Midnight In The Desert — 3d-printing

How to 3-D print your own sonic tractor beam

Posted by K R on

How to 3-D print your own sonic tractor beam

Last year Asier Marzo, then a doctoral student at the Public University of Navarre, helped develop the first single-sided acoustic tractor beam—that is, the first realization of trapping and pulling an object using sound waves from only one direction. Now a research assistant at the University of Bristol, Marzo has lead a team that adapted the technology to be, for all intents and purposes, 3-D printable by anyone (with some assembly required, of course). In addition to a fully detailed how-to video that the group produced for the public, the results of the work developing this do-it-yourself, handheld acoustic tractor...

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Your federal government drives innovation by investing in moonshots

Posted by K R on

Your federal government drives innovation by investing in moonshots

Imagine a future where “moonshots” are part of our everyday reality. In this future, shipping no longer uses environmentally damaging Styrofoam but instead an organic mushroom-based material. Things like meat and leather can be created in a laboratory, limiting the need for environmentally harmful animal slaughterhouses, or tanning and garment factories that can endanger workers. In this future, astronauts in orbit 3D-print the materials they need while onboard their spacecraft. And imagine that funding for these innovations comes not from Silicon Valley venture capital, eccentric billionaires or maverick corporations, but instead from the United States government, which has already invested...

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Airbus presents 3D-printed mini aircraft

Posted by K R on

Airbus presents 3D-printed mini aircraft

Dwarfed by huge jets all around, the mini-plane Thor was nonetheless an eye-catcher at the Berlin air show this week—the small Airbus marvel is the world's first 3D-printed aircraft. Windowless, weighing in at just 21 kilos (46 pounds) and less than four metres (13 feet) long, the drone Thor—short for "Test of High-tech Objectives in Reality"—resembles a large, white model airplane. Yet to the European aerospace giant Airbus, the small pilotless propeller aircraft is a pioneer that offers a taste of things to come—an aviation future when 3D printing technology promises to save time, fuel and money. "This is a...

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Asteroid-mining company 3D-prints object from space rock metals

Posted by K R on

Asteroid-mining company 3D-prints object from space rock metals

An asteroid-mining company is giving the world a glimpse at its vision of the future. Planetary Resources, which aims to extract water and other useful materials from asteroids, has 3D-printed an object using metal powder gleaned from a space rock. "It is the first part ever 3D-printed with material from outer space and is reminiscent of a design that could originate from a 3D printer in the zero-gravity environment of space," Planetary Resources representatives wrote in a blog post Jan. 7 about the object, which is about 1 inch tall by 3.4 inches wide and weighs 8.8 ounces. "The asteroid...

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“Emailing” Socket Wrench To Space

Posted by K R on

“Emailing” Socket Wrench To Space

We had overheard ISS Commander Barry Wilmore (who goes by “Butch”) mention over the radio that he needed one, so we designed one in CAD and sent it up to him faster than a rocket ever could have. This is the first time we’ve ever “emailed” hardware to space. We founded Made In Space, Inc. to design and build the first 3D printer for space. Our first printer was launched to the space station in September, and it printed its first object in November. The socket wrench we just manufactured is the first object we designed on the ground and...

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