In the Internet Age, you can search online, find something you like, and make it your own. In the emerging era of customized 3D printing, these possibilities expand in fantastic ways, as demonstrated by Natasha, who has taken personal design assimilation literally. With the help of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, NovaCAD Systems, Think Robot Studios, and artist Melissa Ng, Natasha took a pattern she liked and made it part of her: more specifically as a prosthetic leg after losing own below the knee in a car accident in 2013.

For as long as humans have been using prosthetics, we have been able to rehabilitate functionally, but this step forward in accessible and customizable design eases the accompanying and inevitable aesthetic transition. Through personalized design and manufacture, prosthetics must no longer be so foreign, and can instead incorporate art and design for new opportunities in self-expression. Cases like Natasha’s reveal that more is possible.

From start to finish, the process of creating Natasha’s new leg took just two weeks. This included the 3D scanning, accuracy checks and balances, and CAD file preparation before the physical production, assembly and fitting. In this short span of time, Natasha had a functional figurative sculpture that not only filled the negative space of her body, but that complimented her personality through design. Natasha’s leg was printed on a ProJet® 7000 SLA 3D printer by 3D Systems.

For more on the design process and Natasha’s reaction to her new limb, check out the video below.

As we delve deeper into the digital age, pockets of curiosity are popping up about the future of human-robot interaction. LIREC, a European funded research project, explores our interaction with digital and interactive companions, and partners with the Department of Fundamental Cybernetics and Robotics at Wroclaw University of Technology in Poland. The robotic head project, EMotive headY System (EMYS), was initiated there by Professor Krzysztof Tchon and his team, with the purpose of examining the function of interaction.

The specific task of this project was to create a robotic head capable of generating recognizable facial expressions, and react appropriately to both soothing and irritating stimuli.  

The unique design of the EMYS robot required customized hardware and non-traditional construction, but traditional milling or tooling methods would have added tremendous time and cost to the process. Instead, the research team chose to use 3D printing for both prototyping and final elements. Every EMYS cover element, from the head cover to functional parts, like the moving eyelids and the connectors linking the eyes to the servomotors, were produced using the ProJet HD 3000 3D printer (now sold as the ProJet 3510) in a matter of hours.

To read more about the EMYS, check out this feature. To see the EMYS emote interactively, watch the video below.


This weekend, 3D Systems will join the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum as part of their third annual Space & Science Festival on Pier 86, next to the historic WWII aircraft carrier, as well as the Space Shuttle Enterprise, to celebrate our great advances in science and technology. 3D Systems will invite visitors to experience their Sense 3D scanners, engage the interactive ‘Mission to Mars’ rocket designer, and take part in 3D printing demonstrations on the Cube 3D printer.

The Intrepid Museum and 3D Systems have now been partners for two years, united by their mission to bring 3D technologies to the museum’s Education and Exhibits departments. 3D printing and scanning are revolutionizing the museum’s ability to digitize and replicate historic artifacts from its collection, as well as introduce 3D Systems’ revolutionary technology in STEM education practices. The Education Department at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum boasts a comprehensive media lab featuring 10 student desktop computers, three 3D printers (including the Cube and CubeX), Sense 3D scanners, and the Cubify Digital Design Suite, all of which aide in digital student engagement for the 21st Century.

This partnership not only allows for hands-on 3D educational experiences, but also highlights a current trend in astro- and aerospace technologies, contextually emphasized by the Intrepid’s collection of aircraft and spacecraft, including 3D printed rocket boosters and jet-engine intakes. With 3D Systems’ support, the company Made in Space, is currently working to achieve the goal of having a 3D printer on board the International Space station by the end of this year. Their goal is to enable in-space manufacturing for astronauts to advance the future of space exploration.

If you’re in the New York City area from July 18-20th, join us on Pier 86 in Manhattan to experience interactive science displays from NASA, 3D Systems, First Robotics and more. Celebrated American astronauts will be there as well, giving talks and signing autographs for visitors, including with Buzz Aldrin, who is commemorating 45 years since the moon landing.

We hope to see you there! Don’t forget to follow us on social media to stay in the loop on future 3D Systems events. 


High-performance sports cars require special care and a skilled technician to ensure that all their critical components are reaching their maximum potential. To take full advantage of each system’s capabilities, most racing vehicles also incorporate a series of customized parts that stretch performance. English Racing, a group passionate about tuning and racing cars, wanted to use such custom parts to push the boundaries of what’s possible for a Mitsubishi Evo. 

English Racing was having trouble at high RPMs (revolutions per minute), as the Evo was exceeding tolerable oil pressure limits and causing significant damage to the car’s engine. After several engines were destroyed, English Racing designed an innovative new pulley that had a larger diameter, which would cause it to turn slower and thereby lower the oil pressure. Though the solution was theoretically sound, the issue of manufacturing their part at low quantities for testing posed a problem. With traditional casting processes, part production would have been both time-consuming and costly, so English Racing searched for an alternative.

By working with Metal Technology Inc. (MTI), English Racing was able to 3D print their pulley on a ProX 300 direct metal printer bye 3DS in 17-4 PH Stainless Steel. Using this method, creating the final part only took 5 hours, and the Evo was on the track and testing three days later. A few months after their test print, the English Racing team ran the Evo at the Pikes Peak ½ mile top-speed event and placed first in the Sedan Class, reaching 184.9 miles per hour.

For more insight on direct metal printing, hear from the technicians and engineers of English Racing and MTI in the video below. To explore the subject in greater depth, register for our joint webinar with MTI, English Racing and 3DS, scheduled for Tuesday July 22, 2014, at 11:00 AM EST.

After spending a record 31 days living 63 feet below the waves of the Atlantic Ocean, Fabien Cousteau finally surfaced on July 2, 2014. During the aptly named “Mission 31,” Fabien Cousteau, grandson of renowned ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau, led a rotating team of scientists, documentarians, and activists to their temporary home, Aquarius, in a joint effort to deepen our understanding of marine life and the effects of pollution and climate change. (Image left courtesy of 360 Heros.)

Among the filming expedition was Jonathan Woods from TIME Magazine, who spent a day diving with researchers. To document every angle and facet of Aquarius and Cousteau’s research, Woods used 360 Heros scuba gear, a specially designed and 3D printed camera mount for 6 GoPro cameras. The rig generates fully spherical HD video, allowing Woods to create an interactive 360˚ tour of the aquatic research facility.

Mission 31 was a success in part due to its astounding duration, but more importantly because of the vast quantity of data that was collected during the expedition. The time saved from avoiding back and forth trips to the surface and having a continuous supply of oxygen allowed researchers to collect the equivalent of approximately two years’ worth of information in one month underwater.

Click here to read more about Woods’ experience and explore the research facility in 360˚video.

After receiving the Industrial Award at the recent European Inventors’ Award ceremony in Berlin, Chuck Hull, our founder and Chief Technology Officer, sat down for an interview to share his story and thoughts on 3D printing, the technology he invented over 30 years ago.

Reflecting on 3D printing’s origins and how far it’s come, Chuck says, “I saw it was just the beginning, but I couldn’t anticipate what we have today.” New applications are surfacing daily, and we are responding with research and development to include better materials and faster, more accurate processes.

To find out the most surprising application Chuck has witnessed with 3D printing, read the full article by Stuart Nathan of The Engineer UK.

How does 3D printing fit into your world?

Good design is its own reward, but official recognition is certainly icing on the cake. 3D Systems is proud to share that our Bespoke design innovations for the Ekso Bionics Exoskeleton received bronze in the Social Impact category of the 2014 International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) from the IDSA and Core77, while Bespoke Braces received honorable mention.

The suit is the first-ever 3D printed hybrid robotic exoskeleton, created by 3D Systems’ designers Scott Summit and Gustavo Fricke in collaboration with Ekso Bionics. Using 3D scanning to generate a personalized 3D model of patient Amanda Boxtel’s unique shape, Summit and Fricke crafted a 3D design to custom fit her while seamlessly incorporating the electronics needed to help her walk. Witness Amanda’s exoskeleton in action here.

Bespoke Braces for the hand and wrist enable the automated scanning of limbs to create custom 3D printed braces using 3D Systems’ SLS technologies. The braces can be shipped to patients within a matter of days. Andy Miller, Andrew Zukoski and Gustavo Fricke were the lead designers around the technology of this innovation.

Read more here.

For more than 90 years, the Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards have recognized the artistic expression of the nation’s most creative young artists and writers.  Millions of teenagers have participated in the awards, with the list of famous formers including contemporaries like Zach Posen and Lena Dunham, as well as far-reaching icons Sylvia Plath, Andy Warhol, Stephen King and Joyce Carol Oates.

This year, 3D Systems has partnered with the Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards to create a “DIGITAL DESIGN CHALLENGE.”  Open to students in grades 7-12, the challenge encourages young creatives to think outside the box and bridge conventional forms of arts and writing with 21st century tools like CAD and CAM software.

The Digital Design Challenge calls on students to not only think about how they can be makers of things, but Change Makers to “transform conventional forms of art and writing, inspire change in their communities and celebrate their originality.”  To support this endeavor and encourage students across disciplines to shrink the divide between  art and technology, 3DS is making its Cubify Design and Cubify Sculpt software available to all participants.

To be considered, participants must submit their digital 3D designs by August 1, 2014. Experts from 3D Systems and the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers will review them, and the best design created using Cubify software will win a Sense 3D Scanner.

If you are a student, teacher, educator or non-profit administrator working with middle and high school students, we encourage you to participate in the digital design challenge. Try your hand at our Cubify Sculpt and Cubify Design software, and rethink how you express yourself by exploring new mediums. Don’t just join the movement of makers; become a change maker.

To find out more about MAKE.Digital, click here.

For more information about the challenge and to download the software, please visit the Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards website.


We are excited to announce that our iSense 3D Scanner is now available for preorder. First displayed at CES this January, the iSense is a compact and powerful device that transforms your iPad into a lightweight camera for physical photography. Priced at $499, the iSense provides an instant data-capture scanning experience that wirelessly generates 3D printable scans with full integration to the Cube® family of consumer and prosumer 3D printers. Scans can also be directly uploaded to Cubify for Cloud printing and access to a curated portfolio of materials, including Ceramix, Aluminix and Clear.

Powered by our Sense 3D scanning software, the iSense brings the ease and freedom of the Sense 3D Scanner to the iPad experience, enabling you to capture anything sized from a shoe to an SUV. The iSense includes all of the easy object recognition and editing tools of the popular Sense 3D Scanner, with a simple snap-on design that quickly converts your iPad into a 3D scanner that can capture and preserve every dimension of your favorite moments and adventures.

Click here to learn more, and don't forget to share your scans with the hashtag #scanagenic!

Rapid Manufacturing Leader at Sahara Force India, Patrick Hawtin, plays a crucial part in the process that delivers upgrades to Formula One cars. With the help of 3D Systems’ stereolithography machines, he helps by turning ideas into parts that are then tested in the team’s wind tunnel.

In essence, what does your position entail?

My position has its challenges, as our department is responsible for scheduling and manufacturing hundreds of components for aerodynamic testing each week. We also manufacture components for the race car and various Research and Development projects - so there is usually a lot going on!

What we do is use 3D Systems' stereolithography machines, which effectively are very big and very accurate 3D printers, to create the parts for the wind tunnel models. This allows our aerodynamicists to test in real life what their calculations predicted.

What are the main challenges of your work?

The production deadlines are always tight, and in order to meet them the department operates around the clock, except on summer shutdown. We respond to demands from other areas of the team, so the day doesn't follow a structured schedule: I have to work to the job, and this means also regular evenings and weekends. They say you can never sleep in Formula One and sometimes that's exactly the case! The good thing is that we've got a good team with two other Rapid Prototyping Engineers on hand to help. With our fleet of rapid prototyping machines from 3D Systems everything gets taken care of quickly and easily.

How long have you been a member of the Sahara Force India Family?

I joined Force India in December 2007 and I have to say that time has flown by! This team is very much a family and whilst we are steadily growing, we are still relatively small compared to the teams around us. You get to know everybody by name which is nice and I think it enables us to be more dynamic - I hope that never changes.

Have you always been passionate about Formula One? How did you end up working in the sport?

Like so many of my colleagues, I grew up watching F1 with my Dad. I also have an uncle that works for one of our rivals, so it is fair to say the sport has always been in the family!

I started life as a Mechanical Engineering Apprentice and during that time I completed my HNC (Higher National Certificate) in Mechanical Engineering and specialized in Stress Analysis and Dynamics. Soon after that, I joined 3D Systems as a Field Service Engineer. I worked on additive manufacturing machines in every industry you can imagine and did a lot of travelling - UK, Europe and America.

Once my children started coming along, my wife told me I needed to knock the travelling on the head and it was at this point I was lucky enough to arrive here at Force India as an SLA Technician. Here has been home since!

What is your favorite Sahara Force India moment?

My favorite single moment has to be our team’s Belgian Grand Prix pole position and subsequent podium finish in 2009. That weekend really got people's attention and put the team on the map. It was the start of the progress that we have been continuing ever since.

And the most challenging part of your work?

The most challenging part of my work is reacting to any last-minute request that may come when the department is already running at full capacity. Deadlines are very tight and every minute is essential, and sometimes this requires a review of the whole production schedule. By liaising with the aerodynamicists, designers and the model shop, we look at where we can fit additional projects and what elements can be rescheduled. Once this is done, we still have to wait for the components to be issued, program them, prepare the build files and then start the builds on the 3D Systems' machines.

And what about the Paddy away from work?

I am always busy at home, I have 3 children under 8-years-old and they find the best ways to keep you busy! I do make a little time for myself though as I do karate once a week. My wife has an addiction to holidays too; to give you an idea, we currently have Croatia, France (skiing), camping in Wales and New York all booked for before the end of 2014. I will get her some counseling!


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