We invited a handful of members of the 3D printing community that we have been featuring for #3DThursday or on our weekly 3D Hangouts live show to share with us their thoughts about the past year, what they each shared, and what they are looking forward to for 2015.
Ben Malouf (who goes by Benito Sanduchi) has been involved in Open Source 3D printing since 2012. His vase and lamp designs show up regularly in 3D printer advertisements, Kickstarter videos, and Maker Faire booths around the world. Ben is currently Sales Manager at Aleph Objects, Inc, makers of LulzBot 3D Printers.
“It’s still unreal how well-traveled the Twisted Gear Vase has become. I had no aspirations for its ubiquity when I originally shared the design.”
Q: TOP THREE PRINTING MOMENTS FROM 2014?
- At the RAPID show in Detroit, months before the Local Motors Strati was unveiled, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Cincinnati were displaying a bunch of gigantic fused filament prints they had made on their huge custom printer. Something about seeing extrusion widths as big around as my thumb made me think differently.
- On the other end of the scale conversation were Jonty Hurwitz’s nano-scale figurative sculptures. They blew my mind. I still don’t understand how they can be possible. (Or if they were created at all.) I love the concept of sculptures so small that you can easily lose them.
- Watching “Print the Legend” for the first time on Netflix was wonderfully enlightening, vindicating, sickening, and inspiring. If you haven’t yet, watch it.
Q: WHAT’S A 3D PROJECT YOU SHARED THIS YEAR?
I’ve had time to get back on the design horse this year and I was particularly happy with this series of vases.
I’ve been having a lot of fun printing with the ColorFabb metal-filled PLAs. [ABOVE] is an Abe Lincoln death mask I printed in CopperFill on a TAZ 4. Finishing these parts is so much fun, such a transformation.
And also Sculptor’s “Frenchie” [BELOW].
Q: WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO FOR 3D PRINTING IN 2015?
There are a few things. I am really excited to see further advancements from the Open Source community. The top performing printers in the Make shootout this year are open source. I think people are starting to recognize that the collective ingenuity of the community is more capable than even the largest engineering teams at closed source companies.
Next, the materials market is exploding with innovation. In the last few months we’ve seen new high strength industrial materials from Taulman, new conductive and magnetic materials on Kickstarter, a plethora of metal and fiber-filled PLA materials, and new flexible materials. I don’t see this trend slowing in 2015.
Finally, we’re talking to more and more companies who are thinking about 3D printing as a viable manufacturing process. Whether their volumes are low or they need the ability to customize, the economics of 3D printing are enabling more and more companies to get off the ground that never could have existed before.
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!
Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!
The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! We also offer the LulzBot TAZ – Open source 3D Printer and the Printrbot Simple Metal 3D Printer in our store. If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!