3D printed villas and Earth like planets

http://www.engadget.com/2015/07/26/3d-printed-villas-earth-like-planets/

Inhabitat's Week in Green

Inhabitat’s Week in Green: 3D-printed villas and Earth-like planets

Each week our friends at Inhabitat recap the week’s most interesting green developments and clean tech news for us — it’s the Week in Green.

NASA dropped a bombshell this past week: The Kepler Space Telescope has discovered the most Earth-like planet to date. The rocky planet is slightly larger and warmer than our world, but it orbits a star and has the right conditions for liquid water. Meanwhile, the search for alien life goes on — and Stephen Hawking gave his support to a $100 million project seeking to find out if we’re alone in the universe. Exploring distant worlds is a challenging endeavor — last week NASA proposed a novel robotic spacecraft that could harvest wind energy while surveying gas giants like Jupiter. And the Smithsonian Institution launched a Kickstarter to save Neil Armstrong’s moon landing space suit, which is starting to fall apart after years of storage.

What if you could point a gadget at an apple and instantly know how much sugar it contained? That’s the promise of SCiO, a tiny hand-held device that can measure the molecular footprint of virtually any object. In other tech news, designer Kristof Retezár created an amazing gadget that harvests water from the air while you ride your bike so you don’t have to stop for fill-ups. MIT researchers demonstrated a water filter made from a tree branch that can remove 99 percent of E.coli bacteria. And researchers developed a 3D-printed bottle cap that can tell you if the milk’s gone bad before you take a sip.

3D printing is also progressing on the macro scale — last week a Chinese company showed just how far 3D-printed architecture has come by assembling an entire villa in less than three hours. If you’re looking for something even more futuristic, we present you with the Skysphere — a solar-powered home in the clouds that responds to the sound of your voice. City dwellers will swoon at this tiny apartment that packs an entire two-bedroom house into a single space. The secret? A hidden bed that drops down from the ceiling. And just for fun, we showcased the work of Nathan Sawaya, who makes incredible large-scale Lego sculptures of comic heroes and villains.

References:

engadget.com

by Inhabitat  | July 26th 2015 At 10:00am

http://www.engadget.com/2015/07/26/3d-printed-villas-earth-like-planets/

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3D printed titanium bike!

http://www.cnet.com/news/how-a-3d-printed-titanium-bike-points-the-way-to-products-custom-fit-for-you/

How a 3D printed titanium bike points the way to products custom-fit for you

Design firm Industry has developed a bike that demonstrates how the lines are blurring in design, engineering and manufacturing. This shift will ultimately allow companies to tailor products to individuals.

PARIS – The Solid is an unusual bicycle: it’s 3D-printed out of titanium, it’s unusually streamlined, it will take you on routes designed to help you discover a city and it tells you where to turn by buzzing signals in the handlebars. It’s also a harbinger of how products will be built in the future.

But the Solid, designed by a Portland, Ore.-based firm called Industry and unveiled Thursday here for the Connected Conference, is unusual in another way, too. It’s not a product to be sold, but instead a project to help Industry figure out the future of design and manufacturing.

Figuring out that future is tough. In the old days, designers would come up with a product’s look on paper or clay, then hand it off to engineers who’d try to make it work in the real world. Nowadays, designers and engineers work simultaneously, scanning sketches, printing prototypes in plastic and iterating from one possibility to the next as fast as possible. And 3D printers, which fuse raw materials layer by layer into metal or plastic components, will open the door to new levels of customization.

The end result may not mean you can buy the Solid in a bike shop next year. But according to Industry co-founder Oved Valadez, it will completely transform the products you do buy.

“The future is about bringing ‘personal’ back to service,” Valadez said. Instead of buying something in size small, medium or large, you’ll buy it in “size me,” he said.

That approach will apply to footwear, bicycles, cars and more, he predicted. “You’ll scan yourself with your handheld [phone], and it’ll give you a recommendation about what is your perfect size.”

Valadez’s profession changed dramatically decades ago with the gradual spread of computer-aided design (CAD) and manufacturing (CAM), but the arrival of 3D printers means the technological transformation isn’t over. Another big shift is the spread of computing hardware and software beyond personal computers and smartphones and into cars, toys, thermostats, streetlights, traffic signals and myriad other devices – a trend broadly called the Internet of Things.

Competitive pressure

The computing industry’s appetite for competitive, fast-paced change also has helped bring the once-separate disciplines of design, engineering and manufacturing closer together, said Marc Chareyron, co-founder of French design firm Enero.

“If you have a designer who hands the work to an engineer who hands it to the software engineer, then the iterations are so long, it takes years to build something,” Chareyron said. That’ll doom a project: during that wait, products will be overtaken by competitors’ models or by new technology trends.

For Valadez and Industry, the Solid bike project was a way to bring new hardware, software, and collaborative approaches into the business. They’d photograph life-size sketches and import them into Autodesk‘s Fusion 360 and Alias software. They’d make old-style cardboard and use new-era 3D printers to create components for the bike. And when it was time for manufacturing, they combined 3D printing with traditional hand-finishing and hand-welding techniques drawing on the expertise of titanium bike frame maker Ti Cycles.

“It’s the new way. It’s more iterated and collaborative. It allows you to quickly bring form and function to the same level,” Valadez said. “Unlike 10 years ago, utility and beauty are now one.”

They built a bike with software, too. A smartphone app lets people select routes through a city that spotlights interesting attractions, shopping areas, restaurants. And inside the bike itself is an Arduino-based electronics board that handles the bike’s GPS position tracking and signals to the rider when it’s time to turn right or left by buzzing the appropriate handlebar grip.

Among Industry’s clients are Nike, Intel, Starbucks and InCase, a maker of bags and cases for carrying delicate electronic products.

3D printing still immature

3D printing is good for making prototypes, but the technology can’t handle everything yet when it comes to manufacturing, he said. There are size limits to fusing parts out of titanium powder, for example, and 3D-printed parts still require a lot of finishing.

But 3D printing opens up new options. For one thing, it permits much more complicated shapes that can do multiple jobs. Some of the Solid’s components have interior walls that both increase strength in high-stress areas and serve to route brake and gear-shifting cables internally for a sleek look, for example.

Building complex parts that serve dual or triple functions is important, especially in areas like the automotive industry where durability is important. A part that serves multiple jobs means designers can avoid bolting together components that over time can rattle loose and break.

For Industry, the 3D printing was a learning experience — for example in understanding how much the titanium needed to be finished with grinders and bead-blasting and how much that would change the dimensions of the product.

Despite the rough patches, though, Valadez is a convert. As with early technologies like molding and computer-controlled machine tools, 3D printing is maturing. “There are limitations,” Valadez said, “but it is the future.”

cnet.com

by | May 28, 20155:30 AM PDT

Eco-friendly bicycle

A Dutch Woodworker Has Created an Eco-Friendly Bicycle Created Entirely Out of Aluminium and Wood

http://3dprint.com/50131/bike-from-wood-and-3d-print/

timmer

Oh, the joys of cycling — and of collecting bikes. If you know a bicycle enthusiast (or are one), you are probably aware they rarely just have one, and if said person lives in a city they usually have several bikes meant for every cycling scenario imaginable piled up in their living room, kitchen, or bedroom for safekeeping. Moving them or paring down the collection is simply not a thought that has crossed their minds whatsoever as they might need a commuter, a mountain bike, a hybrid, or a more customized bike that’s lighter in weight for going greater distances.

If you live with someone who is encroaching on your space with bikes, the advent of 3D printing might be even greater cause for you to worry if they are handy and technically savvy. The bikes could begin multiplying, as they 3D print out parts in delight, with Amsterdam designer Paul Timmer as the perfect role model.

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Timmer has recently designed and built a bicycle completely out of wood and 3D printed aluminum parts. Timmer, obviously not just a woodworker and cyclist, but also a great artist, has constructed a streamlined design with the innovative technology of 3D printing and the superior quality of solid ash.

Featuring an extremely eco-friendly design — not to mention all recyclable — with the aluminum parts and solid ash wood, the bike weighs in at a mere 11 kilograms, which is equal to 24 lbs or so. This makes a normally constructed bike seem pretty clunky in contrast to Timmer’s sleek design, which is meant as an all-terrain means of transportation.

While not the only creatively constructed wooden bike on the market for sure, Timmer’s is the only one (that we know of so far) that employs 3D printed aluminum parts as a means of stability and added strength.

“The main advantage of the wooden frame is the exceptional comfort. All vibrations, due to bumps in the road, are instantly absorbed,” said Timmer. “Wood is the best construction material available. This bike can be as strong as a steel one, but it has to be designed better than a steel one.”

Why does someone stray off the beaten path so far with these types of materials for a bike? Timmer wanted a top-of-the-line ride and he just so happened not only to know how to build one but also how to create custom 3D designs for everything on the bike that wasn’t wood, and he had the resources to 3D print them.

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Using ‘forks’ to form a triangle from the handlebar area down to the mechanics of the 3D printed chain, which is made out of a clean belt drive, keeps the wood grain as pristine as possible, and increases durability. As Timmer states on his website, the bike “becomes strong enough by extraordinary attention to detail.”

With 3D design, Timmer was afforded the freedom to tweak and refine parts and 3D print them out as needed rather than having to order something or rely on someone else to make it. That’s the beauty of 3D design and 3D printing as we know it. And while this design is currently the only one of its kind, Timmer has plans to produce them for other biking — and 3D printing — enthusiasts soon.

Is this a bike that interests you for your cycling needs? How do you think the combination of wood and 3D printed aluminum parts can be more helpful? Tell us your thoughts in the 3D Printed Bicycle with Wood forum thread over at 3DPB.com.

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3DPRINT.COM
by  | MARCH 11, 2015