3D Printed drones – the future of air war?


New technologies are exciting enough on their own, but it’s when people start combining them that things get really interesting. Look at drones, for example. They’ve been around for a while, in fact, but compact electric motors and better control technologies are revolutionising them. Fifty years ago the average drone was something like the Ryan Model 147, a pilotless jet plane used for photo reconnaissance during the Vietnam War. It was 25 feet long, weighed [Read More]

Do you want a 3D printer this Christmas?


Christmas is approaching again, and the latest tech gadgets are going to be mentioned in a lot of letters to Santa. If you’re thinking about buying a 3D printer this festive season, either for the family or as a gift to yourself, you’re probably wondering what model to go for. Just a few years ago you had a choice of a handful of hobbyist models that needed self-assembly and a lot of tinkering, but now [Read More]

Self-Replicating 3D Printers come a step closer


One of my favourite books is Death from the Skies! by Phil Plait. Despite the alarming title this is actually an astronomy book; it’s just that its theme is all the ways the universe could potentially kill us. Each chapter starts with a fictional scenario in which something – a blast of radiation from a supernova, the impact of an Everest-sized rock – wipes us all out. Then Plait goes on to discuss the science [Read More]

Print Your Own Body Parts


By now, everyone knows that 3D printing can be used to create replacement body parts. We’ve seen printed prosthetic hands, and replacement beaks for parrots. Now someone has taken it a step further. Instead of simply replacing a body part that’s been lost, how about printing yourself an extra one? This sounds like a pretty wacky idea, but it’s actually been done. And, surprisingly, it was done by an art student. Dani Clode, a New [Read More]

Kodama Kickstarter teases with $99 printer


The cost of 3D printing is falling at an amazing rate. Just a few years ago it was hard to find a quality printer that would run straight out of the box for much less than £1,000; now there are dozens under the £300 mark, and some mid-range kits that don’t need too much assembly for £200 or a bit less. But now a San Francisco-based startup is launching a kickstarter for a fully assembled [Read More]

3D Printers Could Solve Diet Problems


There aren’t many limits to what you can make with a 3D printer, and enthusiasts are always pushing the envelope to come up with both new materials and new uses for them. Some of these turn out to be genuinely practical, while others are on the wild and wacky side. Sometimes the only way to find out is to try it and see. One thing we’ve looked at before is 3D printed food. The technology [Read More]

Print your own teeth!


There was an amusing story in the news last year about a US student who came up with an imaginative solution to his dental issues. Amos Dudley had a brace when he was young, but he didn’t wear it as much as he was supposed to and his teeth became slightly uneven. Although this is considered normal almost everywhere on the planet, Americans have their own ideas about teeth and having them perfectly straight is [Read More]

3D Printed Guns – Are They A Problem?


A lot of people are very excited about 3D printing, because it gives us all the ability to print out objects ourselves instead of having to obtain them through traditional manufacturing and retail channels. Other people are very alarmed about 3D printing though, because some of the objects we can print out are guns. In most western countries – the USA is the only real exception – access to guns is controlled. Before you can [Read More]

Formlabs Form 2 – Professional printer review


From a niche start, 3D printing is rapidly becoming mainstream. With the way prices are going it’s soon going to be feasible for anybody who wants one to have an entry level printer at home – and, unlike earlier models which are very much aimed at hobbyists, it should be user friendly too. On the down side, most affordable printers use fused filament fabrication. This is pretty economical and uncomplicated, but lower priced printers often [Read More]

How 3D printers will colonise Mars


Every week, someone seems to find a new use for 3D printing here on Earth. The first 3D-printed parts have been certified for use in airliners, all sorts of medical prostheses for both humans and animals have been created, and there’s no shortage of printed phone case and e-cigarette designs floating around the internet. But could 3D printing be the technology that really opens up space? So far, manned space missions have mostly been fairly [Read More]

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