ZEUS – 3D Printer, 3D Scanner, 3D Copier, 3D Fax Machine

The World’s First ALL-IN-ONE 3D Printer/Scanner/Copier/Fax Machine is available for pre-order for US$2,499

AIO Robotics has begun taking pre-orders for their ZEUS All-In-One 3D Printer. The ZEUS 3D printer can print 3D objects, scan 3D objects, copy 3D objects, as well as fax objects directly to other 3D printers.  This means that someone in Australia could scan an item on his ZEUS, and send it to another printer anywhere in the world.

The $2,499 printer has a build area of 8 by 6 by 5.7 inches and can scan objects up to five inches high. It has a 7-inch front touch screen for managing print jobs and a replaceable extruder which makes it easy to fix things if they break. The 3D printer is a standard plastic filament system that can print at 80 microns and scan at 125 microns.



Print the Future – 3D Printing Featured on 60 Minutes (Australia)

The future is here Guns, Body Parts, even Cars… and it is as simple as Click, Print Fire

This is the byline used by 60 minutes in the promotion of their story on 3D printing which went to air in Australia this evening.

It was great to see information about 3D Printing making the mainstream media – 3D Printing really does have potential to offer huge benefits in the future.  However, I found the contents of this particular story to be rather simplistic and often misleading.

Many of the technologies described are potentially possible, however there were strong suggestions that some of the capabilities described are currently available. which is not necessarily the case.   I also found that there was quite a lot of inferences related to 3D printing capabilities which were simply not true or were unrealistic.

3D Printed Gun

the 3D printed gun is certainly currently available, but like Cody Wilson,  I found the NSW Police Departments testing processes rather “conveniently” found that the gun was likely to explode.  The 3D gun printed by NSW Police was created on a very basic entry level 3d Printer.  The quality of the materials used, and the print resolution of the printer itself, is bound to result in an inferior quality product.

3D Printed Car

Whilst it may be theoretically possible to print many of the components of a car, it is currently impractical from a cost and strength perspective to do so.

3D Printed Organs

It is currently possible to print very simple body parts and prosthetics, but it is still very early days for this type of technology to become available for medical use.


Here are some “Extra Minute”  videos that were not included in the original 60 Minutes Program


3D Printing generating opportunities for 3D Professionals

Freelancer.com each quarter conducts an analysis on online jobs, that results in a top-50 listing of movements and work areas with the greatest future potential.

The latest analysis has suggested that due to the growth of popularity and adoption of 3D printing tech in both private and work settings, it’s now a golden age for industry related professionals looking for profitable opportunities – i.e. for 3D rendering, 3D modelling and 3D animation experts.


Photo Realistic, Full Colour, 3D Printed Replicas

3D Printing technologies have moved on in leaps and bounds over the last decade, and we now have a huge variety of 3d printer options – at prices which were once considered impossible.

However, for us to make the most of (even the existing) capabilities of 3D printing, and before the idea of 3D Printing REALLY captures the attention of the general public, we need to get a LOT smarter about 3D scanning.

People just don’t want to wait around for minutes to get scanned, in this fast ,moving world we want it right now. Captured Dimensions, a Texas based company, has taken this challenge on board and are able to offer “instant”, full colour 3D scans, which can then be printed out as photo realistic, full colour 3D objects. Their purpose built studio uses an array of DSLRs which capture a 3D image in a “flash” – making it possible to instantly scan babies, pets, people, or anything else which can not sit still for minutes.

Unfortunately, the 3D Scan is just the first step –  processing and printing can take up to a month, so it is still not the fastest service in the world – and costs are also pretty high – ranging from nearly $500 for a 1/12th scale replica top over $2,00 to a 1/5th scale.

Also, you need to physically be there for the scan, so unless you happen to live in Dallas this is probably not an option for you, however, this is a great example of how 3D Scanning and Printing technologies may be applied in the future, and as the technology gets smarter, more portable, faster and cheaper there will undoubtedly be increasing interest from the public.

How to Decide which 3D Printer to Buy

Determining which 3D Printer is most appropriate for your needs is becoming increasingly complicated as more 3D printers become available.   This post outlines some of the features and characteristics that you should consider when looking at buying a 3D Printer

  • 3d printer - makerbotProcess: How does the printer work? Is it a plastic extrusion device, a powder-based unit or a resin machine? Each process has different advantage and challenges. The process used will have a significant impact on cost and will be significantly influenced by the types of objects you plan to print
  • Materials: What material types is the machine capable of printing? Plastic extrusion machines could use ABS, maybe PLA, perhaps even NYLON or HIPS.
  • Resolution: How smooth is the output? Often specified as “layer size”, this factor determines the smoothness of your print. The smaller the better, although more layers means more time required to print.
  • Speed: How fast does the machine print objects? For extrusion devices, it’s often specified in mm/s because the extruder must traverse every single voxel of the object, but for other processes it might be cm/hr as whole layers are printed at once, regardless of the amount of material on a layer.
  • Brand: This shouldn’t matter, but it does for some people. Unfortunately, there are a vast number of brands available today and it is difficult to determine which are “the best” because it’s always changing.
  • Support: How will you get help when something goes wrong? Is there telephone support? An online 24/7 forum? How large is the community behind the device? It won’t matter at all until something breaks, at which time it becomes a critical factor.
  • Software: What software comes with your 3D printer? Some manufacturers include sophisticated 3D modeling software in addition to software to control the printer. Were sample print files provided?

3D Printed Breast Tissue may open up Bio printing opportunities

The revolutionary, promising but so far unprofitable field of bioprinting may be given a boost by breast-tissue bioprinter company TeVido.

TeVido’s goal is to produce customized breast implants for reconstructive surgery for women who have undergone mastectomies as a result of breast cancer. The process involves the use of a 3D bioprinter that processes a composite protein material of gelatin and alginate, which are deposited via a modified inkjet type printer on to a gel substrate.

Although still under development, and expected to require significant investment, and years of further research, this type of  3d bioprinting technology offers a potential solution for lumpectomies, and could for instance, expand to the billion dollar U.S. market for breast augmentation, printing implants and nipples (which currently are often tattooed back on).

Cheap Home 3D Printers within 6 months in Australia

The merger between Stratasys and MakerBot could result in MakerBot products being widely distributed in Australian homes within the next six months.

makerbot-replicator-2Stratasys has primarily developed 3D printing technology and materials for use in prototyping and production by governments and large manufacturers. However last month the company agreed to create a joint venture to acquire MakerBot, the Brooklyn, New York-based leader in desktop 3D printing. Makerbot specialise in affordable, “desktop” 3D printers which are cheap and user friendly enough to be used by individuals at home.

Currently 3D computer operated design software is provided to schools free of charge, and many schools are investing in 3D printing technologies and therir studnets are learning how to use it.  The 3D printing revolution is set for a boost when the current generation of school children graduate and start their own printing and manufacturing workshops.


3D Printing – How Much Will It Cost?

Currently most of us cannot afford (or are not yet able to justify the cost of) a 3D printer of our own – particular if we need to print high detail objects.

There are a number of international 3D Print Services that will print objects – in a variety of materials, and ship them to you. Most of these 3D Print services will also print custom objects if you are able to provide the 3D  data files. However, trying to find the right material at the right price can be tricky.

A new online service called 3D Printing Price Check (3DPPC) takes most of the hard work out of shopping around for 3D Printing Services.


3D Printing Price Check

This new service compares the prices of some of the top 3D printing sites for model/STL files that you provide (or use one of their basic sample files). Not only does 3DPPC compare the prices by using the API of top six 3D Printing services; Shapeways, i.materialise, Ponoko, Sculpteo, Kraftwurx and Panashape, it also gives the option of over 135 materials  with links to that particular material’s unique properties.

You can choose a specific supplier or “class” of material (Ceramics, Elastic, Glass, Metals, Plaster, Plastics, Precious Metals, Sandstone) , and 3DPPC will provide a (seemingly) pretty accurate indication of cost. for a range of related materials from each (or all) of the selected suppliers.

Stratasys to acquire Makerbot

stratasysTwo of the leaders in the worldwide 3D printing Industry are going to merge.   Stratasys Ltd. has announced the acquisition of MakerBot, with privately held MakerBot having agreed to merge with a subsidiary of Stratasys in a stock-for-stock transaction.


Under the terms of the merger agreement, Stratasys will initially issue approximately 4.76 million shares (currently valued at $403 million) in exchange for 100% of the outstanding capital stock of MakerBot.

The amalgamation of these two industry leaders is expected to drive faster adoption of 3D printing for multiple applications and industries.

MakerBot, (founded in 2009), has helped to develop the desktop 3D printing market and has built the largest installed base of desktop 3D printers by making 3D printers accessible and affordable. The company has sold more than 22,000 3D printers since 2009 – with the MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer accounting for half of those sales in the last 9 months alone.

The merger enhances Stratasys’ leadership position in the rapidly growing 3D printer market, by enabling Stratasys to offer affordable desktop 3D printers.


3D Printing to “revolutionise” the Mining industry

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.”