'Little Miracles' initiative raising money for muscular dystrophy with 3D printed Christmas ornaments

Dec 18, 2017 | By Tess

While the Christmas season can seem focused on shopping, spending tons of money, and indulgence, it is also a key time of the year to give back and to offer help to those who need it.

In Australia, a collaboration between Monash University, the Muscular Dystrophy Australia organization, and creative agency AKQA is combining 3D printing and Christmas ornaments to raise money for children suffering from muscular dystrophy.

“Alex’s Super Dooper Santa” by Alex Gatt, 13 years old.

Muscular dystrophy is a degenerative disease that affects one in every 625 people in Australia. The muscle-destroying condition can cause physical debilitation, as well as heart and breathing problems and most children suffering from the disease become dependant on wheelchairs by the age of eight, according to Muscular Dystrophy Australia.

“Jessica’s Photo Time Tummy” by Jessica Again, 12 years old.

In an effort to instil some holiday cheer in a group of children with muscular dystrophy and to raise money for research into the disease, AKQA, Muscular Dystrophy Australia, and the Monach University are selling 3D printed Christmas ornaments designed by kids with the condition.

The initiative, called “Little Miracles,” invited a number of children to conceive of and design their own Christmas ornaments and brought on design and engineering students from the Monash University to transform the designs into digital models and 3D print them.

“Lachie’s Christmas Angel” by Lachie Tudic, 14 years old.

Each Little Miracle 3D printed ornament comes with its own name and story, and represents a happy Christmas memory for each child. 12-year-old Jessica Again, for instance, came up with a fun photo-holder ornament called “Jessica’s Photo Time Tummy.” “I love going through all the photos we take on Christmas Day just as much as opening presents,” she says of the inspiration behind the ornament. “I think hanging your favourite photos on your Christmas Tree would be a lot of fun.”

The project marks the second time that the three parties have collaborated on a Christmas project for raising awareness and funds for muscular dystrophy research. The 2016 edition of the initiative also involved 3D scanning and 3D printing the colorful ornaments.

“Ryan’s Disco Ball” by Ryan Christie, 6 years old.

“These ornaments aren’t miracles until someone buys them and funds a real miracle—a cure for Muscular Dystrophy. So this Christmas, if you need to buy a small gift that makes a big difference—whether it’s for KK or a stocking filler—bring a Little Miracle to life. All profits go towards finding a cure,” stated Muscular Dystrophy Australia.

Today, December 18, is the final day for ordering the 3D printed baubles if you want them shipped in time for Christmas (presumably if you’re ordering from Australia). Each colorful and creative 3D printed ornament is available for $35 (AUD) and will help support finding a cure for the debilitating condition.

“Jessica’s Window Wonder Tree” by Jessica Again, 12 years old.

“We love contributing to this cause, it’s so close to our hearts and such a good reminder at Christmas time that some kids can’t make those Christmas trinkets that are such a big part of every child’s Christmas experience,” said Brian Vella, AKQA managing director.

You can see the full collection of Little Miracles Christmas Ornaments and their stories here.

Posted in 3D Printing Application

Maybe you also like:

What's Hot Today!

JGAURORA 3D printer X Axis System Including 2 Printed Parts 6 Bearings 2 Polish Rods

JGAURORA 3D printer X Axis System Including 2 Printed Parts 6 Bearings 2 Polish Rods

Product Features

  • JGAURORA 3D printer kit X Axis System Including 2 Printed Parts 6 Bearings 2 Polish Rods
  • Polish rods : Φ8(-0.02~0)×380(-2~0)mm
  • Bearings :LM8LUU,Φ16×Φ8×45mm and LM8UU,Φ16×Φ8×24mm
  • Plastic printed parts: PLA

Visit The Website For More Information…

What's Hot Today!

98HT works with Chinese students to design convertible 3D printed high-heeled shoes

Oct 11, 2017 | By Tess

Students from the China Academy of Fine Arts, the Zhejiang Univeristy, and the Zhejiang University of Technology have teamed up with footwear brand 98HT to rethink the architecture of the high-heeled shoe. By using 3D printing, the collaborative team is developing modular shoes with switchable heels of varying heights.

It’s not just a girly cliché that wearing high heels sucks. Though they look fabulous and can give the illusion of killer calves, towering shoes often take a pretty dreadful toll on the wearer’s feet, especially if you’re on your feet for hours of the day.

Fortunately, the solution hasn’t been to phase out high heels altogether—how dull would getting dressed up be without them?—but to innovate and offer more comfortable solutions for the fashionable footwear.

One such effort is coming out of China, where a team of students from three universities has partnered with 98HT, a high-heel design and manufacturing company, to rethink and redesign heeled women’s shoes.

Through the collaboration, the students—under the leadership of Dr. Li Xiangqing—came up with a number of hand-drawn concepts for a modular shoe with convertible heels, which would give the wearer an on-the-go way of changing from 4” pointy heels to say a 1” block heel without having to switch shoes.

The concept is not a wholly new one, as a number of startups (such as Mime et moi, for instance) have gone after the same notion of convertible heels—but the China-based effort is notable for its use of 3D printing.

Basically, the students gave a hand-made model of their convertible heel to the team at Shining 3D, one of China’s leading 3D printing companies, which 3D scanned the shoe with its EinScan Pro device.

With the 3D scan complete, Dr. Li Xiangqing and his team were sent the 3D model to look over and tweak before it was sent to Shining 3D’s SLA 3D printer for production.

Once the 3D printed shoe was complete, the team assembled the heel and conducted a number of force tests on it and measured the physical impact on the shoe using 3D scanning. By using 3D scanning and printing rather than more traditional molding processes, the team was able to save on both time and development costs.

Currently, the 3D printed convertible heels are in their final development stage, and 98HT says it plans to mass-produce the modular shoes once this stage is complete. The innovative shoe design has already been recognized, however, as it took home the gold medal at a young college student’s entrepreneurial competition in Ningbo this year.

The collaborative team has also amassed one state patent, one patent in Hong Kong, and eight other patents for the shoe’s modular design.

Down the line, the team says it hopes to apply its design and manufacturing technology for the creation of personalized high heels. In other words, they would use 3D scanning and printing to create fully custom-fit and styled footwear.

Another direction the team might go in is to develop smart shoes for children with embedded communication and positioning devices that would allow parents to keep track of their children and worry less about losing them.

Posted in 3D Printing Application

Maybe you also like:

What's Hot Today!

US Marines' 'Ripper Lab' used to manufacture 3D printed 'Nibbler' drones in Middle East

Oct 2, 2017 | By Tess

A U.S. Marine Corps task force has set up a 3D printing lab on the ground in the Middle East, using it to 3D print quadcopter drones, tools, medical supplies, and more. Dubbed the “Ripper Lab,” the facility is allowing the task force to print devices and replacement parts on-demand and at a lower cost than shipping them in.

Over the past year, the U.S. Marine Corps has made significant strides with the adoption of additive manufacturing technologies, developing 3D printed components for future smart trucks, experimenting with 3D printed munitions, and perhaps most significantly, manufacturing low-cost drones.

Just months ago, a Marine Corps battalion evaluated the X-FAB system—a self-contained, mobile additive manufacturing lab which consists of four 3D printers, one 3D scanner, and CAD software. The X-FAB lab, which is still in development, would enable devices such as surveillance drones to be produced on-demand and, importantly, on the ground.

As another Marine Corps task force based in the Middle East has shown, 3D printing is already in use and is proving to be a critical technology in the fight against ISIS.

The Marines of Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response-Central Command recently established an on-the-ground 3D printing facility equipped with 3D printers, materials, CAD software, etc. in the Middle East.

Named “Ripper Lab,” the 3D printing test operation was set up to see how well 3D printing could support the troops. A first of its kind, the 3D printer lab is operated by a team of 48 and has been used to manufacture tools such as wrenches, medical supplies, various replacement parts, and a number of quadcopter drones known as “Nibblers.”

These 3D printed drones, of which there are already about 25, are designed for increasing “situational awareness” on patrols. The adaptable UAVs are capable of flying for 20 to 25 minutes at a time, and can be used to monitor and protect the U.S. military’s positions from drones sent by the enemy.

Of course, there are still a few setbacks with the technology. For one, the Nibbler drones cost about $2,000 each to 3D print, quite a bit more than their off-the-shelf counterparts (which reportedly go for about $500 apiece). But the cost difference doesn’t seem to outweigh the advantages of in-situ manufacturing and the easy and cheap production of replacement parts.

(Images: U.S. Marine Corps)

“Across the entire Marine Corps… it takes time to get the training and then the resources, i.e., money to buy the materials and 3D printers and things like that,” said  Col. Bill Vivian, the commander of the 7th Marine Regiment which led the 3D printing operation. “But 3D printers are coming to each installation in the Marine Corps and that’s starting to unfold now, so I think those possibilities are getting close.”

Vivian added that since 3D printing has been adopted in the Marine Corps, he has seen a lot of interest amongst the troops: “Since we engaged and we let Marines at the lowest level know we’re wrestling with this new technology, we found out a lot of them were doing it anyway—several Marines had their own 3D printers. And so just taking advantage of natural talents we have out there, we were able to pull them in and use them to our advantage. It helped retention: Marines were very excited and we were able to do some things faster than we otherwise would have been able to.”

Currently, Vivian and his task force are working on improving the 3D printed Nibbler drone by integrating higher-quality cameras and increasing the vehicle’s flying time and range.

Posted in 3D Printing Application

Maybe you also like:

What's Hot Today!