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Simon Martin

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LEGO Typewriter

For the serious LEGO junkies out there, the LEGO IDEAS community is a one-stop shop for all things plastic brick. From message boards to activity ideas, the platform—which is officially hosted by LEGO—encourages members to share their creations and compete for prizes with build competitions. It’s also where master builders can upload proposals for new…

In a world-first breakthrough, Google claims its quantum computer carried out a specific calculation that is beyond the practical capabilities of regular, ‘classical’ machines. In comparison, the same calculation that the team used as a testing metric would take the most advanced ‘classical’ supercomputer 10,000 years to complete, the company estimates. The findings were revealed…

full color 3D printing

Built to meet the needs of the full design process in a wide range of industries including consumer goods, consumer electronics, automotive, and even educational settings, the new Stratasys J850 3D printer from Stratasys puts a focus on both speed and quality—including full-color PANTONE® color validation and multi-material capabilities via a PolyJet system. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyGnjf3P300 Claiming…

Package Design

Vacuum forming is oftentimes a critical factor for many package designers during their prototyping stage when exploring manufacturing methods. And just like the physical product it houses, package designers employ prototyping processes for a variety of packaging types to ensure that their design helps unify the full customer experience—or at least, properly fit the finished…

While extremely versatile for a wide range of applications, there’s no denying that poorly-disposed PET plastics are affecting our ocean systems. To help counteract their contribution, Coca-Cola committed to manufacturing all of their bottles with at least 50% recycled plastics by the year 2030. So far, it looks like they’re on track. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKbZOQX8Mkc This month…

Spotify Playlist

Get that stretch out of your system with this week’s Spotify-powered SolidSmack Radio Playlist. It’s fashioned up, ready to make you pull your shoulder blades back and knock out another week of meaningful work while you bob your head to the beat. Whether you’re in the shop milling aluminum, sketching the latest product prototypes or…

Additive Manufacturing Process

As North America’s most influential additive manufacturing event, Rapid + TCT 2019 exists on its own playing field when it comes to heavy-hitting announcements, power lunches, impactful keynotes, and all-around industry influence. Held this year at the Cobo Center in Detroit, Michigan during May 20-23, over 400 3D technology providers alone will make up the…

Raspberry Pi Cambridge

The Raspberry Pi credit-card sized computer can’t do everything — but boy can it sure do a lot. Whether you spring for the full-sized Model B+ to create a custom 3D printed smart home camera, or the compact Zero to create a frickin’ homebrew pocketable smartphone, there’s no denying that the affordable boards are one of…

metal 3D printer

It’s no secret that commercial 3D printing has been taking giant technological leaps in the past few years—but bringing the price per part down has been a significant technological barrier for just about every industrial 3D printer manufacturer. With their recently-announced Metal Jet commercial 3D printing platform, HP aims to take what they’ve learned from…

As Avengers: Infinity War makes its way towards the box office-shattering $2 billion global earnings milestone, it comes as little surprise that the superhero movie has inspired a small legion of creators to don their maker capes and create their renditions of the iron-clad superhero troop. Among others is the SolidSmack favorite wacky garage inventor…

Project Zanzibar: A Portable and Flexible Tangible Interaction Platform

Seamlessly bridging the physical and digital worlds has proved to be a significant challenge for even the world’s most advanced electronic manufacturers. While HP has made considerable strides with their “mixed reality” Sprout platform, the creative market has grown to favor more portable tablets and laptops over full-fledged desktop platforms. With Project Zanzibar, the Microsoft…

From batch automation to Cloud-based folder sharing, the designer’s digital toolkit has never been as opulent as it is today. But despite sped-up workflows and AI-assisted features, the one thing that will never change is how those designs translate in the physical world. From a CMF (Colors, Materials, & Finishes) standpoint, the newly-launched Swatchbook aims…