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.



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 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.”

3D printed portraits – The most realistic MiniMe’s Ever !!!

A new store in Hamburg, Germany,  allows customers to print an incredibly lifelike 3D-printed statuette of themselves.

3d-printed-portrait The idea of creating a miniature likeness of yourself using 3D printing is not new. From 3D chocolate face sculptures ans Stormtrooperswith your own face to the Japanese company Omote 3D , creating little statuettes from 3D scans.  However, Hamburg based Twinkind, has established a temporary pop-up studio where people can get the most realistic images created that we have ever seen.

You simply wander in, get yourself scanned and order statuettes of yourself in a variety of different sizes.

3d-printed-portrait-petsThe scanning technology they use is not explained, but apparently happens “in the blink of an eye” – making it possible to scan uncooperative children or even pets.  It appears that the printing process they use m,ay be based around “sandstone” printing technology such as the ZCorp “sandstone” printer, which uses a fine powder as a printing medium. As the layers are laid down, inkjet technology sets them with a bonding agent, which can be mixed with colour for a full-colour printed object. These printers aren’t really for the consumer market, though; for the lowest-end model, you’re looking at around US$15,000.

At the moment this service is limited to people who can visit the physical location in Hamburg, and prices for you own Min-Me aren’t exactly cheap. The smallest model, 15 centimetres tall, costs around AU$313 at the time of writing — all the way up to €1290 for 35 centimetres (around AU$1800). However,

3D Printing for Flexible Objects

To date 3D printed objects have been mostly rigid as the materials used in 3D printing have traditionally been fairly stiff.  However, Shapeways, have unveiled a  new elastic material for 3D printing that can be used for projects that require a little more flexibility.

3d-printed-shoeShapeways new, flexible 3D printing material is called Elasto Plastic. This strong material can be used where a more rigid material wouldn’t work — one example that Shapeways gave was shoes; another was furniture joints.  They have also suggested potential for non-slip shower mats, corner protectors, flooring and flexible, translucent screens fixed across a frame

Elasto Plastic is not (yet) available to all buyers. It is currently considered an “experimental” material, so for the time being is only being offered as a ‘Maker Material’ — meaning, anyone can order models they have uploaded themselves, but it will not be sold in Shapeways Shops.”


3D Printed Food Designed to Improve Appetite

Netherlands based Research institute TNO is working on a 3D printer to reconstitute (i.e. print out) food puree in a way that it will look like “real” food again.

In nursing homes, residents often lose their appetite because some are only able to eat pureed food. TNO is now developing a 3D printer that prints pureed food in the shape of the food that it is printing. They hope that this will help residents regain their appetites.

Other benefits of food printing include :

  • The technology can help to convert alternative ingredients such as proteins from algae, beet leaves, or even insects into tasty products that are not only healthy but also good for the environment.
  • 3d-printed-foodA food printer opens the door to fully personalised food since products can be made that are specifically designed to suit individual dietary needs and preferences.
  • The printer can also ensure that your personal meal is made at exactly the right time so that you come home to a fresh, healthy meal.
  • Printing food allows enormous freedom of design in terms of not only the 3D shape but also the composition (the ingredients and their ratios), structure, texture and, last but not least, taste. Unique new products can therefore be developed that other methods simply cannot emulate.

Australian 3D printers to print body parts

Australian scientists say they have found a way to grow human body parts using 3D printing technology.

The University of Wollongong’s Centre for Electromaterials Science is opening a research unit at Melbourne’s St Vincent’s Hospital where 3D printing will be used to reproduce tissue material.

The bio-fabrication unit scientists have already begun animal trials to reproduce skin, cartilage, arteries and heart valves.