3. Monkey Madness from Kipling
Have you ever wanted a bag made from monkeys? Well now it can be yours, courtesy of Belgian handbag kingpins Kipling. Before PETA come round to their offices and start hurling red paint everywhere, we should probably clarify that this has nothing to do with turning poor innocent simians into fashion accessories.
Rather, Kipling, who since the 80s have rocked a monkey on their labels, have used the magic of 3D printing to design and create a bag consisting of lots of little monkey figurines connected by their tails and hands. Named ‘Monkey Madness’, the bags have so far been printed in polyamide and epoxy, meaning they are as flexible as they are stylish.
2. The Music Drop from Left Field Labs
Here’s an agreeable mix of traditionalist and modernist design concepts from the good-eggs over at Left Field Labs. The Music Drop is a sleek little music box that users can programme with any tune they want, whether it be a self-penned ditty or a top ten tune.
All you have to do is head over to the Left Field Labs website, punch in your preferred song on the step sequencer and click order. They’ll get to work straight away printing off a Music Drop that will play your fave tune on command.
To develop the Music Drop, Left Field Labs researchers broke down a number of traditional Amazing Grace music boxes to study the mechanics. After rapidly prototyping on a MakerBot, they put together a design that would both amplify the sound and be durable enough for regular use. The final design on which they settled features a partially open frame, meaning users can see the mechanics working inside. As Left Field Labs puts it:
We wanted to recreate the playfulness of a music box with a custom element… we are all about using technology to help humans be, well, more human and so we updated this small device with some of the emerging technologies of our time. We wanted to create a modern day adaptation to put tech and cheer right in your hand.
Does that sound like a lovely little gift for a special person in your life? Or, perhaps, just a neat little toy for yourself? Then click here and get to work on your own Music Drop.
1. 3D printed ‘Magic Arms’
As per usual, the big softies here at Top 4 3D Printing have reserved our top spot for a story that could only accurately be described as ‘heart warming’. Hannah Mohn was born four years ago with a list of disabilities that made it almost impossible for her to move. Chief amongst these is arthrogryposis, a condition that saps strength from the muscles. Without power in her arms, Hannah couldn’t pick things up, hug her family or feed herself.
This is where the Wilmington Robotic Exoskeleton comes in. Also known as the WREX, it was developed by Tariq Raham, Senior Research Engineer at the Nemours/ Alfred I. Du Pont Hospital in Wilmington, Delaware, to give children with disabilities greater independence and freedom of movement. Made out of lightweight plastic and rubber bands, the WREX was first created in 2012 for two year old Emma Lavelle. Since then, it’s been printed for a dozen more children, with Hannah being the latest. 3D printing allows the WREX to be entirely customised to each child’s body shape and requirements. As Rahman puts it:
Without the 3D printer, we wouldn’t be in the position we’re in with these younger kids.
Need your heart warmed on this chilly January afternoon? Then click play on the video below and see Hannah enjoying her new arms.