Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab
Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab

Obama Mentions 3D Printing in State of the Union Address

A little over a year ago, 3D printing was a funky new technology that you might find at modestly sized booths in the basement level of the Las Vegas Convention Center at CES. Recently, President Obama mentioned it in the same breath as Apple and Intel during his State of the Union address, while talking about ways to create new jobs and manufacturing in the United States. Read more on CNET: http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-57569093-1/heres-the-3d-printing-institute-in-obamas-state-of-the-union/
Barack Obama gives the State of the Union Address
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It’s just a little earie…

Lawrence Bonassar and others have developed methods to 3d print human ears using actual live cartelidge mixture that congealed into an ear in 15 minutes. They tested it on rats and the ears were found to retain their shape and usability after a year and integrate into the rats. There is a  potential for medical breathroughs but also the danger of abuse and misuse (looking at you Hollywood, and maybe Russia) but it leaves us feeling a bit earie   Cornell Prof 3D Prints Human Ear
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Will houses in the future be built with 3D printers?

Professor Behrokh Khoshnevis has been doing research into using 3D printing technology to solve world problems, particularly housing in emergency situations and low-income environments. Watch the video and learn where home-construction might be going in the not-too-distant future. More information: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2187623/Contour-Crafting-builds-house-24-hours.html
3D printing buildings
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Possibly of Interest: paper on algorithms for computing support structures for 3D printing

I ran across this paper that explains one way to calculate support structures for 3D printing. http://cybertron.cg.tu-berlin.de/rapid_prototyping_11ws/slicer/ I found it relatively clear and easy to understand. Of course, there are more than one way to skin this cat, so this isn’t necessarily the way any given software works.
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Saturday Fablab for February

Do you know what thermoplastics, edible materials, metal and titanium alloys, ceramic powders, plaster, paper, metal foil, plastic film, photopolymers, and liquid resins all have in common? They can all be used to print 3D objects. While the printers at the Champaign Urbana Community Fablab and the Urbana Free Library can only print using ABS plastic, there are commercial printers that can use all of the materials listed above. There are even companies that will print what you want, in whatever material you want. All you have to do is provide them with a 3D file of the object you would like to have printed. If you are between the ages of 10 and 16, grab an adult and join us at the Fablab on Saturday February 16th from 10 until noon where we will introduce you to Sketchup. Sketchup is a powerful 3D drawing program that can, with enough time and patience, be used to draw just about anything you can think of. One of the nice things about Sketchup is that there is a free version that you can download at home to practice with. There are also many books and tutorials available to help you become proficient with it. If you plan on attending, please let me know at jeff.howard0@gmail.com. The lab will be open for you to work on other projects if you are not interested in learning Sketchup. I would like to remind everyone that the Saturday Fablab event is not a drop off event so an adult needs to accompany the participants. Thank you for understanding.
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Laser Engraver

When I was first told about the laser engraver I was told that I should always bring a PDF document to print. While looking through the epilogue website I see that you are supposed to be able to print in any format. Has anyone ever printed anything besides a PDF document? Would we have to set up the computer to do something different if we want to use a different file format? I am interested in printing some things that were drawn in autocad but am having a lot of trouble converting them to PDFs. I have scaling issues, and sometimes the drawings are just messed up once converted. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.   Jeff
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