Niche Made: Modding NERF Guns With 3D Printing

We didn’t have a lot of NERF guns in the house growing up, but I do remember one specific NERF incident when I was older. I was home from college for winter break, and my family and I were stuck inside due to a snow emergency. We were getting restless and sick of watching TV, when someone – my mom, maybe – randomly picked up a NERF dart gun from behind her chair, aimed it at the map of Michigan hanging over the couch across the room, and fired. The game quickly evolved into seeing who could get the dart to stick the closest to where we vacationed each summer, and we all forgot we’d been bored.

Just like using 3D printing to increase the fun of LEGOs, so too can the technology be put to work with NERF weapons. NERF modding is the practice of adding hands-on modifications to your NERF guns, so their capabilities are enhanced.

“NERF blasters aren’t just for pre-pubescent boys — the resurgence of NERF is real and it’s happening now,” a Manual post states.

“Grown men are dipping back into the hobby and making hands-on modifications that increase the range and speed of the toys.”

3D Printed Hades Pump Grip, $12 on Out of Darts

In the post, Luke Goodman, referred to there as “the surgeon general of NERF modifications,” describes the basics of modding a NERF Hammershot blaster gun. The former filmmaker wrote a popular book about Nerf modding, and also runs an online shop and NERF modification YouTube Channel called Out of Darts.

Goodman came up with some novel mods, like an air blaster that holds 1,200 rounds and shoots 15 rounds per second, and purchased a 3D printer so he could make his own modification parts. It’s now his full-time gig.

“There’s nothing better than taking something into your own hands and improving it — taking something old and making it new,” Goodman said. “For both kids and adults, getting them off video games, working with their hands, and interacting with the community can happen through NERF.”

Luke Goodman with modified NERF gun (Credit: Luke Goodman)

Reddit user Pballwiz24 posted about his 3D printed hobby-grade NERF blasters, which look like they stepped right out of the 1990s. An appreciative person said they were “still amazed how much 3D printing has revolutionized homemade nerf guns and the nerf community as a whole,” and Pballwiz24 agreed, writing “It really helped launch the hobby to a whole new level.”

Another user wanted to know if the darts had to be cut down, and what was used for springs.


“Yeah they are cut to 39mm,” Pballwiz24 replied. “They use brushed motors with flywheels on them to compress and “throw” the dart out.”

He was asked if the model was available on Thingiverse, and while the answer was no, he did state that several of his other models were there under the search term “cowabunga.” I checked it out, and the first one I found was the Cowabunga! Foam Dart Blaster by user radblasters, which contains detailed instructions on how to 3D print your own.

Cowabunga! Foam Dart Blaster

“The key feature of this design is the fact that it uses a smaller solenoid than most other solenoid builds. The Solenoid I designed this around is about half the size of the 35mm ones that are currently popular, but it functions exactly as needed (at only 15mm stroke),” it says in the description.

“Other than that feature, this is basically a primary blaster crammed into the smallest form factor I could create. Fully built, this can get 130-140 FPS on 4x Honeybadger motors…and it can be select fire too!”

There are plenty of other NERF mod designs on Thingiverse as well, such as sights, scopes, barrel extensions, magazines and dart holders, and even this cool NERF-compatible Grappling Hook.

“Printed without raft/supports. The first 5-6 layers look a little rough for lack of supports but it builds just fine,” Thingiverse user hewmart wrote. “I printed: 100% infill .2mm layer height 2 shells 60mm/s travel but these settings are probably changeable.”

If you think you’d like to try 3D printing a NERF mod, but are a little intimidated by the process and don’t know where to start, fear not – you can find Nerf Mods: a Beginner’s Guide on Instructables, which introduces readers “to the vast world of Nerf gun modifications” with instructions that are easy to understand.

“Beginners can be easily repelled from the world of Nerf gun modding by seeing a modification “write-up” that seems complicated. Many modification write-ups do seem confusing at first. However, modding a Nerf gun isn’t very hard–It simply takes knowledge of how a Nerf gun works and how a mod should be executed. With this knowledge, modifying Nerf guns is quite simple,” the post states.

While the instructable doesn’t actually mention 3D printing, it’s still a very helpful guide, with details on a variety of different mods and the differences between NERF spring guns and pump guns. You can check out one of the YouTube videos in this article for help with some cool 3D printed NERF mods.

Have you ever 3D printed a NERF mod? Tell us about it! Discuss this story and other 3D printing topics at or share your thoughts in the Facebook comments below.

The post Niche Made: Modding NERF Guns With 3D Printing appeared first on | The Voice of 3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing.

3D Printing News Briefs: November 9, 2018

Buckle your seat belts, because we’ve got a of news to share with you in today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, starting with more event announcements and moving on to several new partnerships, a workshop, and a 3D printing project. Nanogrande introduced its new 3D printer for nanometer metallic particles at Fabtech this week, while Sartomer and Nanoe are launching new 3D printing innovations at formnext. Creatz3D is working to accelerate ceramics 3D printing in Singapore, while partnerships were announced between Valuechain and Clad Korea, PostProcess and Rösler, and Additive Manufacturing Technologies and Mitsubishi Electric. Finally, two Fraunhofer Institutes are hosting an AM materials workshop, and a maker from YouTube channel Potent Printables is sharing a new project.

Nanogrande Introduced First 3D Printer for Nanometer Metallic Particles

At FABTECH 2018 in Atlanta this week, Nanogrande officially introduced its new 3D printer. The MPL-1, enabled with the company’s Power Layering Technology, is actually the first nanoscale 3D printer for metallic particles in the world, and could successfully open up new 3D printing horizons. Nanogrande has spent years working to develop the new 3D printer.

“Power Layering, while maximizing particle compaction, allows MPL-1 to use particles of all shapes, sizes and types. With this approach, we can easily print with particles as small as a nanometer, but also particles of 5 microns, what the industrial sector is currently seeking. At this size, the particles stick to each other, virtually eliminating the need for support structures typical to 3D printing. In this way, there is a considerable reduction in post- printing costs,” said Juan Schneider, the President and Founder of Nanogrande.

“Today we are witnessing the culmination of a long process of research and development that has given us the chance to set up a team that generates many innovative ideas. Alone, it is possible to have excellent ideas; but, as a team, we can bring these ideas to life. I am very pleased to highlight the success of the efforts of the people who work for Nanogrande.”

Sartomer Europe Introducing New UV-Curable Resins

At formnext in Frankfurt next week, the European division of specialty chemical supplier Sartomer, a business unit of Arkema, will be launching new products in its N3xtDimension line of UV-curable engineered resins as part of its new commercial 3D printing-dedicated platform. The new materials will help companies fulfill performance and regulatory requirements for multiple industrial applications, thanks to their excellent tunability and mechanical properties. At its booth H58 in Hall 3.1 at formnext, Sartomer will introduce N3D I-2105, with impact resistance for manufacturing functional parts; N3D-F2115, which can achieve varying levels of flexibility depending on post treatment; and N3D P-2125, which is perfect for prototyping with its homogeneous network and limited evolution of mechanical properties after post-curing is complete.

“We are addressing the needs of demanding and innovative 3D printing markets by partnering with global leaders to deliver custom material solutions for end-use applications. Through our range of products and services dedicated to additive manufacturing, we are supporting the 3D printing sector as it grows and continues to develop new applications,” said Sumeet Jain, the Global Director for 3D Printing Business at Sartomer.

Nanoe Launches Ceramic and Metal 3D Printer

In other formnext news, French company Nanoe, which is a leader in high-tech raw materials and also specializes in ceramics 3D printing, will be introducing its new Zetaprint system for desktop 3D printing of ceramic and metal materials. The team will perform a live demonstration of the 3D printer at the event, and explain the full 3D printing, debinding, and sintering process.

Additionally, the company will be launching its new stainless steel 16L Zetamix filament. These filaments, made up of a ceramic or metal powder and a polymer matrix, can be used to make high density parts in any FDM 3D printer.  Nanoe, which is also developing materials in Inconel and titanium, will also soon be launching a complete line of adapted FDM 3D printers. Visit the company at booth A74 in Hall 3.0 next week at formnext to see a live Zetaprint demonstration and 3D printed parts in various Zetamix materials.

Creatz3D Accelerating Ceramics 3D Printing in Singapore

Speaking of ceramics, Creatz3D Ceramics Service Bureau is dedicated to 3D printing ceramics parts. Founded last year, its parent company is Singapore-based 3D printer and AM software solutions seller Creatz3D, which partnered with 3DCeram Sinto in Limoges to create the service. This partnership, signed in 2016, facilitated the first installation in Singapore of 3DCeram Sinto’s Ceramaker 900 Ceramic 3D printer, at the Advanced Remanufacturing Technology Centre. The Creatz3D Ceramics Service Bureau, which offers diverse material options and a hassle-free experience, is the first, and only, ceramics-focused 3D printing service in the country, and is helping to increase awareness and adoption of ceramics for 3D printing.

“The addition of ceramics to Creatz3D’s portfolio ensures that they stay ahead of the pack in the competitive 3D printing landscape, and their expertise can demonstrate the game-changing capabilities that the technology has to offer to help advance design, engineering, and manufacturing,” said Sean Looi, the General Manager of Creatz3D.

Valuechain Signs Strategic Partnership with Clad Korea

British technology company Valuechain reports that it has signed a strategic partnership with manufacturing company Clad Korea, in order to digitalize 3D printing in East Asia. Both companies will be able to grow their association together in the initial agreement, in addition to bringing Valuechain’s solutions, including its flagship DNA am production control software, to the East Asian AM marketplace. This software addresses 3D printing production process niche requirements, like powder traceability and managing AM build plans.

“Valuechain’s DNA am technology is a unique offering to the market, with great potential to enable rapid and mass production of additive manufactured parts. As we look to enter the additive manufacturing market ourselves, we believe this product will give us a competitive advantage in the industry, and we’re excited to be able to contribute to the growth of this technology in Asia by helping to deliver this solution throughout South Korea,” said Brandon Lee, the CEO of Clad Korea Co. Ltd.

PostProcess Technologies Partnering with Rösler

Moving on with strategic partnerships in the 3D printing world, PostProcess Technologies Inc., a pioneer of software-drive 3D post-processing solutions, is working with Rösler Oberflächentechnik GmbH, which sells finishing systems for traditional manufacturing, to bring automated, intelligent post-print solutions to Europe. Rösler will provide PostProcess’ data-driven support removal and surface finishing solutions for 3D printing to the European market, making it the only surface finishing supplier that will be providing solutions tailored to the needs of both traditional and additive manufacturing. The two companies will debut their partnership next week at formnext, with PostProcess’ technology on display in its booth H68, as well as Rösler’s booth E20, both of which are in Hall 3.0.

“The additive space is rapidly growing, especially in Europe, and as such, the demand for an automated post-printing solution is accelerating. Rösler is a unique partner for PostProcess, bringing expertise in finishing systems with a broad European footprint, thousands of existing customers, and a strong presence across a range of industries that will greatly benefit from PostProcess’ proprietary and integrated software, hardware, and chemistry solution,” said Bruno Bourguet, the Managing Director for PostProcess Technologies.

Additive Manufacturing Technologies Announces Partnership with Mitsubishi Electric

Sheffield-based Additive Manufacturing Technologies Ltd (AMT) has entered into a partnership with Mitsubishi Electric in order to further develop its PostPro3D system with an integrated automation solution, which could provide a major productivity boost for 3D print post-processing. This new solution is based on Mitsubishi Electric’s MELSEC iQ-F Series compact PLC, HMIs, SCADA and MELFA articulated arm robots. While PostPro3D is already pretty impressive, with its ability to automatically smooth an object’s surface to 1μm precision, AMT wanted to further develop the system with certified automation products so it would be suitable for Industry 4.0. Now, PostPro3D is equipped with a Mitsubishi Electric power supply and low voltage switchgear, servo drives and motors, FR-D700 frequency inverters and the optional six-axis robot arm.

“To realise our concept, we needed an automation partner that could provide the whole range of machine control systems, as well as the actual robotics. This is fundamental to truly integrate our machine into the production line of the future as well as to benefit from a lean, single vendor distribution model,” explained Joseph Crabtree, CEO at AMT.

“Mitsubishi Electric was the clear choice because it offers a one stop shop for state-of-the-art automation solutions. In this way, we can be sure that the different components are compatible and can share data. Overall, the company can offer us products that adhere to UL, CE as well as Industry 4.0 requirements.”

Fraunhofer AM Materials Workshop 

On November 29 and 30 in Dresden, Germany, Fraunhofer IKTS and Fraunhofer IWS are holding a workshop called “Hybrid materials and additive manufacturing processes.” The two institutes are working together to organize the workshop, which will be held in English and discuss innovative technologies for 3D printing metallic and ceramic components, in addition to application-specific manufacturing of material hybrids. Participants in the workshop’s practical insight sessions will be able to see diverse AM devices for multimaterial approaches live and in action.

“Why is that interesting? Additive manufacturing technologies for material hybrids open up new possibilities in production for diverse industrial branches,” Annika Ballin, Press and Public Relations for Fraunhofer IKTS, told “It is not only possible to realize complex geometries, but also to functionalize components (sensors, heaters), to individualize production (labeling, inscriptions) and to combine different materials properties in one component (conductive/insulating, dense/porous etc.).”

The workshop, which costs €750, will be held at Fraunhofer Institute Center Dresden, and registration will continue until November 22.

DIY 3D Printed Linear Servo Actuators by Potent Printables

A maker named Ali, who runs the Potent Printables YouTube channel, recently completed a neat design project – 3D printed linear actuators. Ali, who was partly inspired by a Hackaday post, said that the project has received a great response on both Twitter and Instagram. He designed the parts in SOLIDWORKS, and controls them with an Arduino Uno. The simple rack-and-pinion design, perfect for light loads, comes in two sizes for different space constraints and force outputs.

“Each design has a pinion that has to be glued to a servo horn, and a selection of rack lengths to suit your needs,” Dan Maloney wrote in a new Hackaday post about Ali’s project. “The printed parts are nothing fancy, but seem to have material in the right places to bear the loads these actuators will encounter.”

Check out the video below to see the 3D printed linear actuators for yourself:

Discuss these stories and other 3D printing topics at or share your thoughts below.

3D Printing News Briefs: October 13, 2018

We’ve got business and education news galore in today’s 3D Printing News Briefs. First, Voodoo Manufacturing has launched its new Shopify app, and BeAM Machines is partnering with Empa, while Sculpteo is working with a property developer to provide 3D printed apartment models. VSHAPER has signed an agreement with educational publisher Grupa MAC, and the United Arab Emirates is introducing 3D printing into over 200 of its primary schools. The US Navy will be testing the first 3D printed ship component, and Lufthansa Technik has established a new Additive Manufacturing Center. Finally, maker Thomas Sanladerer shared on YouTube about his recent visit to the Prusa headquarters.

Voodoo Manufacturing Launches Shopify App

This spring, high-volume 3D printing factory Voodoo Manufacturing began its full-stack manufacturing and fulfillment service for 3D printing entrepreneurs, which allows users to outsource work like quality control and assembly for their products through its easy shopfront integrations with online marketplaces like Shopify. Now, the company has launched its own Shopify app, which will allow online sellers to create and customize 3D printed products and sell them on their own Shopify stores. Once the app is installed, users can make their first product in less than 5 minutes, which is then automatically added to their store, ready for purchase.

“We wanted to make it ridiculously easy for ecommerce stores to diversify their product offering with 3D printed products. By applying 3D printing to the print-on-demand business model, we are opening up an infinite range of product categories for Shopify merchants,” said Max Friefeld, the Founder and CEO of Voodoo Manufacturing. “The Voodoo app provides a new source of high quality, customizable, on-demand products, that don’t require any 3D design experience.”

Before the official launch this week, Voodoo piloted the service with a group of beta users, including It’s The Island Life by graphic designer and Guam native Lucy Hutcheson. She is already successfully selling six different products made with the help of the new Voodoo app.

BeAM Machines Partnering with Empa

BeAM, recently acquired by AddUp, has signed a research and development agreement with Empa, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology. Together, the two will develop novel applications for BeAM’s powder-based Directed Energy Deposition (DED) technology, which uses focused thermal energy to fuse materials by melting them while they’re deposited. This makes parts manufacturing much faster. The partnership has come on the heels of Empa’s acquisition of a BeAM DED 3D printer, which is located at its Laboratory for Advanced Materials Processing in Thun and is used to integrate and test out innovative components.

Patrik Hoffmann, who leads the laboratory, said, “We are very excited to collaborate with BeAM’s engineers to push the boundaries of this innovative additive manufacturing technology and to develop a whole new range of applications for Swiss industries and beyond.”

Sculpteo 3D Printing Apartment Models

Together with Sculpteo, French property developer Valoptim is working to improve customer experience by providing clients with miniaturized 3D printed models of their future apartments when they sign their contracts, so they can better visualize and prepare for moving into their new home. These small, exact replicas give new owners an immersive experience, which is a definite value add. In addition, production of the 3D printed models is local, and can be done fast.

“Sculpteo uses the best machines and 3D printing processes on the market today. At first, we had the ambition to test the feasibility of 3D printing in the real estate sector. This innovative process has proven to be extremely interesting: the realistic rendering, with high-end finishes, allowed our clients to discover a miniaturized version of their future apartment enabling them to realistically imagine themselves living in it,” said Edouard Pellerin, CEO of Valoptim. “This innovation contributes to our business dynamic: constantly improving the customer experience.”

VSHAPER and Grupa Mac Sign Agreement

Polish 3D printer manufacturer Verashape has signed an agreement with Grupa MAC, the country’s top educational publisher, in front of Poland’s education curators at the recent Future of Education Congress. Per the agreement, Grupa MAC will use a network of educational consultants to distribute the VSHAPER GO 3D printers to kindergartens and other schools in the country. Grupa MAC recognizes that 3D printers are a good way to quickly present the effects of students’ learning, and the VSHAPER GO is the perfect choice, as it is easy to use and comes with an intuitive interface of SOFTSHAPER software.

“Classes with students are a perfect environment for the use of 3D Printing. Creating a pyramid model for history lessons, the structure of a flower or a human body for biology lessons are just a few examples, and their list is limited only by the imagination of students and teachers,” said Patryk Tomczyk, a member of the Grupa MAC Management Board. “We are happy that thanks to our cooperation with VERASHAPE, 3D Printers have a chance to reach schools through our network of educational consultants.”

3D Printing to be Introduced in UAE Primary Schools

Speaking of 3D printing in education, the Ministry of Education (MoE) for the UAE has announced that in early 2019, a country-wide introduction of 3D printing into over 200 primary schools will commence. As part of this new technology roll out, Dubai education consultancy company Ibtikar is partnering with Makers Empire, an Australian education technology company, to deliver a program that implements 3D printing and design. Makers Empire will supply 3D software, curriculum, teacher resources, training, and support to Ibtikar, which will in turn train MoE teachers to deliver the program.

“Through this rollout of 3D technology, our students will learn to reframe needs as actionable statements and to create solutions to real-world problems,” said HE Eng. Abdul Rahman of the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Education. “In doing so, our students will develop an important growth mindset, the skills they need to make their world better and the essential ability to persist when encountering setbacks.”

US Navy Approves Test of First 3D Printed Shipboard Part

USS Harry S. Truman

The US military has long explored the use of 3D printing to lower costs and increase the availability of spare parts. Huntington Ingalls Industries, the largest military shipbuilder in the US, has also been piloting new technologies, like 3D printing, as part of its digital transformation. In collaboration with the US Navy, the company’s Newport News Shipbuilding division has worked to speed the adoption of 3D printed metal components for nuclear-powered warships. This has led to an exciting announcement by the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA): a metal drain strainer orifice (DSO) prototype has officially been approved as the first 3D printed metal part to be installed on a US Navy ship. The assembly is a component for the steam system, which allows for drainage and removal of water from a steam line while in use. The 3D printed DSO prototype will be installed on the USS Harry S. Truman in 2019 for evaluation and tests. After one year, the assembly will be removed for inspection and analysis.

“This install marks a significant advancement in the Navy’s ability to make parts on demand and combine NAVSEA’s strategic goal of on-time delivery of ships and submarines while maintaining a culture of affordability. By targeting CVN 75 [USS Harry S. Truman], this allows us to get test results faster, so-if successful-we can identify additional uses of additive manufacturing for the fleet,” said Rear Adm. Lorin Selby, NAVSEA Chief Engineer and Deputy Commander for Ship Design, Integration, and Naval Engineering.

Lufthansa Technik Opens New Additive Manufacturing Center

Lufthansa Technik, a leading provider of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) for civil aircraft, has established a new Additive Manufacturing Center. The goal of the new AM Center is to bundle and expand the company’s experience and competence with the technology, which can be used to make individual parts more quickly and with more design freedom. As the world of aircraft is always aware of weight, making more lightweight parts is an excellent benefit of 3D printing.

“The new AM Center will serve as a collaborative hub where the experience and skills that Lufthansa Technik has gained in additive manufacturing can be bundled and further expanded,” said Dr. Aenne Koester, the head of the new AM Center. “The aim is to increase the degree of maturity of the technologies and to develop products that are suitable for production.”

Tom’s 3D Visits Prusa Headquarters 

Maker Thomas Sanladerer, who runs his own YouTube channel, recently had the chance to tour the Prusa Research headquarters in Prague. Not only did he get the opportunity to see how the company makes its popular MK3 and and MK2.5, but Sanladerer was also able to see early models of the company’s recently announced SL1 resin 3D printer, as well as the Prusament filament production line.

“I always find factory tours like this super interesting because it’s the only chance you really get of seeing behind the scenes of what might really just be a website, or you know, a marketing video or whatever,” Sanladerer said in his video.

Sanladerer took the tour of the Prusa factory right after Maker Faire Prague, which the company itself organized and sponsored. To see behind the scenes of Prusa for yourself, check out the rest of the video below:

Discuss these stories and other 3D printing topics at or share your thoughts below. 

3D Printing News Briefs: September 8, 2018

We’re starting out with a lot of business news in today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, and then finishing up with something cool (pun intended) to get you through the weekend. Link3D launched its new Production Planning System for AM workflows, Carbon has a new medical-grade material, and there’s new 3D printed footwear on Kickstarter. Several US sleep experts have joined the Oventus medical advisory board, HP’s MJF technology is being used to make assemblies, and GKN Aerospace is improving its production times with Stratasys technology. Bradley Systems has suggested using its Yellow Magic 7 to clean your SLA 3D printers. Finally, a mechanical engineer and 3D printing blogger has created a retro air cooler.

Link3D Launches Production Planning System

New York City-based Link3D, which offers a centralized software platform for the industrial 3D printing workflow over external or internal additive manufacturing, has just announced the availability of its Production Planning System (PPS) and Advanced Build Simulation. PPS, an AM scheduling solution meant to enhance the company’s software for shop managers and application engineers, can further optimize AM workflows, helping 3D printers to run more efficiently and automate various tasks, like tracing and tracking a build’s genealogy, planning out each step of a build, managing scheduling, facility capacity, and production dispatching, and forecasting accurate production lead times.

“Our comprehensive predictive models are made to forecast AM production and costing outputs by accounting for labor, hardware model, AM technology, post-processing and including material science variables like specific gravity and viscosity. Link3D PPS utilizes machine learning algorithms to make recommendations for placing work orders on the correct machines based on machine availability to achieve real-time distributed manufacturing,” said Shane Fox, the CEO and Co-Founder of Link3D.

Link3D PPS will use blockchain technology to trace and track all of the data logged and generated, so organizations can validate and certify their production processes.

Carbon Introduces New Medical-Grade Material

This week, Carbon announced the launch of its first medical-grade 3D printing material, a two-part, white polymer resin called Medical Polyurethane 100 (MPU 100). The material is made for drug- and skin-contact devices, medical system components, single-use medical device, and surgical instrument applications. The material is sterilizable, biocompatible and has good mechanical strength. MPU 100 has good abrasion resistance, is compatible with common disinfectants, and works with the company’s Digital Light Synthesis (DLS) technology to produce rigid, isotropic plastic parts.

“The life sciences and medical device industries show enormous promise for using 3D printing for production at scale, and we will continue to prioritize the development of next-generation materials in this segment,” said Jason Rolland, Vice President of Materials at Carbon.

Carbon is offering MPU 100 in 800 ML cartridges to its customers in Europe, the US, and Canada. You can learn more about the new medical-grade material at Carbon’s booth #431505 in the West Hall at IMTS 2018 next week.

Unis Brands Starts 3D Printed Footwear Kickstarter

Earlier this week, Unis Brands began a Kickstarter campaign for its line of user-customizable, 3D printed footwear. The line includes two different styles of sandals: the U-Straps and the U-Slides, both of which will be available, in limited quantities, to early campaign backers for just $75 and $100, as opposed to the regular retail price of $140. The 3D printed U-Straps and U-Slides offer custom sizing, as customers provide the exact length and width measurements of each foot. The sandals are made with flexible 3D printing filament for a comfortable fit, and each one has five components, including the logo, buttons, cushion, upper, and midsole, that can be customized with different patterns and colors.

Unis said, “After getting my start in footwear by taking popular sneakers apart, customizing them, putting them back together and then selling them on eBay, I’m excited to announce my first line of sandals on Kickstarter. With five different user-customizable areas, and with individually 3D-printed shoes based on each customer’s exact foot measurements, we are creating footwear that is truly one-of-a-kind.”

All of the company’s recyclable shoes are made in the US on 3D printers designed and built by CEO and founder Nicholas Unis.

US Sleep Experts Join Oventus Medical Advisory Board

Brisbane medical device company Oventus, known for its FDA-approved, 3D printed sleep apnea device, recently announced that it had appointed a Medical Technology Advisory Board (MTAB) of international sleep experts. The board will assist and guide the company on the development and commercialization of its Sleep Treatment Platform. The MTAB, a US-based consultative advisory body, will report to Oventus CEO Dr. Chris Hart, and provide guidance and input into the company’s clinical, developmental, and commercial strategy, which is currently focused on introducing its products to the US.

The following top sleep physicians and advisors in the US have been appointed to the Oventus MTAB for a three year term, which is renewable by mutual agreement:

  • Lee A. Surkin, MD, FAASM
  • Richard K. Bogan, MD, FCCP, FAASM
  • Jerry Kram, MD, FAASM
  • Mark Hickey, MD, FAASM
  • Mark A. Rasmus, MD, FAASM
  • Daniel B. Brown, Esq
  • Myra G. Brown

Aerosport Modeling & Design Making Assemblies with HP’s MJF Technology

HP MJF PA12 Nylon Butterfly Valve Assembly

Ohio-based 3D printing service bureau Aerosport Modeling and Design, which has been producing high-quality prototypes, working models, machined parts, and appearance models since 1996, adopted HP’s Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) technology nearly a year ago.

The company uses MJF 3D printing to fabricate assemblies, such as a Butterfly Valve one made of PA 12 Nylon. The original assembly came in 30 pieces and took half an hour to assemble. But by using HP’s 3D printing technology to make it, the total number of pieces was reduced to just four, with only three minutes of assembly. This helped Aerosport lower its production costs by 70%, and its production time by an astonishing 90%.

GKN Aerospace Improving Production Times with Stratasys 3D Printing

3D printed tooling made on the Stratasys F900 Production 3D Printer.

This week, Stratasys announced that GKN Aerospace, which serves over 90% of the world’s aircraft and engine manufacturers, is removing design constraints and improving production times for many tooling applications after integrating 3D printing at its Filton manufacturing site. In an effort to lower lead times for production-line tools and create complex parts that can’t be completed with traditional manufacturing, GKN Aerospace invested in a Stratasys F900 Production 3D printer. This decision helped the company achieve “unprecedented levels of design freedom,” as well as a 40% decrease in material waste; production has also gone from several weeks to only a few hours.

Tim Hope, Additive Manufacturing Center Manager at GKN Aerospace, said, “Since integrating the F900, we have dramatically reduced production-line downtime for certain teams and are enjoying a newfound freedom to design complex tools.

“We can now cost-effectively produce tools for our operators within three hours. This saves critical production time, and by printing in engineering-grade thermoplastics, we can produce 3D printed tools with repeatable, predictable quality every time. All while matching the quality of a traditionally-produced tool, and reducing the costs and concessions compared to equivalent metallic tooling.”

Bradley Systems Wants You to Clean Your SLA 3D Printer with Yellow Magic 7

If you’ve got an SLA 3D printer that needs a good cleaning, Bradley Systems, Inc. wants you to consider using its Yellow Magic 7 (YM7) cleaner, as opposed to Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA), which is also called isopropanol and dimethyl carbinol. The company first heard about people using its cleaner, which was originally formulated as a flexo UV ink and varnish cleaner for printing human and pet food packaging, to clean parts for SLA 3D printers on a Formlabs forum, and has since started offering 1 gallon jugs of YM7 on Amazon…and this decision is garnering it some pretty positive reviews.

“Until now, IPA has been the go-to cleaner for this application because it gets the job done. The downside is that IPA is a flammable chemical compound with a strong odor. This means you’ve got to make sure you’re wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) and storing it properly so you don’t accidentally blow yourself up. As for the smell… well there’s not much you can do there,” the company wrote in a blog post.

YM7, unlike IPA, is biodegradable, non-toxic, and has little odor. It’s not a fire hazard, as it’s water based, and it also performs well in an ultrasonic cleaner. It’s also versatile enough to clean a multitude of different 3D printer parts and accessories, like rollers and rubber pads.

“So, what we’re seeing so far is that you can still get the job done using Yellow Magic 7 without the stink or the potential of blowing up your co-workers or family. Which is nice.”

Mechanical Engineer Builds 3D Printed Retro Air Conditioner

While 3D printing is a relatively modern technology, it can be fun to use it to recreate your favorite retro items from the past, like arcade games, original Apple computers, FM radios, and television sets…even scuba helmets! A mechanical engineer named Juan, who owns a YouTube channel and blog titled Govaju 3D Printing, has worked in the 3D printing world for eight years, 3D printing is not only his work, but also his hobby and passion. Recently, Juan decided to get back to the past by creating a 3D printed retro item of his own.

“I recently created this video of a project that I’ve been working on for a few months, it’s a retro air conditioner,” Juan told “It is printed 100% in 3D with the lulzbot taz 6 and with wood filament and PLA.”

Take a look at the video to see the project come together!

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3D Printing News Briefs: September 4, 2018

In the first 3D Printing News Briefs for this month, we’re starting with some education and business, followed by some how-to videos and a couple of things to ponder. PrintLab’s curriculum is going global, while the province of Victoria in Australia has invested in 3D printing. A Ukrainian company has introduced a new type of metal 3D printing, and you can learn how to cast concrete 3D printed molds and make an etched glass build surface for your 3D printer by checking out two new YouTube videos. There could be even more uses for construction 3D printing than previously thought, and a thermal view of a model being 3D printed on an Ultimaker begs an important question.

PrintLab Portal Available in Polish

3D printing curriculum provider PrintLab, based in the UK, set up an online portal in January, called PrintLab Classroom, to help teachers better integrate 3D printing into their lesson plans. Now that the English version of the learning platform has been successfully launched, PrintLab is working to offer the curriculum portal in multiple languages. Now, thanks to a collaboration with Polish 3D technology and education supplier Paxer, a new PrintLab reseller, the platform is available in Polish, with translations in Spanish and Chinese in the works.

“After a great deal of initial interest and success, we are very pleased to be able to offer our curriculum to Polish students and educators. Our mission has always been to prepare the next generation for their future careers by addressing the widening skills gap and we are now able to do this across multiple regions. Our focus is on finding partners that share our belief and vision and in Paxer, we have found a motivated team that has technology in education at its core,” said Nick Mayor, Co-Founder at PrintLab.

“The aim is to inspire students and teachers around the world to adopt technology into lessons. We have started with Polish, however that is just the beginning. Spanish and Chinese translation is currently being undertaken which is part of our plan of inspiring minds on a global scale and providing teachers worldwide with comprehensive lesson packages, developed alongside teachers.”

New Virtual 3D Printing Hub in Victoria

The manufacturing industry in Victoria, the second most populous state in Australia, contributes $27.7 billion to the Victorian economy. Now, businesses there will be able to connect with additive manufacturing technology and produce products more easily and quickly, thanks to a new dedicated virtual hub. Ben Carroll, the Minister for Industry and Employment, joined Member for Carrum, Sonya Kilkenny, at the Carrum Downs facility of 3D printing company Objective3D to make the announcement this week. The hub, supported by $2 million from the Victorian Government and delivered by Australian Manufacturing Technology Institute Limited – a national body representing manufacturing technology suppliers and users – should improve access for local companies to the state’s 3D printing infrastructure.

Carroll said, “3D printing is a game changer for manufacturing – which is why we’re backing the technology so more local companies can reap the benefits.

“This new hub will help local manufactures innovate, become more productive and excel in future industries.”

xBeam Metal 3D Printing

Ukrainian company NVO Chervona Hvilya has a new form of metal 3D printing it calls xBeam, which it says “was born to make the best features of Additive Manufacturing available for wide industrial community and to prove that definition of Additive manufacturing as the Third Industrial Revolution is reality.” The company has spent roughly four decades developing electron beam technologies for multiple applications, and its exclusive xBeam technology was born from this experience.

With xBeam, the company says you won’t have to decide between high productivity, accuracy, and a defect-free metal structure – its patented solution delivers all three. xBeam is based on the ability of a gas-discharge electron beam gun to generate a hollow, conical beam, which can offer “unique physical conditions for precisely controllable metal deposition and forming of desired metal structure in produced 3D metal part.”

Using 3D Printed Molds to Create Cast Concrete Products

Industrial designer Rob Chesney, the founder of New Zealand-based bespoke design and fabrication studio Further Fabrication, recently published a tutorial on the studio’s YouTube channel about creating cast concrete objects and products with 3D printed molds and no silicone at all. For the purposes of the video, Chesney used 3D printed molds for faceted candle holders.

“In the first half of this video we’re gonna deal with the design and the creation of the molds using the computer and 3D printing,” Chesney said. “In the second half we’ll show you how you go about casting products with some tips and tricks thrown in there along the way.”

To learn how to make your own cast concrete candle holder with a 3D printed mold, check out the Further Fabrication video:

Etched Glass Build Plate

Another new video tutorial, this time by YouTube user MrDabrudda, shows viewers how to make an etched glass build surface for a 3D printer. What’s even better, the plate does not require you to use tape, a glue stick, or even hairspray to get your prints to adhere to it.

“So I’m tired of having to respray the hairspray on my glass bed for my 3D printer, so what I’m doing is taking a 180 grit diamond stone and a tub of water, and I’m going around on here and roughing this up,” MrDabrudda said.

To learn the rest of the process, check out the rest of the video:

Construction 3D Printing Uses

A 3D printed Volvo CE workshop tool

While there are still those who may think that construction 3D printing is all hype, that’s not the case. Sure, maybe it’s not possible to create a fully 3D printed house in a day in every country in the world, but we’re already able to create large-scale, 3D printed objects, with impressive lifespans and tensile strengths, out of a multitude of materials. There are also other applications in construction 3D printing than just houses. Caterpillar has long been interested in 3D printing, and thanks to its early work in research engineering cells, prototyping, and 3D printing tools for the assembly line, it’s now moved into commercial production of nearly 100 components; however, all but one were made of polymers.

“We’ve made a lot of progress with this technology, but not to the point where we are comfortable putting it into, for example, safety equipment or the manufacture of large metal parts, although we are doing a lot of research in that area,” said Don Jones, Caterpillar’s General Manager, Global Parts Strategy and Transformation.

Another OEM with developed 3D printing capabilities is Volvo CE, which stands for Construction Equipment. As of right now, the company has 3D printed spare parts such as plastic coverings, cab elements, and sections of air conditioning units.

“It’s especially good for older machines where the parts that have worn out are no longer made efficiently in traditional production methods,” said Jasenko Lagumdzija, Volvo CE’s manager of Business Support. “Producing new parts by 3D printing cuts down on time and costs, so it’s an efficient way of helping customers.”

Can Thermal Imaging Improve 3D Printing Results?

Usually when I think of thermal imaging, the movie Predator immediately comes to mind – the alien creature tracked its human prey by their body heat signatures. But this technology can also be applied to 3D printing. About two years ago, CNC machine manufacturing company Thermwood Corporation added real-time thermographic imaging as a standard feature on its LSAM (Large Scale Additive Manufacturing) systems. This imaging makes it far easier to adjust and control the entire 3D printing process, which will result in excellent 3D printed structures as a result.

Using thermal imaging can help create high-quality, large tools that are solid and void-free enough to maintain a vacuum, without any necessary surface coating or sealing. To ensure good prints, the temperature of the print surface needs to be controlled, which is tricky to do. But thermal imaging can help operators remain in the optimal range of temperatures. Thermwood seems to be ahead of the times with its thermal imaging capabilities.

A new video was recently posted by YouTube user Julian Danzer showing a large BFR winged rear section model being fabricated on an Ultimaker 3D printer; the video switches about 30 seconds in to a thermal view of the print job. The quality isn’t great, but it makes me think – should all 3D printers come standard with FLIR cameras now? If thermal imaging can really help improve the results of 3D prints, my answer is yes. What do you think?

Discuss these stories and other 3D printing topics at or share your thoughts below.

3D Printing News Briefs: August 7, 2018

We’re starting things off on today’s 3D Printing News Briefs with a little business and a little software, before moving on to more cool 3D printing projects and products. NextFlex has announced its Project Call 4.0, and we’ve got a closer look at a 3D print filament recycling system that was introduced at the Barcelona Maker Faire. OnShape has announced the latest updates to its CAD system. A university student 3D printed a car muffler, and Printable Science presents its 3D printed safety razor.

NextFlex Project Call 4.0

Last month, the NextFlex consortium, one of the leaders in the Manufacturing USA network, announced the award recipients of $12 million in funding for the latest round of its extremely successful Project Call program for Flexible Hybrid Electronics (FHE) innovations. This week, the consortium announced the $10 million funding round for its Project Call 4.0, which has a “very diverse scope of needs” that represent gaps in capabilities and technology in multiple application areas. Proposals should focus on several manufacturing thrust areas (MTA), such as flexible battery integration, FHE device encapsulation, evaluating and developing connectors for e-textiles and FHE devices, and advanced 3D electrical design software, among others.

“NextFlex’s Project Call process has proven to be extremely successful. We continuously tackle member-identified FHE manufacturing challenges, and with 31 projects already underway from three previous project calls, we expect this to garner even more interest from the FHE community,” said Dr. Malcolm J. Thompson, the Executive Director of NextFlex. “Topics in Project Call 4.0 build upon successful developments and learning from our previous project calls.”

OUROBOROS 3D Printing Recycling System

The Barcelona Maker Faire was held earlier this summer, and one of the many innovations on display at the event included an all-in-one recycling system for 3D printing called the OUROBOROS. The system shreds used plastic and extrudes the material into a 3D printable filament. According to YouTube user Joan Cullere, the OUROBOROS system includes a prototype shredder with a 24 V motor that’s almost completely 3D printed itself.

In addition to the economic and compact shredder prototype, the OUROBOROS 3D printing recycling system features a user-friendly filament extruder with better cooling, a new spooling system, and an optimized filament path. To see the new system for yourself, check out the video below.

Onshape System Updates

Modern CAD platform Onshape introduced the premium edition of its software in May, and delivers automatic upgrades to the system every three weeks. The latest updates, from July 12 and August 1, include many new improvements to the Onshape CAD system.

For instance, the July 12 update introduced a feature for adjusting the line thickness in drawings, which allows users to define the thickness for tangent, hidden, and visible edges. This update also added a new Drawing Properties panel icon, which replace the wrench icon and includes several new features. The August 12 update made it possible for users to change existing parts or assemblies to a revision, which means every stage of the workflow can be changed. In addition, users can now enjoy significant rebuild time improvements in the system’s complex multi-part Sheet Metal Part Studios. The next updates should arrive on August 23rd.

3D Printed Car Muffler

University student and YouTube user Cooper Orrock was inspired by another maker’s DIY project – a duct tape and cardboard car muffler – to make his own 3D printed version. He designed the two-component automotive part and 3D printed it in plastic; then, with the help of some friends, he prepared the part for installation on a vehicle. This included clearing out some of the holes on the rim of each part so it could be screwed together, and removing the original muffler from the car.

“Part of me thinks that it could possibly melt just because of all the heat from the engine and stuff, but part of me thinks it could work,” Orrock said.

To see if his prediction came true, check out the video below.

3D Printed Safety Razor

Printable Science, which creates “all the science that’s fit to print’ according to its Patreon page, creates all sorts of nifty 3D printed projects, like a socket nut driver, a mini hacksaw handle, and a USB microscope stand. Now, it’s moved on to a 3D printed, four part plastic safety razor.

“Forget the dollar shave club… forget paying shipping and handling… 3D print your own safety razor and be part of the 29 cent shave club,” a member of Printable Science said on the YouTube video.

He explained that the basic design of the safety razor has been mostly unchanged for about 150 years, and that with the design for this razor, you can make your own for just 19 cents. However, this isn’t the first 3D printed razor we’ve seen – in fact, the Gillette Company filed a patent for a 3D printable razor cartridge a few years ago, and was also one of the co-creators of a challenge to design a 3D printed razor handle. To see how Printable Science’s 3D printed plastic safety razor compares, check out the video below.

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The Latest 3D Printing Kickstarter Campaigns: Volumetric Images and 3D Printable Dino Models

From new 3D printers and 3D software to the latest 3D printed customizable products, we like to keep you updated on the latest crowdfunding campaigns on the popular Kickstarter website, the largest funding platform in the world for creative projects.

For the last few years, we’ve been following the work of Italian startup Lumi Industries, which introduced a semi-professional DLP 3D printer two years ago. The startup has had Kickstarter success before, and will hopefully see it again with its latest campaign, which is for a project that is, as Lumi’s Manuela Pipino tells us, “closely related to 3D printing.”

The startup has recently been working with 3D visualization and volumetric images (what many may still think of as holograms) and developing its patent-pending VVD (Volumetric Visualization Device). According to the Kickstarter campaign for the VVD, it’s a graphic display device that forms a visual representation of an object in three physical dimensions. The device gives an unlimited amount of people the ability to get a 3D visualization of any 3D content.

3D reconstruction of human jaw from intraoral scan.

“We needed such a technology to be able to revise 3D models before going for 3D printing, but after we have created it, we envisioned many more sectors where it could be of great use like: training/educational, medical/dentistry field, museums/exhibitions, marketing & communication,” Pipino told

The VVD projects the horizontal layers of a 3D model on a special film that is vibrating very quickly, which exploits something called the persistence of vision – a characteristic that enables people to retain an image long after it’s been removed. It’s easy to use – just load any 3D model and hit the View button to create a true tridimensional volumetric visualization of your content.

The startup took the VVD on the road to several international events, such as formnext and CES, and received lots of positive feedback on it – the device was even awarded the Maker of Merit honor at the European Maker Faire in Rome last year. So Lumi decided to launch its VVD on Kickstarter.

While holograms can only be seen from certain angles, volumetric visualizations can be explored from any viewpoint. In addition, more people can share the experience and watch at the same time, and because the VVD doesn’t require additional glasses, eye fatigue is decreased.

“With VVD you can explore the design you have just created or double check all details of the mechanical component you have just developed, like if it was already in your hand, before going for prototyping,” the campaign states. “Because when you design in 3D, you are watching your work on a bi-dimensional screen. Perspective, created through visual effects, allows us to get an idea of the volume and proportions of what we are designing, but, believe us, to watch your model as it really is, is not the same thing!”

Styracosaurus head 3D model.

The VVD has many applications in the medical field, as it offers technicians a new way to look at 3D images created from 2D slices taken from MRI and CT scans. It also keeps people more engaged in the classroom and in museums, due to its interactive nature.

There are still more than three weeks to go in Lumi’s VVD Kickstarter campaign, and the Incredible Early Bird Special is still available – for a pledge of €1,899, you can receive your own VVD by February of 2019. If this cost is a little steep, and you just want to support the startup, €30 will get you a special T-shirt.

Another intriguing Kickstarter campaign was just launched by Pinshape ambassador and 3D printing expert Joe Larson, better known as the 3D Printing Professor on his YouTube channel, where he produces educational and fun content about making, 3D printing, and technology for more than 20,000 subscribers.

Larson has a solution for 3D printer owners who struggle to find high-quality, ready to print models: his fun Low Poly Dinosaur models, which are designed to print easily at home on extrusion-based 3D printers.

“Welcome to Lowpolysaurus park. Kid friendly, whimsical, low-poly dinosaur models for your 3D printer. Designed to print without supports and print with low or no infill. Perfect as a test print or just for fun with gentle angles to minimize sharp edges so they’re suitable for all ages,” the campaign states.

“Help build the whole set and print your own dinosaur park!”

Larson’s Kickstarter, which still has about a month left, blew through its initial funding goal within its first two hours, and then went on to raise twice that goal amount in its first day on Kickstarter.

There are currently four 3D dino models in the set, including Dippy and Trixy, with four additional ones planned thanks to the campaign’s stretch goals and its overwhelming support.

According to Larson’s Kickstarter, “The success of this campaign will determine how many dinosaurs will be modeled. The more it raises, the larger the rewards will be. For your support you will not only receive the 3D dinosaur models developed in this campaign, but you will have a vote in what the next dinosaur will be as the campaign progresses.”

For those pledging to the Triassic tier, you will receive a limited set of 3D dino models and accessories, as voted on by the community. Those pledging to the Jurassic tier will get every dinosaur and accessory model created for the campaign.

The funds raised during the campaign will actually go toward improving the video production quality for Larson’s YouTube channel.

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