All posts by Marnix

Refil – 3D printing with recycled plastics

There’s a new filament brand in town: Refil. Their filaments are made from recycled plastics. At the moment they offer black ABS (from recycled car dashboards) and PET (from recycled drinks bottles), with more colors and materials to follow soon. When we attended a presentation by one of the founders, he gave us samples of both filament types and we were eager to see if this stuff was any good.

One of the main problems in any recycling project is that the source material is usually full of contaminants, additives and impurities. Refil appears to have solved this problem, using a combination of pickiness (only using RoHS/REACH-compliant source materials) and technology (working with industry partners from the recycling and processing areas). The result are filaments that look very good “on the roll”, indistinguishable from virgin material. Because the filament is made on very high-quality, industrial extruders, filament roundness and diameter is as constant as that of any other commercially produced filament. In keeping with the recycling philosophy, the spools are made of recycled cardboard, which is a nice touch.


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High-Impact PolyStyrene (HIPS) is one of the less known 3d-printing materials. Most people that have heard of it know it as a dissolvable support material used in combination with ABS, because it dissolves in d-limonene (and ABS does not). It is not frequently used as a printing material in itself.

The guys from Form Futura want to change that because they believe that HIPS could be a very nice primary printing material. They are bringing out a line of HIPS filaments in 1.75mm and 2.85 mm diameters, at the moment only in white but black, red and gray are planned. They asked us to test a spool of their 2.85mm white HIPS and see how it compares to ABS and PLA. We wanted to look at a number of characteristics: extruder temperature, print bed, warping, quality and ‘smoothability’ (i.e., can HIPS be vapor-smoothed like ABS with Acetone).

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Smoothing PLA

We’ve written before about smoothing ABS prints using acetone vapor. This works very well, blending the printing layers together for a smoother finish and increased strength. Acetone is not particularly toxic and easy to obtain (in the Netherlands, any chemist stocks it).

For PLA, however, acetone smoothing does not work. This is a pity, since PLA is much easier to work with than ABS. We found some solutions for smoothing PLA, but most involve rather dangerous-sounding chemicals such as Tetrahydrofuran and Dichloromethane. The one exception we found is Ethyl Acetate which seems to give good results and is (relatively) safe. This was something we wanted to try for ourselves.

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The Fabsterdam Photo Studio

For a while, we’ve been thinking about upgrading our photo setup. We take most of our pictures with our phones, for convenience, but it’s difficult to get nice pictures of small, 3d-printed models this way. Using a ‘real’ camera helps, but for really nice pictures you need a light box. This is essentially a box-shaped diffuser that gives you a nice, even, white background with uniform lighting. Rather than paying a lot for a commercial one, we decided to give this DIY Light Tent project a go.

Purple Tentacle in the spotlight.
Purple Tentacle in the spotlight.

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Why conduct you need free Musically tastes?

Jacob Sartorius is past due. He came across supported up during the studio room, so where he gives a two writers in individual areas churning off songs in songs in songs. this as well as the very auditions (he most recently trained to try and UTA, one of the more efficiently talent corporations in Hollywood), a minor getting close to universe tour simply to the belief that hes apt to dip his wash bubble-gum single, All My close friends.

When i get back to my hotel location every night, i think about the way delighted i am to be acting what Ive originally dreamed of, says Sartorius. Chewing gum simply to tending to try and his gravity-defying teen-idol coiffure, hes quite definitely in availability shedding this premature october day in a Los Angeles photo studio room. The very 13-year-old has been a pop star during the making: His debut ode to try and PG courtship, Sweatshirt, hit and no. 90 at the Billboard widespread 100, simply to All My Friends wound up debuting in and no. 25 at the Pop virtual songs graph. Simply to he owes all that to try and something most young adults possess non-etheless not at all detailed of: Musical. Ly, a minor video-based social press context that all tens of an incredible number of children all over the world make use of, originally to try and transmit 15-second clips of themselves lip-syncing to try and hit songs. Sartorius has themes in bringing in that an all over the world superstar, says Jbeau Lewis, the very songs agent in UTA who would works with him, with his principal Musical. Ly supporters that offer the source.

Musical. Ly is most things: a minor hit mobile app that all topped the very iOS App store free of charge graph in July 2015 simply to hasnt minimized of the more efficiently 40 simply because; a minor scorching-hot startup by a $500 mil valuation (simply because estimated by simply TechCrunch in-may) simply to more than 133 mil Musers all over the world; as well as a promotional context embraced out of the songs a market due to its capability to translate song clips into streams simply to product sales. Simply to by having half of most western world teens (depending on the companys quotation) out of the app, Musical. Ly has become a bona fide social elegance, gentle inspiring pearl-clutching amongst olds, extracted from parents fretting more than sexualized child years simply to online predators to try and traditionalists wondering the very artistic validity of lip-syncing. That it might not be Elvis thrusting his hips or conventional Enemy speaking fact to try and professional but then again, was going to anyone whos not a teen admit that it whether or not Musical. Ly accomplish symbolize a new frontier in pop?

Hope any youthquake, a group of savvy young adults add more off the early tremors. It was progressive elegance word-of-mouth, is the way Alex Hofmann, Musical. Lys 35-year-old innovator of the us, clarifies the very apps leap extracted from ten mil finish business people one year ago to try and just now, and once 13 mil are added each month. Teens in any other platforms was going to be aware a partner describe a minor Musical. Ly video, hope that it, download the very app simply to call on his or her close friends to try and try that it.

Hofmann, who would grew up in Germany simply to relieve his oral in Teutonic context giant SAP, is soft-spoken by having a slight accent simply to gives a enough real enthusiasm as part of the Musers (simply because Musical. Lys business people are agreed), who would he says are hope our children. a few days once the Sartorius was snapping his gum during the photo studio room, Hofmann sits during the companys as-yet-unfurnished wash Santa Monica digs. The very Shanghai-based startup, and this employs 100 business people all over the world, on its own shifted its western world outpost extracted from a minor WeWork location in san francisco bay area to try and here the very hangar-like principal location would be painted Musical. Ly reddish colored before the day has gone out. In the last two weeks he has been to try and China, the very Philippines (amongst its fastest-growing gives a) simply to back amongst. Musical. Ly debuted in August 2014, shortly after co-founder/co-CEO Alex Zhu, 37, who was apt to run out of funds available for his educational video new products, observed teens at the Silicon Valley commuter instruct bobbing his or her heads to try and songs in their earbuds simply because firing selfies simply to movies. Zhu just now oversees points extracted from Shanghai by having Luyu Yang, 35, then one co-founder/co-CEO. (Yang, hope Zhu, was born in China. )

And once he was brought onboard in 2015 simply to musically hearts hack tasked by having flourishing the very apps little league, Hofmann add more as to what he phone calls community do something, consulting 50 to try and 100 Musers each day. It was required to become familiar with them more efficiently, he says, to start with what excites them, simply to then: Lets on its own accomplish some more of this.

Hofmann launched attributes as a leaderboard, improved friend-finding, video Q&As, duets by having any other Musers simply to privilege-granting Best fan Forever badges. And the apps availability pertinent Musers am going to slow come up available for more efficiently mouth-to-music comparative, simply to you may get results galore children may use to try and seamlessly polish his or her teaches Musical. Ly have taken off and so rapidly simply to altogether that many parents were previously used by simply shock, simply to here and there previously used aback, by simply his or her childrens wash obsession. (as per reviews, the business, and this is focused on elegance but still bringing in answers to make money, gives a even so to try and earn significantly revenue or switch a minor revenue. )

In a way, Musical. Ly grades the very pop-culture using field: Justin Bieber detailed fame in YouTube by simply singing simply to strumming guitar along to try and pop songs. Effective Musers hope charisma, however they dont hope musical chops (or traditional video-editing skills, for the whole stage). Before Musical. Ly, i wasnt probably the most outgoing, says Sartorius, who would started acting in musicals in 7 simply to was bullied for this reason. The app helped me goof off. Its hope no one is investigating aside from the camera.