Last year, we featured the Nomad, a desktop CNC mill. Toolbotics’ Tooli is also a desktop CNC machine, but it’s meant for arts and crafts. Its four optional heads lets you automate a variety of tasks, from drawing to assembling small items.
One of the coolest companies out there for the DIY and Maker scene has got to be Inventables. Based here in my home town of Chicago, they not only sell a wide variety of materials and equipment for 3D printing, milling and laser cutting, they also make some gear themselves.
We featured a small and portable CNC mill a few days ago. Here’s another device that will let you take your workshop where you go. A German-based company called Mr. Beam Lasers is raising funds on Kickstarter for its eponymous product.
A company called Carbide3D claims it has developed a CNC mill that’s as compact and user-friendly as the latest consumer-grade 3D printers. The company’s Nomad 883 will be sold fully assembled and connects to computers via USB.
Perhaps the most exciting area of technological growth for the early 21st century is in the realm of machines which make it fast, inexpensive and easy for anyone to create physical objects. Devices such as 3D printers, laser cutters, tabletop milling machines and other computer-controlled manufacturing tools are now within reach of small business entrepreneurs and hobbyists, and are headed towards the consumer market as well.
I recently had the opportunity to visit Ford’s headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan, and got a behind the scenes tour of their 3D printing and digital prototyping studio. What they’re doing with these technologies is truly impressive.
Just about every device that Apple sells these days is made in China by Foxconn and other major manufacturers. Though it looks like some of Apple’s items are no longer being manufactured in China. A recent teardown performed by iFixit on the new 21.5-inch iMac revealed that the machine was made in the USA.
If you ask me, 3D printing is the next big thing in terms of on-demand manufacturing – and eventually in-home manufacturing. While the technology is only in its infancy, even low-cost printers have proven that if you’ve got enough time and patience that you can actually render fairly complex objects on your desktop.
Back at the beginning of August, we mentioned that Foxconn was looking at replacing about 150,000 workers with robots. The reason for this is more productivity and better quality for things like the iPhone from Apple that Foxconn builds.
Got an idea you’d like to prototype? A 3D model you want to see realized? Well, there’s good news with today’s announcement that Sculpteo, an online 3D printing service, is now available in the United States.
When Hewlett-Packard promised to make 3D printers more affordable for the masses, I’m pretty sure they didn’t mean bums like you and me who just want to print 3D models of bacon, Patlabor and Olivia Munn (not necessarily in that order) will be able to get one.
Market intelligence firm iSuppli has completed their preliminary analysis of the costs to manufacture Sony’s Playstation 3 consoles. It looks like the two PS3 models (20/60GB) will lose between $241 and $306 each, not including the cost of accessories such as cables, controllers, packaging or shipping.