Tag Archives: 3D printing

3D Printing: Make your childhood building sets “Interoperable”

I randomly ran into this today and I thought it interesting enough to invoke a post.  When I first saw it, my mind was flooded with childhood memories of all of the building toys I have ever played with (Legos, Lincoln Logs, TinkerToys….).  The folks over at Free Art and Technology have published .STL files of building set adapters that you can print out on your 3D printer.  That’s right, attach Legos to your Lincoln Logs.  Connect TinkerToys to your Bristle Blocks (Remember those?  My dad does.  Specifically he remembers stepping on Bristle Blocks that I left on the floor in a dark room).  This set of adapters is designed to adapt between ten (count ’em-10!) different styles of building sets, a few I haven’t even heard of, and a couple I couldn’t even find on Wikipedia (links in the list):

A childhood Maker’s dream come true! Connect all of your building toys together!

* Zoob and ZomeTool related files will be published in 2016 and 2022, respectively, to avoid patent infringement issues.  However, I’m certain that someone will fill in the gap and make their own instead of waiting….

I suppose the only glaring omission in the above list could be 80/20.  Wouldn’t an 80/20 to Lego adapter be wonderful?

Want the files?  Download the Free Universal Construction Kit here!


Published from DFW, Texas

Crosstown Traffic: 3D Printing-Want a circuit with that?

As most technical-oriented people are, I am fascinated with 3D Printing.  They have a PolyPrinter 3D printer over at Tanner Electronics (video here) — they sell them, and they will also print out your file on their printer for a few bucks.  I could watch that thing print for hours.  Even though the costs are coming down, I can’t justify purchasing one yet.  But they have one hell of a cool factor.

Yesterday, Hackaday featured two special printers that were demonstrated at the Consumer Electronics Show.  The Voltera is cool enough — it prints a circuit onto a substrate using silver conductive ink.  It can even make a second layer on top of the first by printing an insulating layer and then a second conductive layer.  This sounds great for making circuit boards in a hurry.  What could be better than that?

Oh, wait.  How about the Voxel8?  It also prints circuits.  And, it’s also a 3D printer.  And it does both at the same time.  In 3D.

The Voxel8 marries the idea of a 3D printer with a silver conductive ink dispenser. You start by modeling your entire design, hardware and electronics, all in one. The printer will then begin the 3D print, pausing when necessary for you to add electronics and mechanicals. With the parts — and their pins — in place it lays out the conductive ink to connect the components and then continues with the 3D printing to finish the object.

Now that’s cool!


(Published from DFW, Texas)