The Stargate Project created a life size replica of a Stargate in the park of Musée royal de Mariemont in Belgium. This is for an exhibit about the roll of Egyptian Gods in Geek Culture that will be running through November 20th, covering everything from the Stargate TV show and Movies to Comic Books. The first video is about the production of the Stargate, using milling, laser cutting, and 3D printing. The second video is of one that is much smaller and easier to 3D print and assemble, using the plans from Thingiverse, if you wanted to make your own.
Using a combination of solid and liquid printing, MIT printed the first ever 3D Printed Hydraulic Powered Robot. No assembly was required, beyond popping on a motor and battery. Which means now our Evil Robot Overlords will be able to print up their minions themselves. The advance that made this possible was developing a technique to print both solids and liquids in the same printer, and I find it somewhat surprising that they got the best results for the liquid printing using a regular ink jet printer.
It has been a bit since I featured the Tokyo Dance Trooper, Danny Choo, in this blog, so I figure it is time to do it again. He still has the moves, the attitude, and the armor! He still gets my vote as the best choice for this project. And then, just because you don’t feel like a guy dancing down the street in full Storm Trooper armor isn’t Nerd Enough for you, see what he does when he gets his hands on a series of dolls, and starts building their robotic control interfaces into them. Be sure to check out smartdoll.jp to get all the details. Unless you really want ALL the details about how Danny used 3D printing to create a Rapid Prototyping Environment which allowed him to create the dolls based on his anime/manga in the first place, which gave him the baseline physical model he started building his robots on. If you feel the need for that level of detail, you will find it here.
I wanted to break from my usual kind of entry for a moment and cheer on the MOD production process, meaning Manufacture On Demand. Warner Brothers, Shout Factory, MGM, and several others have done this with a lot of titles which have not been available for a while, and it is a great business model for the digital age. You pick one of the titles in their MOD catalog and put in your order, at which point they burn you a copy of the CD or DVD on their industrial grade reproduction gear, print out a label, and send it your way. For the customer, thousands of titles you could not previously get your hands on except possibly in very low quality bootleg format are now accessible. For the manufacturer, titles they own but were not previously making any money on can now turn a small but steady profit for them, without the loss incurred by going to a full press run when the demand for the product is not there. If it turns out the demand is there as evinced by the number of folks putting in orders for an MOD title, they can then release the disk or box set as a full press run (“press” being a leftover term from pressing vynal records, the original media distribution format).
Obviously this process is good for both music CDs and video DVDs, but it doesn’t stop there. With the advent of 3D printing, objects of all kinds can be put through the manufacture on demand process. Even better, they might be designed anywhere in the world, but you could have them printed locally and avoid the shipping costs, downloading the printing template across the web. Did you know this is the same technology Jay Leno uses to produce mil spec perfect replacement parts for his vintage automobile collection? This stuff is available today, and although it can be a bit pricy, there are also open source 3D Printing options worth looking into, such as the ongoing MIT research.