3Dvarius debuts – check it!


French violinist Laurent Bernadac spent years designing 3Dvarius, billed as the first playable, 3D-printed violin. Its streamlined design was inspired by the classical world's much-coveted Stradivarius violins.

3Dvarius debuts as first fully playable 3D-printed violin

French violinist spent years designing futuristic, minimalist instrument.

A Stradivarius violin is considered one of the world’s most coveted classical instruments, but amateur musicians could soon be jamming on homemade Strads.

French violinist Laurent Bernadac has unveiled 3Dvarius, billed as the first fully playable 3D-printed violin.

The translucent creation is inspired by the much-coveted instruments created by Italian master Antonio Stradivari in his legendary Cremona shop in the 17th century.

However, the design was then stripped down to be as lightweight as possible and allow for extreme freedom of movement for contemporary musicians.

The 3Dvarius is essentially an electric violin and uses a magnetic pickup to detect the vibrations made by the strings and must be plugged into an amplifier.

Produced as a single piece using stereolithography – a 3D technology that prints models one layer at a time by rapidly curing a liquid polymer using UV lasers – the model had to be strong enough to withstand the tension and pressure of violin strings, which also have to be tuneable.

Bernadac revealed one of the first successful prototypes, nicknamed Pauline, in videos released this month.

The musician, whose high-energy performances blend the traditionally classical instrument with guitar, the cajon percussion box and other sounds, has spent the past few years designing the futuristic-looking 3Dvarius.




Eco-friendly 3D printed supercar!


Eco-friendly 3D printed supercar

A California automotive start-up is hoping their prototype supercar will redefine car manufacturing. The sleek race car dubbed ‘Blade’ didn’t come off an assembly line – but out of a 3D printer.

Kevin Czinger of Divergent Microfactories has spent most of his career in the automotive industry. One day he realized that no matter how fuel-efficient or how few tailpipe emissions the modern car has, the business of car manufacturing is destroying the environment.

“3D printing of metal radically changes that. By looking at 3D printing not for that overall structure but to create individual modular structures that can be combined, that 3D printing transforms everything,” said Czinger during an interview with Reuters in Silicon Valley.

According to Czinger, 3D printing transforms everything by changing the way the structural components of cars are fabricated. Currently cars are pieced together on long assembly lines inside large factories that use massive amounts of energy. Even the most fuel-efficient car has a large carbon footprint before ever leaving the plant.

Czinger and his team’s approach was to take the large plant out of the equation. To accomplish this they printed the modular pieces that are used to connect carbon rods that make up the Blade’s chassis.

“The 3D printed chassis is only 102 pounds and has the same strength and safety protection as a frame made out of steel,” said Brad Balzer, the lead designer on the project.

By using carbon fiber instead of steel or aluminum for the body, the entire vehicle only weighs 1400 pounds (635kg), giving it twice the weight to horsepower ratio of a Bugatti Veyron.

The Blade is fitted with a 700 horse power engine that runs on natural gas, reducing its carbon footprint even further.

Balzer says designing an eco-friendly speed demon supercar as their first prototype was intentional.

“We focused a lot on the aesthetics of this car because it is very important to capture the people’s imaginations, especially when we are talking about the core enabling technologies,” he said.

The core enabling technology, the ability to print out car components that can be easily assembled, is what Kevin Czinger hopes will revolutionize car manufacturing. He says electric cars are a step in the right direction, but alone they won’t be enough to curb greenhouse emissions given the projected rise in demand for cars globally unless the way they are manufactured changes.

“By constructing a car this way it has less than one third of the environmental and health impact than the 85 hours all electric car for example has,” he added.

Czinger and Balzer are starting small but they believe their new 3D printing method for car manufacturing will have a huge impact on how the cars of the future are built.


by BEN GRUBER | Wed Aug 12, 2015 3:14pm EDT

3D printed model car shop



Ford Launches Online 3D Printed Model Car Shop – Print Your Favorite Ford Car or Truck Today

The automobile industry has long been known to be one of the most aggressive when it comes to using 3D printing technology. In fact, car manufacturers were some of the very first businesses to utilize 3D printing in order to rapidly prototype various automobile parts and designs. This has been going on literally for decades, but in recent times, we have begun to see car manufacturers take the idea of 3D printing a few step further. There have been car parts which have been completely 3D printed, entire cars — in the case of Local Motors — that have been printed in plastic, and various other innovations going on within the automobile industry. 3D printing certainly has its place not only in current car manufacturing but in the future as well.


Today, Ford Motor Company has informed 3DPrint.com that they are taking things to a whole new level when it comes to 3D printing. No, they aren’t 3D printing an entire car, nor are they allowing people to 3D print replacement parts, but what they are doing will certainly appeal to both fans of the company as well as car enthusiasts and collectors in general.

“Just in time for Father’s Day! Today Ford announced that it is the first automaker to open a one-stop 3D digital shop – the Ford 3D Store,” Ford Motor Company tells 3DPrint.com. “Now, with the help of Turbosquid, Ford fans can use advanced technology to make their own models of Ford vehicles or opt to purchase a 3D digital file from a growing library of more than 1,000 Ford vehicle images.”

Available to order models include the new Ford GT, F-150 Raptor, Shelby GT350R, Focus ST, and Fiesta ST with plenty more models coming in the very near future. These models are printed at 1:32 scale in plastic and are priced at $39.00. However, if you own a 3D printer yourself, or have access to one, you can purchase the 3D design files for a measly $4.99. This allows you to scale the car to whatever size you wish and print it out yourself.


“3D printing at home is a growing trend, and it makes sense for us to offer our customers a chance to make their own 3D Ford models,” explained Mark Bentley, licensing manager of Ford Global Brand Licensing. “At Ford, we’re using 3D printing every day to rapidly prototype parts, and now we want to share that fun with our fans.”

So what exactly spurred Ford into making these incredibly detailed and accurate replicas available to 3D print? Seemingly it is the fact that researchers are predicting that sales of desktop 3D printers will exceed 1 million units within the next 3 years, over twenty times the number sold last year.


The Ford 3D Store website has been built by Turbosquid, a company that specializes in selling 3D models and stock images. They have extensive experience when it comes to selling similar models which are capable of being 3D printed, so they have a clear understanding of IP laws and various methods of securing files. When users purchase a 3D model, they must agree not to distribute it elsewhere.  This has the potential of bringing up an issue which certainly has been looming for the 3D printing space for the past few years. It should be interesting to see how companies like Ford and Turbosquid ultimately deal with such IP conflicts that may arise if people begin to freely share these files, without providing Ford with any royalties.

“TurboSquid already allows customers to purchase more than 1,000 unique, licensed digital images of Ford products ranging from the Model T to the all-new Ford GT,” said Bentley. “We’re at the forefront of licensing 3D automotive images, and it made sense that TurboSquid help us complete that connection to the consumer.”

Without a doubt, this is huge news for the 3D printing space. The idea that individuals can now purchase 3D printed models of licensed replicas, or the design files for these vehicles and then print them out themselves, is something that no other car manufacturer has yet to do. It should be interesting to see how well this business model works, and we will certainly be keeping an eye out for future models which are released to the Ford 3D Store.


What do you think about this announcement? Will you be downloading and printing your own Ford vehicles anytime soon? Should other car manufacturers contemplate doing the same thing as Ford has? Discuss in the Ford 3D Store forum thread on 3DPB.com.


by  | JUNE 11, 2015

New life for tortoise


GOLDEN, CO - MARCH 25: Cleopatra, a leopard tortoise, whose shell is deformed because of malnutrition, wears a prototype 3-D printed prosthetic shell, March 25, 2015. Cleopatra, who now lives at Canyon Critters Reptile Rescue in Golden, Colo., got the prosthetic shell after a student from Colorado Technical University worked to design it for her. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post)

3D printing tech gives tortoise new life, is shaping manufacturing

Cleopatra doesn’t seem impressed with her new coat. But the red plastic shell probably will save the teenage leopard tortoise’s life.

“This is a very good feeling,” said Colorado Technical University design student Roger Henry, who spent 600 hours tweaking software and assembling prototypes of the custom 3-D-printed shell for the malnourished Cleopatra.

Made with a plastic derived from corn, Cleopatra’s new shell will protect her from other tortoises and allow her to right herself if she flips. After years of a protein-heavy diet, the herbivore’s shell had weakened with deep valleys and pyramid-type peaks. Holes had formed that threatened the shell’s ability to protect her from infection.

Rescued by Nico Novelli and his Golden-based Canyon Critters team, student designers at CTU in Colorado Springs working with the 3D Printing Store painstakingly created a solution that could extend Cleopatra’s lettuce-chomping life into her 80s.

The challenge was cajoling the design software — adjusting the influence of gravity in code — to make the plastic “drape like a piece of cloth” over Cleopatra’s ridged shell, Henry said.

“It’s fantastic to know this tortoise is going to be able to recover from its malnutrition,” Henry said.

The promise of 3-D printing goes well beyond rescuing tortoises.

Three-dimensional printers are using the same biodegradable corn-based plastic in Cleopatra’s new shell — a resin known as polylactic acid — to help people.

Doctors have printed a windpipe to help an infant breathe. They are implanting in people tiny beads that dispense antibiotics or cancer-fighting chemicals before dissolving. Designers are crafting custom prosthetics. Dentists are scanning and printing teeth. A 3-D-printed helmet wired to the brain of a paraplegic wearing a robotic exoskeleton enabled the man to kick a soccer ball to open the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, marking a scientific milestone.

GOLDEN, CO - MARCH 25: All attention is on Cleopatra, a leopard tortoise, whose shell is deformed because of malnutrition, as she wears a new prototype 3-D printed prosthetic shell, March 25, 2015. Cleopatra, who now lives at Canyon Critters Reptile Rescue in Golden, Colo., got the prosthetic shell after a student from Colorado Technical University worked to design it for her. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post)

“Yes, we can change the world,” said Debra Wilcox, whose four-store 3D Printing Store is bringing 3-D printing to the masses. Her design team scanned Cleopatra, which enabled Henry to engineer the tortoise’s protective shell.

The 3D Printing Store works on just about everything, from tortoise shells and pet lizard legs to secret, intellectually protected products for individuals and large corporations, to random doodads that can’t be found on a store shelf.

“In a single day, I can make something that has never been made before or something that hasn’t been made in 50 years,” Wilcox said.

In two years, the 3-D-printing industry has surged. Wilcox expects even more rapid growth, especially as printers work with materials such as carbon fiber and Kevlar.

“Any estimates you’ve heard about the future for this industry, they are probably low,” she said. “A lot of industries are using a manufacturing process that is 50 years old, that can and will be both cost-effectively and time-effectively replaced by 3-D printing.”

Colorado is at the forefront of the revolution, Wilcox said.

“Colorado is at the precipice of being the premier location for additive manufacturing,” she said, relishing Cleopatra’s new outerwear before heading to the National Renewable Energy Lab to show off lightweight, carbon-fiber equipment she prints in her shop.

The technology behind 3-D printing and its industrial counterpart, additive manufacturing, is riding the coattails of Colorado’s thriving aerospace industry, which has found new efficiencies in 3-D printing. But it’s not just industry that is uncovering new work for 3-D printers. Sales of home desktop 3-D printers are booming, too.

Jeff Moe’s Aleph Objects lab in Loveland has 135 3-D printers working around the clock five days a week, making printers and parts.

He sold $80,000 of parts in 2011, his first year. This year, he says he’s pacing toward $10 million in sales. Aleph is one of the busiest clusters of 3-D printing in the world, Moe said.

And in a rare twist for an in-demand, blossoming business, everyone has access to Aleph’s designs and strategies.

As soon as one of Moe’s engineers discovers something new, it’s on the Web, open for anyone to peruse and use. Every printer part that Aleph sells comes with a list of all the materials, the programming code and the precise drawings required to make the part on a 3-D printer. The company’s trove of data is updated with the latest additions every 30 minutes.

“This has led to a very rapid development of our printers,” said Moe, who offers three lines of printers that have evolved through as many as five versions in the past four years.

When his team struggled to find that perfect material for the very first layer of a 3-D printing, the community of Aleph users sprang to action and quickly determined that a rigid, insulating plastic called PEI worked best. Now, PEI is an essential first element of Aleph’s printing process.

“There is a great relationship between users and the companies when they all have the same amount of information. We are not holding anything back from our users,” Moe said. “Oftentimes, the first time I see some new development here, it’s already been made public.”

With printer sales doubling to tripling every year, Moe sees 3-D printing changing manufacturing, revolutionizing the prosthetic industry, delivering NASA-type technology to homes and, ultimately, changing lives.

He points to videos of an amputee fitted with a 3-D printed prosthetic hand controlled by subtle shoulder movements. Moe said 3-D printers are creating communications technology for hobbyists, allowing them to control antennas connected to satellites.

“It’s hard to keep up with all the amazing things that people are doing,” Moe said. “Three-D printing is really a great enabler. I hope it’s as great an enabler as the Internet has been.”

GOLDEN, CO - MARCH 25: Cleopatra, a leopard tortoise, whose shell is deformed because of malnutrition, wears a new prototype 3-D printed prosthetic shell, March 25, 2015. Nico Novelli, left, owner of Canyon Critters Reptile Rescue where Cleopatra now lives and Roger Henry a student at Colorado Technical University worked to design the prosthetic shell put the prosthetic shell on the tortoise. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post)


by Jason Blevins, The Denver Post | 03/25/2015 05:04:00 PM MDT


Recovery bone by 3D printing

The next step in bone recovery is, of course, 3D printed! 🙂


A new prototype brings together 3D printing, room to breathe and ultrasound pulses to create a cast that is not only comfortable and stylish to wear but is expected to speed healing relative to existing options.
Designer Deniz Karasahin has adopted the idea of using Low-Intensity Pulsed Ultrasound, (LIPUS) to speed bone regrowth. Pulses of sound waves too high frequency to hear have been shown to increase the incorporation of calcium ions in cultures of cartilage and bone cells, as well as increasing the expression of genes known to assist in healing.
However, despite success in vitro and promising results from clinical studies LIPUS has not been widely adopted, partly because the measured benefit has varied across trials, in some cases appearing too small to justify the effort.
LIPUS currently involves a daily session at a medical clinic,but Deniz Karasahin added a portable ultrasound generator to this cast. “For single 20 minute daily sessions this system promises to reduce the healing process up to 38% and increase the heal rate up to 80% in non-union fractures,” he has claimed, using figures from the top of the ranges produced in trials of LIPUS without changing cast technology.
Operating LIPUS with conventional plaster or fiberglass casts is tricky however, since probes need to be attached directly to the skin, requiring a break in the cast. The Cortex exoskeletal cast offers a way to eliminate that problem. The brain child of New Zealand designer Jake Evill, the 3D printed cast has several benefits. Besides being lightweight it would allow air to ventilate, the owner to scratch an itch on the affected limb and avoid the common smelliness of casts. Karasahin realized it provides plenty of opportunity for LIPUS probes to access the skin, and took it to the next level.
In both Evill’s original and the Karasahin extension, dubbed the Osteoid Cast, an X-Ray and 3D scanner map the area that needs to be supported and a cast is designed and printed. The lattice is made in two halves and snapped together. The holes are made smaller around the injury site to increase support, but are still large enough to allow probe to be threaded through.
Costs are still unknown, but likely to fall as 3D printing becomes more widespread.