3D Printing To Revolutionize The Mining Industry | 3D Print Services

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service_parts_gearsA mechanical engineer specialising in 3D printing says that 3d printing could revolutionise the mining support industry.

Mackay in north Queensland hosted an Expo last week  to update industry leaders on the latest printing technologies.

Mechanical engineer Simon Bartlett says mining companies could make their own parts on site in a fraction of the time it takes get one sent in.

“It’s like Batman’s utility belt, to get through his day he needs to be able call on a number of different technologies or a number of different tools,” he said. “I think it’s definitely a new tool and people are now just trying to work out how it fits in to what they do…. It’s something that will definitely revolutionise the way we manufacture parts.”


SOURCE:  http://3dprintservices.com.au/3d-printing-to-revolutionise-parts-manufacturing-in-the-mining-industry/


Star Trek replicator is closer to reality than you think | BetaNews

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In video “Can Nanotechnology Create Utopia?” physicist Michio Kaku talks about the upsides, downsides, insides and outsides of having a replicator like on Star Trek to make anything we’d ever need or want. It’s a compelling vision and he’s right that its implications go far beyond the economic to include cultural, social, even psychological. Kaku says it’s possible to make such a device and suggests we’ll have it in 100 years.

I say we’ll have it in 20.

A longtime friend of mine has significant pieces of a replicator functioning in his lab right now. He’s no mad scientist but a respected engineer who is known for his broad technical interests. Right now he can’t make you a mug of Earl Grey (hot), but he can lay down in nanoseconds trillions of atoms of any abundant element, placing those atoms not just in perfect rows, but also placing them in intricate patterns with other atoms to create familiar combinations as well as new materials the world has never seen before.

He is already creating new materials with unique properties that couldn’t exist before simply because no materials have ever been built by men or women to such precision.

Except they have been built to such precision and are every day inside plants and animals, just as Kaku cites the ribosome building a baby.

What’s going on here seems to be the same ability to replicate on a nanoscale that allows plant cell walls to be straight and rectilinear. It’s a self-organizing effect. It may be what makes life even possible at all.

Of course what my friend has done is very crude. The present procedure could eliminate the need for rare earth elements. It could make a fabulous substrate for semiconductors and a few years from now might make the semiconductors themselves with sub-nanometer precision. But it’s a long way from there to Earl Grey (hot).

Yet look at our rate of progress in decoding the human genome — something that 30 years ago was impossible yet today the only question is how much it costs, with that cost dropping in line with Moore’s Law.

What will my friend be able to build with his machine a decade from now?

DNA may be the blueprint for life, but it is not the factory. Going from blueprint to prototype requires an additive building technology and this is one that might work and there may well be others.

There’s going to be trouble, I’m sure, as people and institutions are threatened by the implications of these technologies just as Kaku explains so well.

What comes to my mind is the famous Pogo cartoon where the little ‘possum says “We have met the enemy and he is us”. Do you remember the line from the next panel in that strip? Hardly anybody does.

“We are surrounded by insurmountable opportunity”.

SOURCE:  http://betanews.com/2012/11/08/star-trek-replicator-is-closer-to-reality-than-you-think/

A Primer on 3D Printing | TED Talks

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Source:  http://www.ted.com/talks/lisa_harouni_a_primer_on_3d_printing.html

3D Printing Shapes Factory of The Future | Design News

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Using a pair of 3D-printed scissors, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg cut the ribbon last week on Shapeways’ Factory of the Future, a 3D printing facility being built by in Long Island City, Queens.

Shapeways, a marketplace and community that encourages the making and sharing of 3D-printed designs, plans to extend its reach with a physical facility stocked with industrial-sized printers. Its aim is to give small businesses, entrepreneurs, inventors, and DIY enthusiasts an easy and accessible way to turn design concepts into physical products.

The 25,000-square-foot space will house 30-50 high-definition, industrial-sized 3D printers. The goal is to print 3 million to 5 million objects annually, making it the world’s largest consumer-facing 3D printing manufacturing facility. The factory will deliver manufacturing, post-processing, cleaning, and sorting services. There will also be a Shapeways Lab dedicated to research and development of materials, post-production techniques, and community experimentation.

Set to open in January, the factory will be equipped with a variety of state-of-the-art 3D printers, including equipment from EOS, Project UV, and 3D Systems. Plans call for Shapeways to add full-color sandstone printing and other techniques as it refines and builds its production capabilities.

According to a Shapeways blog post on the ribbon-cutting ceremony, the company wants to redefine the concept of the factory and to foster local innovation and production.

Historically, the word factory brought up connotations of assembly lines and jump suits and iron and cement. It reminded us of the factory Henry Ford created and has been replicated time and time again…
We are giving the word factory new meaning. One that replaces mass manufacturing with mass customization. One that empowers the independent business, the craftsperson, the hobbyist, and the entrepreneur. We are building a factory that gives everyone the ability to create, where the only barrier to entry is imagination.

We are seeing more 3D printing companies take steps to introduce the technology to a wider audience. We’ve reported on Makerbot, one of the pioneers in consumer 3D printing kits, which recently announced a flagship retail location in Manhattan, to introduce the general public to 3D printing and to sell 3D-printed goods. We’ve also reported on Deezmaker, a California 3D printer and goods store started by Diego Porqueras, the maker of the Bukobot open-source 3D printer.

Source:  http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1394&doc_id=252911&dfpPParams=ind_186,bid_26,aid_252911&dfpLayout=blog

Desktop Weaponeers Granted Safe Haven to Develop 3D Printed Guns | Wired

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Three weeks after a group of desktop gunsmiths had its leased 3D printer seized by the digital manufacturing firm that owned it, the weaponeers have quietly restarted plans to build a gun entirely of printed parts. The group has also begun expanding their operation with outside help, including space for ballistics testing provided by a mysterious firm involved in the defense industry.

Cody Wilson, founder of the Wiki Weapon project, tells Danger Room that the unnamed company’s owner “wanted to offer me a safe haven, basically.” Wilson describes the company as a “private defense firm” in San Antonio, Texas, but the company’s owner is wary of negative publicity and Wilson doesn’t want to reveal the firm’s name without consent.

“We’ve got basically a space where we can do experiments. Ballistics, basically. So it’s not quite a range — we’ve got a range — but we’ve got floor space where we can literally test the guns and set up instrumentation,” Wilson says.

A second unnamed company has also stepped in to volunteer manufacturing space. That company works with 3D printers and is based in a light industrial district in nearby Austin, where Wilson lives.

But the new assistance wouldn’t have happened had Wiki Weapon not first run into trouble acquiring a 3D desktop printer — which use layers of heated materials to create everyday objects. At the low-end, they can be used to print everything from silverware and jewelry to Warhammer miniatures. At the high-end, the printers are used in industries ranging from dentistry to aerospace. But Wiki Weapon intended to go much further by producing a working pistol.

The group was stymied in late September after a printer leased from desktop manufacturer Stratasys was seized by the company over fears the group was preparing an illegal and unlicensed gun undetectable by airport security scanners. The federal law Stratasys alleged Wilson intended to break – the Undetectable Firearms Act – provides an exemption for plastic gun prototypes made by licensed manufacturers. Within days after his printer was taken away, Wilson was also questioned after visiting a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms office in Austin. The group is now seeking a license from the agency.


Later, Wilson was approached by a licensed gun manufacturer who was apparently willing to let the group use his personal 3D printer. “But he got cold feet, so we walked away from it,” Wilson says.

The desktop gunsmiths are also forming a slew of corporations to protect Wiki Weapon against potential lawsuits. The online collective overseeing the project, called Defense Distributed, is being turned into a nonprofit 501(c)(3) engaged in “charitable public interest publishing,” Wilson says, which will distribute weapons blueprints online for free. A new research and development company created by the group called Liberty Laboratories is being incorporated in Texas and will be responsible for printing, testing and firing the guns. The group plans to start a third company for raising and protecting its private assets.

It’s not hard to see why. An early attempt at fundraising over Indiegogo was blocked until the group raised $20,000 over the online currency network Bitcoin. But the amount raised so far is fairly limited, and Wilson says the move is necessary to raise private capital.

Adding a sense of legitimacy to the project may also be a way to shield the group from some criticism. Ever since the group had its first printer taken, a raging debate has been carried out online over questions of gun control and the potential dangers regarding a future where anyone could potentially download a gun off the internet.

Gun control advocates slammed Wilson. Josh Horwitz, the executive director for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, called Wilson an “extremist” involved in a “blatant, undisguised attempt to radically alter our system of government.” Backing up Wilson and Wiki Weapon were a loose coalition of gun enthusiasts, techies, libertarians and Reddit geeks.

At the same time, however, hobbyists have continued to experiment with printed gun parts. Earlier this month, one at-home manufacturer produced a working fire control group — the component which handles a gun’s trigger motion — for an AK-47 rifle. The debate will likely resume if or when Wiki Weapon produces a fully printed gun. “We have a printer on standby right now,” Wilson says. But he added that the group is looking at another five to six weeks at minimum before they’re ready, and that’s a big maybe. When (or if) the group receives a firearms license is still indeterminate.

“We want to prototype a few things first,” he says. “I think there’s no rush for me to go ahead and get into renting an Objet printer or something more high-end until one of these first few prototypes shows it has a promise.”

The good news for the group is that they’ve found companies willing to associate with DIY gun makers. It hasn’t been easy, so far. But don’t say isn’t easy isn’t impossible either.

The Dark Side of 3D Printing | 303 Magazine

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Body parts, jewelry, food: what once required extreme craftsmanship and an incredible amount of time and resources to create is now being reduced to an afterthought.

Our grandparents would never have believed that we could sit at home and print a feedwater heater for a 1907 White Steamer, but that’s exactly what’s happening. Although 3D printing may break down barriers and revolutionize manufacturing, we’re quickly learning about a number of dangerous drawbacks.

Printed Weapons


Using three dimensional printing, key weapon components can be manufactured out of thin air. After the myriad of devastating shootings this year, concern over gun control is growing within the United States. Deadly weapons can be purchased by anyone without a criminal record, but printing them from home will certainly amplify these concerns.

Recently, a gentleman successfully printed the lower receiver of an AR-15, and used it in conjunction with standard parts to fire live ammunition.

On his blog, the man articulates his belief that a grand array of parts can be printed if the printing material is able to withstand a certain amount of torque. His assumption is that in the short term, most components of a rifle can be printed, but until we’re able to be more selective with the materials used in 3D printers, we’ll be limited to low performance parts. While individuals have been able to manufacture gun parts in the past, it’s never been as easy as it is now with 3D manufacturing.

ATM Skimming

ATM skimming occurs when a physical add-on is attached to an automatic teller machine, unbeknownst to the user. This artificial technology is able to capture data from the magnetic strip of a debit card to later be utilized fraudulently. Skimming attachments have similarly been made to disguise tiny, unnoticeable cameras that can snag pin codes as well. Though most of us wouldn’t know it, this tactic has been ongoing for years.

3D printing is making this form of fraud more difficult to detect than ever. In fact, a group of men was arrested for stealing over $400K over a two year period using a $10,000 3D printer. ATM skimming is allowing this dodgy 3D printing technology to become more mainstream, and skimming is trickling down to other arenas such as gas stations and vending machines. It’s definitely something to keep an eye out for moving forward.

3D Printed Keys

Handcuffs are made from the strongest materials on Earth to keep even the most dangerous criminals at bay. The problem is, police departments typically employ a single generic key shape for all cuffs for ease of prisoner transport throughout a facility.

A German hacker has taken it upon himself to prove to police the world over that there are flaws in their detainment and prisoner movement systems. The man, known simply as “Ray”, has printed a number of generic plastic keys that easily unlock professional grade handcuffs made by two of the world’s most prominent manufacturers.

This should put police on notice for two reasons. First off, the original keys produced by German manufacturer Bonowi and the English firm Chubb are regulated and supposed to be only available to federal institutions, yet were easily purchased on E-bay. Secondly, Ray plans to upload the CAD drawings of the keys for all to use on the internet. Ray states that his motives are not to help criminals, but to enlighten police to this dangerous problem. Says Ray, “If someone is planning a prison or court escape, he can do it without our help, we’re just making everyone aware, both the hackers and the police.”

Counterfeiting and Intellectual Property

One of the most recognizable 3D printer manufacturers, MakerBot, is stirring up another debate. MakerBot owns an open source design sharing website called Thingiverse.com. On Thingiverse, diagrams for printing a number of objects are shared everyday. Some of these are free for all to use, but many are copyrighted materials. The CEO of the company, Bre Pettis, doesn’t seem to think there’s much of a problem. “I don’t think we need a marketplace. It’s a sharing world. We are at the dawn of the age of sharing where even if you try to sell things the world is going to share it anyway.”

Like the world of Star Wars, which has already been 3D printed, this new age industry will continue to possess a formidable dark side. How we will combat it remains to be seen.

What other problems can you see arising at the hands of 3D printing?

Source:  http://303magazine.com/2012/10/the-dark-side-of-3d-printing/



3D Printed Nanomachines May Soon Be a Reality | Web Pro News

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3D printing is usually used to create visible objects. It’s very rare that we get to see people experimenting in the creation of nanoscale objects. The few experiments in the field thus far have been used in medical applications, but the future may in fact lie in manufacturing.

Aalto University researchers have found a way to shape 3D objects by creating bends with compressive stress induced by an ion beam. It’s utterly fascinating, and could lead to a future of simple nanoscale manufacturing.

So where does 3D printing fit into all of this? The above technology is all about the shaping of objects. It can’t be used to create the actual parts that power the devices. In the future, 3D printers will be able to create the necessary components needed to power these incredibly small devices.

Fabbaloo suggests that the technology can be used to create the invisible machines of the future. It seems like something out of science fiction, but nanotechnology is becoming more advanced all the time. It won’t be long until we have thousands of nanomachines floating around in our bloodstreams and regulating our health.

Until then, the rest of us can appreciate the artistry that’s inherent to science. For those who want to dig a bit deeper, the researchers have posted their findings on this wiki. It also includes the various publications that they’re work has been featured in. Anybody with even a passing interesting in nanoelectronics will want to check it out.

Source:  http://www.webpronews.com/3d-printed-nanomachines-may-soon-be-a-reality-2012-10

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