SLS SWING: Olaf Diegel Reveals First Prototype of 3D-Printed Alto Saxophone

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“It really surprised me as to how mechanically complex a sax was and it did make me wonder as to whether the mechanisms could be simplified.”

— Olaf Diegel

While attending Euromold 2013 in Frankfurt, Germany, last December with a band playing 3D-printed instruments, Olaf Diegel was set a challenge by the head of 3D Systems, Avi Reichental. The Professor of product development at Lund University, Sweden was given the task of creating a 3D-printed working saxophone. The first ODD prototype was revealed last week in a short demonstration video, which you can see here.

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For the latest addition to the 3D-printed band, Diegel used a traditional alto sax as a design template to match the various key spacings and mechanisms. He worked in SolidWorks CAD software to produce the STL files needed for printing the nylon blower on a selective laser sintering (SLS) printer. The process took around 6 months due to a move from New Zealand to Sweden and other projects that demanded his attention, and the working prototype is made up of 41 components, not including springs and screws. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] The Future of Cookies, Now: Oreo-Customizing Machine

What if you could design and print your own Oreo cream filling, with a selection of possible flavors? At SXSW, people can do just that at Oreo’s Trending Vending machines.

Peek Inside a Pi-Powered CNC Oreo-Customizing Machine

Users pick a trending topic on Twitter and get a cream-filled cookie inspired by that topic. The entire process happens right before their eyes as a turret of flavored fillings pumps cream onto the cookie, which is held by an inverted delta robot. And what’s cooler than a machine that creates custom Oreo cookies on-demand?

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3D Printing Umbilical Cord Clamps in Haiti

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At first glance, Haiti might seem an odd destination for a 3D printer.

3D printers are cutting edge. They’re in the news. They’re printing amazing things, from custom prosthetics, to fully functional engines, to buildings. They print forms that would be impossible to manufacturable otherwise. And they’re a fairly accessible toy for the DIYer to use at home.

Haiti is a beautiful country fighting to improve itself and its global standing. The forces it fights against are powerful, varied, and very deep-rooted in its history. It lacks infrastructure that many countries take for granted: clean running water, electricity, sewage treatment, waste disposal, shipping, and others.

Our organization, iLab // Haiti has brought the first two 3D printers to the country of Haiti. Read the rest of this entry »


The Dextrus Robotic Hand Wants To Make Advanced Prosthetics 100X Cheaper Via 3D Printing

The Dextrus hand is the working prototype resulting from Joel Gibbard’s Open Hand Project, an open source hardware initiative that aims to lower the cost of robotic prosthetics dramatically. Dextrus is a fully-functional robotic hand, with features and capabilities similar to leading advanced prosthetics, but at a small fraction of the cost.

Read the rest of this entry »