Browsing articles in "3dprinting"
Jun 10, 2013
Comments Off on World Leading 3D Printing artist Josh Harker to Discuss the Future of The Revolution at TCT Show

World Leading 3D Printing artist Josh Harker to Discuss the Future of The Revolution at TCT Show

As 3D printing technology advances, designers who can apply both heuristic thinking and creativity to their designs – and build them successfully – are succeeding in pushing the boundaries of the medium. Josh Harker is one of the world’s best-known artists working in the 3D printing field for this very reason, and he is one of the TCT Show’s most hotly-anticipated speakers when the event hits the Birmingham NEC for its 18th edition on the 25th and 26th of September 2013.

A native of the Mississippi River region, Harker had an alternative upbringing – foundations that may well have given him his talent for thinking outside of the box. His childhood was centred around post-‘

60s off-grid communal living, where he was raised with “complete artistic immersion” plus the occasional evening of being babysat by the Hell’s Angels. He eventually left that world to study at Kansas City Art Institute and St Ambrose University in Iowa, later pursuing anatomy and forensic arts, and working as a commercial sculptor and in product development.

Harker first got involved in 3D printing in the early ’90s after struggling to translate his art from two dimensions to three dimensions. However, the state of the technology at the time was not up to the standards it is now and  admits that it took him a further decade for 3D printers to build his designs to the standard he was looking to achieve. The artist, however has never looked back and said: “Simply having a medium that allows me to create my art as I envision it is excitement enough.”

Harker explains that one of the reasons why he is excited about speaking at the TCT Show this September is because he relishes the chance to communicate with those who, like himself, are passionate about 3D printing and the myriad ways the technology can be used. “Events like the TCT Show bring together a wonderful group of people with a specific interest in what’s going on, so I’m excited about being part of that,” he stated. He added that it is events such as these that bring 3D printing artists together. This, he noted, is a growing community as new developments draw in more and more practitioners.

The theme of Harkers presentation will be The Empowered and the Liberated in the Future of the Revolution. “I will be using my experiences to illustrate the changing paradigm of how artists and designers create and connect with an audience. Also, how a new world of options is opening up for the general consumer. We are no longer bound by economy of scale, manufacturing geometry limitations, and elite marketing and distribution channels. Consumers are afforded more product possibilities as well as options regarding who and where their products come from.”

Harker believes that the accepted model of bringing a product to market and then selling it gives the consumer fewer choices, all of which come with a hefty price tag. But now, the playing field is leveling and 3D printing is helping to benefit both makers and consumers.

Harker knows about running an enterprise and how 3D printing can transform the economics of a business. He founded a profitable boutique design and development studio in 1998, where he served as CEO for a decade before selling his partnership. “[The] point is that it was a functional and successful business within the current industry. It was – and still is – a small company of about 12 people, [with] approximately $70,000 (£45,083) per month overhead regardless of workload. I now run at nearly $0 overhead and make the same income,” he stated.

Harker will be going into his first-hand experiences of how this burgeoning set of resources, networks and technologies enable these new business models in more detail at the TCT Show, but what is next for the professional’s artistic ventures?

Fans of his Tangled series will be pleased to hear that he is adding new pieces to this body of work, including a piece that is being adapted for fashion, which will be unveiled in Paris in November. Moreover, he has plans for public art works with an architectural bent emerging from the well-known oeuvre. In the meantime, he is expanding some of his current series as well as working on other themes he believes will be well suited to 3D printing. Outside of the art world, Harker is also involved in developing 3D printing technology.

To register for FREE entrance to the TCT Show + Personalize and to the seminar sessions including Josh Harker please visit the

TCT Show + Personalize will take place 25-26 September 2013, Hall 3/3a, NEC, Birmingham, UK

For further information on the programme please contact Duncan Wood, Rapid News Communications Group.

Tel: +44 (0) 1244 680222, Email:

Feb 4, 2013
Comments Off on Mobile goes 3D as Nokia release 3D Development Kit for Lumia 820

Mobile goes 3D as Nokia release 3D Development Kit for Lumia 820

While 3D printing for mobile device development is nothing new Nokia are embracing the growing consumer interest in 3D printing technology with the Lumia 820 3D printing community.

A simple concept the 3D printing community will allow users replace the removable mobile shell with a range of Nokia made casings capable of enhancing user experience, from special ruggedized shells  – for those demanding a more robust mobile casing to shells adding a wireless charging capability allowing chatterboxes to talk for longer.

In addition to these product add on’s the team at Nokia have realised that with 3D printing it will now be possible to take customer experience and the desire for individuality even further with 3D templates available online for users to build their own unique shell casing.

Nokia Community and Developer Marketing Manager, John Kneeland  believes that the future for mobile phones lies in more modular and customizable products, with the hope that some day Nokia will sell some kind of phone template allowing entrepreneurs the world over to build a local business on developing phones specifically tailored to the needs of his or her local community.

Jan 30, 2013
Comments Off on Plans developed for first 3D printed house!

Plans developed for first 3D printed house!

Dutch architect, Janjaap Ruijssenaars has unveiled designs for Landscape House, the worlds first ever 3D-Printed house. Plans  for Landscape house do not include reinforced cast concrete rather 3D printed layers of sand to allow for absolute design freedom.

Taking the form of a continuous looping Möbius strip which rises out of the landscape before folding seamlessly back on itself Landscape House is to be comprised of 6x9m printed hollow sand shell sections. These sections will then be infilled with fiber-reinforced concrete for extra strength, while steel and glass provide the facade. Expected lead times of 18 months have been proposed from start to completion.

Speaking on this 1,100 square metre property Ruijssenaars stated that the building which could serve as either a home or museum was not originally designed for 3D printing, rather this modern production process turned out to be the most appropriate. In order to make a Möbuis shape, Ruijssenaars realised that regardless of the material used it is first necessary to make a strip and then bend it, achieving this would prove impossible using traditional construction techniques. “With a 3D printer..we could make the whole structure from bottom to top without anyone seeing where it is beginning or ending”

With an estimated cost of £3.3 – 4.2 million the ultimate use of Landscape House remains unclear however a Brazilian national park is reported to have expressed interest in use of the structure as a museum. Regardless of its end use successful construction of Landscape House is likely to have a profound impact on the way future buildings are designed and constructed.


Oct 26, 2012
Comments Off on 3D Printing meets the general public at the 3D Print Show

3D Printing meets the general public at the 3D Print Show

At 3D Printing News we have been shouting about the merits of 3D Printing Technology for nearly a year but now thanks to the 3D Print Show in London last weekend it seems that 3D Printing is finally getting the notice it deserves. From musical instruments to medical prosthetics and everything in between the 3D Print show provided a unique opportunity for the general public to experience 3D printing first hand.

For those who missed the show here are just some of the interesting applications on show.

3D Printed Musical Instruments

3D Printed Guitar
With its own soundtrack the 3D print show featured performances from world-class musicians, including drummer Paul Stewart of the Feeling however it was the instruments themselves that stole the spotlight. Produced entirely using 3D printing technology the instruments were able to closely replicate the sound quality of their traditionally manufactured counterparts. The instruments featured included guitars and basses, a 3D printed Stradivarius violin and a drum ensemble played with 3D printed drum sticks.


3D Printed fashion

3D Printed Guitar

We have previously mentioned the role of 3D printing in the creation of bespoke fashion pieces and it seems this application caught the eye of the 3D Print Show organisers who held a fashion show in honour of 3D printing. Featured in the catwalk show were various items of clothing, accessories and footwear all printed in 3D and all fully functional.  Using 3D technology it is possible for fashion designers to create bespoke items of clothing and accessories designed to the models unique dimensions and in the most intricate and complex of designs. Creations on display included a hat developed by leading milliner Stephen Jones and the Exoskeleton footwear collection from fashion student Janina Alleyne.


Film Props

3D Printed GuitarWith film makers such as Laika turning towards 3D printing technologies to develop award winning films it is little wonder that one of the most respected effects studios in Hollywood made an appearance at the 3D Print Show. Legacy Studios , known for their use of 3D printing to aid in the development of blockbusters such as Thor and Iron-man attended the event bringing along and Iron Man helmet and giving seminars on 3D printing in Hollywood. Representing Legacy Studios was 3D printing expert and lead systems engineer, Jason Lopes



Conceptual 3D Printed House

Lurking in the corners of the show, and guarded by security lay one of the most intricate designs on display at the exhibition. Staring at this impressive piece of design you would be likely to question what it was. The design a result of a years worth of research by London based Softkill design is in fact a miniature model of a SLS house – a house which could be build for real in 31 pieces using SLS technology and then assembled on site.  Designed around an algorithm that mimics bone growth the conceptual house consists of a fibrous interweaving web rather than traditional bricks which ensures material is only placed where it is most structurally efficient.

To find out more on this 3D printed house watch the below video



Sep 7, 2012
Comments Off on ParaNorman takes 3D printing for film one step further.

ParaNorman takes 3D printing for film one step further.

In 2009 stop motion animation Coraline introduced  the world to 3D printed stop motion character models, offering unparalleled levels of detailing to both character expressions and film backdrops, above all 3D printing allowed stop motion animations to finally hold their own in a CGI dominated market. Next Friday (14/09/12) the latest instalment from the 40 man team at Laika, ParaNorman, hits cinema screens across the UK and Ireland.

When creating Coraline 3d printing allowed the team at Laika to create some 200,000 possible facial expressions for the films leading character resulting in greater emotional range and smoother lip syncing, in comparison with the 800 lead character facial expressions created painstakingly by hand by the artists behind The Nightmare before Christmas in 1993.  During the creation of Coraline 3D colour printing was still in its infancy and as a result the team had to handpaint each of the 200,000 possible facial expressions, a challenging task as each of Coraline’s freckles had to be painted on exactly the same spots.

By 2010 3d printing had reached the stage where objects could be coloured in on the computer and then printed in colour. Having had considerable success with 3d printing puppet faces for Coraline the team at Laika were eager build on this success with the incorporation of 3D colour printing into the production of ParaNorman.

Speaking on the project Brian McLean director of Rapid Prototyping at Laika commented on a number of early production issues including problems achieving consistency in colours. The team overcame this by carrying out thousands of tests in order to figure out the best file formats and colour profiles to send to the printer. To overcome the chalky consistancy of  the printed faces the team had to find and follow an exact process for dipping the parts in super glue, sanding and then baking the parts in an oven at specific temperatures and times in order to achieve different effects. All of which required completion within just 3 months.

Thanks to the latest 3d printing technology ParaNorman exceeds all expectations with some 88,00 faces and 1.5 million expressions for the lead character alone. The colour printer also provided some unexpected benefits. The printer injects colour 16th of an inch into the face rather than on the surface allowing for subsurface scattering, while the silicon material is similar to skin allowing gentle reflection and absorption of light. This translucency and vibrancy have allowed the team to achieve a kind of translucency to Normans ears which closely matches real human ears.

Why not catch ParaNorman in cinemas next week and see how 3d printing has evolved.

Jul 2, 2012
Comments Off on 3D Printing takes centre stage this October

3D Printing takes centre stage this October

3D Print show highlights applications of 3D printing technology

3D Print show highlights applications of 3D printing technology

3D Printing is set to take centre stage in London this October with the 3D Print Show 2012.

With 3D printing technology still largely confined to the world of product design and development the 3D Print Show provides many with the unique opportunity to get up close and personal with 3D printing technology.  Organiser of the show Kerry Hogarth    hopes the show will inspire early adopters and educate the public on the range of applications for this emerging technology.

Visitors to the show will be able to view demonstrations from a range of 3D printing technologies including 3D scanning company EuroPac 3D, whose work includes the creating of computer-generated imagery through 3D scanning for the Harry Potter films. For anyone interested in 3D printing this exhibition is a must with applications ranging from Consumer Goods to Space Travel , Fashion to Architecture and everything in between on display.

Find out more at

May 10, 2012
Comments Off on 3D printing of the 2012 Olympic Stadium.

3D printing of the 2012 Olympic Stadium.

Designed on a compact island site, with seating for 80,000 and the flexibility to transform into a 25,000 seated arena post the 2012 games, the 2012 Olympic stadium pays homage to the quality of engineering and architectural ability within the UK. Forming part of East London’s regeneration programme the Olympic stadium has taken just over three years to complete.

Demonstrating the speed and accuracy of Rapid Prototyping technology, a lecturer at Ravensbourne college London, has created a scale model of the Stadium in just 6 hours.

Using satellite imagery and 3d modelling software Jon Fidler created detailed 3D CAD data of the 2012 Olympic Stadium. Once completed this 3D CAD file was then sent to an FDM printer allowing a physical model of the stadium to be printed within hours. In addition to developing the model in just 6 hours Fidler created a time-lapse video showing the various stages involved including design and build.

This cool 3D printing video can be seen below.

Apr 23, 2012
Comments Off on Crowdfunding digital craft innovation.

Crowdfunding digital craft innovation.

Contemporary jeweller deploys crowd funding tactics to optimize digital craft modelling tools.

Cloud9 3D modelling platform with Falcon Haptic Device

Cloud9 3D modelling platform with Falcon Haptic Device

Inspired by the increasing availability of digital technology and the potential impact of 3d printing to her creative process, Ann Marie Shillito developed a 3D modelling platform targeted specifically at studio artists and designers. Cloud 9 includes 3D touch feedback allowing the fluid, organic exploration of conceptual ideas that is synonymous with studio design.

Undeterred by the difficult economic climate, Shillito – CEO of Anakik 3D – has embraced the recent phenomena of crowd funding to raise the necessary equity investment to complete the next phase of Cloud9’s development, software optimisation.

Follow the campaign launch online or discover how you can support and share in this crowdfunding adventure at

Interactive Sculptures created using Cloud9 by Farah Bandookwala

Interactive Sculptured created by Farah Bandookwala using Cloud9

Source: Anarkik3D Press Release

Anarkik 3D are a 2007 spin off from collaborative research at Edinburgh College of Art and the University of Edinburgh and retain close links with both Institutions. The team benefit from 10 years of practical, theoretical and applied research into the development of haptic products. For further information on Anarkik3D visit


Apr 16, 2012
Comments Off on 3D Chocolate Printer now for Sale

3D Chocolate Printer now for Sale

Choc Edge release Choc Creator Version 1

Choc Edge release Choc Creator Version 1

University of Exeter spin off Choc Edge Ltd have launched the world’s first commercial 3D chocolate printer with the first machine put up for auction on EBay on Monday 9th of April.

Using melted chocolate in the place of metal or plastic the Choc Creator works in the same way as other 3D printers, extruding material layer by layer to build intricate designs in 3D. With a simple and versatile design, the 3d chocolate printer aims to allow users to make chocolate figures up to a maximum of 175 x 175 x 70mm. Using open source 3D printing software the Choc Creator Version 1 will allow customers to simply design an object on their home computer and upload files to the printer via USB connection.

With Choc Edge Ltd aiming to sell between 500 and 1000 units in the next 3 years the team are hoping to generate interest amongst British retailers and confectionery manufacturers, with UK’s largest specialist retailer and manufacturer of chocolate and confectionery goods Thornton’s having expressed an interest in Choc Creator.

Unfortunately with  a price tag of £2,888 (excl. delivery) and certification for home by the relevant authorities still pending, the Choc Creator is best suited to companies wishing to test the machine out rather than the average chocoholic.

The Choc Creator – from Choc Edge Ltd

Mar 15, 2012
Comments Off on Can 3D printing make musical instruments more affordable?

Can 3D printing make musical instruments more affordable?

Demonstrating the potential of e-Manufacturing, Germany company EOS (Electro Optical Systems) have printed a violin! The 3D printed violin was produced in days and demonstrates how rapid prototyping technology can be applied to conventional manufacturing process across a wide range of industries as a tool for overcoming production challenges.

Renowned for their artisanal craftsmanship each Stradiviarius stringed instrument has been designed to the unique and complex specifications of  the Stradivarius brand.  A highly labour intensive process each violin produced consists of about five hundred work steps and usually takes up to three months of handicraft time.

Manufactured in a high performance industrial polymer (EOS PEEK HP3) the entire body was grown within hours on a laser-sintering machine. This form of 3D printing involves the use of a high powered laser to fused small material particles layer by layer until the 3D product is fully built. With the help of a traditional violin maker the body was then assembled and additional components including strings, fine tuners and the peg box were added.

The real test came next, would the 3D printed violin sound like a violin should. To my untrained ear the project appears to have been a success (watch the video below to decide for yourself).

3D printed musical  instruments may prove a popular option for those seeking an inexpensive alternative to what can often be a major investment.