If you’re unlucky enough to have required precise, timed doses of drugs through an IV in hospital; or if you’ve worked in a lab where controlled amounts of chemicals have needed to be added to an experiment on schedule, you’ll be intimately familiar with syringe pumps. They look like this.
And they’re expensive. The one in the picture above, which was the cheapest I could find (in an admittedly very quick and dirty Googling session) costs $750. As with a lot of specialised scientific equipment, that means that it’s difficult for hospitals with restricted incomes, or for labs with a lot of overheads, to get their hands on as many as they need for their work. This applies to cash-strapped university departments and hospitals in your town every bit as much as it applies to organisations in the developing world: equipment like this can be prohibitively costly wherever you are.
Joshua Pearce led a team of graduates and undergraduates from Michigan Tech‘s Open Sustainability Technology Lab in a project that intended to do something about that. They have created an open-source, 3D-printed syringe pump that can be made for a fraction of the cost of existing pumps, using an off-the-shelf motor and bearings, which is driven by a Raspberry Pi. The whole system comes in at about $50: that’s a fifteenth the price of the pump in the picture above, and it performs exactly the same task, in exactly the same way.
The plastic parts are made with a 3D printer; a Raspberry Pi acts as a control and calibration unit.
Megan Frost is a biological researcher at Michigan Tech, who has been using the open-source syringe pump in her work with cell cultures. She says:
“What’s beautiful about what Joshua is doing is that it lets us run three or four experiments in parallel, because we can get the equipment for so much less,” she said. “We’d always wanted to run experiments concurrently, but we couldn’t because the syringe pumps cost so much. This has really opened doors for us.”
Cost can be a devastating barrier to entry to the sciences, and for basic health needs like pharmaceuticals delivery. One of the things we were trying to address when we created the Pi was the high cost of computing. We’re strong believers in democratising access to technology, and this project’s a perfect example of how to do that.
After the sneak peak of some days ago, we are happy to officially announce the Arduino 3d printer . Completely open source and affordable, Arduino Materia 101 is a device aiming at simplifying access to the world of 3D printing and rapid prototyping.
Materia 101 is a precision 3D printer running on Arduino Mega, designed and developed in Italy, thanks to the collaboration of Arduino and Sharebot, two companies working with a similar approach to technology. It is ideal for beginners, makers and education.
Materia 101’s visual identity is curated by studio ToDo: the choice of essentiality of design and the white color of the machine suggests its ease of use.
The printer will be available only on the Arduino Store both as a kit and pre-assembled. Official pricing of the device will be disclosed at a later date but the kit will sell for less than 600 EUR/800 USD, while the pre-assembled version will be available for less than 700 EUR/1000 USD. The official presentation will be held during Maker Faire Rome, 3-5 October 2014.
Technical characteristics: Printing technology: Fused Filament Fabrication Printing area: 140 x 100 x 100 mm +/- 5mm X and Y theorical resolution position: 0,06 mm Z resolution: 0.0025 mm Extrusion diameter: 0.35 mm Filament diameter: 1.75 mm Optimal temperatures with PLA: 200-230° Tested and supported filaments: PLA Unsupported but tested filaments: Cristal Flex, PLA Thermosense, Thermoplastic Polyuretane (TPU), PET, PLA Sand, PLA Flex External dimensions: 310 x 330 x 350 mm Weight: 10 kg Usage: 65 watt Electronical board: Official Arduino Mega 2560 with Open Source Marlin Firmware LCD display 20 x 4 with encoder menu Preloaded with PLA printing presets Extruder block with filament pressure regulation
‘Draw It Yourself’ is a MIDI controller created by Dani Sanz which uses conductive ink as push-buttons. It is based on Arduino Uno and uses a capacitive sensor to determine whether the drawn buttons are being touched or not:
This was my second semester project for the Interactive Music Systems Design Course (CDSIM) at the Music Technology Group (MTG) at University Pompeu Fabra of Barcelona. I presented this project at Sonar+D, part of the Sonar festival of Barcelona, held between June 12th and 14th 2014.
It can be used for multiple applications, not only for music! You can download the Fritzing and make it yourself on the Instructable and see it in action with this video:
Adafruit’s 3D Thursday series is getting us terribly excited every time they roll out a new project with a Pi in it. Yesterday’s was a doozy: so much so that the engineering team stood around my desk and made puppy-dog eyes and sighing sounds at me until I agreed to email LadyAda and beg a demo sample of the project from them. (She says she’s sending the pink one, Gordon, just to punish you for being so demanding.)
Meet the extraordinary PiGrrl, a home-baked Raspberry Pi clone of the Game Boy.
If you don’t think that’s the best thing ever, you’re dead inside.
As always with Adafruit projects, the PiGrrl is documented minutely; you can find a complete tutorial on their website, along with files for the 3d printer at Thingiverse. This is one of the more complicated builds we’ve featured, but we think the results speak for themselves
LadyAda says: “Woohoo!” After careful consideration, so do we.
The State University of New York at New Paltz is home to the world’s first MakerBot Innovation Center: a ground-floor room with 30 MakerBot Replicator 3D Printers. “3D printing is training students to think in a different way,” says Dan Freedman, dean of science and engineering at New Paltz. “If students come out of here knowing about 3D printing and different applications of it, it will give them a better chance of starting a career.”
It’s not only college students at the center. Faculty from many disciplines and other New Paltz staff have attended sessions with MakerBot trainers. Local artists and manufacturers, as well as others who want to learn about 3D printing without pursuing a degree, can enroll in a two-semester program in digital design and fabrication. And New Paltz has plans to bring in students from local public schools. For bringing the community together, says Freedman, “the only thing similar is the gym.”
Interested in a MakerBot Innovation Center? Let us know.
The MakerBot Innovation Center at New Paltz is part of The Hudson Valley Advanced Manufacturing Center, a $1.5 million initiative to spur regional economic development. The advanced manufacturing center received $250,000 donations from a local venture-capital fund and a matching grant from the regional utility company. “It was the easiest donation this college has ever gotten,” says Freedman, “We were in the right place at the right time.”
“This is a technology that is just starting, and it’s going to become increasingly important,” says Freedman, who thinks that the university’s investment in 3D printing will make New Paltz the right place for budding artists and the engineers of tomorrow.
Katherine Wilson, a student in New Paltz’s renowned Metal program, says, “When I was looking for graduate schools, I was interested in what kind of technology was available.” Before opening the Innovation Center, New Paltz had a few MakerBot Replicator 3D Printers, and she was careful not to monopolize them. Access to an array of 30 3D printers has freed up Wilson to follow her imagination wherever it takes her.
Freedman adds, “I think we can attract some really outstanding students who are undecided between science-engineering and art and say to them, ‘You can pursue your interests in both areas, and we’re going to make it easier for you to do that.’”
MakerBot Academy is linking physical fitness with creativity and design. Teachers, parents, and kids will love 3D printing and using the MakerBot Academy Jump Rope. Ready to download from Thingiverse, this useful design can be printed in your favorite colors and scaled to fit most sizes.
Let There Be Light!
Introducing light-responsive MakerBot Photochromatic PLA Filament, which changes color when exposed to ultraviolet rays. Just bring your 3D prints into the sunlight, and watch your natural white prints bloom into subtle shades of magenta or blue.
Quick Tip to Brighten Your Print
Don’t let a cloudy or rainy day keep you from activating MakerBot Photochromatic PLA Filament’s chameleon-like properties. Shine a UV flashlight on your prints to activate the color change whenever you want.
Share Your Shine on Thingiverse
Be sure to upload and share pictures of your 3D prints in and out of the sunlight on Thingiverse. We can’t wait to see the transformative designs you’ll create.
There’s more to MakerBot than our 3D printers. A Primer on 3D Printing With MakerBotis an interactive exploration that gives you the ins and outs of the extensive MakerBot 3D Ecosystem. The informative full day course, taught by experts in 3D printing, covers 3D design, MakerBot apps, hardware, the growing 3D printing community, and more. The MakerBot Learning course is held near MakerBot headquarters in Brooklyn, NY.
What Will Be Covered?
Through a series of immersive sessions and brief lectures, you’ll gain essential knowledge of a MakerBot Replicator 3D Printer, as well as an in-depth exploration of all the resources the MakerBot 3D printing community has to offer. You’ll actually design your own object for 3D printing and have time to discuss with MakerBot experts your goals for integrating 3D printing into your workflow.
When you leave, you will be able to:
–Setup and use a MakerBot Replicator 3D Printer
–Gain insight into creative applications for 3D printing
–Use MakerBot apps to their fullest extent
–Understand the “Three Ways to Make” and options available for 3D design
–Apply the basics of 3D design to create your own object
–Successfully prepare and print a 3D model
–Properly maintain your MakerBot Replicator 3D Printer
Sign up today and start on your path to becoming a 3D printing explorer.
Remember the cassette tape? Back in the day, countless romantics created the first mixtapes with nothing but a tape player and good taste. Then CD’s came along and ruined the fun. Now, just like the cassette, the MakerBot Mixtape is making a comeback.
Don’t Let the Retro Look Deceive You
After a two-year hiatus, your favorite 3D printed MP3 player has returned with four gigs of memory, improved user experience, and eye-catching new color schemes. Upload your favorite songs to your MakerBot Mixtape and use it as an MP3 player, or use it as a storage drive for storing your favorite 3D model files.
3D Printing Meets Hardware
Our customers have been clamoring for designs that incorporate electronics into 3D printed objects. We expect they’ll be the first in line to get their MakerBot Mixtapes. We’re excited to see how our users incorporate electronics into their 3D printed projects in the future.
We are extremely proud to announce that the first MakerBot Replicator Mini Compact 3D Printers are beginning to ship. If you ordered your MakerBot Replicator Mini early, we’ll ship it out over the next few weeks, and email you as soon as we do.
Update Your Firmware First
When your MakerBot Replicator Mini arrives, be sure to update its firmware to keep it running in tip-top shape, and to unlock all the latest features. MakerBot Desktop will detect which version of firmware your MakerBot Replicator Mini is running, and guide you through the process of updating it.
It’s Mr. Snuffleupagus in the MakerBot Digital Store! We couldn’t be more excited to announce the childhood classic, Sesame Street, as our first global licensed brand. To celebrate, we’ve added Snuffy to the original, fun, and paintable digital 3D models available on the MakerBot Digital Store. Explore the delightful Sesame Street fun here.
Connecting to Memories
We all remember growing and learning with Sesame Street, but who would have thought you could create one of your favorite characters right at home? Well, today’s the day!
Collect Them All
Mr. Snufflepagus is just the beginning of our Sesame Street offerings. Wait and see who’s next. For now, you can get a jumpstart on this brand-new way of adding to your Sesame Street character collection. You might search high and low for collectibles, but your friends won’t believe where you got this one.
A Timeless Keepsake
Remind Mom how much you love her, every day, with a lasting bouquet of 3D printed flowers. These beautiful tulips and roses don’t need any water or care! What more could a busy mother want?
Made for Mom
Effortlessly lasting flowers might be a dream come true, but, for Mom, there’s nothing more special than a gift made by you. Your finger painting masterpieces always put a smile on her face, so with Spring Blossoms’ easy-to-follow assembly instructions and high-quality 3D prints, this DIY bouquet will be sure to make both you and Mom happy.
Complete the Arrangement
Roses and tulips are beautiful all on their own, but to add a little something extra, 3D print a vase from the bouquet of designs on MakerBot Thingiverse , the 3D design community for discovering, printing, and sharing 3D models.
The good people at Adafruit have a new tutorial up on making a wearable display, powered by a Pi, that clips on to your regular glasses or (if you’re a Terminator with perfect vision) sunglasses.
The composite display from a pair of “Private Display Glasses” – glasses which are meant to allow you to watch immersive video from the comfort of your own sofa/bed/deckchair - is hacked into a new, 3D-printed shell (the files for the shell are available on Thingiverse), and attached to a Pi along with a mini-keyboard, which lives in your pocket.
(On watching that video, Gordon said “That looks silly.” I replied: “SO DOES YOUR FACE.” There is a hostile working environment at Pi Towers.)
We love it as a proof of concept, and it’s not too much of a leap to get voice recognition (which the Pi handles admirably – you’ll find a mountain of pointers in this forum thread) working on a piece of kit like this; mounting a Raspberry Pi camera board on there shouldn’t be too much of a stretch either. If you have a go yourselves, get in touch: we’d love to see where this goes next!
Five years ago, Ian Bernstein was working at a robotics company and dreaming of controlling robots with his smartphone. “Back in 2009, nobody was doing it,” says Bernstein, a cofounder and CTO of Orbotix, a Boulder, CO, company that makes connected toys. The Sphero is a versatile robotic ball that can be used as anything from a tool to teach children programming to a ball in a game of miniature golf.
“When we started Orbotix, I was building all the Sphero prototypes with paper clips and brass and stuff like that, and you can only go so far,” Bernstein said. “Having the MakerBot and being able to make more advanced parts, we’re doing bigger and better things now.”
The next big thing from Orbotix is a cylinder with wheels that’s a Sphero crossbred with a remote control car. Originally known as the Sphero 2B, it’s now called Ollie.
Bernstein made the breakthrough prototype of an Ollie on a MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer. He printed the wheels in green PLA and other parts in purple, so he dubbed his prototype The Joker. Late one night at the Orbotix office, The Joker hit a jump and flew through the air, clearing four stacked Sphero boxes. The moment was captured on video, and that’s when everyone knew that they had something special in Ollie, Bernstein says.
Hacking is essential to Orbotix’s company culture, and having 3D printers (back to a MakerBot Thing-O-Matic) allows employees to play around with hardware too. “Hack Fridays” are reserved for experimenting with new ideas. Also, Bernstein says, “Meetings have gone from a lot of arguing to, ‘OK, cool idea. Make it!’” Orbotix now has two MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printers in Boulder and another at their outpost in China.
If you can’t wait for Ollie to launch this fall, watch the video for a preview. And Orbotix offers a free ramp for your Sphero on Thingiverse.