Archivi del mese: luglio 2018

Markforged Cleared of Desktop Metal IP Infringement Claims

Markforged Cleared of Desktop Metal IP Infringement Claims
By Tyler Koslow

In March, Desktop Metal filed a lawsuit against Markforged for allegedly copying portions of its patented metal 3D printing processes. Last week, a federal jury decided to clear Markforged of both IP infringement allegations, marking a major victory for the defendant. 

UPDATE (7/30/18) – Court Clears Markforged of IP Infringement Accusations

Earlier this year, two of the pioneers in metal additive manufacturing squared off in court over accusations of patent infringement. The Massachusetts-based startup Desktop Metal alleged that its competitor Markforged– also based in Massachusetts –had copied two patents relating to their metal 3D printing process.

After a three-week trial concluded on July 27th, a 12-person federal jury reached a verdict clearing Markforged of the charges that it infringed upon Desktop Metal’s Intellectual Property. Court proceedings relating to the five counts of trade and contract violations are still pending and have yet to be settled, but the verdict on IP infringement can certainly be considered as a victory for Markforged.

The lawsuit was initially launched in March 2018 when Desktop Metal accused Markforged of infringing upon U.S. Patent No. 9,815,118, entitled ‘Fabricating Multi-Part Assemblies’, and U.S. Patent No. 9,833,839, entitled ‘Fabricating an Interface Layer for Removable Support’. Shortly after the infringement lawsuit was filed, Markforged CEO Greg Mark came out strongly against the allegations, calling them “far-fetched.”

Both companies have been developing metal 3D printing systems for around the same time, with Markforged unveiling its own three months about before Desktop Metal did. However, aside from having similar aspirations in the metal 3D printing field, there was also an odd familial link between the two companies. Desktop Metal had previously employed a man named Matiu Parangi as a print lab technician. Unbeknownst to them at the time of hiring, Matiu’s brother Abraham Parangi was working as the Director, Technology & Creative at Markforged.

In the lawsuit, Desktop Metal alleged that the former employee downloaded a host of proprietary information relating to IP and processes, sharing them with his brother and thus Markforged, directly violating a Non-Disclosure Agreement that he signed in 2016. While some aspects of the case is still pending, the decision to dismiss the IP infringement charges against Markforged is certainly newsworthy.

All3DP reached out to Desktop Metal and Markforged for comment, and received the following responses.

Markforged’s Statement

“Markforged printers have changed the way businesses produce strong parts while dramatically impacting the delivery times, cost, and supply chain logistics. We feel gratified that the jury found we do not infringe, and confirmed that the Metal X, our latest extension of the Markforged printing platform, is based on our own proprietary Markforged technology,” said Greg Mark, founder and CEO of Markforged. 

Desktop Metal’s Statement

“Desktop Metal is pleased that the jury agreed with the validity of all claims in both of Desktop Metal’s patents asserted against Markforged. Desktop Metal has additional claims pending alleging trade secret misappropriation by Markforged. The Federal District Court has bifurcated those counts and will try them at a later date. At Desktop Metal, we remain committed to building on our leadership in the metal 3D printing sector and continuing to provide innovative products and solutions to our hundreds of customers across industries. We are currently reviewing legal options concerning the infringement issue,” Desktop Metal stated.

We will continue to update this story as more information comes to light.

If you’re unfamiliar with the origins of this case, continuing scrolling to read our previous coverage on the case, as well as the public statements issued by both Desktop Metal and Markforged. 

UPDATE (3/21/18 at 11:15 EST) – Desktop Metal Statement

UPDATE 2 (3/26/2018) – Markforged Responds 

Last year, the industry saw a massive influx of metal 3D printing innovation. This sudden charge was led by the Massachusetts-based startup Desktop Metal, which has successfully raised $277 million in funding over the past couple of years.

This metal manufacturing movement also saw contributions from the likes of Digital Metal and Markforged, the latter of which was already a household industry name for its development in continuous carbon fiber 3D printing.

Interestingly enough, right around the same time that Desktop Metal unveiled its metal 3D printing systems, Markforged also made a public shift into the very same market.

In January 2017, the continuous carbon fiber 3D printing pioneers announced the Markforged Metal X, a metal 3D printer that operates similarly to Desktop Metal’s Studio System. Meanwhile, Desktop Metal had been working on its process since it was founded in 2015, and officially debuted the Studio System and Production System in April 2017.

At the time, both Desktop Metal and Markforged were recognized as two prominent trailblazers on the new frontier of affordable metal 3D printing.

But this week, we learned some shocking revelations that seem to have pitted the two companies against one other in the courtroom.

Desktop Metal has launched a lawsuit against Markforged, alleging that the competitor and fellow Massachusetts-based business had copied portions of their patented metal 3D printing process. The official lawsuit, which was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, is leveled against Markforged and an ex-employee of Desktop Metal named Matiu Parangi.

We were intrigued by the case for obvious reasons, and after taking a deeper look at the court documents, discovered a riveting and longwinded history between this pair of 3D printing companies.

The Unique History Between Desktop Metal’s CEO and Markforged

In the lengthy complaint, Desktop Metal accuses Markforged of infringing on two particular patents. The first is entitled  “Fabricating Multi-Part Assemblies” (U.S. Patent No. 9,815,118). This patent refers to Desktop Metal’s method for fabricating a first object from a first material, which includes a powdered material and a binder system.

The second patent is entitled “Fabricating an Interface Layer for Removable Support” (U.S. Patent No. 9,833,839). This patent refers to the support structure system developed by Desktop Metal.

In the recently filed complaint, these two patents are commonly referred to as the “Patents-in-Suit”.

Although the two competitors both unveiled its metal 3D printing technology in 2017, the origins of this story actually start in 2015, the very same year that Desktop Metal was founded by CEO Ric Fulop.

Prior to starting the company, Fulop worked as a General Partner at the venture capital fund North Bridge. According to complaint, Fulop was directly involved with the venture capital fund’s investment in Markforged.

Section 14 of the complaint states:

At North Bridge, Mr. Fulop led the software and 3D investing practices, and was an early stage investor and board member in Dyn (acquired by Oracle for $600 million), Gridco, Lytro, Markforged, Onshape, and Salsify. In the spring of 2015, Mr. Fulop began to the process of winding up his activities at North Bridge and thinking of new projects to pursue.

The court filing goes on to state that Fulop informed North Bridge and Markforged on his intention to pursue metal 3D printing, eventually leading to the founding of Desktop Metal. At that time, Markforged’s co-investor Matrix Partner expressed interest in investing in the new metal 3D printing startup, but Fulop opted to accept funding from other investors, and also stepped down from the Board of Markforged. In fact, the two companies even agreed to a review to ensure that Fulop’s plan for Desktop Metal didn’t infringe on Markedforged’s IP, and both sides agreed that it did not.

In April 2016, Desktop Metal filed the first provisional patent application that lead to the two “Patents-in-Suit”. The complaint alleges that, during this time, Markforged remained focused on its continuous carbon fiber 3D printing technology, releasing the Mark 2 3D printer in the same month.

The Hiring of Mr. Parangi: Another Unusual Connection Between Desktop Metal and Markforged

Let’s fast-forward to August 2016, the moment where this story and connection between Desktop Metal and Markforged gets really interesting. Desktop Metal had hired a man named Matiu Parangi to work as a technician on the startup’s “print farm”, which is where parts were 3D printed with prototypical machines.

Section 63 of the complaint explains the depth of sensitive information that Parangi was granted access to:

According to the complaint, in October 2016, Parangi “downloaded documents unrelated to his work on the print farm, including documents relating to Desktop Metal’s R&D strategy and proprietary technology” without the company’s knowledge.

Simultaneously, Fulop had revealed to employees that the company was about to close a financing round. Just one month later, Markforged’s counsel sent a letter to the Desktop Metal CEO to remind him “of obligations asserted to be owed to Markforged”.

Section 17 in the filed complaint reads:

On information and belief, this letter was intended to interfere with the financing of Desktop Metal. Nevertheless, the financing was successful and Mr. Fulop received no further communication from Markforged’s counsel.

In December 2016, Desktop Metal discovered that Matiu Parangi was actually the brother of Abraham Parangi, the “Digital Prophet” / Director, Technology & Creative” at Markforged. One month later, Markforged announced its Metal X 3D printer at CES 2017.

The Studio System was officially debuted by Desktop Metal in April 2017, showcasing the office-friendly 3D printer and its proprietary Separable Supports method, which enables users to remove support structures by hand. The company began shipping Studio System to customers in December 2017.

One year after announcing the Metal X at CES 2017, Markforged exhibited its new metal 3D printer at the very same trade show.

In an article written by in January 2018, Jon Reilly, Markforged’s Vice President of Product, was interview about the capabilities of the new Metal X 3D printer. He was directly quoted as stating that “the ceramic release layer sinters right off in the furnace for easy support removal,” in describing the capabilities of Markforged’s metal 3D printing technology.

Desktop Metal clearly believes that Markforged was infringing upon these “Patents-in-Suit” in order to compete with the Studio System. Section 25 of the complaint states:

As Desktop Metal begins shipping its Studio System, Markforged is seeking to compete directly with Desktop Metal by offering its Metal X 3D print system. Based on at least Markforged’s recent disclosures that its Metal X 3D print system uses a ceramic release layer that turns to powder during sintering, Markforged seeks to compete using Desktop Metal’s patented technology protected by the Patents-in-Suit.

Desktop Metal Files Lawsuit Against Markforged: What are the Allegations?

Desktop Metal has filed eight separate counts against Markforged and Mr. Parangi in the recently filed complaint. To gain a better understanding of what the company is alleging, let’s take a brief look at each count:

Count I – Infringement of ‘839 Patent

The first count accuses Markforged of infringing and continuing to infringe on Desktop Metal’s “Fabricating an Interface Layer for Removable Support” patent. This patent pertains to the unique support removal process featured in the Studio System, which uses an interface layer for easy removal.

The complaint states that Markforged has been selling the Metal X 3D printer for performing the same support removal methods Desktop Metal patented without permission.

Desktop Metal believes that this patent infringement was done knowingly, and that Markforged has caused damage and “irreparable injury” to the company.

Section 39 in the complaint states:

On information and belief, Markforged has had actual notice of the ’839 patent at least since Desktop Metal publicly announced its issuance on January 3, 2018, before Markforged exhibited its Metal X printer at CES and before Markforged granted an interview explaining its use of the methods claimed in the ’839 patent. On information and belief, Markforged’s infringement has been willful, as further evidenced by the allegations of 16 misappropriation and unfair competition set forth below. Markforged’s infringement will continue to be willful if Markforged does not discontinue its infringement.

Count II – Infringement of ‘118 Patent

This allegation pertains to the other half of the Patents-in-Suit, entitled “Fabricating Multi-Part Assemblies”. This patent refers to the process of fabricating a first object from a material that includes both powdered material and a binder system. Desktop Metal alleges that Markforged also knowingly infringed upon this patent, making the same argument displayed in Count I.

Count III – Violation of the Defend Trade Secrets of 2016

Count III is leveled against Markforged and Mr. Parangi, who Desktop Metal claims signed a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) while working with the company. The plaintiff accuses Parangi of acquiring trade secrets from Desktop Metal through improper means and disclosed them, therefore violating his NDA and obligations to his employer.

This allegation is summed up nicely in Section 77 of the complaint:

As a direct and proximate result of Mr. Parangi’s and Markforged’s misappropriation of trade secrets, Desktop Metal has suffered and will continue to suffer irreparable harm and other damages, including, but not limited to, loss of value of its trade 26 secrets. Desktop Metal is therefore entitled to civil seizure of property, injunctive relief, monetary damages for its actual losses, and monetary damages for unjust enrichment where damages for its actual losses are not adequately addressed.

Count IV – Trade Secret Misappropriation

Similar to the Count III, the following allegation refers to the misappropriation of Desktop Metal’s trade secrets, and is again leveled against both Markforged and Parangi. Here, the plaintiff expounds about the economic value that Desktop Metal’s trade secrets have, and that the ex-employee stole or unlawfully took these secrets and passed them onto his brother’s company.

Count V – Unfair or Deceptive Trade Practices

Count V alleges that both Markforged and Parangi engaged in unfair or deceptive trade practices through Desktop Metal’s Proprietary Information. The complaint states that Mr. Parangi assisted Markforged “to develop a directly competing product in the 3D metal printing field”, and that the defendant (Markforged) “knowingly received the benefits from the disclosure” of this information.

Count VI and VII – Breach of Contract (NDA)

These two counts focus strictly on Parangi, discussing the belief that the ex-employee knowingly violated the NDA, non-competition, and non-solicitation agreements that he had signed while working with Desktop Metal. Due to this alleged breach of contract, the plaintiff believes that Desktop Metal “has been and will continue to be irreparably harmed”. Therefore, the company believes it is entitled to injunctive relief and damages for these counts.

Count VIII – Breach of the Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing

This final count is also focused on Parangi, once again covering the “breaches of his contractual obligations and his improper use and/or disclosure of Desktop Metal’s Proprietary Information”. In Section 117, the plaintiff explains:

In Conclusion: Which Way Will the Gavel Fall?

We’ve reached out to Desktop Metal and Markforged for comment, and are still awaiting a response from both parties. Of course, we will continue to update this story as more information comes to light.

In the complaint, Desktop Metal requests that the Massachusetts Court takes a number of actions in favor of them and against Markforged and Parangi. These actions include:

A declaration in favor of Desktop Metal for each count.
Preliminary and permanent injunction preventing Markforged from continued infringement of the two patents.
Compensation for any current or future profits that Markforged has achieved as a result of the alleged breaches.
An award of three times the actual damages for Markforged’s unfair trade practices.
Civil seizure of property incorporating Desktop Metal’s trade secrets.

Until then, we can only speculate on how this strange case will play out. However, what we do for sure is that the connection between Desktop Metal and Markforged goes far beyond the two companies being located in Massachusetts and involved with metal 3D printing technology.

Stay tuned as this story develops…

UPDATE (3/21 at 11:15 EST)

A few hours after reaching out to Desktop Metal for a comment, we received a background statement from the company. Because the case is now in litigation, the company was unable to provide any further comments. Here’s the full statement released to All3DP:

Desktop Metal has filed a patent infringement lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts to protect the Company’s intellectual property from unauthorized use by Markforged. The lawsuit alleges Markforged’s Metal X 3D printer violates two Desktop Metal patents related to interface layer and separable support strategies for printing 3D metal parts, as well as trade secret misappropriation.

The lawsuit is based on U.S. Patent Nos. 9,815,118 and 9,833,839 that were granted to Desktop Metal in 2017 covering the Company’s interface layer technology for both its Studio System™, the first office-friendly metal 3D printing system for rapid prototyping, and Production System™, the only 3D printing system for mass production of high resolution parts. This technology makes it possible to print support structures that do not bond to parts and consolidate during sintering, as well as assemblies that do not consolidate during sintering.

In addition to the two patents covering the interface layer and Separable Supports™ technology, Desktop Metal has a portfolio of 100+ pending patent applications covering more than 200 inventions.

Desktop Metal was founded in October 2015 by CEO Ric Fulop and a group of the world’s leading experts in advanced manufacturing, metallurgy, and robotics, including 4 MIT professors, seeking to create a new category of metal 3D printers. Mr. Fulop has a long history as a successful entrepreneur and was an early stage investor and board member for a number of 3D printing startups, including Markforged. In the summer 2015, Mr. Fulop discussed with Markforged his intent to pursue untapped opportunities in metal 3D printing, and thereafter left the board to launch Desktop Metal.  At that time, Markforged was not in the metal 3D printing business.

“Metal 3D printing is an exciting, quickly growing and rapidly evolving industry and, as a pioneer in the space, Desktop Metal welcomes healthy and vibrant competition,” said Mr. Fulop. “When that competition infringes on our technology, however, we have a duty to respond. We believe Markforged products clearly utilize technology patented by Desktop Metal and we will do what is necessary to protect our IP and our Company.”

“Desktop Metal has invested significant resources in developing innovative additive manufacturing technologies for metal 3D printing and our intellectual property portfolio reflects the hard work of our engineers and scientists,” said James Coe, General Counsel of Desktop Metal. “We owe it to our customers, employees and shareholders to protect the ground-breaking nature of our technology and preserve that investment so we can continue to promote innovation.

Shortly after we received the response from Desktop Metal, a company spokesperson for Markforged also responded to our inquiry with a brief statement that “Markforged does not discuss ongoing legal matters publicly”.

UPDATE 2 (3/26) – Markforged Responds 

A few days after the story made rounds throughout the community, Markforged CEO Greg Mark released a statement in response to the accusations by Desktop Metal:

I founded Markforged in my kitchen six years ago. I dreamt of giving every engineer the ability to 3D print real, functional, mechanical parts. We invented something that had never existed before – a continuous carbon fiber 3D printer. Our Metal X product is an extension of that platform.

We’ve come a long way. We now have the most advanced technology platform in 3D printing, and I’m incredibly proud of what our team of engineers have accomplished.

On Monday, a competitor filed a lawsuit against us, including various far-fetched allegations. Markforged categorically denies these allegations and we will be formally responding shortly in our own court filing.

Markforged is a thriving business with a dedicated team of passionate people, and we’re going to continue to execute and deliver amazing products to our customers.

– Greg Mark, founder & CEO

Source (Court Documents): Law360

The post Markforged Cleared of Desktop Metal IP Infringement Claims appeared first on All3DP.

July 30, 2018 at 09:09PM
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Weekend Project: Get Scientific with this 3D Printed Open Source Laboratory Rocker

Weekend Project: Get Scientific with this 3D Printed Open Source Laboratory Rocker
By Tyler Koslow

Need some affordable scientific equipment to experiment and make a breakthrough discovery? This 3D printed open source laboratory rocker is a terrific tool for biological and molecular mixing applications.

In the scientific setting, a laboratory rocker is used as a mixing device for various biological and molecular applications. It consists of a tray mounted on top of a base, which contains the electronics and motor that control the speed and tilt angles of the platform.

It’s a necessary tool for various scientific experiments, but this piece of equipment tends to cost a pretty penny. That might be why one of the most popular 3D models currently on Thingiverse is an open source laboratory rocker.

This 3D printed lab rocker was designed by biomedical engineer and designer Akshay Dhamankar. It’s a variable speed, two-dimensional device that moves back and forth to create waves in liquid samples at mild to moderately aggressively rate. The design uses a changeable apparatus rack that can either hold a test tube or beaker.

While this 3D printed lab device sounds a bit difficult to put together, Dhamankar lays everything out in a few simple steps. If you’re a researcher on a budget who wants to spruce up your wet lab, bring some science home, or just take on a fun and educational project, this open source laboratory rocker is worth a look.

The creator of this project lists a number of applications that this lab rocker can be utilized for, including biological and molecular mixing, aggressive agitation of a biological mixture, PCB etching via Ferric Chloride bath, and even for mixing paint and thinner.

“It is my sincere hope that my design and contribution will help out many of the research personnel, small labs, wet labs etc. who plan to incorporate laboratory equipment like this with a tight budget,” the designer writes on Thingiverse.

3D Printed Open Source Laboratory Rocker: What you Need & How to Built it

The purpose of this open source project is to provide access to researchers and scientists on a tight budget, so the components needed to build your own lab rocker aren’t too costly. Aside from your 3D printer and material, here’s what else you need:

Arduino UNO Starter Kit
Skateboard bearings
NEMA 17 stepper motor
EasyDriver v4.4
12V DC power supply

The schematics for the circuits and Arduino code are available in a Google Drive folder.

There are 10 different STL files you’ll have to 3D print for this project, which the designer recommends using 25 percent infill for. Once you’ve printed the parts out, the rest of the assembly process is relatively straightforward.

Following along schematics and provided photos, you need to connect all of the electronic components and situate them inside of the 3D printed base.

Dhamankar uses super glue to mount the skateboard bearings in the various slots that are embedded in the 3D printed parts. He also suggests using a thick silicone rubber sheet (3mm) on the surface of the ‘Single Piece Beaker Tray’ to act as an anti-slip mat.

Since this project is open source, all of the 3D models and product photographs are available to all. If you need more information on this project, you can contact Dhamankar directly through Thingiverse.

The post Weekend Project: Get Scientific with this 3D Printed Open Source Laboratory Rocker appeared first on All3DP.

July 29, 2018 at 03:05PM
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Weekend Project: Make a Summer Splash with this 3D Printed WiFi Paddle Boat

Weekend Project: Make a Summer Splash with this 3D Printed WiFi Paddle Boat
By Tyler Koslow

Summertime is here, and what better way to spend it then by lounging outside by a refreshing body of water. Take your enjoyment of the outdoors a step further by becoming the captain of your own 3D printed WiFi Paddle Boat, designed by Greg Zumwalt.

When the heat of the summer hits, we all want to flock to the nearest pool or lake to cool off. Just because you’ve decided to get off of the computer and outdoors doesn’t mean you can’t utilize WiFi for some recreational fun. At least that’s what we’ve learned from maker and designer Greg Zumwalt, who recently shared his 3D printed WiFi Paddle Boat on Instructables.

The WiFi Paddle Boat is controlled use WiFi via a smart phone, tablet, or any other touch enabled device. The designer explains that his boat creates a WiFi access point that you can connect directly to. From there, you can navigate the ship from his WiFi Paddle Boat webpage.

This project offers a great way to entertain the kids or even yourself this summer, and is a bit complex but also undeniably awesome. Think you’re up for the challenge? Let’s take a closer look at this project to see whether you’re seaworthy or not!

3D Printed WiFi Paddle Boat: What You Need & How to Build

This is a pretty complex project that requires a wide range of 3D printed parts, components and also some soldering. However, don’t get discouraged, as Zumwalt lays out the entire project in detail on his Instructables page. We’ll give a quick overview of what you need and how to build the WiFi Paddle Boat.

For printing, the designer shares the STL files for three versions: the base model, detailed model and another for those that have a dual extrusion 3D printer. Depending on which model you choose, you’ll need to print anywhere from seven to ten parts. You should also test fit and trim, file, and sand the 3D printed parts prior to assembly. The STL files can be downloaded directly from Instructables.

Here’s the rest of the checklist for this project:

Main Components

Heltec WiFi Kit 32 with Oled display
Timesetl L298N Motor Drive Controller
2x 300 RPM 6 VDC Mini Gear Motors
4x Sealed Ball Bearings (10 x 15 x 4mm)
Ares AZSZ2503 1200 mAh 2-Cell/2S 7.4V 25C Lipo Battery
JST Female Connector

Additional Tools

Cyanoacrylate Glue
Acrylic Caulk
Needle Nose Pliers
Jewelers files
Wire cutters
Wire strippers
Clear PLA safe spray paint
Solder and soldering iron

Once you’ve gathered your supplies and printed the parts, it’s time to start the assembly process. The instructions are bit lengthy, so we’ll just spell out the basics for you. After preparing the 3D printed parts for assembly, you’ll have to program the Heltec WiFi Kit 32 board. The WiFi Paddle Boat was written in the Arduino environment for the ESP32 chip, and Zumwalt shares the libraries and everything else you need on the project page.

Next, there’s some wiring required, so you’ll need to have a soldering iron and solder on-hand. The maker shares each step on Instructables, but to give you an idea of the complexity level, here’s a photo of the wiring:

Finally, once the wiring is complete, it’s time to assemble the WiFi Paddle Boat. There are a number of steps to take in order to put everything together, making this project more ideal for seasoned makers. However, if you’re feeling ambitious enough, a determined beginner can also follow along with Zumwalt’s step-by-step instructions. You can find the lengthy assembly process on Instructables, along with detailed photos and videos showcasing how to build and test your 3D printed ship.

The post Weekend Project: Make a Summer Splash with this 3D Printed WiFi Paddle Boat appeared first on All3DP.

July 22, 2018 at 05:04PM
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Weekend Project: 3D Print Your Own Magnetic Levitation Device!

Weekend Project: 3D Print Your Own Magnetic Levitation Device!
By Tyler Koslow

Instructables user and designer 3DSage has unveiled an amazing 3D printed Levitation Device that you can make at home. It’s a crazy contraption that uses a magnet to make objects float before your very eyes! 

For many of us, childhood was marked by amazement when we witnessed our favorite superhero defy the laws of gravity and levitate to the rescue. The concept of levitation is one that seems highly technical or even impossible to some. But that couldn’t be further from the truth, and we’re here to show you how.

One maker named 3DSage has proven that you can bring this phenomenon to reality with your 3D printer and a few components. That’s right…You can make your own Magnetic Levitation Device at home! It might sound like a daunting task, but this project is actually quite easy for beginners and advanced makers alike.

This project is designed for those who lack experience with electronic circuitry and soldering, so don’t be intimidated by the end result. You will need to 3D print a few parts and obtain and handful of components to assemble this Magnetic Levitation Device, so let’s take a closer look at this incredible Weekend Project!

3D Printed Magnetic Levitation Device: What You Need & How to Build

There are eight different parts that need to be 3D printed, all of which are available to download on Thingiverse. The designer suggest printing the parts with 20 percent infill, no support structures necessary. When printing the spool holder parts, 3DSage recommends using a slow print speed.

Other than the STL files, here’s what else you need to create your own 3D printed Magnetic Levitation Device:

Hall Effect Sensor A3144 Unipolar
4x AA Battery Holder Cover & Switch

Neodymium Ring Magnets 9.5×1.5mm (Or any small strong magnet)
Magnet Wire AWG 30
Steel Screw 4x15mm Philips head
1K Resistor (Brown, Black, Red)
Mini breadboard 25 tie-points

Once you have all of your materials, it’s time to get started on the assembly process. 3DSage begins with the 3D printed spool holder and magnet wire. First, place the small 3D printed spool holder inside of the larger one, adding the 4x15mm screw on top. Insert a couple of inches of the wire through the small hole closest to the center of the spool holder and wind the wire tightly.

The next step is the breadboard circuit, which the designer has made as simple as possible. Here’s a diagram to help you follow along:

You have to place the hall sensor in the exact right position  to make this levitation device work properly. This is why 3DSage made a breadboard holder so that you can move it around and tune it accordingly. The designer goes into the assembly process in more depth on YouTube, so if you want to learn more about how to created a levitation device, check out the video below!

Source: Instructables

The post Weekend Project: 3D Print Your Own Magnetic Levitation Device! appeared first on All3DP.

July 21, 2018 at 03:05PM
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Weekend Project: 3D Print These Seaworthy Voronoi Jellyfish Lights

Weekend Project: 3D Print These Seaworthy Voronoi Jellyfish Lights
By Tyler Koslow

Give your home an aquatic feel with these incredible 3D printed DIY Voronoi Jellyfish lights created by German maker and Thingiverse user UniversalMaker3D. 

Who needs IKEA when you have your very own 3D printer? Okay, well sometimes it’s nice to buy some new furnishings and chow down on those Swedish meatballs, but you can also go the DIY route and produce your own stylish and decorative objects to spruce up the home. One common use for 3D printing is to create custom lighting fixtures, and we’ve seen a myriad of great ideas across the maker-sphere.

German student and Thingiverse user UniversalMaker3D has recently designed free-floating Jellyfish lights. The design is inspired by the mathematically-driven design concept of Voronoi, which provides a complex structure to the 3D printed sea creature.

The Voronoi design gives a coral reef-like impression, adding to the oceanic vibe that these jellyfish lights conjure up. The 3D printed shell is embedded with a number of tiny holes, creating a jaw-dropping lighting effect on your walls. Add some tentacles to the mix and you’ve got yourself a lighting fixture that will have you feeling as if you’re living under the sea.

3D Printed Voronoi Jellyfish: What You Need & How to Build it

Since the jellyfish-like lighting enclosure is designed in the complex Voronoi style, you’ll need to use supports when 3D printing the base of the model. UniversalMaker also shares the STL files for the tentacles and other parts, all of which are freely available on Thingiverse.

Aside from your 3D printer, filament and the 3D model, there’s still some other components you’ll need to make your sea creature lamp light up. Here’s the checklist:

9V Battery
5mm LEDs 
SPDT Slide Switch
Voltage converter
9V battery connectors

Once you have your 3D printed jellyfish body and tentacles, along with all of the necessary electronic components, it’s time to put everything together. Take the LEDs and run them through the bottom of the 3D printed top and connect it via the switch to the battery.

The 3D printed top and bottom sections are designed to slide perfectly over each other, but might require a bit of sanding. Finally, mount the jellyfish with the cables, which are used to activate the LEDs. That’s about it as far as assembly goes! If you want to catch a visual of how awesome these 3D printed jellyfish lights look, check out the designer’s instructional video below.

The post Weekend Project: 3D Print These Seaworthy Voronoi Jellyfish Lights appeared first on All3DP.

July 15, 2018 at 03:10PM
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2018 3D Printed Gun Report – All You Need to Know

2018 3D Printed Gun Report – All You Need to Know
By Tyler Koslow

Should you fear 3D printed guns? Read our 2018 3D printed gun report to learn about the latest news, laws and actual threats to help you sort facts from fears.

BREAKING NEWS UPDATE (7-12-2018): After taking the U.S. government to court, Cody Wilson and Defense Distributed have reached a settlement that will allow the organization to re-upload 3D printable gun models to their website. Learn more about this potentially landmark decision on All3DP

Both makers and lawmakers around the world have taken notice of 3D printed guns. Regardless of intention, their efforts to stifle the use of 3D printed firearms have given rise to a number of difficult questions.

Should someone with the files for a 3D printed gun be charged with the same crime as someone that actually has the gun? Has the media sensationalized the rise of 3D printed guns? What’s the best way to regulate 3D printed weapons? And most importantly, should you fear 3D printed guns? 

To answer these questions, we will examine the reasons why you should and shouldn’t fear the 3D printed gun, explain the history, and then go over the laws that have been put in place to stop them.

The 3D Printed Gun: All You Need to Know Right Now

Reasons to Fear & Not to Fear 3D Printed Guns
A Brief History of the 3D Printed Gun
3D Printed Gun Laws in United States of America
3D Printed Gun Laws in Australia
3D Printed Gun Laws in Europe and United Kingdom
3D Printed Gun Laws in Asia and the Middle East
3D Printed Guns on the Dark Net
The 3D Printed Gun: Conclusion

Reasons to Fear & Not to Fear 3D Printed Guns

There are valid arguments for why you should and shouldn’t fear 3D printed guns, making this quite the loaded issue. To offer a fair and balanced view on this controversial topic, we’ll offer reasons on both sides of the 3D printed gun debate to help you decide for yourself.

Why You Should Fear

From CNN to Gizmodo, mainstream media outlets have focused more on 3D printed firearms than any other innovative application of this wide-ranging technology. But where does this fear stem from?

Perhaps what stirs this fear isn’t the functionality of these homemade weapons, but the ease of creating one without anyone knowing. Many states in the U.S. and other countries throughout the world have strict gun control laws. Generally speaking, those who are allowed to own a firearm must have it registered. But with 3D printed guns, people fear that criminals and other unstable people will be able to produce firearms at home and commit crimes with it.

Although the current state of desktop 3D printing doesn’t necessarily allow high-quality firearms to be manufactured at home, this could also change as the technology advances. For instance, as metal 3D printing becomes more affordable and accessible, the potential to create higher-grade weapons could grow.

Another valid fear is that 3D printing could lead to cheap firearm factories for criminals. But again, having a gun 3D printed in metal would cost thousands of dollars, making it more convenient for criminals go to through other illegal channels to find one.

Needless to say, it’s not a 3D printed gun that should be feared. If anything, it’s the idea of being able to manufacture firearms unchecked that really drives this frenzy forward.

Why You Shouldn’t be Concerned

It’s quite easy to produce a plastic firearm with the proper 3D files and desktop printer. But this homemade 3D printed gun is far from reliable when it comes to functionality. In fact, police testing has proven that a 3D printed gun could endanger the shooter as much as anyone else.

A firearm produced with ABS material could break apart or even potentially explode in the hands of the user when fired. Softer PLA will likely cause the parts to bend or deform after firing.

Realistically, neither ABS or PLA is ideal for producing firearms. While most 3D printed guns are made using ABS, chances are only a single shot will be able to be fired before it either breaks or fails. The reason for this is because the act of firing a bullet simply exerts too much power for most thermoplastics to withstand.

Some gun enthusiasts have created hybrid 3D printed guns, consisting of traditional metal components and thermoplastics. In theory, these firearms should offer much better functionality than an ABS-based weapon. But again, building a hybrid 3D printed gun seems counterproductive to just finding an actual one.

Lastly, metal 3D printing can and has been used to produce a fully functional firearm. There’s no denying this. But, these type of prints are extremely costly, and it makes no sense for a criminal to go to a metal 3D printing service instead of finding a cheaper and more discreet way on the black market.

This also helps to quell the fear that a 3D printed gun would be able to slip through a metal detector, seeing that at least a metal firing pin would be needed to make the makeshift firearm functional. 3D printed guns that are comprised primarily of thermoplastic are extremely ineffective and thus aren’t worth the trouble of manufacturing cases where they will be used in a menacing way.

Essentially, there is no reason to fear a 3D printed gun any more than you would a traditionally manufactured one. In fact, in the United States, actual firearms are easier to get and are much more lethal. There are approximately 300 million firearms spread across the U.S., making the potential 3D printing gun epidemic pretty pointless.

As you will see later in this article, the threat level of a 3D printed gun is much higher in places with strict gun control, especially Australia.

A Brief History of the 3D Printed Gun

The world’s first functional 3D printed gun was designed back in 2013 by Cody Wilson, a crypto-anarchist and the founder of the Texas open source gunsmith organization Defense Distributed. The 3D files for this one-shot pistol were the first to be released into the world. They sparked an unprecedented controversy that still looms over the 3D printing community to this very day.

After the files for the Liberator were downloaded over 100,000 times in two days, the US Department of State compelled Defense Distributed into taking the model down. This demand has sparked an ongoing legal battle between the techno-anarchist and government.

Most of the 3D printed guns that have surfaced thus far are pistols. But even semi-automatic weapons have been released by Defense Distributed – and confiscated by police.

As 3D printed gun blueprints are distributed by the internet, they have been found across the world, from Australia to Japan, Europe to the Americas. These makeshift firearms have found their way into the hands of police, criminals, and libertarians alike.

Since the release of the Liberator, many government bodies have been scrambling to impose laws that would strictly prohibit 3D printed guns, and in some cases even 3D models of firearms.

Nowadays, additively manufactured weapons remain an unknown threat, but countries like Australia and the United States are not wasting any time in fear-mongering and passing laws.

Most 3D printed guns are based off previously existing designs. Most of them are freely available to download, but also hard to find due to increasing illegality. But when Defense Distributed’s Liberator first hit the scene, it proved that a firearm could be produced almost entirely out of thermoplastic material.

Every component of Wilson’s Liberator was 3D printed except for the metal firing pin and the actual bullet. As you can see in the photo below. The Defense Distributed founder has also created an automatic weapon that is not fully 3D printed but is equipped with additively manufactured components, in the past.

Since then, Wilson has continued on his campaign to put DIY firearms in the spotlight. After his 3D model was forced off the internet, Defense Distributed released the Ghost Gunner, a desktop CNC milling machine designed to manufacture guns. At first, the machine was only capable of producing the lower receiver component for an AR-15. However, Wilson recently upgraded the Ghost Gunner software to make it capable of creating the aluminum frame of a M1911 handgun.

While Wilson believes that he is advocating for gun rights by making firearm production more accessible and undetectable, others have grown worried about this technology getting into the wrong hands. Across the world, countries are passing laws that equate 3D printed guns with traditional firearms. In some places, even having the 3D model for a firearm would be considered possession of an illegal weapon.

Now that we’ve shared a brief history of 3D printed guns with you, let’s take a look at the laws that have been drawn up to prevent people from 3D printing their own firearms.

3D Printed Gun Laws in the United States of America

After the Liberator was deemed in violation of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), Wilson filed a federal civil suit against the State Department. To this very day, Wilson is still fighting for his right to publish his 3D printable firearm files. 

In September 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit rejected his preliminary injunction request, claiming that national security concerns outweigh Defense Distributed’s First Amendment right to freedom of speech.

Even though the State Department has succeeded to keep 3D gun files illegal in court, Wilson’s design and a handful of others have seeped through the cracks of the internet. There have been a number of instances where 3D printed guns have been confiscated by police the US.

In August 2016, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at the Reno–Tahoe International Airport found a 3D printed gun and five .22-caliber bullets in a passenger’s carry-on bag. The year prior, two felons in Oregon were caught with an assault rifle that had a 3D printed lower receiver attached to it.

It is illegal under the Undetectable Firearms Act to manufacture any firearm that cannot be detected by a metal detector. 3D printed guns are usually made from PLA or ABS and are therefore not allowed in the US, as legal designs for firearms require a metal plate to be inserted into the printed body.

Some states that allow firearm ownership have taken up the issue of 3D printed gun themselves. For example, California passed a law that requires a 3D printed gun to be properly approved and registered. But with relatively lax gun laws in a number of US states, 3D printed guns have proven to be a more glaring problem in Australia, which has much stricter anti-gun legislation.

But 3D printing isn’t the only manufacturing method being used to create gun parts under the radar. In February 2017, a California man known as “Dr. Death” was arrested and sentenced to three and a half years in prison for using CNC milling to manufacture and sell firearms. This traditionally industrial technology has also become more accessible over the years, and is considerably more of a threat due to its ability to work with metal.

All in all, when it comes to producing or obtaining weapons in an unlawful manner, 3D printing is far from preferable, at least in the current state of the technology. Criminal organizations may look towards 3D printing more often as the technology advances, but for now, most of the fear seems unjustified. At the end of the day, where there’s a will, there’s a way.

3D Printed Gun Laws in Australia

No country has encountered as much legal trouble with 3D printed guns as Australia has. Their strict firearm legislation has limited the access to traditional weapons. So some have turned to 3D printing to help circumvent the law.

In November 2016, Gold Coast police discovered a highly sophisticated weapons production facility that used 3D printers to produce machine guns. A month later, a collection of 3D printed firearms were seized in Tasmania, but the manufacturer was let off with a warning. Perhaps Australia’s most concerning case, police recently linked the discovery of 3D printed guns in Melbourne to the Calabrian mafia.

To combat the rise of 3D printed guns, New South Wales passed a law equating possession of 3D gun files to actual possession of a 3D printed gun. Some of Australia’s Senate members have their doubts about 3D printed guns being an imminent threat, and that further restrictions would hinder 3D printing innovation overall. The country’s Green Party has been a staunch opponent to 3D printed guns, citing the growth of the technology as proof that 3D printing will be capable of producing more dangerous weapons soon.

In 2013, New South Wales police tested out a 3D printed gun. With this handgun, they were able to fire a bullet 17 centimeters into a standard firing block, but the plastic exploded when the bullet was discharged.

In 2015, the county amended its firearms act to include a clause that says “A person must not possess a digital blueprint for the manufacture of a firearm on a 3D printer or on an electronic milling machine… [or face a] Maximum penalty: imprisonment for 14 years.”

But the situation in Australia is trickier than most. The glaring amount of confiscated 3D printed weapons seems to be linked to the country’s strict laws, making traditional metal firearms much more difficult to come across than they are in the US. It’s important to note that while a plastic 3D printed gun poses a minimal risk, most Australian legislators fear the increasing accessibility and affordability of metal 3D printers will come back to haunt them.

3D Printed Gun Laws in Europe and United Kingdom

3D Printed Gun Exhibit C

Contrary to Australia, the strict gun control laws in Europe have reduced the threat of 3D printed guns. Still, when you look at the regions that downloaded the Liberator files the most, you’ll find that most of the leading countries are located in Europe. During the two initial days Wilson’s infamous 3D printed gun was available online, it was downloaded the most in Spain, followed by the US, Brazil, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

The United Kingdom has been particularly concerned with the rise of 3D printed guns, calling them a threat to national security. In 2013, the UK Home Office introduces stricter regulations on 3D printed guns or gun parts, making it highly illegal to create, buy, or sell them in Great Britain.

Thus far, the threat of 3D printed guns in Europe has mostly been confined to television. The Italian crime TV series Gomorra recently depicted a RepRap 3D printer being used to create a 3D printed gun.

3D Printed Gun Laws in Asia and the Middle East

The 3D printed gun controversy isn’t just restrained to the western world. Shortly after Wilson’s design surfaced, Japanese citizen Yoshitomo Imura designed and printed a six-shot revolver known as the ZigZag. The government ended up sentencing him to two years in prison for 3D printing guns and also instructing others.

In Singapore, possession of a 3D printed gun is punishable by death, even if it’s an air pistol.

China has also taken extreme measures to monitor and prevent 3D printed guns and other weapon from surfacing. Police in Chongqing are requiring all companies with 3D printers to register themselves as “special industries”, asking for the equipment in use, the security measures they have in place, and even information on all employees.

While police in China certainly fear the potential rise of the 3D printed gun, other citizens feel that the law is an overreaction. According Kwok Ka Wai, assistant professor in the mechanical engineering department at the University of Hong Kong, there are practical limitations on using 3D printing to manufacture weapons or other items protected by copyright.

“There are a lot of tools that you can use to make bad things, but they are not tailor-made for that purpose,” he says.

Although they’re the most focused on, 3D printed guns are far from the only weapon that 3D printing can potentially be used to manufacture. Concerns have also mounted in the Middle East over the possibility that ISIS is using 3D printing to produce bombs.

3D Printed Guns on the Dark Net

With the distribution of 3D gun models illegal across the world, these 3D gun models have found a home on the dark net. Sold alongside traditionally manufactured firearms and other black market weapons, 3D printable gun designs are being distributed more and more through the deep web.

A recent study from the non-profit research organization RAND Corporation discovered a startling rise in 3D gun models. While looking at the entire dark net market for weapons, the researchers found that 11 of the for-sale items were CAD files for firearms.

Read More: 3D Printed Gun Designs Surface on Dark Web for $12

Now, it’s clear that CAD models are still way less threatening than the physical firearms sold on the black market, but the mere presence hints at a potentially dangerous situation in the future. What stood out the most to the RAND research team is the average cost of 3D gun models. While the average gun costs $1,200 on the dark net, a price for a 3D printable gun design averages out to $12.

Not only is the cost for these CAD models extremely low, but such files can be sold over and over again. Therefore, if and when the day comes where metal 3D printers become more affordable, it’s possible that this minor issue could start to loom larger.

The 3D Printed Gun: Conclusion

There’s no denying that 3D printed guns are being discovered in different parts of the world. They are getting more popular in Australia and US. But are these makeshift weapons really the treat the media portrays them to be? Ultimately, the answer seems to be yes, but more so no.

The current lack of access to affordable metal 3D printing makes producing a functional 3D printed gun solely with plastic difficult. But for most firearm components, this emerging technology could soon become a viable option for gunsmiths, gun advocates, and even criminal organizations. Also, the materials you can 3D print with are getting better and better.

At this point, there have been no violent crimes attributed to a 3D printed gun. But still, a more realistic threat will likely arise when access to metal 3D printing increases in the near future.

At the moment, it’s easy to dismiss anti-3D printed gun legislation as overreaching and embellished. But that doesn’t mean that various laws preventing the production and sharing of 3D printed guns don’t have any merit. Just as with any other youthful technology, 3D printing will continue to advance and become more affordable.

Needless to say, the fear-mongering campaign on 3D printed guns is way overblown, especially for the time being. While this emerging technology is providing incredible benefits to the medical, industrial, and consumer sectors, all the mainstream media seems interested in is making it seem like weapons are falling out of your 3D printer’s extruder.

At the end of the day, there’s no reason to fear a 3D printed gun any more than you would a conventionally manufactured or CNC milled firearm. Desktop 3D printers are not capable enough to create a lethal weapon on their own, and metal 3D printed guns are far too expensive to appeal to criminals.

There’s a reason that no violent crimes involving 3D printed guns have been reported. They’re unreliable, difficult to produce, and in most places, are harder to come across than a black market firearms. Regardless of your view on the right the bear arms, there’s no reason to lump in a technology that does much more good than harm.

The post 2018 3D Printed Gun Report – All You Need to Know appeared first on All3DP.

July 13, 2018 at 02:40PM
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Fashion Design Graduate Takes Major Step With Woven 3D Printed Shoes

Fashion Design Graduate Takes Major Step With Woven 3D Printed Shoes
By Anne Freier

In the world of fashion, 3D printing has opened the door for a whirlwind of new looks and styles, and designers have leveraged this technology to showcase just how unique their concepts can be.

Fashion design Ganit Goldstein, a fashion design graduate from the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem, has recently unveiled a collection of 3D printed clothing and shoes.

Goldstein’s “Between the Layers” collection consists of seven outfits and six pairs of shoes, all of which were created using 3D printing. By bridging the boundaries between modern manufacturing technology and traditional fashion design, Goldstein has created a range of unique pieces. The collection is a part of Goldstein’s graduation project, fusing additive manufacturing with traditional crafts such as weaving.

“My work begins with the design and production of digital objects that serve as a three-dimensional object. […] I then weave handmade threads in a unique manner to each object,” she explained in an email.

The inspiration behind this collection arose when Goldstein visited Japan as part of an exchange program at the Tokyo University of the Arts. During her stay abroad, she had the opportunity to learn a traditional Japanese textile technique called IKAT weaving.

Upon her return to Israel, she began to develop a weaving process using an Orginal Prusa i3 Mk3 3D printer. She then finished off the designs by adding hand-woven layers.

Intel collaboration highlights process behind the designs

Goldstein also worked in collaboration with the tech giant Intel, using the company’s 3D scanning technology as a part of the project. Specifically speaking, she developed an Augmented Reality app that showcases the process behind his 3D printed shoes and clothing.

One of the shoes in the collection was produced with the Stratasys Connex 3 printer. The latter provides multi-color printing capabilities.

“My work begins by examining the characteristics of the material, the qualities with which I can work with,” she explained. “Working with 3D software gives me the freedom to test which boundaries can be broken. [It provides] the understanding that the connection to the traditional craft material will create a completely new essence to the original material. For example, the technique of 3D layer printing allows me to re-examine which layers can be added and what new connections I can create.”

Overall, the final collection accomplishes an interesting balance between modern technologies and traditional fashion design.

Source: Ganit Goldstein

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The post Fashion Design Graduate Takes Major Step With Woven 3D Printed Shoes appeared first on All3DP.

July 10, 2018 at 06:59PM
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