3D Printed Products designed to exhibit the endless possibilities of this simple yet groundbreaking technique!

3D Printing is gaining more momentum and popularity than ever! Designers and architects all over the world are now adopting 3D Printing for the creation of almost all types of products and structures. It’s a technique that is being widely utilized in product design, owing to its simple and innovative nature. But designers aren’t employing 3D printing only to create basic models, they’re utilizing this technique in mind-blowing ways as well! From 3D printed artificial coral reefs to a menacing two-wheeler design with 3D printed bodywork, the scope of this dependable technique is unlimited! Dive into this collection of humble yet groundbreaking 3D printed designs!

Hong Kong saw an 80% decline in the coral population in Double Island, Sai Kung, over the past decade and that drove the team to come up with a solution that would not only help that region but also the rest of the world that was blessed with corals. The team from Swire Institute of Marine Science (SWIMS) of the University of Hong Kong (HKU) and its Robotic Fabrication Lab of the faculty of architecture worked together to 3D print terra-cotta tiles that will act as artificial reefs. The result is a mesmerizing, organic swirl of line and negative space that reads like a burnt orange topographic map—and mimics the natural patterns of the coral itself. Why terra-cotta? It’s highly porous with “nice surface micro-texture” for marine organisms to latch on to, says team member Dave Baker, and an eco-friendly alternative to conventional materials such as cement or metal, the HKU team says.

Austria-based Vagabund Moto is one custom motorcycle shop that keeps pushing the envelope of design, materials, and processes. Their 15th build based around the BMW R nineT justifies the fact, as founders, Paul Brauchart and Philipp Rabl spray their creative magic over the two-wheeler for a facelift that’s so desirable for a speed junkie. The amount of metalwork is owed to craftsman Bernard Naumann! The client asked the team to make this the best ever two-wheeler they’ve ever worked on and the final result is called “Tin Man.” It has an extensive shell of bodywork highlighted by the monocoque tank cover and the seating configuration. It also has an underlying monocoque part that doubles as the under-seat storage. This is the most exciting bit of the bike is the 3D printed remote control that opens up the upper layer moving on hydraulic shocks. When open, the Motogadget dash is visible through the acrylic window in the cover.

Kairi Eguchi’s 3D-printed pen has a pretty unique way of balancing minimalism along with an expressive design. It’s rather simple if you break it down by its cross-section – The pen’s basically square-shaped, but it isn’t just a simple extruded square. Somewhere down the middle, the square profile makes a gradual 180° twist, creating a form that’s wonderful to look at and has a tactile appeal!

They look like wood, feel like it too. Hell, they even have those grain patterns that you associate with wood, but don’t let your eyes or fingers be fooled. This line of homeware designed by Yves Behar’s fuseproject isn’t made from actual wood. The technology you’re looking at lies within the domain of 3D printing, but it’s much more advanced than you’d think. Developed and pioneered by Forust, a subsidiary of Desktop Metal, this 3D printed material is a unique composite of recycled sawdust and bio-epoxy resin… but here’s where it gets interesting. Forust’s printers can actually print annular rings, knots, and grains into the printed wood. These details don’t exist on a surface level either. You can sand them and run a coat of polish over them and they’d look exactly like real wood.

The Art Deco movement of the late 19th century helped create new relationships between architecture and geometry. In a time that was certainly considered flourishing, just before the world wars, Art Deco beautifully combined European sensibilities with Eastern and South-American exotic styles while expressing itself through simple-yet-complex geometric forms and shapes… quite like Picasso’s Cubist art, but with arguably more attention to symmetry and composition. The Arintzea Collection from Muka Design Lab and Gantri pays tribute to Art Deco’s influences within Basque architecture, and it’s 3D printed!

If Adidas is to be believed, they might have created the most advanced running shoe of them all. The highly advanced shoe is deemed to give runners an all-new capability they’ve not experienced so far. They call it the 4DFWD sneaker – crafted using high-tech 3D printed performance technology. Working in close quarters with Carbon, the shoe results from 17 years of athlete-driven data and the Digital Light Synthesis technology coming together to create an advanced Adidas shoe unlike anything so far. According to Alberto Uncini Manganelli, SVP, and GM Adidas Running & Credibility Sports at Adidas, “We’re always looking to combine athlete insights with new and innovative technologies to create the best performance running products.”

The sleekness of the Apple TV remote wasn’t a feature, it was a flaw, and people were constantly complaining about losing their remote and never being able to find it… so when Apple redesigned their remote, many were expecting the 2 trillion-dollar company to address this problem too. However, all Apple managed to do was redesign the remote’s controls by bringing an iPod-style jog-dial on it. For the thousands of people who don’t see themselves buying a new remote just so that they can face the same old problems, Etsy-maker PrintSpired Designs has a neat workaround – a 3D printed case that not only gives the old Apple TV remote some volume and thickness but also allows you to slip an AirTag in so you can track your remote when it inevitably gets misplaced.

The Mickey Soap Dispenser Attachment isn’t an officially licensed product from Disney but is rather a clever fan-made product that retrofits onto most foaming handwash dispenser nozzles (although the designer recommends Bath and Body Works soap bottles). The attachment basically helps distribute the foamed handwash into three large blobs instead of one, making it resemble Mickey Mouse’s iconic circular head and ears (or Deadmau5, if you’re an electronic music aficionado). The 3D printed attachment is pretty simple to install and even simpler to use. It comes in three solid colors (that gold one looks rather nice), as well as two decorated variants that resemble Mickey and Minnie.

Say hello to the Mandalorian smart speaker holder for the 4th Generation Amazon Echo Dot. Inspired by the Star Wars spin-off series, the smart-speaker holder comes 3D printed by Etsy shop Slic3DArt, quite perfectly resembling the Mandalorian helmet. Place your spherical Amazon Echo Dot within its head cavity and you’ve officially got yourself a trophy-head worth showcasing on your mantelpiece or coffee table! The purpose of the Mandalorian smart-speaker holder is purely aesthetic. It doesn’t enhance the speaker’s functions but doesn’t impair them either (it does, however, block the light ring at the base).

Designing new and unique light fixtures is no easy feat though and the designers behind HorizON, a suspension lamp with an elliptical form designed and constructed in Italy’s glass-making capital, Murano, took it upon themselves to completely reimagine the future of lighting design. On the inspiration behind HorizON, the designers say, “HorizON lamp is based on the belief that the industry of the next years won’t only evolve through a constant, technological upgrade of products, but reconsider values such as uniqueness, hand-making, and even ‘imperfection.’” Through HorizON, the creators reconsider design values by transmuting classic, craftsman artistry with 21st-century technological capabilities. HorizON’s final product is comprised of two main parts: a glass bubble crafted through a tried-and-true glassmaking tradition that enwraps its 3D-printed, LED-filled centerpiece.

This spaceship from the 1960s was restored for guests to stay for some Jetsons-inspired staycation!

Nowadays, our gaze is set on outer space. Modern times feel eerily similar to the thrill of the days during the 20th-century Space Race. While the goals of the Space Race change over time, our interest in the starry sky remains. On earth, we watch films like The Jetsons and marvel at Elon Musk’s Starlink, if only because it looks like a moving constellation, just to feel closer to Outer Space. Today, artist Craig Barnes restored a saucer-shaped structure, designed by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen in the late 1960s, calling it Futuro House in his ode to the cosmos.

Landed in Somerset’s Marston Park for guests to rent out, stay the night, and pretend they’ve landed on Mars, the Futuro House is a tiny home can accommodate up to four people and features an array of earthly amenities. Barnes happened upon one of Suuronen’s 68 saucer-shaped structures while out in South Africa, bringing it back to the UK, where he began restoration work.

Easily transportable, Barnes describes how he managed to bring Futuro House to Somerset, “Some workers were knocking down a building nearby and we thought perhaps they were going to tear it down too. It was a wreck, there was no front door left, the windows were smashed in, but they let us in. It was horrible and grotty, but we found out who owned it. On an impulse while on top of Table Mountain, we agreed to buy it. So we bought it and shipped it home.”

Sparing Suuronen’s retrofitted relic from a future spent in obsolescence, Barnes restored Futuro House into a sparkling ski lodge, allowing guests to stay the night for £400–£1,200 ( around $550–$1,412) per night, a rent scale depending on the number of adults staying inside the ship. Inside and outside the saucer, guests can enjoy plenty of onboard amenities, like private bathrooms, fresh linen, and towels, hot water, changeable mood lighting, midrange studio monitor speakers, food services, options for coffee and tea, as well as an outdoor fire pit where guests can sit around and recline into the night. Going on to note his thrill over his own interpretation of today’s Space Race, Barnes says,

“It was always important to me that wherever it goes, it functions as a space to live and experience – an inspiring place that everyone can see. I never wanted this to be something that you cannot touch. I believe in the power of art and architecture and how it affects us. We have never opened [the house] up as a rental before; we hadn’t found the right home for it. At Marston Park, they want to make unique experiences and there is a realm for artworks you can stay in and people are interested in that. It is the fulfillment of a longstanding dream to offer this womb-like structure for people to stay in and be in this otherworldly space.”

Designers: Chris Barnes x Matti Suuronen

Stationed beside a quiet lake amongst the trees of Somerset’s Marston Park, Futuro House appears as a UFO landed for a pitstop.

Inside, the 60s space themes continue with spaceship seating arrangements and oval-shaped windows that wrap the entire circumference of the saucer.

Tulip kitchen seats hearken back to the 60s when the Space Race reached a peak.

While there is only one main sleeping area, four people can stay the night.

Come dark, the spaceship glows into a golden lantern.

While on a midnight stroll in the park, onlookers could even mistake Futuro House for a real UFO.

Stationed against orange night skies, guests can pretend they’ve landed on Mars.

Bell & Ross’s aircraft radar-inspired timepiece will make you look like an international Bond villain!

Ever seen a watch that’s fascinating yet unsettling at the same time?

The Red Radar Ceramic from Bell & Ross looks absolutely stunning with its aircraft control radar-inspired dial. Designed in a sinister black-and-red color-way, the watch features a dial with multiple concentric circles and a sweeping seconds hand to make it look like the radar’s in the process of scanning. To tell the time, the dial comes with two airplanes that indicate the hours and minutes respectively as they rotate around in circles. It’s a treat to watch time go by, and I’m sure the next time you’re passing through an airport, the TSA’s going to really think you’re a cool cat!

As its name suggests, the Red Radar Ceramic comes with a 42mm wide ceramic body. The watch itself runs on Bell & Ross’ own BR-CAL.302 automatic movement, and is housed in a casing that’s water-resistant up to 100 meters. To top things off, the watch obviously comes with a sapphire crystal glass on top, but for added appeal, the glass is tinted red too, giving the watch its crimson radar-inspired design.

The watch is a part of a limited release, with just 999 units up for sale. If you fancy yourself a slick Bond villain-type and you’ve got $4,300 to spare, you could probably get your hands on a piece.

Designer: Bell & Ross

Relaxing behind the wheel of Mercedes’ level 3 autonomous Drive Pilot

The dream of autonomous driving everywhere is still a long way away. But soon Mercedes will launch Drive Pilot, its level 3 autonomous driving system in Germany on the S-Class and EQS. We had a chance to try the system out at the automaker’s test track and, while it did what it was supposed to do, we found it hard to turn off our driving brain while behind the wheel.

The system works on highways in traffic at speeds up to 60 kph (37 mph). Essentially it’s for daily commuting. But during that time the driver can stop paying attention and the Mercedes is responsible for everything that happens. That’s not to say you can nap, the vehicle still tracks the driver with an in-car monitor and it requires the driver to take over when it’s about to go faster than 37 mph, an emergency vehicle shows up, it rains or other situations that the vehicle is not built to handle. But you can play Tetris and text people. So that’s fun. Watch our video for the full story.

Mercedes EQS first drive: S-Class luxury in an EV

Mercedes has a lot to prove with its first proper EV coming to the United States. The EQS will land in dealers this fall at a yet-to-be-announced price point and, when it does, it’ll take on offerings from Tesla and Porsche. How will it fare against these EVs? We had a chance to drive the 2021 EQS for two days and figure out how it stacks up not just against competitors but up against the S-Class itself.

On our drive we got time behind the 450+ with rear-wheel drive, the 580 4Matic with all-wheel drive, and the Edition One version with its two-tone paint and 580 4Matic powerplant. All vehicles have a 107.8 kWh capacity battery pack and on the WLTP range test, the vehicle is rated at 485 miles. Of course, the more stringent EPA testing needs to be done and that number should fall. For now, we have a drive and impressions while we wait for range estimates and pricing. Watch our first drive video above for the full story.

NASA clears Boeing Starliner for July 30th test flight to ISS

More than 18 months after its failed first attempt to make it to the International Space Station, Boeing’s Starliner is ready for a second shot. Following a flight readiness review, NASA is moving forward with the craft’s upcoming July 30th uncrewed orbital flight test. Unless there’s an unforeseen delay, the capsule will launch from the Space Force’s Cape Canaveral Station mounted on an Atlas V rocket at 2:53PM ET. Should NASA postpone the flight, it will again attempt to carry out the test on August 3rd at the earliest.

The purpose of the flight is for NASA to conduct an end-to-end test of Starliner’s capabilities. It wants to know if the capsule can handle every aspect of a trip to the ISS, including launch, docking as well as atmospheric re-entry. “[Orbital Flight Test-2] will provide valuable data that will help NASA certify Boeing’s crew transportation system to carry astronauts to and from the space station,” the agency said.

If the flight is a success, NASA will move forward with a crewed test of the Starliner. Steve Stich, commercial crew program manager at NASA, said that could happen “as soon as later this year.” Both Boeing and NASA have a lot invested in the viability of Starliner. For the aerospace company, its decision not to conduct an end-to-end test of the craft before its failed 2019 flight left the agency “surprised,” leading to questions about the project. Meanwhile, NASA is keen to have two capsules that can ferry its astronauts to the ISS. Right now, it’s limited to just SpaceX’s Crew Dragon. “It’s very important for the commercial crew program to have two space transportation systems,” Stich told reporters.

Snapback’s MagSafe wallet for your iPhone 12 also comes with its dedicated AirTag slot

SnapBack Slim Air MagSafe Wallet for Apple iPhone with AirTag

Designed so you can track your wallet if it ever gets lost (or isn’t attached to your phone), Snapback’s Slim Air wallet is all about giving you the best Apple’s ecosystem has to offer.

It’s sort of baffling that Apple wants you to track your wallet with the AirTag, but doesn’t allow you to track your MagSafe wallet. Sure, the MagSafe wallet’s designed to sit on your iPhone most of the time, but then again, it’s also something you’ll find yourself removing ever so often… especially when you need to wirelessly charge your phone, or if you want to just swiftly use the wallet without taking your entire phone out. By virtue of its slimness, the MagSafe wallet is a convenient alternative to a bifold, but it isn’t trackable… Snapback changes that.

SnapBack Slim Air MagSafe Wallet for Apple iPhone with AirTag

The Snapback Slim Air, which debuted on Kickstarter, comes made from Italian leather and is marginally wider than Apple’s own leather MagSafe card-holder/wallet. It’s large enough to hold 6 cards, a few folded bills, and the pocket on its front was designed specifically to slide an AirTag in, so you can locate the wallet when you’re in a hurry and you can’t find your stuff. It’s worth noting that the presence of an AirTag doesn’t make the wallet ‘anti-theft’ – the thief could easily pop out the cards and leave the wallet and AirTag behind – but it’s convenient if you’re the kind of person to use the wallet independently too (without snapping it to the back of your iPhone 12 every time). The Slim Air, as its name suggests, is a remarkably slick product that’s a perfect alternative to chunky bifolds. Its soft-shell leather design allows you to easily slide it into your pockets too, even without the iPhone.

SnapBack Slim Air MagSafe Wallet for Apple iPhone with AirTag

SnapBack Slim Air MagSafe Wallet for Apple iPhone with AirTag

What Snapback’s Slim Air does is integrate two of Apple’s services into a single product. It relies on MagSafe, a highlight feature of the iPhone 12, while also combining the AirTag into it. Whether you’re someone who enjoys having those two features clubbed together is entirely up to you, but for a small subset of people who just want a wallet they can track (and occasionally snap to the back of their smartphone), the Snapback Slim Air’s quite the pick. The Slim Air wallet comes made in USA, and is available in brown or black. It costs $55 (that’s about 4 bucks cheaper than Apple’s own MagSafe wallet), and you’ll need to buy the AirTag separately.

Designer: Snapback

SnapBack Slim Air MagSafe Wallet for Apple iPhone with AirTag

‘Star Trek: Prodigy’ trailer is a treat for ‘Voyager’ fans

CBS has shared the first trailer for Prodigy, its first-ever fully computer-animated Star Trek series. The clip introduces us to the show’s cast of disparate characters. They’re stuck on what looks like a mining colony and trying to find a way to escape. As it just so happens, they discover a grounded Starfleet vessel known as the USS Protostar, and it’s their ticket to adventure.  

Before the trailer ends, a familiar voice declares, “We’ve only just begun.” Star Trek: Prodigy will see Kate Mulgrew reprise the role of Captain Kathryn Janeway, albeit in holographic form. If you live outside of the US, you can see the clip on the official Star Trek Twitter account. We’ll note here CBS Viacom also shared a trailer for the second season of Lower Decks. Star Trek: Prodigy will debut this fall on Paramount+, before it eventually airs on Nickelodeon.

Activision Blizzard execs respond to harassment and discrimination lawsuit

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard this week over alleged sexual harassment and discrimination against women. In a memo to staff obtained by Bloomberg reporter Jason Schreier, Blizzard Entertainment president J. Allen Brack wrote that "the allegations and the hurt of current and former employees are extremely troubling."

Brack wrote that everyone should feel safe at Blizzard and that "it is completely unacceptable for anyone in the company to face discrimination or harassment." He noted it requires courage for people to come forward with their stories, and that all claims brought to the company are taken seriously and investigated.

"People with different backgrounds, views, and experiences are essential for Blizzard, our teams, and our player community," Brack wrote. "I disdain 'bro culture,' and have spent my career fighting against it."

In the suit, the DFEH made a string of accusations against former World of Warcraft senior creative director Alex Afrasiabi. The agency alleged that Afrasiabi was "permitted to engage in blatant sexual harassment with little to no repercussions" and suggested that the activity was an open secret.

Brack is said to be among those who were aware of Afrasiabi's purported actions. The DFEH claimed Brack "allegedly had multiple conversations with Afrasiabi about his drinking and that he had been 'too friendly' towards female employees at company events but gave Afrasiabi a slap on the wrist (i.e. verbal counseling) in response to those incidents." After those supposed talks, Afrasiabi "continued to make unwanted advances towards female employees," including groping one of them, according to the suit.

The DFEH claimed a Blizzard employee informed Brack in early 2019 that people were leaving the company because of sexual harassment and sexism. The employee allegedly said that women on the Battle.net team were "subjected to disparaging comments," that "the environment was akin to working in a frat house" and that women who weren't "huge gamers" or "into the party scene" were "excluded and treated as outsiders."

Activision Blizzard has denied the allegations. It claimed the suit "includes distorted, and in many cases false, descriptions of Blizzard's past." The company also accused the DFEH, which investigated Activision Blizzard for two years, of "disgraceful and unprofessional" conduct and claimed the agency didn't engage in a “good faith effort” to resolve complaints before resorting to legal action.

"A recently filed lawsuit presented a distorted and untrue picture of our company, including factually incorrect, old and out of context stories — some from more than a decade ago," Fran Townsend, executive vice president for corporate affairs at the publisher, wrote in a memo to employees. Some Blizzard employees are "fuming" over the note, according to Schreier.

Townsend, a former Homeland Security advisor to President George W. Bush who joined Activision Blizzard this year, said "the Activision companies of today, the Activision companies that I know, are great companies with good values." Townsend also claimed Activision Blizzard "takes a hardline approach to inappropriate or hostile work environments and sexual harassment issues" and that the company has "put tremendous effort into creating fair compensation policies that reflect our commitment to equal opportunity."

Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony included a light display with 1,800 drones

There may not have been any fans in the Olympic Stadium, but Japan still found a way to put on a show for the opening of the 2020 Summer Games. The host country charmed early with the parade of nations, which featured an orchestrated video game soundtrack, and then showed off the type of creativity it's known for with a performance involving the Olympic pictograms. But Tokyo saved the biggest spectacle for last.

Toward the end of the ceremony, a fleet of 1,824 drones took to the skies above the Olympic Stadium. Initially arrayed in the symbol of the 2020 Games, they then took on the shape of the Earth before a rendition of John Lennon's "Imagine," which was reworked by Hans Zimmer for the Olympics, played across the stadium.

We've seen displays like this before. At Super Bowl LI in 2017, a pre-taped segment featuring 300 Intel drones forming the US flag punctuated Lady Gaga's halftime performance. Technically, the drone show that occurred above Tokyo isn't the biggest ever. As of earlier this year, that distinction belongs to a 3,281-display Hyundai-owned car brand Genesis put on in Shanghai, China. But even with fewer drones involved, the Tokyo drone show was still impressive. 

If you missed the opening ceremony, you can watch it again at 7:30PM ET on NBC.