Oct 11, 2016 | By Tess

For all makers and 3D printing enthusiasts out there, here is a roundup of some of the coolest 3D printed gadget projects we’ve seen last week. From a hacked Nokia 1100 cellphone, to a 3D printed OpenRC Tractor, to geometrically stunning 3D printed chocolates, we just can’t enough of what’s been happening in the world of 3D printing. Check it out:

1. Maker turns Nokia 1100 into 3D printed smartwatch

If you happen to be one of the many people with an old brick of a cellphone lying around, you might be surprised to hear that there may be a way to repurpose it and turn it into something cool and contemporary. As maker Daniel Davis demonstrates in a Youtube video, he successfully hacked an old Nokia 1100 (you know, the world’s best selling phone handset) and turned it into a functioning, though admittedly bulky, smartwatch.

As the maker explains in his step-by-step tutorial, he was able to take apart his old Nokia cellphone and reuse both its LCD screen, and its vibration motor. From there, Davis was able to connect the screen to an Arduino using a few resistors, and installed a bluetooth module programmed to receive phone and text notifications. The DIY smartwatch, which displays the time and date as well as notifications, is equipped with a 3.7v rechargeable battery and is enclosed in a 3D printed case and watch strap.

The maker does advise, however, that if you attempt to make your own DIY Nokia 1100 smartwatch, you might have better results using a thinner battery and a circuit board with surface mount components (to cut back on bulkiness). Either way, however, the project could be a fun way to repurpose and up-cycle your old cellphone that’s lying around.


2. 3D printed Flux money pendulum

Imagine there was a way to visualize how your bank accounts are doing without actually facing the numbers and having to check your bank balance on a daily basis, which as we all know, can be a very stress-inducing chore. German designer Peter Sörries may have come up with an interesting and novel solution with Flux, a 3D printed wall-hanging pendulum that lets people visualize and see in simple terms how their bank balances are fairing.

Essentially, the 3D printed device consists of a round body and two cords which hang from it—the left cord represents your savings account, while the right is your checking account. As you spend your money, the device receives that information wirelessly from your bank and adjusts itself in a tactile and visual way, pulling the cords up shorter if you spend money, or lengthening them if you receive some. Additionally, if you see your checking account is getting quite short, you can always tug on the cord which will automatically transfer funds into the account from the other.

While the device might not be for everyone, it could be an interesting and more visual way for some people to deal with their finances in a way that might be less stressful. Sörries is still in the process of prototyping Flux, so it remains to be seen whether the 3D printed pendulum will hit the market.


3. Rockingtor’s 3D printed kneepads

Eurobike 2016, an expo that showcases all the latest cycling trends and products, featured one especially interesting product: 3D printed modular protective gear for cyclists. The gear, is currently being developed and prototyped by mountain bike body protection company Rockingtor.

Consisting of multi-layer knee pads and shinguards, the protective gear is primarily being developed using 3D printing technologies and a wealth of different printing materials, including flexible but strong polymers and harder polycarbonate materials. Perhaps the best part about the protective gear is that it is being designed to be modular, so that parts can be removed for better ventilation when needed, and if certain parts become damaged you can simply replace those ones without having to get whole new pads.

According to Rockingtor, the 3D printed protective gear is still in its very early prototyping stages, so it is unclear when or if they will be commercially available, but judging by the preliminary photos, they are already looking quite promising.


4. 3D printed OpenRC Tractor

To celebrate the 45th anniversary of his father buying his very first tractor, a Spanish maker who goes by the moniker makit, has released a tutorial for a 3D printed OpenRC Tractor. The model is a 1/10 scale replica of an Ebro 160D tractor which makit designed from scratch. Fortunately for RC enthusiasts, the 3D files for the tractor model are all open-source and are available through makit’s site here.

Of course, like all RC models, you’ll have to incorporate some electronics as well as some nuts and bolts to get the tractor up and running, but makit has supplied a set of instructions to make this process as easy as possible. Additionally, all of the 3D printed components can be printed without supports, so not only is the RC tractor easy to assemble but it is also easy to 3D print.


5. BMOG release 100th 3D printed Replacement Titans Return face

Maker Trent Troop of BMOG is being celebrated for having designed 100 3D printable replacement faceplates for Titan Masters. The 100th face plate, Unicron, was recently unveiled on BMOG’s Octavirate Forge Shapeways store and can be purchased for $5-$12.

Troop, a Transformers fan who transitioned into making official products for the franchise, has an impressive array of 3D printed replacement face designs, inspired by a range of characters from Transformers’ long history, as well as from other franchises such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Masters of the Universe, G.I. Joe, and more.

Each of the 100 replacement Titans Return faces can be ordered through Shapeways in a variety of materials, from basic plastics, to high-definition acrylate, as well as in a wide range of colors. If purchased, the replacement face kits come with the 3D printed face plate and a screw, which can be used to easily attach the new 3D printed face to the Transformer.


6. 3D printed chocolate gems

One of my personal favorite applications for 3D printing is the making of very cool looking candies and sweets, such as chocolate. And while we’ve seen a number of very impressive 3D printed chocolate projects over the last few years, perhaps none are as aesthetically captivating as these 3D printed chocolates designed by Melbourne, Australia-based food designer Ryan Foote.

The chocolates, which showcase a range of truly amazing geometric forms, come in a range of different flavors as well, such as blackberry jelly, blubbery panna cota and vanilla panna cota, to name but a few.

Foote posted his artistic 3D printed chocolate creations via Instagram and has gained a fair amount of attention for his sweets..perhaps this Valentine’s day people will be lining up to buy their own sweethearts some of his 3D printed chocolates.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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