in the video? They have real problems, our problems are not problems compared to theirs. Ours are just inconviences! Watch the video and see if you can help. I am going to start by printing the parts from the ‘robohand’ on thingiverse.com and progress from there.

3Dprinting by Philip Cotton

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Proud of this award!!!

I have so much to say about this amazing technology that I decided to blog about it. I am a high school technology teacher from Manchester UK who has been teaching 3D printing to my students for the past two years. I won the 3Dprintshow educational excellence award for my work educating high school pupils on 3Dprinting (proudest moment of my career so far). What can I say, it has transformed technology education as I know it. This has the potential to be disruptive beyond the power of the internet, manufacturing will never be the same again and this truly gives power to the designer and lets everyday people realise their design dreams. How can I say this….I have witnessed it in the classroom for the past two years. Creativity has been redefined and suddenly you can go from concept to end result in a matter of minutes.
I am not sure where this blog will lead me but I love an uncharted journey. Thankgod for 3Dprinting, that’s how I will end my first post!!