Archivi del mese: novembre 2017

Make Your Own Amazon Alexa-Enabled Furby

Make Your Own Amazon Alexa-Enabled Furby
By Matthew Mensley

Furby Alexa mod

The cuddly toy everyone loves to hate gets a useful makeover courtesy of Howchoo. With $50 dollars of parts, you can make your own Amazon Alexa-enabled Furby.

Love them or loathe them, Furbies have left an indelible mark on modern memory. The embodiment of the ridiculous hype that can build around particular toys at Christmas  time, and subsequent media furore, it’s strange to think that these little lumps of synthetic fur and plastic that caused near-riots at release are almost 20 years old now.

And though they may have gained app-connectivity in the intervening years, they’re still as irritating as they were the moment they arrived, babbling “furbish” and waggling their ears with abandon.

No small thing then, that DIY project website Howchoo has gutted one of the little blighters and stuffed its own circuitry inside, gifting the Furby Amazon Alexa powers in the process.

Now, with a simple say so of “Alexa (insert command here)”, the Furby can take command of your Internet of Things devices… Having said that, staring into those cold dead Furbish eyes, maybe this isn’t such a good idea afterall.

Hack Your Own Furby

To make your own according to Howchoo’s design, all you need (in addition to basic tools) is a USB microphone, a Pimoroni Speaker pHAT DAC/amplifier, a Raspberry Pi Zero W and an Adafruit 1.2A DC/stepper motor driver.

Howchoo’s guide uses a 1998 Furby, so your milage may vary depending on the model year Fuby to opt to operate on.

Firstly, you need to prepare the Furby. Removing the skin is possible by severing a zip-tie at its base. Beneath this skin lies an endoskeleton, which protects its electronic innards. Remove this too.

It’s a case of wholesale replacement of parts once you’re in. Switch the original CPU with the Raspberry Pi Zero W, speaker with the USB speaker, and find space for the Pimoroni board too.

The new stepper motor driver is inserted between the Pi and the Furby’s original motor and gearbox, which it will be… well, driving, obviously.

Three crucial pieces of software are needed for the mod to work. Amazon Alexa, which must be loaded onto the Pi, plus two scripts. One that controls the Furby’s motor, and one that impulses the motor program to operate whenever Alexa is detected as speaking. In all, it is reckoned the build can be completed in a few hours.

The full (and entertaining) build guide complete with parts list and scripts can be read over at Howchoo.

Source: Engadget

Furby Alexa mod

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November 30, 2017 at 10:52PM
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GE Additive Acquires GeonX to Boost Prototype Software Assessment

GE Additive Acquires GeonX to Boost Prototype Software Assessment
By Anne Freier

Virfac software can help to assess additive manufacturing prototype issues for enhanced product durability.

GE Additive, the digital industrial company, announced that it has acquired GeonX, a firm that specializes in virtual manufacturing and simulation software.

GeonX is headquartered in Belgium. It is known for its Virfac simulation software tool which helps engineers to assess their products before going into production. The company’s software is being used by engineers who develop additive manufacturing products, welding as well as heat treatment processes across industries such as aerospace, automotive as well as the energy sector.

Virfac, which stands for Virtual Factory, helps to assess product predicting defects, distortions and stresses. It can also predict what impact the manufacturing process can have on a product’s durability.

Virfac Speeds Up Development Time, Reduces Costs

Essentially, the software aims to reduce the number of prototypes engineers have to build in order to create a quality, durable product. The advantage is that development time and cost are significantly reduced. According to GE Additive, Virfac will be a valuable addition for its clients.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed and it is not entirely clear if GeonX will continue to function as a separate company or will be fused with GE Additive.

Laurent D’Alvise and Michel Delanaye, Co-founders and CEOs, GeonX, said: “GE Additive is the innovator in the additive manufacturing sector and we’re thrilled to join the team. Software is, of course, integral to digital transformation, so we are equally excited to be part of GE’s Digital Industrial journey.”

The acquisition follows a series of investments made by GE Additive including a $1.4 billion investment in Concept Laser, a German metal printing company and Arcam, the Additive Manufacturing for Implants and Aerospace firm.

In addition, GE Additive has invested around $1.5 billion into manufacturing and additive technologies over the last 10 years and developed additive applications for its GE businesses. The company holds hundreds of material science patents. GE Additive was established in 2016 to become a leading player in supplying additive technology, materials, and services globally.

(Source: Press Release)

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November 30, 2017 at 08:59PM
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Lego’s First AR App Brings Dragons and Pirates to Life

Lego’s First AR App Brings Dragons and Pirates to Life
By Sean Rohringer

A dragon brought to life with Lego AR-Studio

Imaginations come to life with Lego’s first augmented reality app. Capture the flurry of dragons, trains, and pirate ships on video!

Following the success of Pokemon Go, is it any wonder that other companies are trying to enter the world of augmented reality? Next in line is iconic Danish toy company Lego, who are about to launch their first AR app, called Lego AR-Studio.

Don’t Miss: Disney Releases Star Wars Augmented Reality Video Game

The free app, launching tomorrow, will be available for Apple devices running iOS 11, including the iPhone SE, iPad, and iPad Pro. Blocks that are viewed through the camera come to life — moving, making sounds, and interacting with each other.

Upon release, the app will work with six existing Lego sets. The first three, a police station, a fire station, and a train set, come from the “City” series. The remaining three belong to the “Ninjago” series, and include a dragon, a robot, and a pirate ship.

How fascinating would it be to see police car headlights light up or pirate sails flutter in the wind? Until tomorrow, it’s all speculation as to what the sets will do, but Tom Donaldson, VP of Lego’s Creative Play Lab, gave a sneak peak in an interview with The Memo:

“If you bring the fire-breathing dragon near to a model policeman, they’ll start responding to it.”

Make your own mini-film with Lego AR-Studio

Lego Both On and Off the Screen

Apart from turning imagination into reality, Lego AR-Studio comes with another important feature: The ability to record it all! Kids can capture their fantastical adventures on film, either to relive them another day or show them to friends and family.

It’s Donaldson’s intention to grow the AR experience by linking it to other sets. Needless to say, Lego’s primary focus will always be on the physical blocks.

“Obviously a lot of kids are spending a lot of screen time and parents sometimes worry about that,” he says, “but Lego bricks still are absolutely fantastic, and there is no way augmented reality means that you don’t need the bricks.”

In fact, he hopes that AR will draw more attention from the screen to the real world:

“We hope that mixing the physical and digital can help stop kids getting lost in their devices, bringing them back towards being more social and physically interactive.”

With Lego and Star Wars entering the world of AR, it stands to reason that other toy companies will soon follow.

AR continues to enhance the world around us. With big names like Lego, Disney, and Pokemon all entering the ring, it’ll be interesting to see who follows…

Source: The Memo

Go on an adventure with Sails flutter to life thanks to Lego AR-Studio

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November 30, 2017 at 06:59PM
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3D Printed Flying Camera Enables Fans to Play with Tuco the Cat

3D Printed Flying Camera Enables Fans to Play with Tuco the Cat
By Hanna Watkin


Maker Micah Elizabeth Scott is using 3D printing to create a cable-bot flying camera so viewers can interact with her cat, Tuco.

Micah Elizabeth Scott is a creator with a knack for designing, tinkering and 3D printing a huge range of projects. However, her real passion is for creating videos that document the process behind her various software and contracting projects.

As a result, she has 12k subscribers on YouTube. But she’s not the only star of this channel. Anyone who is familiar with Scott also knows her feline friend and co-starring cat.

‘Tuco’ is a polydactyl American Curl who loves chasing and fetching nylon bolts.

“My cat Tuco co-stars on my electronics and reverse engineering streams, but really, he deserves his own show,” Scott explains.

During live streams of her work, Scott has a camera fully dedicated to Tuco. However, she felt that wasn’t enough and decided to create a 3D printed cable-bot flying camera.

Incredibly, this means her viewers will be able to control a camera and interact with Tuco themselves. She calls it the ‘Tuco Flyer.’

The robotic camera will stream on ‘Twitch’ with an interactive control. She explains that the design is much like a 3D drawing machine and after an “awful lot” of CAD work and reverse engineering, she made progress on the flying camera system.

She explains more about the design of her 3D printed 1-dimensional robot in her latest video below:

3D Printing a Robot for Tuco the Cat

You could say Tuco the cat is getting more than enough stardom these days. But not without many hours of Scott’s determination and effort. In fact, the entire process was extremely complicated to design, but the final result is pretty neat.

Tuco’s camera will hover around the air, pulled on nylon strings, and controlled by four winch robots in the corners of the room.

Instead of a self-contained robot, like a quadcopter drone, Tuco’s flyer is a robot built into its infrastructure. There’s a lightweight, 3D printed platform with a camera, gimbal, and sensors.

The platform then glides through the room on nylon ropes. She used 3D printing, drilling and a “whole lot of CAD” to ensure that the gimbal could hold a camera that streams real-time, uncompressed video.

The robot itself relies on a network of other robots to pull it around. Scott even designed and 3D printed the winches herself as those available on the market weren’t suitable for her needs. Everything is made from 3D printed PLA, even the shells for the design.

Scott now has four videos dedicated to this project. However, in her latest video, she explains that after a few wrong turns and a whole lot of CAD work, she’s now happy with the latest 3D printed winch.

If you want to check out Scott’s work in more detail, she makes the project’s code and CAD designs available on GitHub.

However, you can also just sit back and enjoy her live streams. Follow her on Twitter to find out when these will be. You can also find more of Scott’s videos from this series on YouTube.

Winch Bot

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November 30, 2017 at 04:57PM
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Formlabs and Materialise to Make 3D Printing Accessible to Hospitals

Formlabs and Materialise to Make 3D Printing Accessible to Hospitals
By Matthew Mensley

Formlabs Materialise partner up

The two companies are bundling their products to give hospitals a leg up when establishing in-house 3D print labs.

During a show floor appearance at the Radiological Society of North America’s annual meeting, SLA 3D printing specialists Formlabs and print service and software provider Materialise have announced a partnership that will see them offer packages of their products to healthcare institutions.

The offering is said to be a “complete, cost-effective and easy-to-use solution”. It will see Materialise Mimics inPrint medical imaging software bundled with Formlabs Form 2 desktop SLA 3D printers.

In a healthcare industry in which we frequently see meaningful use of 3D printing, the move could remove a big obstacle for many hospitals investigating the technology. With setup- and initial cost per part being the primary prohibitive factors, Formlabs and Materialise hope to dispel such barriers with this turn-key solution.

Formlabs Materialise partner up

A 3D Printer in Every Hospital

The primary use case cited for explaining the partnership is the rapid adoption of 3D printed anatomical models. Essential to the meticulous planning that happens pre-surgery, anatomical models taken from patient’s scans can mean significant savings in cost and surgery time.

Materialise’s Mimic inPrint is a purpose-built program for transforming image data, compiling it into 3D models for the user to extract 3D printable files. There’s a fascinating series of videos detailing how it works over on the Materialise website.

Speaking of the product tie-up, David Lakatos, Chief Product Officer at Formlabs said:

“By combining Materialise’s software with Formlabs’ 3D printers, we have developed a simple, easy-to-use solution for hospitals to incorporate 3D printing into their daily practices. Together, we’re introducing technology that enables advancements in precise patient care.”

Interested healthcare professionals can find out more on the Materialise website.

Source: Formlabs

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November 30, 2017 at 02:59PM
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Designer Creates 3D Printed Bicycle Helmets Using HP’s Multi Jet Fusion

Designer Creates 3D Printed Bicycle Helmets Using HP’s Multi Jet Fusion
By Anne Freier

3D printing has been key to innovation across a wide variety of product lines. Recently, Gabriel Boutin, a Canadian industrial designer and founder of additive manufacturing-focused design company Syncro Design, has been inspired by 3D printing to create a special series of 3D printed bike helmets.

Dubbed Kupol, the project focused on the design and creation of a more comfortable bicycle helmet. Boutin wanted to get rid of the polystyrene foam parts that were not comfortable and usually result in helmet users sweating underneath. The new Kupol helmet keeps the head cooler due to a patented 3D-printed plastic structure which allows the air to flow through. The entire helmet also weighs less than traditional helmets.

The Prototype Robust Enough To Withstand Serious Impact

To achieve his goals, Boutin worked with HP’s Multi Jet Fusion technology, which lets users create plastic parts using the HP MJF PA12 plastic. The HP MJF PA12 plastic is a more durable and chemical-resistant material which can help take creations straight from design to finished product.

The plastic is robust which means it can withstand some serious impact, but at the same time, it’s not too heavy. The material is also not too expensive. This makes it suitable for prototyping but also the production of finished products.

For Boutin, 3D printing offered an opportunity to go from prototype to finished product at a much faster pace. In addition, the technology lets users develop more complicated and intricate designs and structures.

As the quality of 3D printing materials continues to improve, more designers are opting for additive manufacturing to create finished products as opposed to lengthy prototyping procedures first. In addition, the 3D printing finishes continue to improve which allows users to finalize their products with a quality surface look.

For his designs, Boutin worked with Sculpteo’s 3D printing service, which provides the HP Multi Jet Fusion technology. Designers looking for a robust plastic with good resistance to chemicals, can place an order through Sculpteo’s online 3D printing service and choose the HP Multi Jet Fusion PA12 black plastic.

Sculpteo also provides a range of 3D printing finishes to smooth out surfaces, including the Smoothing Beautifier finish as well as Color Resist and Color Touch finishes (if black is not your thing).

(Source: Sculpteo)

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November 30, 2017 at 12:59PM
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Startup “Candid” Raises $15 Million For 3D Printed Dental Aligners

Startup “Candid” Raises $15 Million For 3D Printed Dental Aligners
By Hanna Watkin

Candid, the dental startup, raised $15 million in a Series A financing round. They now plan to expand their operations to find new customers.

The teeth straightening, New York-based startup, Candid has raised $15 million in a Series A financing round. Leading the round was Greycroft, Bessemer, and

With a total of $17 million in funds raised so far, Candid plans to expand their operations and find new customers for their customized, 3D printed aligners.

What’s special about Candid? Their claim to offer an affordable approach to dental care. As the stereotype goes, Americans love having straight, white teeth. However, dental costs can get in the way of this American dream.

But, by offering a different and cheaper approach, Candid wants to enable more people to afford straight teeth. The aligners are FDA-approved and are much cheaper than the already popular – and also 3D printed – Invisaligns.

Candid skips out a trip to the dentist. Instead, you simply receive a mail-order tooth modeling kit at home.

Although the startup’s use of 3D printing isn’t the first time it’s been used in the industry (with Align Technology already using SLA 3D printing), it claims to be cheaper and more convenient.

As well as a successful financing round, within just three weeks of its launch in September 2017, Candid also sold out its entire inventory.

How to get your dream smile from home ✨ #livecandid

Posted by Candid Co. on Thursday, November 9, 2017

Straighten Your Teeth Without a Trip to the Dentist

Those interested in the startup’s technology simply send off for a mail-order tooth modeling kit which costs $95. You then bite down on the kit and send it right back to the company, along with a few pictures. If your teeth are too severe for Candid to fix, you’ll get your money back.

Otherwise, with the help of a network of orthodontists and 3D printers, the impressions are turned into clear aligners in Candid’s lab and posted back to you.

The DIY option makes the package cheaper and means it’ll fit into a busy schedule. However, does this mean that the result is less accurate? The promising startup claims not.

An average treatment lasts for five months which costs $88 per month over 24 months. Alternatively, you can choose to pay $1,900 up front. Depending on your dental insurance plan, you might find that half of your treatment is covered.

Not only has this simple process intrigued new investors during the Series A financing round, it has also kept the interest of existing investors, such as Arena Ventures, who contributed once more. Visit the Candid website to find out more or check out their Facebook page.

Source: B3dgeable


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November 30, 2017 at 02:59AM
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A Real-Life Version of the Chrome T-Rex Game

A Real-Life Version of the Chrome T-Rex Game
By Sean Rohringer

The final version of Uri's Chrome T-Rex game

Google developer Uri Shaked created a real-life version of the Chrome T-Rex game, first for Geekcon, then for the Chrome Developer Summit.

If you use Google Chrome, you’re probably familiar with the tiny pixelated dinosaur that appears whenever “There is no Internet connection”. What you might not know is that he’s actually the star of a game, activated by you pressing the space bar.

Not a very effective way of keeping you happy until you’re back online, right? Well, it turns out that some people, like Uri Shaked, a developer at Google, are actually quite fond of the game!

In fact, he likes it so much that he, together with his girlfriend Ariela, created a real-life version of the game at Geekcon.

Uri describes Geekcon as “a weekend-long hackathon where the purpose is to build useless but cool stuff”. Indeed, the headline at is, “Top talent, Endless creativity, Mostly Useless”.

The most recent event took place on the 14th of September. Along with Uri’s T-Rex game, other projects included a mopey robot and robotic cat that chases a laser pointer.

Following the success of his game, Uri asked the organizing team for the upcoming Chrome Developer Summit if they’d like it to appear as an exhibition. They were thrilled.

And so the version at Geekcon became a prototype…

The final product required a little more work. Many of the parts were 3D printed, including the cactus carriers and the mounts for various mechanical components.

The Chrome T-Rex Game… Without Chrome

Originally Uri wanted the cacti to ride two separate conveyor belts. One would be placed behind the game’s backdrop and effectively recycle the cacti to the one in front, with two transferring mechanisms between them.

Unfortunately, the idea was too complex — skipped for the prototype and scrapped in the final version.

Instead of the mechanisms, Uri used two circular tracks, in effect creating a large loop. As a result, the cacti run circles around the backdrop.

To detect the cacti and award points, Uri attached magnets to their carriers, and a magnetic sensor to the track.

Making the T-Rex jump was relatively easy. Indeed, Uri and his girlfriend had the dinosaur leaping through the desert within the first few hours of Geekcon. This was achieved with a motor, attached to a big fat button, and a pulley, attached to the tiny carnivore.

Because the game would be presented at the Chrome Developer Summit, Uri felt it was fitting that it should make use of Google Web Technologies. As such, the entire game is programmed in JavaScript!

For more details of the game’s construction, check out Uri’s blog post. And if you’re interested in making it yourself, he’s uploaded all the 3D printable parts onto Thingiverse!

Source: Codeburst

Uri's Chrome T-Rex game: a big hit at Geekcon

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November 30, 2017 at 12:57AM
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The All3DP Holiday Gift Guide

The All3DP Holiday Gift Guide
By All3DP

All3DP gift guide

Give the gift of 3D printing this festive season! Here’s a collection of 3D printers, accessories and more to inspire your gifting this year.

The post The All3DP Holiday Gift Guide appeared first on All3DP.

November 29, 2017 at 10:56PM
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New MIT Technology Makes 3D Printers 10 Times Faster

New MIT Technology Makes 3D Printers 10 Times Faster
By Anne Freier

3D printing has just been given a speed boost thanks to a team of MIT researchers who have developed a 3D printer that is ten times faster than consumer models at creating builds.

Such high throughput printing and additive manufacturing processes can lower costs and scale processes in the future.

Developed by a team of engineers at MIT, the desktop-scale extrusion additive manufacturing system provides a much larger build rate than other commercial systems.

The team says that processes which traditionally take around an hour to print can be finished within just minutes using the ‘FastFFF’ system.

FFF stands for fused filament fabrication technology and as the name suggests, the system is a faster version thereof. It is basically the same as FDM which is used across most 3D printers to deposit melted plastic layers – but with some technological twists.

How To Speed Up a Printer

The team found that faster extrusion additive manufacturing can be achieved using a novel high-throughput print head.

The FastFFF system combines a nut-feed extruder, laser-heated polymer liquefier, and parallel gantry to speed up the extrusion forces as well as the filament heating process and gantry motion.

The revised printhead includes a screw mechanism that can feed the filaments at much faster speeds, which results in an overall faster process. In addition, a laser has been fitted closer to this mechanism in order to speed up the melting of the plastics.

Overall, the high-speed solution does offer the possibility of testing new methodologies in additive modeling as well as business models. In addition, the team recognizes that the technology could potentially be adapted to deal with higher temperature thermoplastics and greater extrusion force composite materials. If you want to drill deeper, here’s the link to the research.

John Hart, Associate Professor at MIT, would not be opposed to the technology reaching the market via licensing the technology or starting a distribution opportunity. However, the path the team will take is not yet certain.

FastFFF would certainly be an improvement for companies currently employing desktop 3D printers by offering drastically reduced printing speeds. Indeed, being able to create handheld objects in under 10 minutes would seriously impact prototyping.

As for the cost of the system, things aren’t fully worked out just yet. The prototype cost $15,000 with the laser and servo motors being the costliest. According to the paper, the authors would propose a modification of the system to feature a heated enclosure to become more competitive for commercial use.

(Source: Techcrunch)

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November 29, 2017 at 08:55PM
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