Latest Stories3D Printing
    3D-Printing a NASA ACES Helmet for Adam Savage!

    We're trilled to welcome a new member of the Tested family: 3D modeler and prop maker Darrell Maloney (aka the Broken Nerd)! We're big fans of Darrell's work and YouTube videos, and are starting a new series of collaborations between him and Adam. In this first video, Darrell goes over his process adapting a model made for vfx work to be 3D printable, and the 100+ hours of printing needed to have it come out right!

    3D Printing Multiple Colors with Prusa i3's Upgrade!

    We catch up with Josef Prusa at Maker Faire to learn how the latest multi-material upgrade to the Prusa i3 Mk3 is a big improvement over last year's multi-material design. We also check out the new build platforms for the Mk3, which make removing prints a snap!

    Combining 3D Printed Models with Laser-Cut Parts

    Sean shares one of his personal projects: a LEGO-inspired computer console that's based off of the classic blue LEGO computer brick. He originally designed it to be purely 3D-printed, but has been experimenting with using laser cutting to replace some of its parts. Here are some of his lessons learned from combining 3D printing with laser cutting on our Universal Systems laser cutter.

    Testing: Prusa i3 Multi-Material 3D Printing

    Most FDM 3D printers can print in one color at a time, and just a few can use two filaments at once. But the newest upgrade to the Prusa i3 printer gives us the ability to print with four colors! Jeremy and Sean test this upgrade and explain how multi-material printing works, along with its potential and pitfalls.

    3D-Printing the Star Wars Battlefront 2 Messenger Droid Helmet

    To wrap up our build of the Star Wars Battlefront II Sentinel cosplay, Frank walks us through how he and his team made all the hard parts of the costume, including the helmet. Using references from the game, the helmet was 3D-printed and finished. But making the dome was a bit trickier. (This video was sponsored by Electronic Arts. )

    Machination Studio's Mechanized Armored Walker!

    We're huge fans of Michael Sng, a toy designer who successfully launched his first mechanized scale model on Kickstarter a year ago. Michael visits our studio to show off his newest creation: the Schnauzer Armored Walker prototype that he hopes to bring to collectors. Its movement, detail, and paint finish are most impressive!

    Shop Tips: Storing 3D Printer Filament

    Frank runs many 3D printers at his shop, and goes through a lot of filament for this big fabrication projects. But when using big filament spools, he needs to properly store and maintain print material to keep print quality consistent. Here are a few ways to do that.

    Tested: Lulzbot TAZ 6 3D Printer

    Sean and Norm review the Lulzbot TAZ 6, a 3D printer with a pretty massize print bed size. We talk about how it works out of the box, features like the self-leveling PEI bed, and the benefits of it being an open-sourced design. But the printer does come at a premium price.

    3D Printing Molds for Silicone Masks!

    We're in Frank's new shop to check out his testing of the 3D Platform printer! This commercial-grade printer alows him to make massive 3D prints that are beyond what's possible with home printers, including swords, armor, and even large molds for casting. One experiment Frank has been working on is printing molds for hyperrealistic silicone masks!

    How Form Cell's Automated 3D Printing Works

    We visit Formlabs' headquarters where we see a prototype of the Form Cell, a system that combines five Form 2 SLA printers with an industrial robot gantry to automate 3D printing. David Lakatos from formlabs walks us through the system, and we're spellbound by the speed of this room-sized print factory.

    Everything You Need to Know about the Formlabs Fuse 1 SLS 3D Printer

    Earlier this month, Formlabs brought me out to the MIT Media Lab for The Digital Factory, their first digital fabrication conference in conjunction with Desktop Metal. At the event, Formlabs unveiled its Fuse 1 SLS printer and we were given an exclusive behind-the-scenes look of the machine. Here's everything we know so far about how it works and the prints you can get out of it.

    Photo credit: Formlabs

    The Technology

    Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) uses a laser to bind together thin layers of a powdered medium (typically nylon) to form a finished model. The finished nylon model is very strong and can have relatively thin walls while retaining strength and flexibility. Any powder that is not sintered by the laser acts as support for the model allowing complex geometries to be printed successfully. Additionally, the entire volume of the print chamber can be packed with models - unlike other technologies that can only utilize the surface area of the print bed. When finished the print is encapsulated by all the loose powder in the build chamber. The print must be allowed to cool in the chamber as it will remain somewhat pliable until cool. The chamber is emptied and all the loose powder is cleaned away from the print. If the model is hollow it will need drain holes in order to remove any loose powder.

    Due to the printing process, SLS parts will have a slightly rough surface texture and won't resolve very fine details as well as SLA resin prints. However, prints will be much stronger than most resin prints and cost less. In addition, parts do not need post-curing and are not UV-reactant like resin parts.

    Typically SLS technology has only been available as large, industrial machines at $150,000+ so a four-figure benchtop unit is pretty exciting. While Formlabs isn't the first to introduce a benchtop unit at a price under six digits, they are the first U.S. based company to do so and at $10,000--a very reasonable price for a SLS machine.

    Alonso Martinez's 3D-Printed Animated Robots!

    We're gushing with grins and delight at the sight of these adorable animated robots created by artist Alonso Martinez. Sean chats with Alonso to learn how he designed and engineered his family of robots, using processes like 3D printing, mold-making, and silicone casting. They're amazing!

    Chris Larkin's Working Miniature Apple II Replica

    Game developer Chris Larkin found the perfect project for the $9 CHIP computer: turning it into a mini Apple II replica that emulates the classic computer. We chat with Chris about his open-source design and work with him to build one of these computers for the office! Find the files and instructions to make your own here!

    Hands-On with Formlabs' Fuse 1 SLS 3D Printer!

    We visit the headquarters of Formlabs, makers of the Form 2, to check out their newest 3D printer. The Fuse 1 is a SLS printer, which can make highly detailed and complex models with nylon using a process that has not been accessible to prosumers. Sean gets an in-depth look at the Fuse 1, several of its prints, and sends one of his own models through the SLS process to inspect its print quality! (Disclaimer: Formlabs provided our travel for this preview trip.)

    Prusa i3 3D Printer Upgrade Prints 4 Colors!

    The Prusa i3 was one of the best reviewed 3D printers of the past year, and we check out their newest upgrade that allows for 4-color printing with just one hot end. Sean chats with Josef Prusa himself to talk about how multi-filament printing works and why it's no easy feat.

    Eric Harrell 3D-Prints Mechanical Engine Models

    We meet Eric Harrell, who brought his collection of functional 3d-printed car engines and transmissions to this year's Maker Faire! Eric shows us his 1/3rd scale engines, which he designs from reference schematics and measurements to highlight how real engines work. Eric has also made his files available online for anyone to make their own replicas!

    How Weta Workshop Made Ghost in the Shell's Robot Skeleton!

    Adam Savage gets up close with the one-of-a-kind 3D-printed endoskeleton Weta Workshop made for the upcoming Ghost in the Shell. Chatting with Weta Workshop technician Jared Haley in the studio's 3D modeling room, Adam learns about the experimentation and prototyping necessary to make this gobsmackingly beautiful prop.