Tag Archives: Hack Things

Poppy Launches Kickstarter to Turn Your iPhone into a 3D Camera

Poppy 3D iPhone Camera

Poppy Lets Your iPhone Go 3D

Remember the View-Master? The retro toy that would let you immerse yourself in images of the Eiffel Tower or an African safari. Well there is a new device in town that brings back the nostalgia of the View-Master while embracing our high-tech and social iPhone world.

It’s called Poppy and it’s on Kickstarter

Poppy is the name of the innovative device that lets you capture, share and view images in 3D using only your iPhone. It was created by two serial entrepreneurs Ethan Lowry and Joe Heitzeberg who are also founders of the blog Hack Things. Ethan and Joe describe Poppy this way:

Poppy has no electronics or batteries to babysit, but since it uses iPhone as its brain it’s quite a capable device. You put your iPhone in, and a system of mirrors captures two side-by-side images onto you iPhone’s single camera. Like the Viewmaster you might have played with as a kid, when you look in, lenses bring the two images together into a single 3D image. With retina quality video, the effect is immersive and really quite beautiful. It’s like stepping into another world.

Poppy went live with a Kickstarter campaign today, and as of writing this article, the campaign has raised over $25,000 of it’s $40,000 goal. [Update 6/28 - they've now raised $80K!]

Watch the video below and back the campaign if you like it. (Disclosure: a member of our staff has backed the campaign)

3D Printed Poppy?

Although Poppy is not a 3D printed product, the design and development leveraged 3D printing for rapid prototyping. Below are some sketches of the early designs, some of which were 3D printed for field testing.

Poppy 3D Printed Prototypes


We asked the founders why they used 3D printing in product development. Joe Heitzeberg shared his insights with us:

3D printing helped us make Poppy stylish and easy to use by allowing us to iterate the design and get actual usage feedback from real users before committing to the more costly work of tooling for injection molds.

The Poppy team shared some exclusive photos of their 3D printed prototypes with us. Here’s a photo of Zach Hoeken Smith, co-founder of MakerBot, holding a 3D printed prototype of Poppy in China.

MakerBot Founder Poppy 3D Printed Prototype

And below is a close-up photo of the prototype, held by founder Ethan Lowry. You can see the cross-stitch resolution lines common with 3D printed surfaces.

Poppy 3D Printed Prototype

3D Printed Poppy Kickstarter Perk

If you’re passionate about 3D printing and excited about Poppy, there is a 3D printing Kickstarter perk. Pledge $1,200 or more to receive one of the original 3D printed functional prototypes.


Maker Faire Bay Area Exhibits Grassroots 3D Printing Innovations

Maker Faire Bay Area 2013 3D Printing

Maker Faire Shows Off 3D Printing

Each year Maker Faire comes to the Bay Area and it seems the 3D printing exhibit continues to grow in scale. With 120,000 attendees and thousands of makers, it’s a great event.

Our friends at Hack Things went to Maker Faire and wrote this recap.

The section on 3D printing — a tiny part of the entire event — was bigger than what we saw in New York. And even more 3D printers were scattered throughout the exhibition hall. There were some delightful variations.

  • A team from Berkeley demonstrated 3D printing with sawdust or cement.
  • The SandBox fuses thin layers of sand to create objects. The unfused sand acts as support so any geometry can be created and there’s no need for extra support structures. This mimics a property of the much more expensive SLS (selective laser sintering) technology.
  • Fred White showed off his soon-to-be-on-Kickstarter Apex 3D printer head. It can print six separate filaments or fluids simultaneously. As he pointed out, you could print a teacup and fill it with tea in one pass.
  • Oleksiy Pikalo has a 3D printer that can draw patterns in carmel in the foam of your latte. He’s working on a version that will work for beer.
  • And the Serpentine 3D printer, designed by architecture students, uses clay to rapidly create structures.


Read the full write-up at Hack Things.

Visit the Maker Faire website.

Read more articles about Maker Faire.


$200 MakiBox 3D Printer Competes at the Low End Market

MakiBox 3D Printer

$200 MakiBox 3D Printer is the Cheapest on the Market

The MakiBox 3D printer is the creation of 37-year-old Jon Buford, founder of Hong Kong-based startup Makible. Buford launched the company with $50,000 in seed funding and a round of pre-orders from a crowdfunding campaign. Makible’s 2013 goal is to hit $2 to $3 million in revenue.

Targeting Cost over Scale

MakiBox is attacking the low end of the market. While leading desktop 3D printers from MakerBot and 3D Systems range from $1,700 to $2,200, there has been a price war at the low end among dozens of Kickstarter projects and RepRap innovations. Makible is possibly the lowest priced 3D printer in the market.

To reduce the cost, the MakiBox is a smaller 3D printer. But it can still print objects as large as 14 iPhone 5s stacked in two columns.

A Visit to Makible in Hong Kong

Our friends at Hack Things are traveling in China this week, and paid a visit to the team building the MakiBox, a $200 3D printer.

Yesterday we dropped in on Elliot and Jon of Makible at their lab in Kwai Hing, Hong Kong, where a team is hard at work making what will likely be the world’s most affordable 3D Printer, the MakiBox. It will launch later this year for just $200 (as a kit).

Why does price matter? To get an idea of cost, at the moment Shapeways charges roughly $3 per cubic centimeter when the plastic itself costs less than $0.05. It wouldn’t take much printing before the Makibox pays itself off. However when you factor in shipping and turnaround time, you see the real advantage of having a desktop printer nearby. Not only that, but low cost itself enables new applications and markets such as in education and makes small batch production more affordable (e.g. it’s more practical to run a farm of 3D printers if the fixed costs are low.)

The video below shows a profile of Buford and Makible.


CC Image by cloneofsnake

Practical 3D Printing: 10 Things to Make With a 3D Printer

Practical 3D Printing List

Practical 3D Printing: 10 Things to Make

Our friends at Internet of things blog Hack Things put together a list of 10 practical things to make with a 3D printer. Here’s the practical 3D printing list.

After digging through ThingiverseShapeways and Ponoko, there are plenty of practical, every-day creations to justify the purchase of a 3D printer.

Here are ten practical things to make.

iphone case1) iPhone cases
At the Apple store even a bumper is going to cost you $30. With a 3D printer, you could print a new case design every week. And there are a lot of beautiful designs out there.

handle replacement2) Replacement parts
If you like to fix things, a 3D printer is magic. When a small plastic part breaks, you no longer have to throw the whole product away. This guy’s dishwasher had a broken handle, so he printed a new one.

macro lens3) Smartphone accessories
3D printers have come up with innumerable little ways to get more out of your smartphone, various stands, cord wrappers, sound amplifiers and camera attachments like this cheap and effective macro lens.

camera mount

4) Camera gear
Photographers are willing to spend serious money for the right gear, and manufacturers set prices accordingly. From tripod mounts to lens cap holders, camera buffs can 3D print inexpensive accessories made to fit their kit.

mudguard5) Bicycle accessories
Cyclists are already used to tinkering to get their bike perfectly in tune. A 3D printer opens up whole new opportunities. Create clips to attach to the frame, a carrying handle, or even a whole pedal.

anemometer6) Science
From a tray for washing microscope slides to custom lens mounts, you can 3D print whatever tools you need to do science. Good for the grad student on a budget, or for family science projects. You can even print this anemometer.


7) Wallets and purses
It turns out you can make a great wallet or an interesting purse out of plastic. Like the iPhone case, this really changes the way you think about these kinds of accessories. If you are making them yourself you can experiment with designs you might not buy in the store.

clock8) Clocks
A cheap quartz clock movement and a little 3D printing, and you have a beautiful clock. Pick from many styles.

toothbrush holder

9) Containers
Look around your house and you’ll probably find a lot of small plastic containers. You can print those, and tailor them to their purpose, like this toothbrush holder.

legos10) Legos
If you are a Lego fan (and if you are reading this, you probably are), imagine printing any shape you want and just plugging it directly into the Lego universe. I guess you could even print a Lego-compatible Yoda head.

Hack Things concludes:

Obviously if you want to mass produce something there are more efficient tools than a desktop 3D printer. The same could be said about printing with ink. If you want to publish a bestselling paperback, you don’t do that at home. But no one doubts the value of an inkjet printer.

All the hype aside, for small plastic parts, when you factor in shipping and customization, a home 3D printer actually makes sense today.

The Crowd Loves 3D Printing! Kickstarter 3D Printing Summary

Kickstarter 3D Printing

Kickstarter 3D Printing

This post is courtesy of Internet of things blog Hack Things.

The crowdfunding world loves 3D printing. 4 of the top 10 all-time Kickstarter technology projects are 3D printers: Form13D DoodlerPrintrbot and the RoBo 3D printer. And there have been many other successful 3D printer campaigns as well. Here is a Kickstarter 3D printing summary.

It’s been a good week for 3D printers and related paraphernalia. Joe interviewed the guys working on the Photon 3D Scanner earlier this week. Since then they’ve hit their Indiegogo campaign goal (congratulations!).

At $450 fully assembled, the RigidBot is at the extreme inexpensive end of the spectrum for 3D Printers, but with capabilities and build volume usually reserved for much pricier machines.

The Filastruder turns plastic pellets into ready-to-use ABS or PLA plastic filament. Much like ink for traditional printers, one of the big hidden costs of operating a 3D printer is the plastic. But while the filament runs $40 or more for a 1kg spool, the pellets only cost a couple bucks. The Filastruder itself is $300, so it would pay off pretty fast.

The 3D Refiner is a simple device to get a high quality finished product out of even lower resolution 3D printing. By smoothing out the layers of a 3D printed object the Refiner leaves you with a perfectly polished final part.

Kickstarter’s stated mission is to help bring creative projects to life, so I guess it’s not too surprising that the community is eager to fund tools like these for making stuff.

We tend to assume that only a small number of dedicated hobbyists actually buy these things, but the success of so many different campaigns demonstrates that there’s actually a broad and healthy appetite. Home 3D printing is already more mainstream than you may have thought.

Via Hack Things.