Tag Archives: college

Dreambox Hopes to Make 3D Printing Universal with Custom Vending Machines

Dreambox Team 3D Printing

“3D printing will enable every human on this planet to design, customize, and create products to solve problems – from the slightest household annoyance to global issues – and we’re here to fuel the revolution from the bottom up.”   – Dreambox Team

A Dreambox is a 3D printing vending machine. It is the simplest way to have your custom models created. Take away the dozens of hours to setup a 3D printer, take away the weeks of waiting to receive an item from a 3D printing service, take away the need for a full-time operator and you’re left only with 3D printing’s unique manufacturing capabilities. With a Dreambox users can freely experiment with and harness 3D printing’s advantages.

The team came up with their concept while at UC Berkeley where it was hard to get access to 3D printers for rapid prototyping. Their only alternative was to order from online 3D printing marketplaces which would take 10-12 days for delivery and was more expensive.

Having an item 3D printed with a Dreambox is as simple as uploading or choosing a design online, clicking the “Print” button and retrieving the item once it’s ready. The details of what happens in between choosing to print an item and receiving that item are not important to the end user. What is important is that multiple users can get physical versions of their digital creations faster and simpler than ever before.

Dreamboxes are built to order with a varying number of internal 3D printers and lockers based on customer needs. Instead of creating our own 3D printers, we leverage the best of existing 3D printing technology so we can stay on the forefront of quality. Increasing the internal number of 3D printers and lockers lets a single Dreambox service a larger number of individuals.

Dreambox currently uses fused deposition modeling to create products from bioplastics, but will in the future offer additional material options.

Learn more at the Dreambox website.

Below is a concept video of the Dreambox 3D printing vending machine.

And here’s an inside look at how the Dreambox works.

Fab Lab of the Week: Massey University Centre Hosts New Zealand Event

Massey University College of Creative Arts

This week’s featured Fab Lab is Massey University’s College of Creative Arts and the Affect Research Centre, which is hosting a seminar in Wellington, New Zealand in collaboration with the MIT Center for Bits and Atoms.

Fab 8 NZ is the 2012 incarnation of the annual international Fab Lab meeting, bringing field practitioners and laboratory researchers from the international Fab Lab network and beyond, for a week of hands-on workshops and a one-day public symposium on the principles and applications of digital fabrication. For designers with some basic maker experience, there’s also a two-day “Fab Foo”, a chance to rub shoulders with the best in the world.

Expect talk on a mind-boggling array of subjects, from prototyping in outer space to 3D printing of human organs.

Among those attending the conference will be Fab Lab founder Professor Neil Gershenfeld, Director for the Center for Bits and Atoms at MIT. Professor Gershenfeld has been named one of Scientific American’s 50 leaders in science and technology, has been selected as a CNN/Time/Fortune Principal Voice, and by Prospect/FP as one of the top 100 public intellectuals.

Fab Labs were originally initiated as an outreach project from MIT, and provide widespread access to a modern means for invention through 3D printers that can make almost anything, and can be put to use in communities, businesses and industries around the globe.

Fab Labs have spread around the world from inner city Boston to rural India, incubating projects like solar and wind-powered turbines, thin-client computers and wireless data networks, analytical instrumentation for agriculture and healthcare, custom housing, and rapid-prototyping of rapid-prototyping machines.


Via idealog.

Fab Lab of the Week: Dickinson College Media Center Adopts 3D Printing

Dickinson College Media Center

This week’s featured Fab Lab is the Dickinson College Media Center, located in Carlisle, PA.

In their own words:

The Media Center is your media mecca.  We help you create multimedia projects from simple graphics to short films.  Our equipment office is available for students, faculty and staff to check out cameras, mics, audio recorders, light kits, green screens, dollies & much much more.  We help you along your way from novice to expert and the center helps not only students working on class projects but anyone who needs assistance starting a project.

Recently, the Media Center has added 3D printing equipment to their selection of tools that students can use. The first 3D printer to arrive was a MakerBot.

The Media Center’s newest member, The MakerBot Replicator, is finally available!  After several weeks of troubleshooting and trials, it is now fine tuned and ready to print your designs!  Here is a look at the phases of the tuning process, through the creation of a unique Media Center keychain designed in Google Sketchup 8.

The MakerBot uses an Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) plastic, which is fed through the top of the extruder.  The extruder is heated to ~220C or ~430F, which turns the ABS plastic into a viscous liquid.  The extruder then positions itself just above the warm print surface and begins the expel the plastic in the formation designated by the 3D file.  Each print begins with a “raft,” which is nothing more than a thick grid of ABS plastic, that allows for the MakerBot to ensure that the rest of the object is built upon a stable foundation.  Below is a snapshot of the raft creation process.

It is great to see colleges embracing the future of 3D printing and giving their students a chance to innovate with the technology. Way to go Dickinson!

Dickinson College

Dickinson College gate photo by JasonTromm used under Creative Commons license.