Awesome Stuff: 3D Printing And Scanning Keeps Advancing

from the on-and-on-and-on dept

Welcome back for another week of awesome stuff, our weekly post on interesting crowdfunding projects. First off, just last week, awesome stuff was about reclaiming classic culture, and I expressed disappointment that only two campaigns could be found having to do with public domain materials. I should have waited a week because a new project launched which is a great companion to last week’s Musopen’s Chopin project. This time it’s a project to record and release Bach music as well. Check it out.

But on to this week’s offerings. It really was just a little less than four months ago that we had an awesome stuff post about 3D printing, marveling at how quickly the space had advanced (and gotten cheaper). And it seems like in just that short period of time there’s been some continued movement in the 3D printing and 3D scanning world. There are so many 3D printing and 3D scanning projects going on right now, so let’s point out a few.

  • First up is the somewhat astounding Structure Sensor device, designed to turn your mobile device into a full 3D scanner. The video is slick, but if the device can do what it shows it’s really quite impressive. From simple scanning of rooms or items and turning them immediately into 3D models to playing augmented reality game that really takes advantage of where you are, something like this seems to have a ton of potential, all hooked up to your mobile device. Watch the video and get inspired.
    Apparently there is tremendous demand for this sort of thing. The project only launched a few days ago and already is well past half a million dollars with over a month to go. This looks like another massive Kickstarter success story.
  • As you’ll see below, there are a ton of 3D printers out there, each one emphasizing different features. It can get a little difficult to stand out from the crowd. However, the Peachy 3D Printer and Scanner caught my attention. First off, it’s $100. Yes. $100. The current “floor” for low end 3D printers has been around $400, so if this guy can really do $100 3D printers, that’s very interesting. But perhaps even more interesting is that when you watch the video, you realize that he’s not building yet another 3D printer by riffing off the way everyone else tries to do it, but he really rethought how a 3D printer could be built. It doesn’t look like most other 3D printers, and doesn’t appear to really work in the same way as other 3D printers. The fact that he built his first prototype almost entirely with “objects around the house” is kind of crazy. That said, it’s pretty clear that this project is very early. The output quality of the Peachy Printer is clearly much, much lower than most other 3D printers on the market. So there’s an element of “you get what you pay for” going on here. But, still, it’s inspiring to see this attempt to just rethink how a 3D printer could work (and how it could be pretty cheap).
    With this project, people are really betting on a dream. The project is still very much in the early stages, and needs a lot of refinement. His expected delivery date isn’t until next summer, and as pretty much everyone who’s ever backed a Kickstarter project knows, projects always run late. Either way, the project has already raised about a third of its $50,000 (CAD) goal, with a month to go, so it will likely reach its target.
  • Next up, we’ve got the 3Dsimo, which is a 3D printer “pen.” You may remember the 3Doodler, which was one of the most successful projects on Kickstarter from earlier this year (raising $2.3 million). The 3Dsimo looks like a fairly similar offering, though it seems to be getting almost no attention at all. These extruder pens are a little different than a true “3D printer” but I’m expecting the market for these to develop separately as well, as people realize how handy it can be to “freehand” create a 3D object.
    As mentioned, this project seems to have received almost no attention. Unlike the 3Doodler which shot through its goal in almost no time at all, the 3Dsimo opened its campaign a week ago and only has six backers. It’s a long way away from reaching its goal. Remember, running a crowdfunding project requires more than just putting it up and hoping people come.
  • There are so many other 3D printers and scanners currently in the midst of crowdfunding projects. So rather than doing the typical “deep dive,” I figured I’d do some quick hits on a bunch of them:
    • Zim: a dual head WiFi 3D printer, that has a really nice compact design, with a focus on being easy to use. Priced at the lower end (different models, all well under $1,000). You can remote control it from your smartphone, which is cool, complete with a camera so you can see how the printing is going even if you’re not there.
    • Phoenix 3D Printer: a more traditional 3D printer, hitting that “sweet spot” on the low end of $400. This one looks like a ton of other 3D printers, but they claim that the software is a lot nicer, though it’s a bit tough to tell.
    • Lionhead 3D printer and scanner. These guys also talk up their software, and the printer is definitely a higher end printer, with 3 or 8 print heads, designed for ease of use and to look nice… but with a much higher price point. This is definitely more in the tradition of premium 3D printers.
    • gMax 3D Printer. A traditional looking 3D printer, priced slightly over $1,000, the focus here is on being able to print big things. So if you think you’ll be needing to print larger items, this one may be worth checking out.
    • ZEUS, which they claim is the “first” 3D printer/copy machine, but since some of the other projects in this very list do that too, this claim is a bit suspect. This is also a premium priced offering, between $2,000 and $2,500. The device itself is nicely designed, complete with a 7-inch touch screen. Of all the 3D printers, this one has more of a “consumer ready” feel, but not exactly a consumer-ready price.
    • On the 3D scanner side, I’ll point to both the Dimbody and the Rubicon, which offer fairly similar products, though at first glance they’re much more limited than the Structure Sensor above.

And… that’s it for this extra long awesome stuff. Maybe in a few months we’ll revisit the 3D printing and scanning space again to see just how rapidly it continues to innovate, advance and change.

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Comments on “Awesome Stuff: 3D Printing And Scanning Keeps Advancing”

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Anonymous Coward says:

[Meta] What's needed to make kickstarter embeds show with NoScript?

Does anyone know how I can configure NoScript not to completely hide the Kickstarter and Indiegogo embeds on the weekly Awesome Stuff posts? “Temporarily allow all this page” does nothing. I don’t even see Kickstarter there, nor placeholders, nor items under Blocked Objects. Iframe blocking off doesn’t help. Firefox’s object inspector shows the iframe and contained html, head, and body elements but shows the latter two as empty. Manually going to Kickstarter and adding it to Noscript’s trusted site list doesn’t make the embeds show on Techdirt pages either. I’m probably missing something “obvious”, but I can’t find it, and googling availed me of nothing. So … anyone?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: [Meta] What's needed to make kickstarter embeds show with NoScript?

Even “temporarily allow all this page” doesn’t make them show up. This is with the current versions of both Firefox and NoScript. I’m also using ABP with the default settings, but that certainly shouldn’t be blocking Kickstarter.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 [Meta] What's needed to make kickstarter embeds show with NoScript?

Hm. I am using HTTPS Everywhere, but I was doing so before this problem started. It started right at the time I had a browser crash that caused it to forget all of its NoScript settings (NoScript was back to factory-install settings after), which crash was (apparently) caused by a power failure while it was running, followed by a second one while the affected computer was in the middle of rebooting, which somehow gummed something up enough for me to need to use the last System Restore checkpoint from the recovery console to boot up afterward. (At least I didn’t have to reformat…)

The timing coinciding with that crash points to a NoScript setting as the cause — a setting I had configured to let the Kickstarter embeds get through, lost in that crash, and haven’t succeeded (yet) in recreating.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 [Meta] What's needed to make kickstarter embeds show with NoScript?

That doesn’t make sense. I had no problem after I started to use HTTPS Everywhere, but I did after I lost my NoScript settings, which points to NoScript.

Both of our experiences can’t be how it works/doesn’t work. They’re contradictory. Mine say HTTPS can’t be the cause, because it used to work fine, and NoScript must be, because it stopped working when I lost my NoScript settings. Yours say NoScript can’t be the cause, and HTTPS must be. Those clearly can’t both be true.

What the hell is going on here?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: [Meta] What's needed to make kickstarter embeds show with NoScript?

  1. Find out what is the problem first, disable NoScript and see if it works, it may be another plugin, it may be 2 addons that don’t work well together, Ghostery also blocks third party websites, start disabling addons one by one to find out which one is causing the problem.
  2. Go to the website of the maker of the addon or browser and see if anybody else recently had the same problem, after that try asking help there.
  3. If you are told the problem is not on their end then you bug the operator of a website.

    This is what I do and I have no problems with it.

  4. Create a sandbox for an insecure browser. Put a browser in a virtual machine, and save that orginal pristine state he has, this way it doesn’t matter what happens everytime you fire it up it will always be clean and any malware will be contained there.
  5. Have a secure browser that doesn’t allow scripts ever for any reason, if you see something you want to watch copy and paste the url into the sandboxed browser to watch it.
Anonymous Coward says:

Tip of the iceberg

There is a complete production path being created. Filastruder was a KickStarter, designed to change resin pellets into filament. There is a filament winder – to windup the extruded plastic. has a significantly better scanner than MakerBot’s, nearly ready. There is a Doodle3d so kids can turn 2D drawings into 3D objects. There is a RigidBot regular and a BIG! (16″x12″x10″). And even if you don’t have your own software or printer there is Tinkercad or 3Dtin (as well as all the AutoDesk 123D products) and i.Materialize, Shapways and Ponoko to verify, print and ship or even sell your designs.

It’s a whole new world for makers, tinkerers, and crafty folks.

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