All posts in “3D printing”

The New Wave of 3D Printing

Karly Gaffney is a Manager on the Content and Community team at Social Media Group.

I hadn’t paid much attention to 3D printing until the productions started applying to me and I could see the uses making sense in real-world situations. With each new article I read, my reactions have gone from “that’s neat” to “holy crap, they can do that?” Today, I’d love to get my hands on one.

For the benefit of any readers who aren’t entirely familiar with 3D printing, here’s a quick overview: A 3D printer produces three dimensional solid objects from a digital model through what’s called ‘additive processes’ which essentially means the printer is laying down successive layers of material to create the final product.

As I dug deeper, I was surprised to learn that 3D printing has been around since the 1980s, but early examples were large, expensive and had many limitations. Fast forward thirty years, today we’re seeing 3D printed guitars, ultrasounds and the ability to turn yourself into an action figure via 3D printing.  The projects I love the most are the ones that both provide a service while making the technology relatable and accessible.

Companies like the two I’ve highlighted below have taken 3D printing from an obscure technology and turned it into an affordable offering that consumers can relate to (and want to have in their home.)

3D Printing Photo Booth

The 3D Photo Booth was produced by the team at PARTY (Tokyo) and essentially it was this very cool pop-up store that allows people to be mapped in HD 3D and then printed out as little mini-me versions (between 10cm and 20cm tall) in full colour creating a semi-realistic 3D printed version of yourself to take home.

The great thing about this concept is that the consumer only pays $250 for the service, which is really reasonable considering what you’re getting.  If I had access to something like this I’d want to use a memorable travel photo like standing on top of Machu Picchu or summiting Kilimanjaro (neither of which I’ve done, but they’re on the list)

Crayon Creatures

Now this beats the heck out of hanging a drawing on the fridge for a few weeks until it loses its luster. The brains behind Crayon Creatures is Spanish designer Bernat Cuni, who is offering a service that takes your child’s drawings and transforms them into a digital model that can be 3D printed in full colour sandstone material. Below is an example of one of his prints (I’m already plotting the theft of my nephew’s drawings the next time we visit.)

Would you get a family photo 3D-printed for your home or invest in a 3D-print of your child’s drawing? Have you seen any other cool 3D-printing concepts that made you stop and consider trying it out yourself?


Many Cool Things – December 7, 2012

Here’s the December 7th edition of  #ManyCoolThings, a Social Media Group culture jam. These are the many cool things that recently caught our attention or inspired us:

Dumb ways to die, smart ways to do viral
Australia’s fastest-spreading viral video, “Dumb Ways to Die”, made by ad agency McCann Worldgroup Autralia to promote safety on Melbourne Metro Trains, has amassed tens of millions of views on YouTube since it was posted on November 14.

Red Bull’s Extreme Rube Goldberg “Athlete Machine”
In the span of six minutes, twelve athletes and virtually every extreme sport in the world (and golf…) join in the “Athlete Machine” to achieve a common goal: obtain an ice cold Red Bull.

Make Infused Liquors, Oils and Syrups in Seconds Instead of Days or Weeks
The folks at CHOW and Modernist Cuisine have devised a great method for making whipped creams, topping and infusions, and all you need are the ingredients you’d use anyway and a whipping siphon. You’ll also need some nitrous oxide chargers for the siphon to get the job done.

The World’s First 3D Printing Photo Booth
Made by the guys at PARTY, this pop-up store allows people to be mapped in high-definition 3D before being printed between 10cm and 20cm tall in full colour, to create a semi-realistic 3D printed version of yourself to take home. (All for about $250 bucks. Not bad eh?)

Fox Steals iPhone, Sends SMS Messages
A couple of kids who saw a fox prowling around wanted to see if they could attract it by playing the sound of a dying rabbit on their iPhone. The rabbit call did more than just attract the fox — the fox took off with the phone!

Map: The most- and least-corrupt countries in the world
Transparency International recently released its annual Corruption Perceptions Index on the perceived level of public sector corruption in 176 countries around the world, and once again, Somalia, North Korea and Afghanistan rank as most corrupt, with scores of 8. (Burma, also known as Myanmar, joined them last year but has since moved up two spots, to just ahead of Sudan).

Screenshot: Transparency International

Harsh truths about advertising and content from Weiden+Kennedy
The presentation suggests that brands and their communications just don’t matter that much to most people. The author, Martin Wiegel, takes a deliberately provocative and personal stance it. According to Wiegel, the presentation “might feel long on what NOT to do and somewhat short on constructive advice about what to DO. But that is merely an inevitable consequence of the fact that a) I don’t have the answers and b) there is no magic forumla or template for success. We’ve each got to stumble along our own paths to reach that.”

Site enables pets to be played with remotely
iPet Companion uses robotically controlled toys to allow web users to play with sheltered cats remotely to keep them entertained.

Dollar Shave Club
Dollar Shave Club couldn’t be simpler. Select one of their razors, pay one low monthly fee, and receive them right at your door. No more over-paying for fancy brand name shave tech. No more forgetting to buy your blades.

Precision colors for machines and people
Solarized is a sixteen color palette (eight monotones, eight accent colors) designed for use with terminal and gui applications. It has several unique properties. I designed this colorscheme with both precise CIELAB lightness relationships and a refined set of hues based on fixed color wheel relationships. It has been tested extensively in real world use on color calibrated displays (as well as uncalibrated/intentionally miscalibrated displays) and in a variety of lighting conditions.