Selective Laser Sintering 3D printers, more commonly called SLS 3D printers, have long been the most expensive among 3D printing technologies, not the least of which was due to the existence of many patents related to the tech. With those patents expiring this year, the cost of these printers -- though certainly not "budget-friendly" in the traditional sense -- have seen a drastic drop in price.
In an initiative called "SuperFanArt", Hasbro has teamed up with Shapeways to create a portal through which fans of Hasbro’s characters can create and sell their own 3D-printed toys. The first line to have its license opened to fans through this program is My Little Pony. This should appeal to some of the stranger fans out in the fan universe - but Hasbro’s collection has some far larger names in the mix as well.
Home Depot is looking to get you into the 3D printing game, adding MakerBot's Replicator 3D printers to its inventory. If you happen to live near one of the select stores carrying the machine, you can grab it in person, but otherwise it is available through the hardware store's website.
Can you 3D print a car? Sure you can! Local Motors, who have been working with the public for years in bringing their designs to the road. Dubbing their method “co-creation”, they also use “micro-manufacturing” to get you your vehicle (and even let you pitch in on the build). A contest of theirs to design a 3D printed, electric vehicle has just wrapped, but the submitted designs were phenomenal.
MakerBot, the company leading the charge to get 3D printing everywhere, has announced their Replicator Z18 printer is ready to ship. For those who backed the device early on via pre-order, shipments will start going out soon. MakerBot says they’re working down the order sheet, sending out printers as soon as they’re ready to go.
CreoPop's 3D printing pen has begun its crowdfunding campaign, with the cool-running stylus taking on 3Doodler and others with its unusual ink. The pen - which we played with in prototype form earlier this month - allows for freehand sketching of 3D objects, but unlike other such startups uses a completely cold ink that's set with ultraviolet light.
NASA has given the green light to a 3D printer specially designed for the International Space Station, with the microgravity-ready fabricator now expected to blast off in August this year. Made In Space announced plans to put a 3D printer in orbit last year, working with the US space agency on the idea that, rather than ship specific components and parts to the ISS, it makes more sense to produce them on-demand.
From makers to builders, Arup is taking 3D printing into a new frontier. The UK-based professional services company has just commissioned the development of 3D printing techniques that will produce steel components that themselves will be used as parts of a larger construction work.