As all parents can tell you, spoon feeding a baby is a messy business. Now, the inventors of Spuni are hoping to make it a bit tidier and avoid waste with their ergonomic baby spoon design.
"We observed that most baby spoons were simply miniaturized versions of adult spoons with little regard for the ergonomic needs of an infant. Close observation of feeding habits and waste helped us develop a product that was truly unique in its geometry. Spuni's patented 'tulip' profile triggers the infant to suck food off the spoon, the redesigned shape and depth minimizes regurgitation and waste."
3D Printed prototypes of the Spuni
3D Printing helped to quickly iterate and test the design with real babies, and now the inventors are launching the final product on Indiegogo for the first manufacturing run.
Best of all, their video gives some nice insight into the design process and has no shortage of cuteness
Researchers at University of Pennsylvania have announced a breakthrough in 3D Printing human organs, as they demonstrated how to generate blood vessels to give life to the surrounding tissue. Most previous examplesof bioprinting had been limited to printing layer upon layer of thin tissue. Now that blood vessels can be printed, the team led by Jordan Miller & Christopher Chen, expect to be able to create thicker tissues and more complex organs such as a human liver.
The photo below from the Body Worlds exhibition shows the human vascular system as it should be inside our bodies. This inspired Miller to look at the problem differently and see how a similar structure for blood vessels could be generated first and then surrounded by tissue.
With this inspiration, the team set out to find the right material that would form a rigid structure when printed and also be non-toxic when it disolved. A mix of sugars (sucrose and glucose combined with dextran) proved suitable and was able to be printed using a modified RepRap 3D Printer.
Tissue cells within a gel mixture is poured around the mold, then the sugar is disolved before pumping blood cells through the vessels providing the much needed nutrients. Over time new capillary vessels formed to further expand it's reach in the same way our bodies do.
Now the team will continue their work to explore how these artificial blood vessels can better link up with the natural vessels already existing in our bodies. Their work was published in the journal Nature Materials.
If you do a lot of cycling, a custom bike frame is highly desirable in order to have the right fit for your body size and posture. However, commissioning a professional framebuilder can be very expensive, and making it yourself requires an upfront investment in welding tools and rigging that you'll likely use only once.
Andrew Leinonen set himself the challenge to make a bike frame without the upfront investment by involving 3D Printing in the process. As Andrew explains: "The process that I came up with takes advantage of the growing availability and affordability of CAD and 3D printing to allow people to build themselves a unique custom bicycle with unparalleled design flexibility".
Another benefit is a lower material cost as off-the-shelf aluminium or carbon fibre tubes can be used for most of the frame structure. Andrew's goal was "to shift away from being restricted by the materials required by the tools, and instead enable you to realize your personal creative vision for what you want your bike to be".
Using his personal 3D Printer, Andrew created lugs that hold the frame together at precisely the angles required. This proved rigid enough that a jig wasn't required for the next stages of the process when epoxy and carbon fibre are applied to solidify and strengthen the frame. 3D Printed molds were also used to compact the carbon fibre as it sets to achieve a really smooth finish.
The complete project requires a considerable amount of work, but it's great to see how 3D Printing has simplified the process and hopefully made it accessible to more people. If this looks like the summer project for you, check out the complete step by step guide on Instructables.
Since forming in 2002, Belgian Design Studio Unfold has shown a real passion for creative uses of ceramics in design. More recently they have been busy pushing the boundaries of personal 3D Printing using ceramics and sharing their progress on the Unfold ~fab blog.
Stratigraphic Porcelain series - Exhibited at Triennial di Milano in April (Photo: Dries Verbruggen)
Amazingly, the carafe & cups pictured above were printed on RepRap style Bits From Bytes 3D Printers. This required development of a very specialized print head and custom software for translating the designs into printer instructions. In an earlier post, Dries explains the difficulties printing with clay paste and how his custom print head uses a air pressure to achieve a (mostly) consistent flow rate.
With this set up Unfold were able to create and test a range of generative designs to be printed in porcelain. There were a lot of models that failed to print, which is to be expected and helps to define what is possible.
Example of a unique infill pattern made possible by custom software (Photo: Dries Verbruggen)
Dries explains: "The goal is to create objects that are more structural and in which there is an interplay between an inside complex structure and a shell like you see in many organic things like plant cut throughs, seeds, diatoms etc. We also looked at origami and folding, medieval ornaments, double walled structures and much more."
Experimentation with wall structures and textures (Photo: Kristof Vrancken)
Do you love personalizing things to tell a story about you? Well, now you can personalize your jewelry to tell where you've been. Design & Data Visualization geniuses Sha Hwang & Rachel Binx have created Meshu to turn your places into beautiful objects.
"These earrings are my 3 month backpacking trip to Southeast Asia" - Rachel Binx
You can start creating by zooming and clicking places on the map, searching by address, or jump straight by connecting with Foursquare to pull your check-in data for a particular area.
There's no limit to the scope of locations you can add, whether it's across continents or just your local neighborhood, the points are intelligently connected and an abstract piece begins to form. I had fun creating the Meshu below which covers all the places in the world that I loved visiting.
"These are all the places in the world that I loved visiting" - Paul Salisbury
When you're happy with your creation, select whether you want earrings, cuff links, or a necklace and choose your desired material. If you choose nylon or silver then Meshu ensures it is printable and sends it through to us at Shapeways. To finish your jewelry they attach fasteners or chains and lovingly send it on it's way to you.
Examples of Meshu pieces that have been printed in silver by Shapeways
Shapeways Meetups are a great way to feel the buzz of the community, and the Eindhoven Factory Tour is quite special as you can also experience the whir of the 3D Printers that fabricate your models.
Friday's tour definitely didn't disappoint, as Kevin, Petra & team lead a group of 15 people around, question after question was answered with ease. One of the great aspects of the Shapies work culture, is that everyone is willing to help out where needed, so they all have hands on experience with the processes and materials.
There were a vast array of printed models on show, and it was interesting seeing people's excitement as they picked up and played with them. However, for privacy reasons no photos are allowed, so you have to see them in person.
Keep an eye out for the next tour, and if you're nearby I highly recommend coming along to see the Factory of the Future and the people that make it all possible.
This rather striking first piece "Mighty Eagle Ring" is designed by Kristian Saarikorpi and crafted in stirling silver. 3D Printing allows Primesmith to customize each piece to fit, in much the same way Shapeways does. Primesense also has ambitions to further develop 3D tools that would allow fans to design their own jewelry in a similar fashion to My Robot Nation.
You can expect to see more jewelry featured in the collection soon, and at some easier to swallow prices too. Such as the pendant pictured below, which is expected to sell for $50.
I also wouldn't be surprised to see more fan art jewelry on Shapeways too, just remember to avoid infringing on copyrights by bringing your own design flare to the original works you create.
Creative advertising agency Teehan+Lax have created quite a buzz with a concept for a milk jug that can alert you when it is running low on milk. This is similar to smart-fridge and internet-of-things concepts we've seen before, however, the product itself may not be very practical for real world use.
More interesting is how the agency realized the concept by using 3D Printing. Previously, concept product images and video were likely to be rendered and would never come close to being made due to the manufacturing costs. Now, with a 3D Printer in the agency, the creative team were able to print a working example of the concept and use it in real world cases.
The result is a much more believable presentation of the concept, and I expect we will see similar uses of 3D Printing by creative teams as awareness of 3D Printing continues to grow.
Aerodynamic design and modeling has been a mainstay application of 3D Printing for a long time. Only recently, as costs have decreased, are we starting to see this applied to the design of consumer products.
Margot Krasojevic's Air Turbine Light is an excellent example of this. 3D Printed in a ceramic material, the lamp is lightweight, perfectly balanced, & aerodynamic. Most impressive is the fact she has been able to realize this design from concept to finished product without a large development team or investment.
I'm Paul Salisbury (a.k.a. Fabricātis) and I really enjoy cycling and sailing, both in Switzerland where I live, and New Zealand where I grew up. Since learning about 3D printing two years ago, I've become fascinated not only by what other people have been able to create, but also what I've been able to create myself.
There are a lot of events in life that deserve a spot on the mantle piece or get framed on the wall. Whether it's a wedding, graduation, or birth of a child, we take photos in order to have something tangible that reminds us of that moment and so we can share the memory with others. There's a trend emerging to capture these in 3D and print something much more tangible than a photo.
Check out these wedding cake toppers custom designed to look like the Bride & Groom.