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photo: Signe Brewster

Most desktop printers rely on spools of plastic filament as their “ink.” But to encourage a new generation of beautiful printers that work seamlessly, one prominent member of the 3D printing community says we need to rethink spool design. Read more »

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In Brief

With the toy industry stagnating due to competition from digital games, Lego is among the companies looking at 3D printing as a potential fix. The Danish plastic brick manufacturer told The Financial Times that it is considering “what potential opportunities there are for consumers.” Legos are very easy to print on home 3D printers (in fact, some people are already printing them). 3D printing also opens up the opportunity for highly customized shapes, which could expand what people are able to make. But Lego isn’t considering 3D printing bricks itself; it’s more about printing them efficiently, and currently prints about 2,000 bricks a second.

In Brief

Meta’s MetaPro Glasses are coming this summer, and they look like they will be a big competitor in the augmented reality space. The Palo Alto startup released a video today showcasing how the glasses work, including a demonstration of how they can be used to design a 3D object and then begin making it on a 3D printer. An actor in the video also uses his hands to smash together a virtual sun and moon with fiery results.

In Brief

Every time SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket returns to Earth, it crashes heavily into the Atlantic Ocean. It’s a crude but effective way to cushion the rocket’s landing. SpaceX wants to make the Falcon 9’s return to Earth more gentle by adding landing legs, which eventually could allow it to land on solid ground. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted a picture of the rocket with attached legs today, and stated in another tweet that the company will begin testing the feature next month. The Falcon 9 will continue to land in the ocean for now, but use the legs to soften the impact.

In Brief

NASA’s Curiosity rover drives over the rocky surface of Mars on aluminum wheels, which are becoming pockmarked with holes much faster than predicted. This week, NASA decided to go ahead and drive the rover backward for 329 feet; a technique developed during testing on Earth to better preserve the wheels. The agency also reassessed Curiosity’s route to Mount Sharp, where the rover is expected to find water-related minerals, to be easier on the aluminum.

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