Holiday Special
 
3D printed C-clamps – handy for all your projects!
 
3D printed glow-in-dark turkey
 
Electric car in the winter!? Yes, it works great!
 
Racing-inspired gingerbread cookies
 
3D Printer Buyer’s Guide
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November 27, 2016

3D printed C-clamps – handy for all your projects!

You can never have too many C-clamps if you like woodwork, metal work and other crafts. Do you need more clamps and have access to a 3D printer? Just print some more!

Many designers in the 3D printing community are happy to share their designs. The Thingiverse user “johann517” has shared his nicely designed C-clamp (or “G-clamp”, as he prefers to call it), and you can just download the files from Thingiverse.com here and print as many clamps as you need.

I chose to print mine of polyester (also known as PET or PETG), which is a very strong and tough material. I would have loved to print it of recycled PET, but I just ordered a filament made from [...]

 
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November 26, 2016

3D printed glow-in-dark turkey

Yesterday was Thanksgiving Day in the United States. Thanksgiving is one of the largest holidays in the U.S., and the tradition is to eat turkey. I did the same, but my turkey was a free-range, organic variety. We hosted Thanksgiving together with our neighbor, and he was responsible for purchasing the turkey. I was apparently so particular about the turkey that he said he even checked its resume and interviewed its friends to make sure it had a happy life before it ended up on our table. 😉

Despite that Thanksgiving was yesterday, if you live in the United States, you are probably eating turkey today as well. And you will eat turkey tomorrow. And the day after tomorrow. And [...]

 
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November 22, 2016

Electric car in the winter!? Yes, it works great!

It is a common myth that electric cars don’t work well in the winter. Nothing could be further from the truth. In several aspects, the electric cars are actually better than conventional internal combustion cars during the winter.

Many of us start thinking about a new car during the winter. Perhaps you have discovered that your old car doesn’t want to start anymore, or you are tired of how bad it handles in the snow (provided that you live in an area that gets snow, of course). If you consider buying a new (or used) car this, you should take a close look at the electric cars. Many countries and states have generous tax credits or subsidies. However, some of these tax [...]

 
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November 21, 2016

Racing-inspired gingerbread cookies

We all love cookies, so why not let your favorite STEM project inspire your cookie design? My choice to was to make racing-inspired cookies, of course! Of all the cookies in the world, gingerbread cookies are my absolute favorites, and the best I have ever tasted are made with my grandma Carla’s recipe (you can find it here).

More than half of the fun of making gingerbread cookies are to use fun shapes and to decorate the cookies. The best cookie cutters are made from stainless steel and have really sharp edges. My dad made me the KillaJoule cookie cutter that you can see below. The two cookies above are decorated as the KillaJoule. It is quite a job to make a cookie [...]

 
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November 21, 2016

3D Printer Buyer’s Guide

The Holiday Special here at Science Envy will include quite a few 3D printed objects. Some libraries, schools, and pretty much all maker spaces have 3D printers. You can also buy your own; perhaps as a nice holiday gift for yourself…?

No matter what your motivation is for buying a 3D printer, it is important to make an informed decision. 3D printer manufacturers are popping up as mushrooms after a rain storm, but not all printers are created equal. 3D printers range from a few hundred dollars to many thousands of dollars. Some of them work great, others not so great. While higher price sometimes mean higher quality, it is not always the case. Make Magazine has reviewed 38 (!) [...]

 
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November 16, 2016

Supersonic passenger flights – it may be here sooner than you think

When the Concorde supersonic airliner was retired in 2003, the dream of supersonic passenger flights faded away for most of us. Twenty years after the Concorde made its last flight, supersonic passenger flights may become reality again. That is at least what a company in Colorado, USA is trying to do.

Rendering of the Boom supersonic passenger airliner. Courtesy of Boom Technology.

Boom Technology is collaborating with Virgin Galactic – the cutting edge space company lead by Sir Richard Branson – to develop a supersonic passenger airlines. Yesterday, their demonstrator XB-1 was unveiled at an event packed with big names in the [...]

 
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September 29, 2016

The life of a Formula 1 bolt (from Red Bull Racing)

Being the fastest in the world is all about science and engineering!

This amazing 3 minute video shows the enormous effort going into one single bolt in a Red Bull Racing Formula 1 car!

If the video above doesn’t work, click this link instead: http://www.redbull.com/en/motorsports/f1/stories/1331819418898/life-of-a-bolt

Photo courtesy of Red Bull Racing.

 

 
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September 25, 2016

New record: 248.700 mph (400.2 km/h)!

New speed record for the KillaJoule!

The KillaJoule and rider Eva Hakansson set a new international speed record of 248.700 mph (400.2 km/h) at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, USA, on August 31, 2016. The record is 8 mph faster than the previous record that the KillaJoule set in 2014 (no record attempts were made in 2015 due to rain). The KillaJoule maintains its position as the fastest electric motorcycle in the world, and has once again showed that eco-friendly doesn’t mean slow or boring!

We want to thank our great partners that made this possible:

                                                    

A123 Systems (batteries) Nova Kinetics [...]

 
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September 23, 2016

3D printed dryer knobs!

3D printed solution to an everyday emergency – a broken knob on the dryer!

One of the great benefits of owning a 3D printer is that you can create spare parts. This knob is for an old Fridgidaire dryer, but it is easy to create a knob for just about anything with 3D modeling software. This particular one is created in Autodesk Inventor, which is a professional design software suite. However, there are free alternatives such as Tinker CAD. Tinker CAD is of course not nearly as sophisticated as Autodesk Inventor, but it is completely sufficient to create a dryer knob and other simple designs.

If you happen to have a Fridgidair dryer that is missing a knob, you can [...]

 
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September 8, 2016

3D-printed gear shifter knob!

What do you do when the shifter knob in your truck breaks at Bonneville? 3D print a new one, of course!

Using the broken shifter knob for reference, I created the shape with CAD (Computer Aided Design) in Autodesk Inventor, and exported it as a 3D-printable .stl file.

I then printed the knob of NinjaTek SemiFlex, which is a very strong and relatively hard polyurethane rubber, on my Lulzbot TAZ 5 3D printer. The print took about 5 hours. Time-lapse video of the print below.

The knob was designed with a press fit, and by placing it in boiling hot water it became soft enough to easily be pressed onto the shaft. The presence of both duct tape and JB weld on [...]

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New record: 248.700 mph (400.2 km/h)!
 
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