The top three 3D printers, scanners or other whatsits that have come to our attention over the last seven days.
The fruit printer from Dovetailed
Dovetailed is a Cambridge design studio that researches and develops new technologies focused on innovative eating. Its latest creation is a device that prints pieces of organic, fresh fruit at the push of a button.
Developed in collaboration with Microsoft and unveiled at the Tech Food Hack event in Dovetailed’s home town last weekend, it uses a molecular gastronomic technique to print apples, raspberries, pears and just about any other fruit you could name.
All you have to do is combine fruit juice with a powdered sodium alginate. You then drip the mixture into a bowl of cold calcium chloride where it forms tiny spheres. These spheres can be combined with spheres based on other fruits, creating new flavours, while your final juicy print can be sized and shaped however you fancy. Ever wanted to eat a giant mango-flavoured strawberry shaped like Michael Gove’s face? Here’s your chance!
Discussing the device, Dovetailed Creative Director and Founder Dr. Vaiva Kalnikaite says:
We have been thinking of making this for a while. It’s such an exciting time for us as an innovation lab. Our 3D fruit printer will open up new possibilities not only to professional chefs, but also to kitchens in our homes, allowing us to enhance and expand our dining experiences. We have re-invented the concept of fresh fruit on demand.
Check out the printer in action below:
The 3D printed Bar Mixvah is a cocktail mixing robot bartender
If you check in regularly here at Top 4 3D Printing, you will be well aware that we live for those magical moments when 3D printing is used to make getting drunk easier/ quicker/ geekier. So, while the Bar Mixvah, a 3D printed robot that mixes drinks at the push of an iPad or Smartphone screen, is technically a 3D print as oppose to a 3D printer, you’ll forgive us for including it on this week’s device list. Basically, because it’s a truly tremendous innovation in the field of getting messed up on booze.
The brainchild of University of California, Los Angeles Electrical Engineering graduate Yu Jiang Tham, the model’s frame was designed in Blender before its parts were printed using a MakerBot Replicator 2X.
The system consists of 5 peristaltic pumps that are switched by 5 bipolar junction transistors and controlled via Arduino. Arduino is itself controlled by the Johnny-Five package, which means you can order up a robotically engineered Sex on the Beach right from the comfort of your tablet.
What’s even better, Tham has been nice enough to upload the STL file to GitHub, where you can download it free of charge. The print time is about 18 hours, while Tham reckons it should cost about $180 (about £107) to print and construct.
The 3D printer pen for kids from Cloudio2Go
Since the 3Doodler 3D printed pen first launched on Kickstarter last year, a slew of copycat devices have hit the market. On first glance, the pen from German company Cloudio2Go that hit IndieGogo recently is another such device but, on closer inspection, it is potentially, a far more interesting piece of hardware.
With an ultra lightweight design, bright colour pattern, efficient heating process and intelligent standby, it is a 3D pen targeted directly at the children’s market. That makes it, alongside Blockify, one of the few 3D printing devices or platforms that are specifically made for teaching kids about additive manufacturing.
The pen, which can draw in any 1.7 mm ABS or PLA filament, has already made $1,626 of its $5,000 crowd funding goal with 8 days left on the campaign. A pledge of just $89 (about 55 quid) can get you an early bird package, which includes a pen and 30 ABS mixed colour kit.