3D printed objects are typically made out of plastic. But as Robinson Foundry shows us, these computer-generated pieces can be used to produce detailed castings for more substantial materials. In this case, he output a 3D print of a menacing alien emperor and used it to create a ceramic mold for an awesome brass sculpture.
THE BEST 3d Printing
Most 3D prints we’ve seen are pretty small. But the guys at Argentina’s Trideo make the Big-T – a $40,000 industrial 3D printer that can crank out precise objects as large as 40″ x 40″ x 42.5″. Watch as it churns out a detailed model of a 39″ tall castle that tool almost 10 days to output. After that, watch it print a horse.
Ivan Miranda has built a few homebrew 3D printers, including three very big printers. His latest build – the Giant 3D Printer MkIV is his largest yet, with a 1000mm x 500mm (39.3″ x 19.7″) heated printing bed. Follow along with the build process, then watch it print a massive plastic wrench. You can buy the plans to build your own here.
With a price approaching some 3D printers, the 3Doodler Pro+ isn’t for everyone, but it does feature big upgrades including a powerful dual-drive system, precision temperature controls that enable more intricate and consistent drawings. It can print with ABS, PLA, FLEXY, wood, copper, bronze, and nylon filaments.
With the help of Pikus Concrete, Zack Nelson of JerryRigEverything managed to have a gigantic 3D-printed statue created in his own image. The 12-foot-tall concrete sculpture weighs in at 6,000 pounds, and Jerry had it dropped next to his buddy’s swimming pool as a prank. We’re sure it will soon get sliced open by What’s Inside.
Artist Rayclay used a combination of 3D modeling software, 3D printing, and hand-finishing to create miniature models of a freediver and a manta ray. He then precisely painted the pieces and submerged them in transparent resin to create the illusion they were swimming beneath the ocean’s surface.
Typical 3D printers build up objects one layer at a time. This new technology is capable of printing an entire, highly-detailed object at once. The one big caveat of EFPL and Readily3D’s volumetric printer is that it can only print really tiny objects. Since it can print in a sterile container, it could be used for biomedical applications.
Artist Hongtao Zhou uses 3D printing to produce these wildly innovative works of art. Each one offers up a tactile and dimensional sculpture of a city, sculpted from letters of varying heights, and forming words which describe the locale. Some of his works are even printed on a flexible background so they bend like paper.
One of the limitations of cheap desktop 3D printers is their small print bed size. But this nifty hack by Swaleh Owais incorporates a conveyor belt print surface that can eject parts and then move on to the next one without human intervention. By angling its print head, it can also print very long objects.
Maker James Bruton is a big fan of 3D printing. In this video, he uses his Lulzbot HS+1.2 heavy duty print head to output carbon fiber reinforced plastic filament to create a skateboard with a unique structure. He then takes it for a spin to see just how strong it is.
The University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center now has a 3D printer that can crank out objects up to 100 feet-long, 22 feet-wide, and 10 feet-high. In this brief time-lapse, watch 72 hours condensed down to 30 seconds as it outputs a 25 foot-long boat that weights 5,000 pounds. And yes, it floats.
Animator Raphael Vangelis pays tribute to all the lost time spent watching spinning circles, hourglasses, beachballs, and progress bars on our computer screens, by replicating the idea with stop-motion animation and 3D printing. The behind the scenes video equally enthralling.
Using a pair of clear plastic domes as a canvas and a 3D printing pen, artist 3D Sanago created a wireframe model of our planet, then proceeded to conjure up some plastic gears and attach the whole thing to a motorized base. The result is a neat see-through, spinning globe.
Every time we’ve picked up one of those 3D printing pens, we’ve ended up with a glob of hot mess. But 3D Sanago has proven time and again that you can really make some incredible art with the things. His latest creation? An intricate model of a bicycle with working pedals and wheels that spin. Turn captions on.
Hermit crabs wander the beach looking for abandoned shells to call home. But artist Aki Inomata creates custom shells based on buildings and other forms using CAT scans of shells, 3D modeling, and 3D printing. And if this seems wacky, check out Inomata’s other project.
Researchers at UC Berkeley have developed a 3D printing method called Computed Axial Lithography. It projects 2D slices of a 3D model into a cylinder of resin, creating an object in one go. It’s much faster than other 3D printing methods, which deposit material layer by layer.
Using a professional full-color 3D printer and taking advantage of the stairstepped surfaces of voxels, Make Anything was able to create a sweet model of a human skull that appears to change colors when viewed from different angles. Download the model here.
The Mag iCreatum is an extremely affordable and durable modular 3D printer. The delta-style printer features a 270mm x 300mm build area and automatic calibration. With the equally affordable optional modules, you can turn it into a laser engraver or a CNC carver and plotter.
A satisfying time-lapse of a 3D printer churning out a giant model of Han and Chewie’s ship. Stonefx83 custom built his own large-format printer, which cranked through the 27.6″ long, 6.6 pound model in just under 10 days. Read more about the project on Thingiverse.