3D Printing Gun Out of Lego

What do you do if you want to 3D print in any direction, but can’t buy a pre-made pen like the 3Doodler? If you’re Vimal Patel, you build your own. He melded a hot glue gun with a powered Lego mechanism (really, Technic) to extrude filament in any axis. To call it bulky would be an understatement, but it works — as you’ll see in the video below, it can produce fairly complex objects as long as you have a keen eye and a steady hand. And if you want to try it, you can. Patel has posted his Lego Digital Designer file for the 3D printing gun, so it shouldn’t be too hard to replicate the invention at home.

 

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UberBlox – Build Your Own 3D Printer or CNC

UberBlox is a new high-quality metal construction set and prototyping system for makers to build rigid structures and automated machines.

At the heart of the system is a new single-connector locking mechanism which uses a common small tool to quickly and precisely lock each block to the next. The firmly connected blocks provide accurate, strong and rigid frames for a wide variety of structures and complex machines such as robots, CNC machines and 3D printers.

In addition to the basic blocks, the system includes a growing catalog of compatible and reconfigurable parts, including moving components, sub-assemblies, motors, electronics and controllers based on popular boards such as Arduino and Raspberry Pi, for a complete solution to the building needs of today’s sophisticated maker. According to UberBlox founder Alex Pirseyedi,

We believe the time is right to bring a sophisticated high-quality construction system and prototyping set, backed by great support and community engagement, to makers of all levels.

Ultimately, UberBlox aims to be more than just another toy-based construction set: their aim is to be an all-in-one set for today’s sophisticated maker.

Their Kickstarter is due to launch this month and you can stay updated on their campaign via their Facebook page or the UberBlox site.

Printable Headphones

With 3D printers becoming more accessible we decided to have a think around the concept “life in beta” as a future scenario. What if printed prototypes could become actual products? Meaning, once off the print bed an object could be assembled without any tools and be made functional by readily attainable components. John Mabry decided to stress test the premise with the challenge of making electronically simple yet functionally complex headphones.

My first go resulted in a good-looking functional model created on a professional ABS FDM machine (Dimension 1200ES: print time 13 hours and 30 minutes, hence the name). It worked out well, but the machine we used isn’t accessible to the average maker, and two of the critical parts relied heavily on soluble support printing—a non-issue for professional 3D printers, a major issue for desktop 3D printers.

Last week he started to started to adapt the 13:30 design to the Maker Bot Replicator. The main challenge: How to build to a similar level of quality without soluble support. In the meantime, he posted the current model(s), component list, and instructions on Thingiverse for you to make your own working headphones right now.

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DIY Closet From Folding Chairs

This is an incredibly clever concept by Yi Cong Lu. These chairs are a simple wooden folding variety and are not permanently affixed to the wall. Yet when opened they stabilize, hold boxes of loose articles and are the perfect width from the wall to hang even the most bulky of garments.

Original article from core77, Re-Thinking Furniture: Innovative Design Explorations by Yi Cong Lu is a pretty good read as well and has a lot of other clever furniture designs.

MaKey MaKey: An Invention Kit for Everyone

Right now a kickstarter project, MaKey MaKey is an invention kit for the 21st century. Turn everyday objects into touchpads and combine them with the internet. It’s a simple Invention Kit for Beginners and Experts doing art, engineering, and everything inbetween. It comes ready to use out of the box with everything you see below: MaKey MaKey, Alligator Clips, USB Cable.

You can practically make or do anything with it!

Make a banana piano:

Or play Pac-man with doodles:

So how does this work exactly? Alligator Clip two objects to the MaKey MaKey board. For example, you and an apple.

When you touch the apple, you make a connection, and MaKey MaKey sends the computer a keyboard message. The computer just thinks MaKey MaKey is a regular keyboard (or mouse). Therefore it works with all programs and webpages, because all programs and webpages take keyboard and mouse input.

Make + Key = MaKey MaKey! 

Any material that can conduct at least a tiny bit of electricity will work (if it doesn’t already work, just rub it with bananas, spray it with water, or apply copper tape). Possibilites are endless and this can bring out the inventor in everyone!

The homepage for MaKey MaKey is makeymakey.com

Here is the Press Page  for photo links etc.

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The DIWire Bender

The DIWire Bender is a rapid prototype machine that bends metal wire to produce 2D or 3D shapes.Wire unwinds from a spool, passes through a series of wheels that straighten it, and then feeds through the bending head, which moves around in 3 dimensions to create the desired bends and curves. Vector files (e.g., Adobe Illustrator files), text files of commands (e.g., feed 50 mm, bend 90° to right…) provide DIWire’s instructions.

It’s essentially a 3D printer that describes lines, instead of volumes, in space, and it could be used for anything from prototypes to customized products.

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