Saturday, June 28, 2014

Pre-order open for iSense for the iPad, iPad Air or iPad mini!

The cadets I teach REALLY enjoy using the Sense 3D scanner.  So, they are going to be doubly excited about the iSense for the iPad Air, iPad 4th generation or iPad mini Retina.

That is because it frees them from being tethered to a notebook via a long USB connector.  The upcoming iSense attaches directly to the iPad so the iPad screen and iSense become one.  I've not used one as yet.  But, I can imagine that this integrated approach makes the scanning process a lot simpler.

I hope to be able to test one using an iPad Mini Retina.  My iPad 3 is not supported; but, my granddaughter has the mini.  I will let you know as soon as I've had a chance to test the iSense.

In the meantime, check out the iSense Pages to check it out and pre-order it.

Sense Scanning Realities

I think it is very important that people understand the strengths and limits of Sense scanning.  The Sense is NOT a $30,000 3D scanner.  So, don't expect to be able to use it for precise industrial reverse engineering.  It's a low cost consumer scanner to be used for fun captures that can be printed on our consumer 3D printers,

We have created dozens of scans of our cadets and the Sense scans have been imported into Sculpt to create personalized gifts for the cadet's family.  This is a perfect use for the iSense as well.  In fact, I am expecting that the scanning process will be even easier and more fun since we will have more freedom of movement.

In a classroom situation, a single iSense or Sense will support multiple students and printers.  So, I expect it to be a popular 3D accessory for classroom 3D printing labs.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Uploads from KiBack Lee

Every now and then I get an invitation to share someone's Google+ page or Youtube Channel.  That was the case today and I was very pleased with what I found when I checked out the Google+ link!  I then checked out KiBack Lee's YouTube uploads.

If you want to have some 3D fun, visit the YouTube channel of KiBack Lee!

You will find some great information about all of the latest Cubify 3D printer products as well as Geomagic Freeform tutorials.

Here are some samples that I've really enjoyed.

Cube 3 Printer Introduction

CubePro Introduction

The ColorJest Printing Process

Until now, consumer 3D printers largely used extruded filament.  But, powder based printers will soon be available.  This is a great overview of that process as currently used in professional printers.


For more uploads by KiBack Lee, simply go to YouTube and search on his name.  I, for one, will be following his channel.  I might not be able to afford Geomagic Freeform; but, I definitely enjoy learning about it.  Thanks KiBack!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

EKOCYCLE Cube - What does it mean?

There is something very different about the blog posts that I've been reading that talk about the EKOCYCLE.  In general 90% of what passes for reporting on blogs consists of 100% cut & paste from company press releases.   Refreshingly, this has NOT been the case for many of the EKOCYCLE Cube reports.

I have seen some genuine reporting about the EKOCYCLE Cube as writers seem to grasp the real import of the idea that this product has some special importance.  That is because it does.  It is very important.

I have to admit that it took me awhile to become a fan of having to separate plastic, paper and garbage when it was first introduced in our area more than a decade ago.  But, years of seeing just how full the plastic recycle container gets each weeks finally convinced me that without recycling, it was true that we would not only be wasting finite resources; but, be buried under mounds of plastic containers and bottles.

Recycling has come to have political overtones; but, in reality recycling is not a political issue.  It is an economic, health and space issue.

Back in the 1960's to 1970's my grandfather and uncle owned a restricted landfill dump designed to fill a deep ravine in the "country" outside of Washington, DC.  The bulk of what came into the dump was building materials as old buildings were demolished to make room for new ones. But, consumers could also drop off things they no longer wanted.  It was amazing to find Lionel train sets and other really nice things being discarded as worthless trash.  Of course, we grandchildren instantly decided to "rescue" some of these treasures.  It was a valuable lesson in recycling as these toys were once again whipping around recycled tracks.

But there were some longer term lessons.  For decades, smoke could be seen seeping up from the depths of the dump as building materials under pressure combusted spontaneously.  Things might be out of sight.  But, they were not out of mind and smoldered for years.  It was assumed back in the 1960s that it posed no health hazards, since it was 'just building materials'.  But, certainly no one knew for sure.  Fortunately the fires burned themselves out and no dogs, cats and children were born with extra appendages as far as we know.  But, certainly, I appreciate the risks of dumping ANYTHING more now because of that experience.

Wind forward to the last few years... with hundreds of printed prototypes behind me.  It didn't take me long after starting to use a 3D printer to realize that recycling is an important and crucial consideration.  So, I was eager to participate in 3D Systems cartridge return program knowing their commitment to recycling.

So, now that I have fully grasped the important implications of the EKOCYCLE Cube, I am certain that this is the printer we should and will be using in our YouthQuest 3D ThinkLink Lab.  Our students, like all of the rest of us are consumers and consumers generate waste.  As generators of waste it is good for all of us to become conscious of the fact that we can recycle at least part of that waste and that recycling has enormously positive benefits to all of us.

I hate token, feel-good initiatives that are of little real consequence.  There is no way the EKOCYCLE Cube even remotely fits that description.

Like so many other blog writers that sense something special with the EKOCYCLE Cube, I have an appreciation of what a big step this concept is to a 3D printing future.  True, the materials are not 100% recycled.  But, the evolution to that goal has begun and I want our students to be a part of that evolving conscious effort to use the old to create the new.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

EKOCYCLE Cube - Using Old to Make New!

It is no secret that I am a fan not only of the Cube 3D printers; but, of the entire vision of 3D Systems behind those innovative printers.  Good things keep popping up so unexpectedly from the Cubify Design Team that I always feel a little behind.  Today, I REALLY had to pedal hard to keep up with the latest events just announced on the Cubify site.

Not only did I have to quickly try to analyze a new product; but, the entire concept behind it.

3D Systems added a new version of the not-yet-released Cube 3.  It's called the EKOCYCLE Cube!


While 3D Systems previously announced that Cube users could return empty cartridges for recycling, this printer takes the recycling concept one step farther by actually using filament manufactured, at least in part, from recycled plastic from things like Coca-Cola bottles!

Here is a video that succinctly explains the EKOCYCLE Cube philosophy.

I can't imagine that schools can pass this printer up.  Its very presence in the classroom is a narrative with a powerful and compelling message.  

Look.  I'm 70.  So, I hope you can understand when I say that I remember being puzzled when it was announced that was announced to be Chief Creative Officer.  Frankly. I had NO idea who was.  Frankie Valli I'd know.   The Big Bopper I'd know.  Roy Orbison, I'd definitely know.  When it comes to pop culture I'm locked into a "Happy Days" time warp!

But, I've come to appreciate the reality that is not only a true renaissance man; but, a forward thinking activist that not only sees future problems; but, solutions as well.

The EKOCYCLE Cube is a bold response to the fact that plastics technology inevitably produces  some waste; but, that waste can be reused.  What better way for us to recycle plastic than to use it to create new useful items of our own creation!  Coca-Cola is a partner in the 2D Systems EKOCYCLE project.  Each EKOCYCLE cartridge will contain filament comprised of a 25% mixture of recycled PET bottles.  So, each cartridge recycles an average of three PET bottles.

Now that I understand the value that brings to the Cubify table, it might be time to update my record collection, too.  WAIT!!!  Did I REALLY just say that????  Does this mean I'm going to have to buy an iPod??? Or, is that yesterday's history, too?

I'll close with this.  Yes.  I have an old Edison wind-up 78rpm record player.  And, I still have an old 45rpm record player.  But, I no longer have an 8-track in my car.  So, it's not entirely hopeless for me to try to up my game when it comes to pop culture.  Thank you 3D Systems for bringing on board and if the EKOCYCLE Cube is any barometer, it was an excellent move!

Everything old really CAN be new again.

And, Hey!  I may be old.  But, I know VERY COOL when I see it.  And, I see it here... and in classrooms and conscientious homes all over the world.   It's another winner!  :)