Desktop Factory's June 2007 Newsletter Online!

3D Printer Users

Their June 2007 newsletter is now online and reveals the planned schedule for the next few months. See the June Newsletter and find more news links at: Desktop Factory Newsletter June 2007 And, while you are there, check out the new web site with much better images and more complete information about the Desktop Factory product, company and goals. There is good news on the Desktop Factory front!

V-Flash at EASTEC 2007 Exposition

3D Printer Users

As this is being written the V-Flash 3D printer is being displayed on the exhibition floor at EASTEC 2007. We wish we were there. But, since we''re not, we''ll do our best to find someone that was. The V-Flash 3D printer is expected to be released sometime this year at a cost of $9,900. We contacted the company and were subsequently contacted by a local distributer. But, they still don''t have any real information to provide. We''ll keep trying. Maybe they''ll have more after the show.

Trending Sources

Fourth International Fab Lab Forum - August 22-23, 2007

3D Printer Users

The Fourth International Fab Lab Forum and Symposium on Digital Fabrication will be hosted in Chicago from August 22 to August 23, 2007. Covering everything from nanoscale protein to large scale construction it draws researchers and industry leaders from around the world. The progam for the event can be found at: Fab Lab Program 3D Printing is just one of the methodologies that will be discussed at the forum.

Gamer Alert - Wall Street Journal Article

3D Printer Users

Here is a link to an excellent article published in the Wall Street Journal that discusses the rapid rise in the number of companies dedicated to proving physical models of virtual world through 3D printing.

Favorite Products of 2007

Wohlers Talk

Read about it in an April 2007 Wohlers Talk blog commentary. Ive listed my favorite products and services in the past and its time to do it again. Some companies provide good quality, but many do not. The following, listed at random, are a few of those that have met or exceeded my expectations over the past year or so. 1) PdaNet. This is an excellent application that runs on Palm Treo handheld devices.

It Ain't Smoke and Mirrors!

3D Printer Users

If the V-Flash actually kicks out some parts in front of the crowd at EASTEC 2007 we can rest a little easier. Back in the early days of video games we were constantly hearing this rumor or that rumor, only to learn that it was all "Smoke & Mirrors".

3D Software for 3D Printing Forums

3D Printer Users

We''re very thankful to JANDSCREATIONS.COM for providing a forum where we can discuss 3D Modeling as it relates to Desktop 3D Printing. Visit the forums. If Desktop 3D Printing is to become as popular as 2D printing, then a much wider range of users will need to feel comfortable with 3D modeling.

DC SIGGRAPH Looking forward to 3D Printing

3D Printer Users

The Washington, DC chapter of SIGGRAPH met this evening in anticipation of the annual SIGGRAPH meeting. So, the primary focus was on how to maximize one''s time at SIGGRAPH because it''s an enormous show and it''s easy to become overwhelmed.

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Where IS that old Erector Set???

3D Printer Users

It''s got to be around here SOMEWHERE!!! But, it would take us longer to find it than to build this wonderfully creative personal fabricator!

The STL File. One way to get there from here.

3D Printer Users

It''s one thing to have a 3D printer; but, it''s not very useful unless you can send your part or masterpiece to it reliably.

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More than Chocolate! Cornell's Fab@Home

3D Printer Users

Our first encounter with the idea that one could actually own a 3D fabricator for under $10K was when we stumbled across the Fab@Home project''s web site. Since then, a LOT more people have heard about this fascinating experiment in personal fabrication.

Beware the Evil Mad Scientist! (Calorie Alert!!!)

3D Printer Users

Wouldn''t you know it. The industry hasn''t even gotten started yet and already its got its own Evil Mad Scientist. And, this is one dastardy dude! His modus Operandi is to tempt the unwary into a stupifying sugar high by disquising his creations as 3D works of art. And, it''s DEFINITELY working!

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Be a Visionary

3D Printer Users

In most of the posts you will note that the plural ''we'' is used even though, at the moment at least, there is only one ''I'' actually doing the writing.

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A first look at the Desktop Factory 3D Printer

3D Printer Users

The above image is from a larger image that we''ve obtained. It''s a bit out of focus; but, useful none-the-less. It''s a part that was printed in the Desktop Factory printer and then smoothed.

3D Printing is Coming Your Way!

3D Printer Users

Make no mistake about it. 3D printing is on the way to our desktops. This blog is being created as a place where we can follow the development of Desktop 3D as news and low cost products are released.

Desktop Factory now in Beta!

3D Printer Users

Desktop Factory Newsletter - July, 2007 This is great news. The July newsletter from the Desktop Factory indicates that beta machines are now in the field. At least one of the beta sites is guaranteed to give it a good workout. The Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California has been using a variety of additive fabrication systems for some time and has wide experience with 3D printing.

Four Events in One Week

Wohlers Talk

VRAP 2007 is September 2429 in Leiria, Portugal. TCT 2007 is September 2627 in Coventry, England and has been running as an annual event for many years. Next week, four design/prototyping/manufacturing events are being held simultaneously in Europe and the USA. VRAP stands for Advanced Research in Virtual and Rapid Prototyping.)

Most People Cannot Design

Wohlers Talk

in 2007. Note: The international conference titled The Custom Manufacturing MegaTrend: Where China and the West Fit In will be held on December 7 at EuroMold 2007 in Frankfurt, Germany. Historically, additive fabrication (AF) has been used for applications such as modeling, prototyping, and making patterns for silicone rubber molds.

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Collapse in Japan

Wohlers Talk

Sony Manufacturing Systems (Japan) stopped producing its stereolithography machine, called the Solid Creation System (SCS), in March 2007, after 18 years. Sony was a partner of D-MEC, also of Japan, who markets, supports, and manages the business associated with the sales of the systems. It is believed that the SCS product line has not been a financial success, with average sales of only 23 units per year for the past 10 years.

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Truth About China

Wohlers Talk

This was the title of an article authored by Guy Sorman and published in the April 20, 2007 issue of the Wall Street Journal. Sorman lived in China in 2005 and part of 2006. He spent time not only in the cities where striking expansion is underway, but also in the countryside and small villages where few Westerners go. He spoke with countless Communist Party officials, dissidents, and ordinary people. His conclusion: the 21st century will not belong to the Chinese.

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We Need More Invention

Wohlers Talk

Its been said that inventiveness is the source of American wealth, explained Leland Teschler in his March 8, 2007 column in Machine Design magazine. The fourth annual Bright Minds Mentor Program, held last week, introduced advances in CAD solid modeling, 3D printing, rapid manufacturing, and laser scanning to 50 Detroit-area students at the RAPID 2007 Conference & Exposition.

3D Printing of Game Characters

Wohlers Talk

The idea has been discussed in the past and now it’s a reality. Ed Fries, former vice president of Microsofts video games business, rolled out FigurePrints last week. The 9.3 million subscribers of World of Warcraft (WoW) can now order a 100 mm (4-inch) tall model of their personalized character from the online game. The models are manufactured on a 3D color printer from Z Corp. Fries was inspired by an Electronic Arts’ exhibit at the E3 show last year.

A Ball that Snowballed

Wohlers Talk

In early November, my wife and I stayed three nights in a rustic lodge outside of Livingston, Zambia, Africa. We discovered that a group of kids from a small village nearby wanted a soccer ball, but could not afford one. So, we went looking for a soccer ball in downtown Livingstone. After visiting at least a half dozen shops, and asking where we might find one, we stumbled across a very small place that sold everything from notebook paper and inkjet cartridges to snacks and soccer balls.

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Will Fab@Home Succeed?

Wohlers Talk

About a dozen people are building one and three are complete and running, according to a March 5, 2007 story published by The Engineer Online , a web-based publication in the UK that quoted Lipson. Fab@Home has been receiving a lot of attention lately. What is it? Fab@Home is an open source 3D printer development at Cornell University.

Inspiring Questions

Wohlers Talk

During a recent trip to Africa, professor Deon de Beer of Central University of Technology, Free State (Bloemfontein, South Africa) and I spoke to a group of nearly 100 kids. Most were high school age, along with a number of parents and teachers, all from a township called Soshanguve, located about 45 km (28 miles) north of Pretoria.

Google Maps

Wohlers Talk

Im a big fan of Google. If I need to find something quickly, Google is my search engine of choice. It even works as a spell checker for cities, famous people, and so onnames that may not be in a dictionary. Want to check the spelling of Zambezi (as in the Zambezi River in Africa)? Just enter it into Google and it will suggest an alternative spelling if its incorrect. Over the past year, Ive found Google Maps to be an excellent tool. Previously, I would use MapQuest, but not anymore.

Denver 100

Upgrading to Vista?

Wohlers Talk

Ralph Grabowski reported in his February 3, 2007 upFront.eZine newsletter that CAD software runs dramatically slower on computers equipped with Vista. Im not. XP Pro is just fine, thank you. My first in-depth experience with Vista will likely occur when I purchase a new desktop computer. The one at my desk is about three years old, so it may happen in the next year or so. Am I excited about working with a new OS? Not really.

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Google Alerts

Wohlers Talk

I bumped into a guy recently at an industry event that had the following to say: The single most important piece of information I picked at this time last year was the availability of Google Alerts. The tip came as a response to a question from a CEO that asked, What can users of 3D printing do to stay up-to-date and educated on some of the latest announcements and events in our industry?. Ive been using Google Alerts for years.

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The Mobile Fab Lab is on the Road!

3D Printer Users

Ready, just in time for the Fab 4 Forum and Symposium the Mobil Fab Lab hit the road! Designed to demonstrate the power of personal fabrication, it began its first tour. Here is a link to a blog that talks about the portable Fab Lab. www.thegoldenageofwireless.com We''ll try to follow the progress of the Mobile Fab Lab and keep you posted

Design 100

New Images on Desktop Factory Web Site

3D Printer Users

As the beta testing continues, Desktop Factory has added some new photos of the output of their desktop 3D printer. The latest images show some real improvements in the surface and success at printing more intricate designs. Layer alignment seems greatly improved in these new images. Notice the size of the Maze and how smoothly the sides printed. Earlier samples showed some slight misalignment from layer to layer so these images represent some great news. Here are some additional new images.

The Pros Have Tarnished a Great Sport

Wohlers Talk

Fall is in the air and football season has arrived. Ive been anxiously waiting for months. American football is arguably the most exciting sport on the planet, although some outside the U.S. may disagree. Its college football that really gets my blood pumping. Life doesnt get much better than watching an in-state rivalry such as theColorado State University Rams and the University of Colorado Buffalos go head to head. Kick off between the two is tomorrow at 10:00.

Denver 100

Design and Manufacturing in the Future

Wohlers Talk

Many types of products that are made and sold today will be designed and manufactured similarly in the future. Conventional methods of molding, casting, and stamping of high volumes of parts will continue. However, a new wave of designs that before were impractical or too risky to produce by traditional meansis beginning to emerge.

Predicting the Future of Additive Fabrication

Wohlers Talk

There is more than one way to anticipate the future. In the area of additive fabrication, one can study trend lines to gauge the interest in machines, materials, applications, and industries. Another way is to review the most interesting developments among the leading academic researchers from around the world. Not all ideas come from academia, but a respectable share does.

Austin 100

LASIK Surgery One Year Later

Wohlers Talk

I first wrote about LASIK surgery one year ago after I had it done. My one-year eye exam was last week and Im seeing about the same as I did the day after I had the surgery. My vision is 20/15* in my left eye and about 20/25 in my right. With both eyes open, I’m seeing 20/15, which is better than 20/20.

Glass 100

V-Flash 3D Printer - Early Info & Specifications

3D Printer Users

As we sit here in the heat with a dead air conditioning compressor, which will take some steamy days to replace, we''re wishing that the whole personal fabrication revolution was mature enough to allow us to build our own! But, we''re not quite there yet. We needed something to brighten our day. So, it was very welcome news to hear from Buddy Byrum, the product manager for V-Flash with answers to some questions we had about the V-Flash 3D printer.

Sand 100

Making 3D Music With RepRap

3D Printer Users

OK, so it was a corny title. But, it''s late and I had to write SOMETHING to go in that space! This site is dedicated to any and all 3D printers or fabricators in the sub-$10K price threshold. That includes both commercially built products and those you can build yourself. The RepRap project falls into the latter category. Most of the build-it-yourself systems use extrusion as the means for building a 3D object. This means that a wide variety of materials can be used.

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Bloggers helping Bloggers

3D Printer Users

One of the great things about Blogging is being introduced to other Bloggers having similar interests. An email arrived today from Michael Berman, the Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Pasadena''s Art Center College of Design. He was letting us know that he was linking to one of our articles from his blog. Visiting his blog was a real treat. and, turned up some excellent resources for learning more about Cornell''s Fab@Home and Desktop Factories view of the future.

Desktop Factory Newsletter to be sent in June

3D Printer Users

One of the things I learned when inquiring about Desktop Factory information was that they will be sending out a their newsletter in June to those who have signed up for it. It''s easy to sign up. Just go ther web site: www.DesktopFactory.com There is a place on the right side of the home page where you can register to receive the newsletter when it''s sent out

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Hear better via a Desktop 3D Printer!

3D Printer Users

We hate relying on news releases for information. They''re so predictable. like there''s a class that everyone goes to learn the rules for writing them and swears they will never deviate from the rules. But, when a news release actually reveals a genuine tidbit of information then we''re forced by our promise to keep you informed to at least give you a link.

Layer-at-Once Plastic Sintering

Wohlers Talk

Speed Part (Sweden) has developed a process called Selective Mask Sintering that sinters an entire layer of plastic powder at once. The company uses glass-filled nylon powder, an infrared lamp, and masks to produce each layer. The masks are generated using a Xerox photocopying process and represent the inverse of the cross sections being produced. The time to produce a layer is 10-20 seconds, which is fast. Using an IR lamp instead of a laser and galvanometer significantly reduces cost.

Metal Fabrication is Heating Up

Wohlers Talk

Making parts additively from powder metal is taking off. Morris Technologies of Cincinnati, Ohio is now running six EOSINT M machines from EOS of Germany. The machines produce solid metal parts by melting powder with a laser, layer by layer. To date, the company has produced an estimated 8,000 parts. More than 95% of them are used in prototypesand final products,while less than 5% are usedas inserts for tooling.

Arcam 100

Larry Rhoades Will be Missed

Wohlers Talk

Last Monday, I received word that Larry Rhoades, founder and CEO of The Ex One Company, had died two days earlier while vacationing in Hawaii. I was shocked. Larry was a creative genius and an enthusiastic supporter of manufacturing technology. He was the CEO of Extrude Hone Corp. for 35 years where he launched ProMetal, which is currently a division of Ex One.

Using a Smartphone for Laptop Internet

Wohlers Talk

A short time ago, I downloaded and installed PdaNet on my Treo 700. It allows you to use the smartphones broadband Internet connectivity as a wireless modem for your laptop computer. So, anywhere you get a cellular signal, you have free Internet access on your laptop. This includes hotels, airports, and traveling down a highway. The download and installation of PdaNet was fast and simple. The product is available for a one-time cost of $34 at junefabrics.com.

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