Design blog Engineer Vs. Designer challenged the 3D printing community to create "the most absurd 3D-printable iPhone accessory" one can imagine (and, in turn, have a chance to win a MakerBot Replicator). The result? A whole basket-load of crazy. We're talking crazy like cases that turn your iPhone into a pair of brass knuckles or a medieval weapon. Crazy cases that say yes, the iPhone really can be used for anything, but you'd have to be a nut to use it for this. Crazy cases that uses your iPhone for unspeakable things. 180 designs were submitted. The contest ended yesterday. For the brave, here are 21 iPhone cases that are thoroughly bananas. The craziest part? There's really no reason why you couldn't print these out and use them for real. Well, except for the last one, maybe.
The Free Universal Construction Kit (which we are taking great pains not to abbreviate anywhere in this article and will henceforth refer to it as "the Kit"), is a set of about 80 adapter blocks that can be used to connect all of those childhood construction sets you used to play with (Legos, Tinkertoys, etc.) to one another. And it's about freakin' time, too.
For less than an iPad 2, you could buy a 3D printer. That's what Jon Buford is telling the world with his MakiBox A6, "the first 3D printer designed from the ground up to be simple, completely self-contained, reliable and most important of all, affordable!"
In a move that already has me checking the prices on 3D printers, CNET's Daniel Terdiman is reporting that the Smithsonian will be making swathes of its collection available online as 3D printable objects. Admittedly, I may just be a tad too excited — here's what's going on.
We've already told you why you need a 3D printer. Still not sold 3D printing is the future? Researchers at Drexel University plan to print robotic dinosaurs cast from real fossils to aid them in their studies.
When an 83 year-old Belgian woman had a seriously infected jaw, a 3D printer came to the rescue. When aren't 3D printers coming to the rescue these days?
With a 3D printer, you can create anything you want by adding multiple layers of material one on top of another. With a 3D mill, you can create anything you want by removing multiple layers of material, one after another. It's the other half of your desktop DIY kit, and it's now affordable, more or less.
As technology evolves, so do our households. We now have all kinds of standard tools to make our lives better and easier, like vacuum cleaners and dishwashers and washing machines and dryers. And pretty soon, 3D printers are going to be part of the household kit, making all kinds of things you didn't know you needed until you printed them out.
As 3D printers become more popular (and cheaper), users are going to demand more things to print up. The Pirate Bay wants to help you, that's why it introduced Physibles: data objects that are able (and feasible) to become physical. The goal is to help you print up your next inflatable tire or pair of Nikes.
The notion I find most seductive when it comes to 3D printing is its parallels to digital distribution. If I want something, I can find it on the Internet and zap it right into the home — my 3D printer will whip it up. We're not there yet, but we've got a little peek of that future through MakerBot Playsets.