Beleaguered 3D printing firm MakerBot is attempting to put to rest the string of upsets and bad news that has plagued them for the past few years. From a rocky transition as paragon of the open source movement to a closed source vendor, from a proud-to-produce-in-America production line to offshore manufacturing, the company has lived through a major acquisition, management shake-ups (it went through four CEOs in four years), a class action lawsuit (now dismissed), and mixed reviews of its fifth-generation Replicator+ 3D printers. Today, though, the company hopes all that is in the past. MakerBot announced its Method 3D printer, in a category it calls "performance 3D printing," which it says "bridges the gap between desktop and industrial 3D printing by bringing features that were previously only available on industrial 3D printers to professionals at a significantly lower cost." The changing 3D printer market This is a story of both a company and a market in transition. … [Read more...] about Is MakerBot’s new Method 3D printer ready enough to save the company?
Solus 3d printer
MakerBot is announcing a new printer that’s more polished (and more expensive) than most of its earlier products. Known as the MakerBot Method, the printer is supposed to bridge the gap between its parent company’s expensive industrial machines, which can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the cheaper desktop printers that MakerBot is known for. The Method could take MakerBot closer than ever to the click-and-print dream of 3D printing — while drawing it further than ever from the DIY style of its early years. MakerBot has been working for a long time to find its niche. The 3D printing company released its first product in 2009, promoting big ideas about putting a printer in every living room. In 2013, it was acquired by major high-end printing company Stratasys. But the average person didn’t really need a 3D printer. So over the past several years, MakerBot has refocused on professional designers and schools, shrinking significantly in the process. The … [Read more...] about MakerBot’s new 3D printer shows how much it’s changed in nine years
While 3D printers have a future in a number of fields, including automotive, manufacturing and biotechnology, could the emerging technology also be emitting dangerous particles into the immediate atmosphere? A joint research project between scientists from the not-for-profit research lab UL Chemical Safety and the Georgia Institute of Technology are hoping to shed light on what is being emitted into the nearby atmosphere when these 3D printers are fired up. After two years of research, the collaboration discovered that several desktop 3D printers generate ultrafine particles (UFPs), which are known to cause a health risk when they are inhaled and penetrate deep into the pulmonary system. The researchers also identified more than 200 different volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are released while 3D printers are in operation, several of which are known or suspected irritants and carcinogens. However, Rodney Weber, Georgia Tech's primary investigator of the research, explained in an … [Read more...] about Researchers Investigate Unsafe Emissions From 3D Printers
Like fingerprints, no 3D printer is exactly the same. That's the takeaway from a new University at Buffalo-led study that describes what's believed to be the first accurate method for tracing a 3D-printed object to the machine it came from. The advancement, which the research team calls "PrinTracker," could ultimately help law enforcement and intelligence agencies track the origin of 3D-printed guns, counterfeit products and other goods. "3D printing has many wonderful uses, but it's also a counterfeiter's dream. Even more concerning, it has the potential to make firearms more readily available to people who are not allowed to possess them," says the study's lead author Wenyao Xu, PhD, associate professor of computer science and engineering in UB's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. The study will be presented in Toronto at the Association for Computing Machinery's Conference on Computer and Communications Security, which runs from Oct. 15-19. It includes coauthors from … [Read more...] about 3D Printers Have ‘Fingerprints,’ a Discovery That Could Help Trace 3D-Printed Guns
Nearly 3,800 3D printers have been left exposed online without a password, two security researchers from the SANS ISC organization have warned last week.The common link between all printers is an open-source project named OctoPrint. This project is a free web interface that some 3D printer manufacturers have embedded with their devices to allow users remote access to printing stations.The OctoPrint interface provides a wide array of features, such as the ability to download and upload 3D models (as .gcode files), but also the ability to view webcam feeds, if the 3D printer supports such a feature.But SANS ISC researchers Richard Porter and Xavier Mertens say that thousands of 3D printers sporting an OctoPrint interface have been carelessly exposed online, allowing anyone to modify a printer's settings.The two argue that such a decision from the devices' owners is complete folly. Anyone could access these printers and steal 3D models uploaded on the OctoPrint interface. These 3D … [Read more...] about Thousands of 3D printers may be leaking private product designs online