3d printing


Greater Manchester Police seize 3D printer used to make guns in raids, as well as crack cocaine, £2m of counterfeit goods, lethal weapons and high-powered cars – Manchester Evening News

Component parts of what could be the UK’s first-ever 3D gun were seized in Greater Manchester’s biggest-ever crackdown on gangs.

Police and other agencies have been involved in around 100 raids during a week of hush-hush operations, with more expected this morning. Fifty people have been arrested so far.

via Greater Manchester Police seize 3D printer used to make guns in raids, as well as crack cocaine, £2m of counterfeit goods, lethal weapons and high-powered cars – Manchester Evening News.


3-D scans turn fossils into print replicas

Nearly 20,000 fossils in Britain have been scanned and uploaded onto the Web, allowing the public to download them and print intricate replicas.

Thousands of prehistoric fossils have been rescued from dusty museum archives and made available online by the British Geological Survey as highly detailed 3-D models.

Researchers and the public can now access almost 20,000 virtual fossils and print 3-D replicas. There are also plans in the works to digitally scan dinosaur fossils.

The blog of the 3D fossil project is here.

via 3-D scans turn fossils into print replicas.


Look at my Tiny Chopper!

Look at my tiny Chopper

Based upon a popular child’s bike, these little beauties will bring life and colour to any modern image layout set in the seventies and later.

The bikes frames are 3D printed and come unpainted with a section of bent wire for the handlebars- trim the bars to the appropriate length and attach them with super glue. (The handlebars supplied will be in silver, not, as seen in the photo, black.)

The OO Gauge Chopper 2 pack is available to order from Spinneyworld.


Little pieces of plastic that make me very happy

Little pieces of plastic that make me very happy

These arrived today, and I am very pleased with them. They’re the latest test prints of my first set of modern image bikes for model railways. The larger bikes are O gauge (1:43rd), and look to be ready for market. You can order them from the Spinneyworld shop, with the first full scale print late this month or early next.

The smaller bikes are OO (1:76th). At that size, the handle bars and pedals were too fine to print (I had to fatten them up for the O gauge ones). The question is, would people buy them if they need to fashion their own handle bars? I could make them in etched brass, but that could be expensive, or make them from wire, a little labour intensive. But I’m selling to resourceful folk, maybe I can rely on them to do a bit of the work.

Modellers, what do you think?


Bits From Bytes

Bits From Bytes is a British company which makes desktop 3D printers with prices starting under £2000. That’s for the single head version of their printer. Realistically, and especially if you want to creat more complex structures, you really need the two head version, which will also lay down support material. I’m not sure what the three head printer will do. They also make a build it yourself version if you’re feeling adventurous.


We can all be industries now

Reading this article about the revolution in small scale manufacturing and industry in Wired reminded me that I haven’t uploaded anything new to my Shapeways shop for a few months.

It’s time to reinstate the rule that Mondays are for 3d modelling, whether for upload or background details in the comic. I have a commission, of sorts, to design door and window surrounds for the station on Dad’s model railway. Tomorrow I think I’ll pick up an Airfix Ford Escort, because I have ideas of bits to do for it. Then I need to get the Italeri 1/24 Land Rover and see what I can do for that.


This month I’m going to be even geekier than normal 1

Tomorrow I shall be attending the Manchester Model Railway Society’s exhibition. Simultaneously, some of my comics shall be on sale from the Manchester Comix Collective’s table at the Birmingham International Comic Show. Meanwhile I’m creating new models for my Shapeways shop. I’ve set myself a deadline of Monday so I can order stuff to sell at Gamecon ’09 on the 17th.

And if that isn’t enough, I’m almost ready to start the first page on my space comic, which is now titled Point of Contact. I’ve had a few volunteers on Facebook who want their surname to be given to the family who are four of the six main (human) characters. I may just write all the names down on slips of paper and draw them out as I need surnames.


Gimme Shelter. New 3d printable products

Mondays are my designated 3d designing days, though for the last couple of weeks I’ve been struggling up the steep initial learning curve of Blender. I’ve reached a level where I can create what I want using boolean operations such as union, though that doesn’t always produce printable objects. I have an extra day to dedicate to 3d this week, so I’ll see if I can move on to sculpting rather than gluing.

This Monday I made three bus shelters, which are available from my Shapeways shop

The small shelter without an advertising box comes in a four pack. It needs painting and glazing- acetate should glue easily to the backs of the supports. I may design a map/timetable transfer to go on the incorporated board.

The small shelter with an advertising box comes in a two pack. I may design advert transfers for it, in the meantime you can always print out your own to fit. Again, it will need painting and glazing.

The large shelter is available singly or in a two pack. It’s cheaper per unit in the two pack, but you may need just the one for the stop right outside your station. Painting and glazing required, of course.

I’m going to take a break from model railway stuff for a week or so to build wargaming bits to be sold at the upcoming Gamecon in Manchester.


OO modern street furniture through Shapeways

The plan is to produce a few simple models every week and build up a wide range of street furniture for model railway builders. I’ll be ordering copies of my own products, some of which will go to magazines for promotion and some I will build myself and record here. In fact the first batch should print and ship this week, so next week I’ll be painting bins.

Today and yesterday I designed and uploaded some benches-

The cantilever bench comes as a set of five, the other two as sets of four. The price will depend upon which material you use, but includes taxes and shipping charges. There’s a minimum order of $25. None of the models will exceed that individually, but the idea is for you to be able to pick and choose street furniture until you’ve got enough, with enough variety, for your layout.

The benches, and the bins I designed last week, are available from my Shapeways shop.


The Caution Cube

You can buy it, and various other mad devices, from the Oskar’s Puzzles shop at Shapeways.

I’ve been making a start in producing things for Shapeways to print in 3d. At the moment my shop is filling with street furniture for model railways. But I think I need to start learning how to use CAD if I’m ever to produce anything as complex as the Caution Cube.


Modern image model railway street furniture by 3d printing

I have recently started uploading 3d models to a site called Shapeways, where you can order them and get solid copies. The 3d printing process allows for some fine detailing, so I’ll be taking advantage of that. Currently available in my Shapeways shop are a few items of street furniture, and a casket for hearses or graveside scenes. I shall be adding more on a weekly basis (though that may become fortnightly as the models become more complex) with enough variety that it will be easy to uniquely decorate your town.

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