Robotic Part Removal Brings 3D Printers To A New Level Of Automation

NVBot Automated Part Removal 3D Printer
It been a while since a new 3D printer has come on the market. Sure there are lots of various versions of FDM and SLA printers but so many of them are simply variations on earlier versions. NVBots new NVPrinter goes one step further by adding a simple part removal system. The claim is that such a device allows the printer to keep printer 24 hours a day. Coupled with a cloud based file management system this innovation means that a user can hit print and then move on to another task, only worrying about picking up the print when it is convenient. Similar to a paper tray for standard inkjet printers the feature makes the printer a great option for shared workspaces, university engineering departments, or on-demand print services.

Read more about the company at their website or

Battle Axe Barbie - A Crowdfunded Fashion Doll Outfit

For years toy designers have used 3D printing to flesh out different ideas and prototypes, but now one designer has taken to KickStarter to create a unique outfit for the worlds most popular fashion doll.

Battle Axe Barbie looks awesome. Sure she comes with a broad sword but "Broad Sword Barbie" just doesn't have the same ring to it. The best part is that this has to be a concept that Barbie designers have drawn up in a brainstorm at one point in time (I've been in Mattel Brainstorms, they are broad reaching) but the market demand for a Barbie suit of armor is certainly not enough to justify the tooling expense.

Nice job to Zheng3, the designer who is undertaking the project. The styling and focus on fit is great. It will be interesting to see what he follows this up with, especially if it is with one of the other current hottest toy brands (My Little Pony) as mentioned in his campaign.

$7500 Unlimited 3D Printing, 3D Scanning, and Machining - @Techshop

A few years ago I discovered an great new business and ever since have been waiting for Techshop to open a location that is more accessible to me. The concept, a subscription based workshop that is fully outfitted with more equipment that could every fit in my garage (or even the whole house), struck me as brilliant. Location one was opened in Menlo Park which positioned them well to be the proving ground for hardware startups. Monthly subscription fees were initally around $100-$200 per person but now there is a new offer. 

For $7500 an individual can get a lifetime membership to Techshop. This grants access to any current or future location. Of course the machine list and capabilities of each new location will vary but the current list of resources is quite robust and includes some marquee pieces that can almost justify the cost by themselves. A short (not comprehensive list) includes: 3D Printer, 3D Scanner, Injection molding machine, vacuum forming machine, laser cutter, welding machines, tube bending, sheet forming, milling, and more.

Floor Plan of a Techshop
With 8 locations the membership potential is not there for everyone but Techshop is looking to expand. Most likely the liftetime fee is part of that plan as the upfront funds will help them in thei current stated goal of raising $60 Million for expansion. Each new location is expected to cost between $2.5MM-$3MM to open, so if you have 400 close friends you can get them each a membership for life. Interestingly this seems like a very small fee all in, a large company with a decent R&D budget could fund an entire new location and give access to a large workforce, thought the IP issues would be a bit of a struggle.

Check out the video below for a more in depth look at Techshop. And if you have had any experience with one yourself please leave a comment and share!

What Will Protolabs Do With

In my inbox this morning was an email thanking me for attending Solidworks that also was offering a "Free Design Cube" (NOT an affiliate link, just FYI). The company sponsoring the cube is Protolabs or Protomold, a rapid prototyping service house that has been around since 1999. They specialize in quick turn injection molded parts and even their about us page states that their goal is to "radically reduce the time it takes to get prototype injection-molded plastic parts". The design cube is intented to showcase best practices in design (for injection molding). With the developments in 3D printing touted in the media you may wonder how they are still in business and when they will create a Design Cube for 3D printing.
Design Cube by Protomold - Showcasing boss design, coring, and other molding best practices

Final Inside 3D Printing Keynote Announced – Get 15% OFF

Inside 3DPrinting Conference & Expo, the largest 3D printing event worldwide is returning to NYC in less than one month. And with the recent announcement of three impressive new speakers, the conference is expecting to welcome more 3D printing industry and design enthusiasts than ever before.

After initially announcing a solid roster of speakers, including 3D System’s Avi Reichental and Autodesk’s Carl Bass, Mediabistro added two more speakers to the agenda: Paul Trani, Sr. Creative Cloud Evangelist at Adobe, and Jesse McGatha, Senior Program Manager at Microsoft. See the full speaker list here.

The event also confirmed their fourth and final keynote speaker, Curtis Carson the Head of Systems Integration, Centre of Competence Manufacturing for Airbus, the leading aircraft manufacturer. Carson will present his keynote speech titled “Print Me an Airplane: Airbus’ Vision of 3D Printing Applications” on April 4.

In addition to the conference’s B2B programming, sessions tailored toward the Maker and design community will be taking place concurrently at the event’s Maker Summit & Pavilion. Another first for the event, April 2 will feature a half day of hands-on workshops, some of which have already sold out.

3DEngr has partnered with Inside 3D Printing NYC to offer 15% off Full Conference Passes with code 3DENGR. The full conference pass allows you access to all conference sessions, keynotes, exhibitions, Maker Pavilion, and Summit sessions on April 3-4, and the event reception on April 3Be sure to register before March 12 to save an additional $450 with early bird pricing.

For those who are unable to attend the NYC event, additional conferences are scheduled internationally throughout 2014. Click here to see all upcoming Inside 3D Printing events.
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