A group of Harvard scientists have built a 3D printer!

http://qz.com/462322/a-group-of-harvard-scientists-have-built-a-3d-printer-thats-actually-useful/

A group of Harvard scientists have built a 3D printer that’s actually useful

Despite all the fanfare, 3D printing has yet to hit its stride. Up until now, its best uses have been in designing, prototyping, and making creepy copies of yourself. This tends to stem from the fact that you can generally only print with one material at a time, and in most cases, it’s faster to use traditional manufacturing methods than 3D printing. But Voxel8 wants to change that: Its printer can print circuits right into other objects.

“3D printing fails when it’s asked to do the same thing that a traditional manufacturing process already does,” co-founder Dan Oliver told Quartz. He said the company was born out of Harvard’s material science lab and the research of Professor Jennifer Lewis. Oliver said the name Voxel8 is a combination of “voxel”—which is a pixel with volume—and a play on the word “pixelate,” meaning to digitize an image. And that’s basically what its printer will let you do: make physical objects with digital elements.

Voxel8’s first printer comes with two printing heads—one prints standard 3D printer plastic, and the other spits out its proprietary material that’s electrically conductive. Oliver said it has the consistency of peanut butter and allows you to print circuits right into an object. The company used its printer to build a working quadcopter drone in one sitting. Oliver said that it’s possible to print a computer’s motherboard with the Voxel8: “We’re there, we can do that.”

Oliver said the company is already working on ways to incorporate other materials—like epoxies, silicone, and ceramics—into its 3D printer. The printing heads on its first printer are interchangeable, so in the near future, you’ll be able to print yourself some batteries, a web-connected cereal bowl, or even a pair of shoes loaded with sensors, if you felt so inclined.

“People will use this to make things we haven’t even thought of,” Oliver said. But Voxel8’s process is still quite slow: It took an hour and a half for the company to print its drone, so it’s not going to replace traditional manufacturing processes any time soon. However, Oliver envisions useful applications in the short term in medical and wearable technology, where more custom-fit, ergonomic devices would be more useful than one-size-fits all devices on the market.

On July 24, Voxel8 announced it had secured $12 million in funding to help bring its printer to market and develop its technology. The company showed off its printer at this year’s CES show, and it’s available now for pre-order for $9,000. Oliver said it will ship before the end of the year, and the funding will help guarantee that. Oliver views the company’s first printer as a developer’s model—similar to Facebook’s Oculus Rift shipping a version of its VR headset for researchers before fine-tuning its first consumer model. The company plans to use part of the funding to develop a higher performance version for a wider audience.

qz.com

by Mike Murphy | July 24, 2015

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NEODiVR Environment-sensing VR System

http://3dprint.com/72131/awe-2015-occipital-neodivr-vr-headset-3d-printing-iphone-sensor/

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NEODiVR Environment-sensing VR System – 3D Printing, iPhone 6 & Structure Sensor Come Together

As the world of 3D printing evolves and revolves, it has developed kinships with other technologies that seem to function as symbiotic cousins. Both virtual and augmented reality fit right into that category, and not only are they parallel similar technologies, but they often employ 3D printing due to the affordability and flexibility involved in prototyping. With many iterations usually being required, for AR and VR, it’s usually very helpful to be able to create a new prototype on whim or at the last minute.

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And now, factoring 3D printing right into the final product, along with the iPhone 6,Occipital has announced today at the Augmented World Expo in Santa Clara (AWE 2015) that users can now create their own AR experience through the NEODiVR system with just four things:

  • Structure Sensor
  • 3D printed NEODiMOUNT case and matching NEODiVR conversion plate
  • HOMiDO VR headset
  • iPhone 6

While you can try this out if you are on hand today at the Expo, it’s easy to put together if you own the iPhone and a Structure Sensor. If so, all you will need extraneously is the HOMiDO VR headset and the ability to 3D print a custom attachment piece to create the system.

This is a spectacular AR gizmo that allows you to enter another world right from your living room or yard. Previously this technology was connected only to the iPad; with the inception of the iPhone 6, however, the entire setup is able to be transferred to the smartphone.

“You may remember that I’ve covered the previous version at CES of this device when we had it hooked up to a tablet,” says Michael Balzer of All Things 3D. “At that time I thought what a great idea if we could apply this to a headset, so I spent the last six months creating what I call NEODiVR.”

device

In the video you will find below, he shows off the 3D printed iPhone case that he designed, which is attached to the Structure Sensor, as he dons the headset, allowing him to experience VR and AR with six degrees of motion.

One puts on the headset and connects the Structure Sensor, which quite simply adds a depth sensor allowing every step you take in your living room to be recreated in the virtual world, whether you are crouching like a ninja or high-stepping it in pure unabashed fun.

“What they have done by attaching the sensor to the actual screen means they now are able to project the prime sensor feel or pattern and pick up the mesh information in real time of the objects around them,” says Balzer.”

This means you aren’t just going into the technology blindly either as physical objects are introduced into the VR world, eliminating the risk of tripping, embarrassment, and bodily injury.

view

It is a compact mobile device requiring no power source, and allows you to use 3D printing brackets to attach it to the iPhone or to an iPad with a Lightning connector. It allows your smartphone to understand the world in 3D.

The sensor is a hardware platform that works quite well on an iOS device, allowing you to:

  • Perform 3D mapping of indoor spaces, with measurements and ‘virtual redecoration’
  • Integrate AR games where virtual is completely connected to the physical world
  • Use body scanning during fitness tracking, as well as virtual clothes fitting
  • Play virtual reality games using 3D environments imported from the real world
  • Perform 3D object scanning just using the app, without hardware

Does this look like a VR/AR device you’d like to put together yourself and try out? Will you or were you on hand at AWE 2015 to check this out? Tell us about it in the Occipital’s NEODiVR AR/VR System forum over at 3DPB.com.

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3dprint.com

by  | JUNE 9, 2015