3D printed stormtrooper suit

http://3dprint.com/92613/3d-printed-stormtrooper-suit/

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Entire 3D Printed Star Wars Episode VII Stormtrooper Suit Shown off at PAX Prime By Barnacules

What’s the most highly anticipated movie the year? Of course it’s Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, the first movie in the series after Disney’s purchase of the rights to Star Wars from George Lucas in 2012. While Star Wars fans are certainly excited for the next episode, many are wondering just how well director J.J. Abrams will fare in his Star Wars debut on December 18th.

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Whether you are a Star Wars fan or not, since you’re at this site you likely are a fan of 3D printing, and what better way to enhance the excitement surrounding this upcoming film than with one of the more elaborate 3D printing projects we have seen in a while?

You may remember Jerry Berg, aka Barnacules, who is a bit of a YouTube sensation himself. Back at the end of last year, we partnered with Barnacules on a video in which he polished a handful of 3D printed bronzeFill ‘Bitcoins’ using various methods. Barnacules is now back to his old 3D printing habits, this time working with MyMiniFactory on a project which can only be described as awesome! Over the last several months, an entire Star Wars Episode VII Stormtrooper suit has been fabricated, which he has been chronicling on his YouTube channel over the last few months. After lots of printing, and some incredible design work on the part of MyMiniFactory, we are told that this suit is finally complete and will be officially unveiled at PAX Prime in Seattle this weekend by Barnacules himself.

The suit–which is the work of Lloyd Roberts, the lead designer on the project, who also happens to be one of MyMiniFactory’s most popular 3D designers–was created in pieces to specifically fit the build of Barnacules. Roberts was certainly not the only one who helped out on this mindblowingly awesome project. Another MyMiniFactory character artist named Francesco Orrù put his talents to use on the project as well, using Zbrush.

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While all the components making up the Stormtrooper suit have not been publicly released and have remained under wraps, MyMiniFactory has made two key parts of the costume available on their website for free download. The Stormtrooper helmet, designed by Roberts, with some special help from his friend Ricardo Salomao, is quite impressive and will certainly get all you Star Wars fans out there a bit more excited for the film’s December release. Additionally MyMiniFactory has made the Stormtrooper TFA blaster also available for download on their site. The weapon, which was designed by another very popular MyMiniFactory user, Kirby Downey, looks pretty spectacular if you ask me.

While we are sure that there will be plenty of quality images of the 3D printed suit over the next couple of days coming from PAX, we were able to obtain a handful of pictures so far, which you can see above as well as in the gallery below. Also we highly recommend following Barnacules’ YouTube channel where he is sure to show off the suit in its entirety very soon.

Let us know if you happened to attend PAX and bump into this Barnacules wearing this incredible piece of work. What did you think? Discuss in the 3D Printed Stormtrooper Suit forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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3dprint.com

by  | AUGUST 31, 2015

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Disney develops 3D printed 2-legged robot!

http://www.3ders.org/articles/20150527-disney-develops-2-legged-3d-printed-robot-that-walks-like-an-animated-character.html

Disney develops 3D printed 2-legged robot that walks like an animated character

There are just a few companies in the world that need no introduction, and Disney is one of them. After all, who didn’t grow up watching Disney classics? But did you know that Disney does more than shoot box office hits, record terrible catchy songs and avoid theme park-related lawsuits? They also have an active Research Department charged with creating actual, rather than digital, creations which can be used for throughout the Disney imperium. And the department’s latest achievement is impressive: recreating the walking movements of animated characters in bi-pedal robots, which they have done using 3D printing technology.

As three scientists attached to the department in Pittsburgh – Seungmoon Song, Joohyung Kim and Katsu Yamane – explain, they set out to develop robotics that can be used to make Disney’s theme parks and toys more realistic and magical. After all, fit young heros from Disney’s movies and TV shows don’t exactly perform well when moving as stiffly as paraplegic grandmothers. ‘Creating robots that embody animation characters in the real world is highly demanded in the entertainment industry because such robots would allow people to physically interact with characters that they have only seen in films or TV. To give a feeling of life to those robots, it is important to mimic not only the appearance but also the motion styles of the characters,’ they write.

But this isn’t easy. As they write in an article entitled ‘Development of a Bipedal Robot that Walks Like an Animation Character’, the field of robotics struggles to capture life-like movement. ‘The main challenge of this project comes from the fact that the original animation character and its motions are not designed considering physical constraints,’ they write. And of course trying to tackle quirky and fast animated characters is even more difficult, as they movements are not typically designed to be physical correct. ‘[But in recent years] animation characters have evolved to be more realistic. Using computer graphic techniques, we can design 3D characters, and generate more natural and physically plausible motions with them.’

And you might be surprised to learn that their solution is somewhat similar to what you and I would do for a project: just 3D print it and add some servo motors. Of course it isn’t quite so simple, but to capture the exaggerated gait and movement of animated characters they first 3D printed leg components to match the structure of their potato-like character, which you can see in the clip below. ‘We start from animation data of a character walking. We develop a bipedal robot which corresponds to lower part of the character following its kinematic structure. The links are 3D printed and the joints are actuated by servo motors,’ they explain. All these parts were 3D printed using Stratasys’ Object 260 Connect 3D printer in RGD525 material.

Of course these need to be very specifically angled and positioned to ensure that 3D movement can be recreated. And Trajectory optimization software does most of the rest. ‘Using trajectory optimization, we generate an open-loop walking trajectory that mimics the character’s walking motion by modifying the motion such that the Zero Moment Point stays in the contact convex hull,’ they write. Now this process is more difficult than it sounds, but for a full description of data extraction and installing the mechanics you’ll have to dive into the full scientific article here.

But the results are obvious, though not perfect. The robot can definitely walk well, but doesn’t reproduce the digital models perfectly and has a tendency to wobble. ‘When we play back the optimized trajectory, the robot wobbles forward. It is because the robot does not produce the motion perfectly. For example, the stance leg flexes more and scuffs the swing foot at the beginning and end of the swing phase. This causes the swing foot to push against the ground and the stance foot to slip, which results in unstable walking,’ the scientists write.

One solution for this is slowing down the process. ‘We observed that the robot slips less as we play back the optimized motion slower, and the resulting walking looks closer to the optimized walking,’ they write, but conclude that the system just isn’t working optimal for now. While there are few options for more progress – including investigating structural materials and replacing 3D printed parts – it looks like we’ll have to wait a few years before running into mechanically-sound walking Disney characters at Disney world.

3ders.org

by Alec | May 27, 2015

http://www.3ders.org/articles/20150527-disney-develops-2-legged-3d-printed-robot-that-walks-like-an-animated-character.html

Control a smartphone with sound waves

http://3dprint.com/65250/3d-print-control-smartphone/

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3D Printing Allows Researchers to Control a Smartphone with Sound Waves

It’s no secret that Disney Research is incredibly interested in all aspects of 3D printing. We’ve seen what seems like a laundry list of innovative applications for the technology, coming from the talent at Disney.

This week a research paper surfaced, authored by Gierad Laput, Scott E Hudson and Chris Harrison of both Disney Research and Carnegie Mellon University’s HCI Institute, and Eric Brokmeyer of only Disney Research. In the report, titled ‘Acoustruments: Passive, Acoustically-Driven, Interactive Controls for Handheld Devices,’ researchers detail a method in which they are able to make tactile controls that can direct a smartphone’s actions via sound, without the need for any form of additional electronic devices. And best of all, a large portion of these devices are able to be 3D printed as prototypes.

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When I was a child, my grandfather gave me his old TV. Although the picture wasn’t all that clear, as it dated back to 1976, I had a television set unlike anyone else I knew. It had a remote control that required no batteries. It was a passive remote which gave off a sound that the TV was able to recognized as one of five directions; volume up, volume down, channel up, channel down, and finally if you clicked the volume button three times the TV would shut off. The research presented in this recent paper brought back memories of both my grandfather and that TV.

Like with my old TV, researchers were able to utilize ultrasonic waves to control a device., only this time the sounds were coming from the speaker of a smartphone and were diverted through a series of tiny 3D printed pipes no larger then a centimeter in any direction. The pipes were designed in Rhino, and its Grasshopper visual language, and fabricated using a Stratasys Objet260 Connex 3D Printer. They were all printed out of a material known as VeroClear-RGD810 UV-cured photopolymer. Dependent on the size, shape, and bends within each pipe, the output from the smartphone speaker would transform as it shoots through various pipe types. At the other end of these pipes is the smartphone’s microphone. Researchers were able to program the phone, allowing it to recognize various sounds as commands for a specific function. All these pipes were intricately placed within different devices based on whatever passive tool the researchers were creating.  They called these devices Acoustruments, ‘Low-cost, passive, and powerless mechanisms, made from plastic, that can bring rich, tangible functionality to handheld devices.’

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The researchers presented several applicable examples of what these passive systems could be used for, including an alarm clock, smartcase, interactive doll and an interactive toy car.

“Our experiments show that Acoustruments can achieve 99% accuracy with minimal training, is robust to noise, and can be rapidly prototyped,” wrote the researchers.

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The most impressive aspects of these methods is the fact that no battery power, no wired connections or other complicated setups are required. The plastic 3D printed pieces are able to control a smartphone, using only sounds. What this does is exploit the phone’s powerful internal computer and integrate it with these external devices.

Disney Research has noted that most of the tubing could in fact be manufactured on a mass scale using traditional techniques such as injection molding, but the 3D printed parts they prototyped seem to work just as well.

It will be interesting to see where this research leads us, and if we may begin seeing games, tools and other applications which passively utilize our smartphone’s computational capacity in a whole new way. Let us know your thoughts on this research in the 3D Printed Passive Smartphone Control forum thread on 3DPB.com.

3dprint.com

by  | MAY 14, 2015

3D printing of hair on figurines

Disney develop a method of scanning hair in extreme detail, the result of which can be 3D printed in amazing detail!

http://3dprint.com/11433/3d-print-hair-figurines/

One women, two defining hair styles. (Left to right) Photo, 3D model, 3D Print

There seems to be a growing trend fueled by several companies, a trend in which I have yet to take part in, but certainly look forward to doing so sometime in the future. That trend is the 3D printing of ‘mini-me’s’. Several companies are scanning individuals, and then printing out miniature versions of them (in rare cases full size versions) usually from a sandstone material. Recently, Amazon even got in on a version of this service, by teaming with Mixee Labs to allow their customers to personalize bobblehead dolls to their likeness. Although in Amazon’s case, scanning wasn’t involved, this has brought the technology further into the mainstream.

Many of these printed ‘mini-me’s’ are fairly accurate, to an extent. The one aspect of these prints, which the printers and scanners typically have a hard time capturing, is that of a person’s hair. Not only the individual hairs which may be sticking up in varying directions, but the actual patterns of the hair on a person’s head.

With this said, it appears as if Disney Researchers, including Derek Bradley, associate research scientist at Disney Research Zurich, Dr. Thabo Beeler of Disney Research Zurich and Jose I. Echevarria, a Ph.D. student who interned at the Disney lab, and Dr. Diego Gutierrez, both of the University of Zaragoza, Spain have developed a method to deal with this common issue, enabling them to capture stylized hair within a 3D scan, and represent that style via a printed figurine. The main key in how they approached this problem is “a novel multi-view stylization algorithm, which ex-tends feature-preserving color filtering from 2D images to irregular manifolds in 3D, and introduces abstract geometric details that are coherent with the color stylization,” states the research paper.

Smoothing out of the hair surface, while keeping the same basic flow and color

The researchers argue that a person’s hairstyle is a defining characteristic, one which is almost as important as a person’s face. With that said, no other means of scanning has been able to capture the flow, colors and patterns within complicated hairstyles, usually leaving the printed figurines missing these defining characteristics.

Inspired by artistic sculptures of hair in the real world and within CG models, what their method does is take a vastly complicated feature of a person, their hair style, and simplify it, while still being able to capture the main defining features. The process starts with the data collection, via multiple images taken by SLR cameras of a person’s head. The multi-view stereo reconstruction algorithm within the software then creates a course proxy surface of the person’s hair from these images. The proxy surface is then used to generate key details about the color and shape of the person’s hair. It doesn’t capture characteristics fiber-by-fiber, but instead captures the general color and a simplified version of the texture and flow, which is easily printable.

As you can see from the images within this article, the researchers have very successfully mimicked the various hairstyles of individuals, as well as their facial hair and the fur on animals or clothing. They have also scanned and printed two individuals with four different hairstyles each, showing that the hairstyles are the defining features of each individual, in the photos, as well as in the printed figurines.

The researchers have concluded that their “method generates hair as a closed-manifold surface, yet contains the structural and color elements stylized in a way that captures the defining characteristics of the hair-style”.

Certainly this research could go a long way in the commercialization of 3D printing, as well as for other applications. Let’s hear your thoughts on these new methods in the 3D printed hair texture forum thread on 3DPB.com.

3DPRINT.COM
by  | AUGUST 8, 2014