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Its not often that the worlds of nature and 3D Printing are unified, but for artist and author Isaac Budmen nature was indeed the perfect inspiration to teleport the outside onto the printer bed. Isaac’s collection started by studying the geometry’s of Redwood, Pine and Oak tree’s and their magical seeds. Mesmerising spiral patterns and intricate detail stirred Isaac to recreate these designs for 3D printers. After working with Cults on perfecting the designs for FDM printers the final ‘Pine Cone Collection’ was released into the wild and can be downloaded here. Check out our rundown of the prints below! 

Illusionary Acorn

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The Illusionary Acorn is a big favourite at HQ! After printing the stunning design on our Makerbot Replicator 5 we couldnt believe the detail! Not only is it a joy to look at you can also squirrel away precious items from your colleagues! As Cults explain ‘Let your imagination soar higher than the forest canopy.’

Sequoia Organizer

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Why not let nature organise your life? The Sequoia Organizer is inspired by the seed pods of the mighty Sequoia Redwoods and is a welcome addition to any dreary desk. Its especially useful if organisation doesn’t come naturally and you like to hoard our 2D cousin, paper.    

Desktop Conifer 

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This piece, designed from Isaac’s first pinecone studies the Desktop Conifer is the only way you can store your stationery in style. Get this on your desk and wait for the comments to roll in!

All of these designs can be downloaded exclusively at Cults.

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For the first time in history the majority of the world’s population live in cities. With the hustle and bustle of city life comes a lack of space for gardens and agriculture. We’ve teamed up with friends 3DPrintler, an Ottawa based startup, to distribute a 3D Printed solution!

3Delicious Food

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3DPonics, recently successfully funded on Kickstarter, is a hydroponics system composed of 3D-printed components, waste plastic bottles and few cable ties here and there! The project aims to eliminate the need for a garden and will let you grow food even if you don’t have a backyard - you can set it up pretty much anywhere, on your balcony or even in your living room! Grow your own tomatoes, herbs… let nature do the hard work for you. Best of all, 3Dponics is completely free and open source.

Make your own

1. Print your parts 

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Download the 3DPonics STL files here. You can either print these on your 3D printer or directly at 3D Hubs below! 

Print Full Set

2. Collect your materials  

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You will also need…

  • 4 plants (tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, herbs, etc.)
  • 4 empty plastic bottles
  • Hydroponics growth medium (grow stones or equivalent) (pre-soaked for a couple of days)
  • Aeration kit for aquariums
  • Vertical support column for tubing (bamboo works well!)
  • Air pump
  • Rubber tubing for an aquarium air pump or similar
  • Zip ties
  • Support structure (coat rack or a ceiling hook recommended)
  • Scissors
  • A water jug (4 L, 8 L or 9 L recommended)
  • Hole puncher
  • Utility knife

3. Full instructions of how to assemble you hydroponics system can be found here

4. Eat your greens…

The future is hydroponics

Some users have already created clever hooks, supports and bottle covers for the system. Founder Michael Golubev is already looking to the future ‘we foresee a hydroponics system that’s Internet-enabled with sensors, timers, pH meters and cameras that optimise yield, reduce operation costs and allow you to operate the system remotely.’ This is just the beginning for 3DPonics.

 

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Post-apocalyptic Toys

The future looks bright for TroBok Toys which recently launched a new website enabling 3D enthusiasts to print unique futuristic characters at home. Rick, a Hub owner, is also giving his ‘Snork’ design away for free to celebrate the launch! We chatted with Rick, the designer of these majestic creatures to discover the inspiration behind his toy paradise.   

Hasbro is not the future

Rick’s vision was that people should be able to ‘make it their own’ instead of buying from large toy stores. Therefore he went about creating a collection of toys that people could 3D print at home and customise to their liking. ‘I like the idea of being able to download a toy, print in the colour you like then finish it how you want, sand it, paint it,whatever. It’s more about making the toy yours than buying something out a box.’

‘Creatures of the Fog’

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Rick’s resent collection ‘Creatures of the Fog’ was inspired by extreme smog in Singapore created by intense fires in Indonesia which left him unable to venture outside:  ‘…gas masks throughout the island were sold out, it was terrible to breathe and we did not see the sun for days.’ This doomsday like period was the catalyst behind the characters, ‘I dreamt how creatures may have to adapt to survive in similar post apocalyptic worlds’.  

From CAD to ABS

The design process is intuitive for Rick, starting by sketching his characters in CAD software and seeing where it takes him: I will have a general idea of what I want but most often I feel the character comes out on its own accord.’ The characters are designed to avoid the need for support material with the home printer in mind. Rick developed these skills after buying a 3D printer, Naturally since I am into characters, toys and creatures started coming out of the print bed.’ 

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If your feeling social check out Rick’s Instagram!

 

Last time we had our first encounter with the green recycling machine. It was exciting to say the least. After receiving some vital tips from the masters themselves on how to tune the Filabot, we further explored the possibilities.

We began with feeding the machine some rough shavings of failed 3D prints. That was a huge mistake. It did produce some ‘filament’, but the quality was far from printable. This wouldn’t have been a big deal if it wasn’t for all the hours we had to put in to clean out the Filabot. Lesson learned. We will now wait with recycling failed prints until we receive the Filabot Reclaimer. This nifty device helps you grind your failed prints into consumable shavings.

Another experiment we we’re excited about was to mix the raw ABS pellets with socalled colorants. So whilst getting rid of the last residue from our recycling experiment, we began running some tests. We read about a mixture of 1/10, so that’s what we went for. The result was quite astonishing. At first it was a combination of stringy PLA blubber and ABS, but soon the red color showed up. At first the diameter of the extruded filament was way off, but eventually we managed to find the right temperature for ‘spot-on’ 3mm filament extrusion (or so we thought).

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Next stop was the printer. Since we extruded ABS we didn’t build up our hopes too high for getting a good result on the Ultimaker Original. Printing regular ABS filament is a challenge already, let alone your own recycled ABS filament. As you can see on the picture, the ‘Cute Octopus Saying Hi’ doesn’t raise just one tentacle… heavy warping occurred while printing.

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We came to the conclusion that a heated bed was a necessity, so there was no other option than to run the filament through our beloved and well taken care of Ultimaker 2. We were a bit hesitant, because maintenance on the Ultimaker 2 is harder than on a Ultimaker Original. Our nightmare became reality. The nozzle clogged mid-print, although the temperature was set on 240 Cº. We think it had to do with the variation in diameter. What followed were countless hours of poking needles and thin metal threads in the nozzle, and even molesting it with a creme brulée torch. It’s no fun having to hurt your baby like that.

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For now we leave it at this; diameter consistency is very important in being able to print with your own filament. We tried variations in temperature of the Filabot, the angle of the Filabot and also the height of the Filabot from the floor. None of these attempts resulted in evenly wide 3mm strings. We’ll definitely run more tests, but in the mean time we’d love to get some tips from you guys on how to reach the perfect constant diameter and how to spool the freshly extruded material.

Let’s face it, nobody likes housekeeping. Wouldn’t it be great if we all had our own robotic assistant to handle the dirty work for us? With AirButlr, this may become a reality. AirButlr is a small, yet powerful device that is designed to transport and operate cleaning appliances in and around your house. We discovered the ingenious concept a few weeks back when the company’s founder, Wouter Nuytten, started ordering prototypes through our platform.

How does it work?

AirButlr is made up of 3 components that work together to help you automate your housekeeping tasks:

  • The AirButlr device itself, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that flies in and around your house looking for dirt.

  • A set of removable cleaning applications which the UAV transports and operates to perform tasks like window cleaning and lawn mowing.

  • A base station which holds the different cleaning applications and mounts the right application on the AirButlr once a cleaning command is received. The base station also doubles up as the AirButlr’s charger.

These components use advanced sensors, batteries and motors, in combination with amazing detection and mapping algorithms. Once purchased, you simply need to install an app on your smartphone to operate AirButlr. Then its time to command your Butlr to complete that pesky housework, giving us more time to spend with our 3D printer (or spouse)!

From prototype to Kickstarter-ready

AirButlr is still in a prototyping phase, but Wouter and his team are getting closer to a working product. Their plan is to develop an MVP and raise funds through Kickstarter to bring it to market.We started building our proof-of-concept with duct tape and cardboard to get a clear idea of the proper shape and size for the poducts,” says Wouter. “We barely used software, not even sensors at that time. For the AirButlr, we bought a 3D Robotics quadcopter. So our first proof-of-concept was a flying robot taking off from a box and transporting a smaller box around. This box would later become a cleaning application.”

After this, the team moved on to create an MVP. Besides designing and building their own UAV and purchasing a bulk-load of hardware components (gear, sensors, batteries, motors, etc.), the team started working with Cervo-Go leper’s Hub in Bruges to 3D print frames and cases.

Wouter added: “Thanks to 3D printing, we managed to transition from our duct tape phase to a working prototype. We used Autodesk 123D Design to generate 3D models and 3D Hubs for printing.”

AirButlr will launch on Kickstarter this month. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter to stay tuned!