by David Melo, 3DS Intern

For those that read my blog at the launch of the Millennial Train Project, you know I had quite a week in store as I journeyed across the country with 3D technology in tow. Over these busy days and the experiences I gathered, I’ve come to see the true significance of this trip and have come away with the sense that I am a New Age pioneer, seeking and assisting progress and change along our route. For my traveling companions and me, this time was impactful on a personal and communal level as we affected and enhanced the communities we visited. From the warmth and excitement of the hackerspaces we visited, I know this modern technological voyage was a force of good, and it’s very rewarding to be so acutely aware of the positivity and empowerment we have spread.

We began our journey in Seattle, where we met Matt, founder and owner of Metrix Create Space. Seattle influenced Matt through its concentration of technology, and as a way of giving back, he has dedicated his time and effort to creating a concentrated space for others to get involved. His modern toolkit is equipped with CNC machines, laser cutters, sewing machines, power tools and 3D printers, and Matt is especially excited about the potential of conductive materials in 3D printing.

From Seattle, it was onwards to Missoula, Montana, by way of Whitefish, where we met with Rebecca. Rebecca moved to Missoula from New Orleans to help found a hackerspace as a fellow New Age pioneer. We joined forces with her in the Missoula Public Library to help further her mission to merge technology with traditional academics for a more dimensional educational outcome. She is part of the AmeriCorps Vistas program, which is a federal program dedicated to equipping underserved areas with the skills and tool sets they need to succeed.

We then took on St. Paul, Minnesota. The train ride there was perhaps the greatest highlight of the trip. We turned off all the lights in the train car, allowing the 3D printers to glow in their mellow light, and we held an impromptu jam session using the 3D printed instruments on board, including an electric and acoustic guitar and saxophone. The next thing we knew, there were about 20 people making music on iceboxes and with spoons as we sang along and rode into the night.  It highlighted the power of this technology to pull out creativity and bring people together in collaborative efforts. Not to mention, it was a lot of fun!

Once we stationed in Minnesota, we headed towards Leonardo’s Basement in Minneapolis. There we met Steve and Willis, a dynamic duo who are dedicated to increasing children’s design skill sets and stick-to-itiveness by helping them see their projects through from start and finish. Their philosophy is a positive counter to a culture of instant gratification, and they seek to show children how to fail the right way. In their words, they want future generations to “accept failure as a tool and develop methods to overcome fears and mistakes so that they can become future makers.” Their dedication was inspiring, and I was happy to have met them and know there are people like them out there doing what they’re doing.

The Milwaukee Makerspace was next on our list, and I was again blown away by the true sense of community that I felt there. They had an accessible space with tools ranging from robotic arms to sewing machines to 3D printers and scanners, and they were a great group to talk to and get to know. From Milwaukee we went to Chicago and Pumping Station: 1. The group there was both intrigued and amazed by the CubePro and Sense 3D scanner, and it was fun for me to bring these technologies to them and watch the mental wheels turn as they processed the potential in front of them. I look forward to seeing the outcome!

At the end of the week we arrived at our final destination, and my hometown, New York City. After all the inspiration I witnessed on the rails, I was eager to see what Hack Manhattan would bring to the table. The space was well-equipped with tools for electronics, wood- and metal-work and 3D printing, but they were missing the ability to 3D scan. The Sense and iSense 3D scanners mesmerized them and it was fun to close the gap for them with the power of physical photography.

To everyone on this amazing trip: thank you for your hospitality and inspiration. I’m excited about the direction we’re headed and look forward to keeping in touch. The Millennial Train Project covered a lot of ground (from sea to shining sea), but the journey has just begun!


Release Date: 
Monday, August 25, 2014 - 20:45
3D Systems at the Marine ExLog games
Media File: 

3D Systems' Specialized Military Scan-to-Print Solutions

By ScanMaster Flash

Some of you delightful readers may already be familiar with me from the Twitterverse, but I am now branching out as a guest 3D scanning correspondent for different industry blogs, starting with 3D Systems, the creators of my preferred method of quick 3D capturing, the Sense scanner.

All things scanning trace their lineage back to optics, the branch of physics that deals with light. And all things optics trace their lineage back to the Renaissance. 400 to 500 years ago, a lot of smart and creative people starting discovering and experimenting with new materials and began interacting with the world in ways no one ever had before (sounds a lot like the new 3D revolution, doesn’t it?). One of these people was the Italian designer and inventor Galileo Galilei.

Today, 405 years ago (that would be 1609 for those of you not doing the math), Galileo first revealed his invention of the telescope. This was one of the first applications of the optical sciences and laid the groundwork for the entire field. Out of the telescope came the microscope, the eyeglass, and all their higher-tech iterations, from scanning electron microscopes that can resolve details at the sub-micron level, to sensors that can see in the infra-red spectrum -- much like the sensors that give 3D vision to devices like the Structure, Kinect and Sense.

To commemorate this momentous anniversary, I have designed a telescope of my own. This design is very much like Galileo’s original; the one major difference is that mine is designed for 3D printing (which I’m sure Galileo would have loved to have in the early 1600s). While it does not come with lenses for magnification, it does have telescoping action, and once printed, can unfold to 4 times its 3D printed height. If you do happen to have lenses lying around (look for convex), you can attach them to the telescope design and look to the sky exactly as Galileo would have done over 400 years ago… if Galileo had a 3D printer.


Quack-Quack the duck had a stroke of bad luck the day he was attacked by a dog on the campus of National Taiwan University (NTU). The forecast was bleak following his admittance to and operation at the university’s Animal Hospital, where it was determined that the internal damage to his foot would make it impossible for Quack-Quack to successfully put weight on it.

It’s easy to sympathize with the challenges one faces with a loss of mobility, but the resultant dangers skyrocket in the animal kingdom, where mobility is a very real part of survival. Recognizing this and eager to help as best they could, the Taipei Hackerspace and group at Lung X Lung Design combined forces to get Quack-Quack back on his feet.

To work their magic, the team used the Sense 3D scanner to capture the 3D data they needed to create a mold for the Quack-Quack’s foot. Once they had the model on screen, they 3D printed a foot covering and brace that fit the precise contours of the duck’s foot. After a few bouts of trial and error, the team was able to fashion a lightweight brace that allowed Quack-Quack to put weight on his foot and keep his balance without experiencing pain.

With the intervention of this custom 3D design, it is now expected that Quack-Quack will make a full recovery, which is heartwarming news for the teams that put their time and energy into this task, and also encouraging and inspring for a broader base of customized 3D health applications. Click here for more on Quack-Quack’s story.

David Melo, 3DS Intern

My name is David Melo, and I am privileged to represent 3D Systems as we join the Millennial Train Project, the first ever mobile hacker space traveling cross-country by train from Portland to New York City over the next 10 days. The traveling group is comprised of 25 people total, and our mission is to enable those along our route and those following us virtually “to identify, evaluate, and explore opportunities and challenges in the communities where we stop while advancing a project that benefits, serves, and inspires others.”

We will be stopping in 7 cities total, and apart from our onboard activities, we will be bringing our 3D printing and 3D scanning technology to local hacker spaces and educational centers in each city to show how this technology can be used to advance solutions to existing and emerging issues. Using the new Cube, CubePro and EKOCYCLE Cube 3D printers and the iSense and Sense 3D scanners, we will be demonstrating the power and potential of 3D technology to reshape the way society in general, and the younger generations in particular, think about the world around us. I remember how blown away I was by 3D printing when I first witnessed the technology in 2012, and I am very eager to share my passion over the coming days.

Right now I’m on the train heading north towards Portland from Los Angeles. I am in a car that has been retrofitted into a lounge area and work station for our 3D printing units. This experience is surreal, riding in a vintage train car with 3D printers building away, and a view of the Pacific coast out the window. I am excited for the true journey to begin tomorrow. I hope you’ll join us!

Release Date: 
Wednesday, July 9, 2014 - 16:30
Fox 46 Carolinas

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!


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