ThingMaker – Mattel’s new family 3D printer

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If you think 3D printing is just for engineers and hobbyists, you’re wrong. Toy company Mattel have just announced that they’re relaunching an old favourite with additive manufacturing technology, and the new version is due to hit the shops in the next few months. Mattel introduced ThingMaker in 1964. It was basically a home moulding kit; each set came with a selection of metal moulds, mostly for revolting-looking insects. Children could fill the moulds with [Read More]

Inside 3D Printing 2016

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3D printing has now grown big enough to have its own trade shows, and the next one will be held in Düsseldorf later this month. Running at the Congress Center Düsseldorf Ost from 24-25 February, Inside 3D Printing 2016 will be one of the largest exhibitions yet. So far nearly 40,000 visitors have registered and there’s a busy programme of presentations and workshops lined up, as well as displays of all the latest developments in [Read More]

Polaroid unveil the new ModelSmart 250S

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Polaroid is a familiar name, best known for their iconic instant cameras. In the days before digital photography a Polaroid was the closest you could get to instant images, and while it was an expensive way to take photos they built up a bit of a cult following. What’s not so well known is that Polaroid were also a pioneer of digital cameras, and although they were too far out in front there – and [Read More]

Printer overview – the LulzBot Mini

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A couple of weeks ago we looked at buying an off the shelf 3D printer. This is the quickest and easiest way to get started, and it has some other advantages too. One is that you can get some really capable machinery that would be possible to put together yourself, but definitely not easy. A perfect example is the LulzBot Mini desktop printer. The LulzBot Mini is a mid-range printer, priced at about $1,250 in [Read More]

Building a 3D printer kit

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We’ve looked at buying a ready to go 3D printer, and the advantages it offers – especially if you just want to get printing as quickly as possible. This convenience does come at a price premium though, so for those who don’t really see themselves as hobbyists and want a commercial printer, but prefer to save on the cost, there’s also the option of building one from a kit. Going with a kit has several [Read More]

Recycled 3D printing materials

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3D printing is a massive leap ahead in rapid prototyping as well as a huge asset for all sorts of hobbies. In fact 3D printers have so many uses it’s hard to even think of them all – the versatility of a device that can create such a wide range of objects is immense. One lesser known fact about them, however, is that they can even be good for the environment. Most of the popular [Read More]

How can you get a 3D printer?

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If you’ve decided to get yourself a 3D printer there are a few ways to go about it. With most electronics your only real option is to buy one, but 3D printing is a bit different. It’s a fairly new technology and has a very strong hobbyist element and that means there are several paths to ownership. The question is, which one’s right for you? That’s going to depend on several factors, including: What do [Read More]

3D Printing techniques – The basics of supports

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Printing 3D objects isn’t always as simple as designing a model and sending it to your printer. It can be, but a lot of that depends on the shapes you want to print. The process of building up an object layer by layer offers unique possibilities that can’t be matched by any other manufacturing process, but it also has unique challenges. Imagine you want to print a horse. You design your model in a suitable [Read More]

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