It wasn’t long ago that if you wanted to create precise circuit board prototypes, you’d have to send them out to a shop to be made. That approach isn’t exactly conducive to fostering creativity, and limits engineers’ willingness to experiment.
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.
Instead of a sewing machine, Studio Swine used a CNC mill to make its eye-catching Meteorite Shoes. The studio used a 3D scanner to scan meteorite samples at the Natural History Museum. They used the resulting 3D files to create a design for the shoes’ upper.
We’ve seen a couple of compact machines that can print, scan or mill objects. Fedor Gridnev and Elena Gaidar want to raise the bar for affordable workshop machines with the 5axismaker. It’s a 5-axis milling machine, a 3D printer, a 3D scanner, a water jet cutter and a wire cutter in one.
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.
Meet the descendant of the all-in-one scanner, copier, printer and fax machine. The FABtotum Personal Fabricator lets you print, scan and mill objects in just one compact device. Think of it as the Dremel tool for the 21st century.
3D printers and mills are finally getting to the point where regular Joes can afford them, so it’s only natural that they start by targeting them at kids. Japanese company Roland DG has announced a tiny 3D milling machine called the iModela iM-01 that looks really awesome.
I’ll start out by saying that this video has been floating around for a couple of years now, but it’s the first time I’ve seen it and thought it would be worth sharing for those of you who’ve never seen it before.