Prompt decision saves life

Dr Gupta said the SPS Hospital is using 3D printing to correct deformities in skull and face. He said all the patient needs to do is get a CT scan done …

'As sick as you can possibly be': Doctors use 3D printer to save baby's life

ATLANTA – At Children's Hospital of Atlanta, a very special little boy is breathing a lot easier tonight, thanks to a life saving procedure involving a 3D …

Windows 10 3D printing support brings Minecraft creations to real life

Early on, Microsoft checked a feature off its Windows 10 list that many had seemingly glossed over because the barrier for entry at the time was a bit pricey. When Microsoft announced that Windows 10 held support for 3D printing, I, like most, gave a concerted shrug and moved on.

However, with the price of 3D printers coming down and a market for handmade toys, memorabilia, and gadgets growing, perhaps it’s time to revisit the world of 3D printing.

Going after some low hanging fruit, Microsoft recently announced that Minecraft players can now port their in-game creations to the real world thanks in part to Windows 10 3D printing support.

Aside from the digital creation of a Minecraft object, the process is fairly simple. Porting is done by placing a printing (or special) block in-game, next to an object or sculpture. Windows 10 does the rest by exporting that selected object to Remix 3D where fans can then polish it up a bit before hitting the print button.

For a handful of beta testers, the feature may seem like old news, but for the majority of Minecraft fans, being able to do all the heavy creative lifting digitally and then allowing Windows 10 to transfer those creations into the real world could be a major selling point for both the game and Microsoft’s OS.

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3D Printing Brings Movie Characters to Life Like Never Before

Anime fans everywhere are going crazy for the new fantasy, cyberpunk movie, Ghost in the Shell. What makes this production so intriguing is the way it draws in the philosophical questioning of what makes us human and displaying the struggles we endure daily through the bodies of characters. It features a futuristic world that is halfway to post-human status with the majority of citizens having some form of cyber enhancement to their bodies.

Bringing to life these characters to star in a blockbuster movie was no easy feat. But, with the help of Peter Jackson’s Weta Workshop for backup, everything worked out quite well indeed. Weta Workshop is New Zealand’s top prop, and special effects company and their involvement stretched far beyond the realms of simple hair and makeup; extensive prosthetics were needed too. Jane O’Kane, the movie’s hair, and makeup designer said, “We wanted everything to feel real. We tried to stay on point and honor the aesthetic of the original.”

More than 20 specialized looks were designed by O’Kane and her prosthetics supervisor, Sarah Rubano while trying to achieve real looking, yet still holding on to that visually compelling character design. To make all of this possible the team carried out extensive research on cutting edge prosthetics currently being developed, future design websites, and the body-modding community. Once the design was in place, a complicated build process was to follow. “The design was done early on, but then once we had cast our actors, which was often significantly later, the design was altered to suit the cast visually, aesthetically and also practically to see what they were able to endure prosthetic-wise,” said Rubano.

Throughout the whole 3D printing process, Rubano and O’Kane worked very closely with Richard Taylor, Weta’s creative director. Taylor explained that to sculpt and build is a slow process and to try and overcome that he and his team worked as quickly as possible to “get to a point where we could sculpt onto the actor’s face/body castings and test completed prosthetics on stand-ins at the Workshop.” During the process, adjustments are made for practical reasons as well as aesthetics and what may have looked good in theory, just didn’t work in reality. ‘Kane commented, “That was probably one of our biggest challenges, actually making sure that the result used to work for the actual person it was going on.” Unfortunately, what this meant was that for any actor who had to fight in their prosthetic augmentation they would spend many hours going through the refitting phase.

There’s no special way to prepare a prosthetic for this sort of work, you just need to make sure everything you create is versatile enough for the actor to cope with,” said O’Kane. The reality with prosthetics is that it’s an additive process: You can build up easily, but you can’t take away. That means that if a design calls for the removal or diminishment of a part of the actor’s body, CG becomes critical,” confirmed Taylor.

One of the best examples of this kind of work and the combination of techniques used can be seen in the character Kuze (Michael Carmen Pitt). A great deal of our concept design for Kuze was based on the Japanese practice of Kintsugi – the repair of old, broken pottery. As a philosophy, Kintsugi treats breakage and repair as an intrinsic part of the object; rather than something to disguise, it’s something that adds clarity and character,” said Taylor. But Kuze is simply one very small aspect of the movie that demonstrates how these special effects allow characters to come to life. To really appreciate it in its full glory, why not check it out now and see what you think.

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Xbox DogBot brought to life by Robo Challenge

The real-life Mack seen in the video above, was 3D printed by the creatives at Robo Challenge using the original CAD models created for the game.