While it has always been possible to make replicas of guns even in the early days of 3-D printing, today’s technology has allowed the nonprofit corporation Defense Distributed to create a working firearm from 3-D printing. Defense Distributed allows users to download all the files they’ll need to create their own working firearm with options to fire in semi-auto and full-auto modes.
Sculpture of Your Unborn Child
It sounds creepy, but let me explain. A Japanese company is offering an alternative to a grainy picture of your ultrasound. That alternative is called “Shape of an Angel,” the 3-D printing creation of your unborn child. The one-of-a-kind printing will cost you $1,275 unless you have the technology at home to print out a fetus on your own. Still creepy? Yea … OK.
Youth for Technology is taking a different approach to get girls in Africa interested in STEM subjects. While many programs and initiatives focus on coding or Web design, the 3D Africa program is making the most of 3-D printing technology to show the young girls just how fun STEM can be.
There has been an ongoing mission to get more Black girls interested in STEM careers, and that mission is especially dire in Africa.
African leaders and entrepreneurs believe investing in such technologies like 3-D printing could boost the continent’s economy.
Njideka Harry, the president and CEO of Youth for Technology, told TechCruch that 3-D printing “potentially could mitigate the unemployment situation in Africa by bridging the gap between education and employment.”
Harry said that 3-D printing alone is expected to generate roughly $550 billion a year worldwide by 2025.
That type of economic impact could cause major change across the continent but only if the next generation of innovators takes advantage of such opportunities.
Youth for Technology is vowing to make sure young African women are ready to compete in STEM careers and thrive in the 3-D printing industry.
It has already received a grant from Women Enhancing Technology (WeTech) to help fund the 3-D printing program and also launched an Indiegogo campaign to get more financial backing.
The program’s organizers believe 3-D printing is a great approach to getting girls interested in tech because the items they create will always serve was a reminder of the endless possibilities of science, technology, engineering and math.
The girls also will have to use all those skills in order to create their desired items with the printer.
Harry hopes it will encourage the young women to blaze their own trails in an industry that is currently dominated by men.
“There are cultural biases that hold that science is the domain of males and that it is not important for girls’ future lives and that girls are not as capable as boys when it comes to science learning,” Harry said.
Harry is hoping to boost young women’s confidence and inspire them to take more STEM subjects while they are still in school.
3D Africa will launch first in Nigeria, and Harry hopes to expand the program to other African countries after the first year.
Apple’s Siri will influence many new products to develop digital assistants. Adding an e-personal assistant to support an existing product and/or service will create many new careers. It also means that people can be digital assistants as businesses move on the Internet.
Advanced Robotics and Automation
Artificial Intelligence and Siri-like voice communications will create many new career opportunities from design, programming and installation to service and maintenance, to name just a few. Robots are now in the sky as drones and in the surgery room.
Advancements in 3D printing technology have given consumers access to what is being hailed as the world’s number one 3D printer, but it appears as if even the world’s best is falling short when it comes to capturing small details.
Many people have never even seen a 3D printer before, but the new device has been steadily growing in popularity over the past few years.
When it comes to real life consumers, however, having great potential just isn’t enough.
The latest front-runner in the world of proprietary 3D printers is XYZ Printing’s da Vinci 1.0 AiO.
The 3-in-1 desktop printer is compatible with Windows XP, Windows 7 and higher and Mac OSX 10.7, 10.8 and 10.9.
It is complete with a full ABS 3D printing system and a laser 3D scanner.
After placing your object of choice inside the printer, a turntable will rotate the item and allow it to be scanned by a laser.
That laser will be quickly gathering information about the object and use the data regarding contours, size and shape to create a nearly identical copy.
The key word here is “nearly.”
Even with today’s technology it is still difficult to get an exact copy of the object you’re scanning.
Many of the smaller details are lost in the replicas and even this printer hasn’t found a way around the tricky task of scanning shiny objects with a laser.
For now, it is recommended that consumers avoid shiny objects as a whole when they’re playing around with their new printer.
Tech Crunch ran a few tests on the printer and, while the results were impressive, they also served as a reminder that the 3D printing world still has a ways to go.
The copy of a small lion statue resembled what the original statue might look like if it were left out in the hot sun too long.
While the main composition and shape of the copy passed the test, details of the lion’s face and around his head seemed to be lost and meshed together.
The results of copying a small gargoyle head was still more impressive than what most home 3D printers will offer but still failed to hold its own when placed next to the original figure.
It’s also been made clear that the printer won’t pick up engraved writing very well.
Smaller details aside, the printer is certainly at the forefront when compared to other devices in the same category, but it also comes with a catch.
While many 3D printers allow users to refill the filament on their own, the AiO won’t allow for such a thing.
The printer uses a special cartridge, Tech Crunch revealed, but refilling the cartridge will still only cost around $30.
Further generations of 3D printers certainly will continue to enhance and improve the detail of the copies that are created, but anyone who is eager to get their hands on one now can purchase an AiO for about $800.
One designer and animator is making the most of the latest 3D-printing technology in order to create fun, functional alternatives for young amputees.
Pat Starace, who is both an animator and a mechanical designer, is in the process of creating a line of prosthetics that would make children feel like their favorite Avengers.
The first, and perhaps the most fitting, was an Iron Man-inspired prosthetic hand.
For Starace, it wasn’t enough to just have a product that looked like Iron Man’s arm, but he also wanted it to have some sort of functional cyborg-like abilities for its young wearers.
The arm comes complete with an LED light that resembles Iron Man’s thrusters and fun voice control abilities.
The arm also comes with Bluetooth connectivity, a battery, a USB charger and computing technology that senses the physical world around it.
Starace told Mashable that the entire goal of the prosthetics is to help boost the self-esteem of young amputees to “superhero levels.”
In the future, Starace hopes to add even more interesting technology to the prosthetic.
He believes the arm could be paired with wireless devices, smartwatches, sensors NFC technology and much more.
He also explained to Mashable that while the current model could be placed on a child’s arm today, it doesn’t boast any real-world application just yet.
Thanks to the quickly developing technology behind 3D printing, however, it won’t be long before it is easier to mass produce prosthetic limbs and at a fraction of the cost.
That’s where the proposed superhero prosthetics would really save the day.
Prosthetic limbs are incredibly expensive, but 3D-printing technology could create prosthetics that are much more affordable and easy to make.
This isn’t the first prosthetic to be created on a 3D printer either.
For years now, tech experts have been able to create 3D-printed prosthetics, but they have not been able to create cheaper versions that mirror the quality and comfort of traditional prosthetics.
For now, however, Starace’s Iron Man-inspired prosthetic hand has the potential to come extremely close to giving parents a less expensive 3D-printed option that would also make their child feel more confident.