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JF Brandon

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3D Systems is a positive potent powerplant of press releases. Coming off their acquisition of Geomagic, 3D Systems decided to unleash upon the unsuspecting world their second-generation line-up of Consumer 3D Printers, just in time for CES 2013 (okay, not so unexpected). We asked, what could the ‘X’ in CubeX stand for? Famously, when US…

Filed under awwww, Crayon Creatures mixes Elmer-glued 3D Printing and the drawings of your young ones, allowing you to figure their scribbles out and genuinly exclaim, “OHHH, it is a Giraffe!” But, there is a challenge – how does one stick it to the fridge? Magnets and more Elmer’s glue, but really, there’s no need as…

Nylon, it’s wonderful stuff. A silky fabric when weaved or a flexible polymer when moulded. Reach out with your hands and chances are you will touch something Nylon (Warning: Solidsmack is not responsible for any injury, due to electric fan or angry, nylon-collered Wombats). Oh, you have a 3D Printer next to your computer? And…

Yes, it’s a helicopter controlled by your brain. Something I never thought possible in my lifetime, let alone commercialized, but there you have it. The Puzzlebox Orbit is a toy chopper, the sort you fought for at Target on Black Friday. And had you avoided the hangry crowds you could have supported the Orbit on Kickstarter.…

All of us are recovering from what was a whole lot of fun in the Big Apple at World Maker Faire. More detailed posts will be forthcoming as we digest (AKA sleep/render video) on what occured. Suffice to say, success! In the meanwhile, I thought I’d post some pictures and quotes from a gem blogpost…

Rumors were swirling of the launch of a new 3D printer by a relatively unknown, yet pedigree group of MIT grads who call themselves Formlabs. And yesterday, they unveiled the Form 1 3D Printer on Kickstarter. Backed by glowing recommendations of John Hirschtick and Skylar Tibbits, the Form 1 seems to be an ‘it’s all that’…

Last April, I was lucky enough to be contacted by the Discovery Channel (Canada) and have them put the spotlight on the DShape and the Rygo Project. I was unlucky enough to have suffered a bike accident a week before filming, so the bruiser and stitches above my eye make me look significantly gruffer and…

Rumors have abounded about whether or not Makerbot is going to release the documentation for their latest machine, as they have with the Replicator and the Thing-o-matic. Open-Source is Bre’s middle name. Tangibot threw a wrench into Makerbot’s narrative to be the biggest hardware company in the Open Source world. Lucky for them, the combination…

Last week Makerbot stuck a timer on their website, filling everyone with suspense about what the heck would happen at 3pm EST today. And lo and behold, Bre Pettis delivered upon us a press conference. Not his best performance – he seemed a bit nervous. But who cares – look what he brought! A new Replicator…

Combining new and old, Ross Barber, at the London College of Fashion, has been stitching leather with 3D Printed pieces to create these absolutely superb ‘Future Noir’ shoes. It’s beyond commercialization at this point, so it’s not going to be available at Target soon or something you could buy and rock out with at a…

Hey, we haven’t done one of these in a while! What’s going on in Crowdfundland? Brilliant ideas? Or Annoying ones? We probably only notice the brilliant ones, because Kickstarter filters search results to prevent the unsuccessful campaigns from appearing. Hey Google indexes the internet so I only get the most ‘cited’ pages out there. Same…

When new technology reaches its ascendancy, a question is posed. Can it be used to improved the lives of less fortunate? Specifically, those people that live in lesser developed countries? Sure, the latest Shamwow doesn’t apply – but what about more expansive and innovative technologies? Like 3D printing? Well certainly. But you have to find…

Solidsmack was kindly invited down to Waltham, MA to meet, greet and speak with the SW team, hang out at their fancy new campus and witness demos for Solidwork 2013. Josh nor Adam couldn’t make it, so I was freeze-dryed and packed into the luggage compartment and flown out. It was a brilliant experience. Once…

Okay, you know the rule. You can only cut once. Not twice, not thrice. But once. And when you have powertools, your mistakes are magnified. Curse be to the Human Condition, your hands shake, you’re eyes are dim and maybe you barely have the strength to handle your powertools. It is a reality, but a…

As the bottom end of 3D Printing is being filled with hundreds of different companies competing for market share, new machines are appearing. Only a month after Airbus announced its intentions of developing massive 3D Printers that can manufacture whole wings and fuselages, researchers at Swinburne University in Melbourne Australia managed to develop one of the…

Even Grandma is getting into the act, posting her best 3D printable CAD models of lids that expand the usefulness of that ubiquitous items of every food preserving home, the Mason jar. Lifehacker gathered up a few from Thingiverse – SolidSmack added a few more. It started when a Thingiverse user uploaded his Mason jar…

After warnings from retired Engineers and seasoned VCs, the World has reached peak hype in 3D Printing. All those Kickstarter campaigns for 3D printers, all those busy CAD artists, all those blog writers who talk endlessly about it (noooo), are going to hit a brick wall. No more cool materials, no more cool designs, no…

ParaNorman is a film to be released tonight, a zombie flick that’s fun for the whole family. Its not just another 3D computer animated film – its entirely stop-motion. Portland-based LAIKA studios, which brought you Coraline a few years previous, uses a 3D System ZPrinter individually manufacture every single head for every single character. All…

Ever so recently, a number of awesome infographics on 3D printing, and fabrication in general, have appeared on the Interwebs. You probably haven’t seen or heard enough about 3D Printing, so we’d like to share them with you so it’s firmly ingrained into your brain tissues. What’s 3D printing? – Still have no clue about…

The Ditto 3D Printer is one of the best 3D Printers I’ve had the pleasure of seeing up close. Smooth lines, high-quality parts and superb prints. Like Brad Sublime’s Tantillus, it’s produced in Vancouver, Canada. During the unveiling of the Rygo at VanDusen Botanical Gardens, I invited Eugene and the Tinkerine team to bring out…

Thomas Edison would have been impressed if he was alive today and could see what’s coming out of Kickstarter. Zombie Edison is impressed and wants your braaaaains. Some argue, Edison never invented to much – he just had the money to hire the right people (like Nicola Tesla) and get them to churn out ideas, cherry picking…

Sean Charlesworth is a digital designer from New York, and no doubt, 20,000 leagues beyond his colleagues. His OPUS V is a 3D printed, sea-punk submersible, his final project for his Masters at NYU. Complete with LED lights, moving parts and flexible tentacles. Bar none, it is the most impressive 3D prints we’ve ever seen…

This is how I imagine things would go down if the Jetsons went to the beach. The Stone Spray 3D Printer is the end result of a six month project by the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia and Fab Lab Bcn in Barcelona, Spain. Isn’t it amazing what you can do with a computer, an armature system, sand, glue…

Trying to get your buddy out of the clink? Hit up your friendly neighbourhood Fablab, churn out this handy double-ended key and chances are you’ll be able to uncuff him quicker than you can say, “I didn’t do it officer.” A German hacker named Ray has demonstrated the key vulnerability in a great majority of…

So, what does the University of Washington, milk jugs, recreational boating and 3D Printing have in common? Not much… until now! The new ‘Washington Open Object Fabricator’ Group (WOOF), UW Engineering students and the Open 3D Printing Lab managed to manufacture a boat from shredded HDPE milk jugs and a hacked Plasma Cutter named ‘Big…

Okay, I admit. It’s more like a ‘Pen-on’ experience, but you get the idea. Why point and click on a model with a mouse on an ol’ 2D screen when you can pull them right off the screen in 3D – near holographic-like, virtual 3D. The zSpace platform by Infinite Z promises to “transform today’s…

Logging into Shapeways last week was a bit disconcerting – almost made me think I was at the wrong website. Shapeways has completely revamped the look and feel of their site, their logo and their interface. The reason? Evolution we suppose. As Shapeways begins to offer more materials, higher quality and a better platform for its…

Cubify Invent is CAD software aimed at the uninitiated consumer with a 3D printer like the 3D System’s Cube. Unlike the free to use AutoDesk 123D, TinkerCAD or SketchUp, it cost $49, but has all the functions you would need to make almost any part fairly quickly. Extrude 2D into 3D? Yup! Fillets and other such…

In between writing blogs on 3D printing, I’ve been working hard on another project – The Rygo. Made of 3D Printed Concrete, this incredible piece is going to be properly unveiled on Thursday, July 26th in Vancouver, Canada. Weighing some 3,600 pounds and standing close to 7 ft tall, the Rygo is by far the…