As I explored in this post, while it's possible to print a working firearm component with a 3D printer, it's not exactly the best way to create such a component. Still, more people might experiment with the idea as 3D printers become more common. And as 3D-printing technology develops alongside that growth, so will the popularity of 3D-printing services--companies that print objects for you based on plans you submit.… Read more
Welcome to the dark side of 3D printing.
The hobby is best known for creating colorful toys and trinkets, but some enthusiasts are working on design files that would allow anyone to print a working gun. These don't exist yet, but some believe it's only a matter of time.
Why would a 3D-printed gun be appealing? For one, it could potentially be cheap. You can buy a preassembled 3D printer for about $500. A spool of ABS plastic to print with goes for $50. Depending on where you shop, you can buy .38 Special ammunition for 30 cents a round. The plans will undoubted be distributed free like so many MP3s. … Read more
I have to put our Always On supervising producer, Eileen Rivera, on front street a little bit this week: that woman hates the Samsung Galaxy Beam. More accurately, she hates the cheeseball YouTube videos that promote the Beam's signature feature: its built-in pico projector. And I agree ... those ads are bad. Like, bad, bad.
But after spending some time playing with the Beam, I have to confess, I was kind of taken with its little parlor trick! I can't imagine using it often, unless it was for work, but it would certainly thrill the grandparents as a better … Read more
MakerBot is best known for its 3D printers. Would you have predicted an MP3 player for its newest product?
The MixTape is available in two iterations. The $25 MixTape Kit, aimed at those who already own a 3D printer, includes the guts of a basic MP3 player. Simply print out the enclosure using the plans on MakerBot's Thingiverse site, plug in the electronics, and you're ready to upload your music.
For those without a 3D printer, MakerBot will sell you a pre-assembled MixTape for $39.
The actual specs of the MixTape MP3 player are modest. It has 2GB … Read more
The new Apple MacBook Pro with Retina Display announced earlier this week just got an Editors' Choice review on CNET, but some die-hard tinkerers are upset about the lack of upgradeable components inside. According to iFixit.org, the latest MacBook Pro is the least reparable Apple laptop to date.
For starters, users are locked into the amount of RAM they choose at the purchase date, as the memory is actually soldered to the logic board. The proprietary solid-state hard drive is staying put as well, and watch out for a couple of booby traps concealed underneath the lithium-polymer battery! The laptop certainly remains incomparable in terms of display, I/O ports, and chassis, but keep in mind that your upgrade options down the line are severely limited if you go with this model.… Read more
PALO ALTO, Calif.--Since 2006, Maker Faire has offered tens of thousands of people an annual celebration of the best and brightest in the do-it-yourself movement.
But while everyone from individual tinkerers who have built small rockets to two people doing amazing things with Diet Coke and Mentos to paper airplane masters and crafters making magic out of felt has had a venue for the last five years to showcase their innovative projects, there's never been a forum for the growing number of people and companies that are developing the new business platforms that are merging manufacturing and making. … Read more
Last week, CNET reviewed some classic consumer technology: a smartphone, a camera, some speakers. This week, we ventured into less-traveled tech territory and unearthed some gems.
The best Prius of them all Let's start with a car. The drivers behind CNET Car Tech have been working their way through the new, expanded 2012 Prius lineup, reviewing the smaller Prius C and larger Prius V. This week, they returned to the flagship Prius, not too radically different since the last major model overhaul in 2010, and explained in their four-star Prius review that there's no Prius like the old … Read more
As Tech.li reports this morning, 3D Systems is now accepting payment for its Cube 3D printer we first learned about in January. For $1,299, you will receive the printer, as well as a spool of neon green plastic filament, and 25 free "Creation" downloads (aka object design files) from 3D Systems' Cubify Web site.
Why now? Because I finally got approval from CBS corporate to buy a MakerBot Replicator. Then it took a few weeks for MakerBot to build the unit.
MakerBot isn't loaning out Replicators for review. The company says it can't produce them in enough volume yet, citing an eight-week lead time because of current demand. (MakerBot did expedite my order.)
I picked up our unit yesterday from the company's office in Brooklyn, sparing us shipping costs and the risk of damage in-transit (you can check here for Daniel Terdiman's report on his own visit to MakerBot HQ). Total cost with the dual-extruder head was $1,999.
How do I justify spending $2,000 of CBS money on a niche product like a 3D printer? If you believe the hype, these devices have the same consumer/professional cross-over potential as Adobe's Photoshop. And through its enthusiastic, infectious marketing of both itself and 3D printing in general, MakerBot has become the industry's flagship company.… Read more
BROOKLYN, N.Y.--Given that Maker Faire is being held next month at a Northern California fairgrounds, it's appropriate that one of the attractions will be a petting zoo.
But this will be unlike any you've seen before. There won't be "animals" on display, and there won't be any fur.
Welcome to the Robot Petting Zoo.
The brainchild of the geeks at MakerBot Industries, the zoo will feature a collection of 3D printed robots, each of which will do something unique. Take "Button bot," for example, a happy-looking android with a head … Read more