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The Royal Mail announces a consumer 3D-printing service

As traditional mail is becoming a less needed service, Royal Mail has stepped up in a bid to stay ahead of the 'rat race' - offering consumers the ability to 3D print and ship various objects from their local offices.

 

 

Paired up with 3D-printing company iMakr, Royal Mail using their services to install brand new printers in their New Cavendish Street delivery office in London, set to enable both custom designs and pre-made product designs to be ordered by consumers. These products can be ordered online by any end-user and have them shipped directly to their address or picked up directly from the office.

 

Mike Newnham is Royal Mail's Chief Customer Officer, sharing his thoughts on this business advancement he commented: "3D printing is an emerging technology that has many applications and offers an innovative way to create unique or personalized objects. It can be prohibitively expensive for consumers or small businesses to invest in a 3D printer, so we are launching a pilot to gauge interest in 3D printing".

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Idaho-based startup is using 3D printers to print... light

Coeur d'Alene, Idaho-based startup Rohinni has an interesting project to share with the world: LightPaper. LightPaper is something the startup took to their Twitter account to tease, writing: "We print light".

 

 

The goal of the startup is to be the leading lighting application for, well, everything. LightPaper is the world's thinnest LED lighting, which can be applied to, stuck on, and placed onto virtually any surface. LightPaper, if you've already guessed, is super-thin, and is made by mixing ink and tiny LEDs together, and then printing out a mixture onto a conductive layer.

 

This layer is then "sealed between two additional layers. The tiny diodes are about the size of a red blood cell. When a current runs through the paper, the tiny, randomly-dispersed diodes will light up", reports 3ders.org. OLED is currently one of the thinner technologies out there, but LightPaper is set to break that record. LightPaper is being aimed at the automotive industry, where it could allow for better tail lights, or super-impressive looking branding.

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Bored at school? Mod your graphics calulator into a selfie camera

If you're not busy playing this Super Smash Brothers mod on your graphics calculator, prepare yourself for the 2015 year of schooling by modding your ever useful device into a selfie-capturing camera.

 

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Thanks to Christoper Mitchell, high school girls can take more selfies than ever before due to his latest project named ArTICam. Through the utilization of a Game Boy Camera and a programmable Arduino board, Mitchell has released plans to enable you to take a 128 x 123 pixel selfie grayscale image.

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Microsoft Sharks Cove Windows board aims at Raspberry Pi

One of the hallmarks of the Raspberry Pi developer board is modest power for a low price. Microsoft wants to get in on the action that Raspberry Pi is getting with DIY fans and tinkerers. The software giant has unveiled a new developer board of its own called Sharks Cove.

 

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The board works with Windows or Android and hardware for the board comes from Intel and is made by a firm called CircuitCo. The processor used on Sharks Cove is an Intel Atom Z3735G quad-core chip with speeds of 1.33GHz to 1.83 GHz. That chips is paired with 1GB of RAM and the board offers 16GB of flash storage with storage expansion via a microSD card slot.

 

One of the things that has made the Raspberry Pi so popular is its very low price, as you might expect Microsoft is offering Sharks Cove for a much higher price- $299. To help justify that price Microsoft points out that it includes a Windows 8.1 image in the price.

MakerBot 3D printers hit some Home Depot locations

3D printers are becoming more and more common in schools, offices, and homes around the country as prices come down. One thing that will help adoption of 3D printers almost as much as cheaper prices is better availability. MakerBot has announced a new deal with some Home Depot locations that will see its 3D printers available in stores.

 

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The MakerBot Replicator 3D printer is now available to purchase in about a dozen Home Depot locations around the US. The dozen locations are found in California, Chicago, and New York City. Some of the stores will have elaborate kiosks installed, such as the one seen in the photo here.

 

There will also be staff on hand at some locations that will be able to demo the product and give out items made with the printer. It appears that you can buy printing supplies at these locations as well.

Raspberry Pi upgraded with new microSD card slot and more

Electronics tinkerers love the Raspberry Pi because it is cheap and has some very cool uses. The little Raspberry Pi has been updated again and this time it gains some very cool features that fans will really appreciate. This latest model is called the Raspberry Pi Model B+.

 

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The main new feature of the upgraded Pi is a microSD card slot that is a push-push unit rather than the old friction fit. Changes to the connector layout mean that existing cases may not work for the B+ version of the Pi. Some of the add-ons won't work either, such as the Adafruit Cobbler and Wolfson audio card.

 

The Raspberry Pi Foundation says that this will be the last evolution of the original Pi and that the next version will be Version 2. The Pi also gets the ability to power memory sticks and other items through the USB port. Other changes for stability and usability were made as well.

Meet Barobot, the next-generation in Barbot technology

Since the introduction of the Arduino, we have seen a wealth of self-dispensing, self-mixing, and self-concocting barbots hit the scene, but never have we seen one quite so refined as the new Barobot. The Barobot is a cocktail slinging robot that is aimed at making your socializing events more about socializing than about mixing drinks.

 

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Recently launched on Kickstarter, the Barobot is a $1600 (self assembly) to $2500 (fully assembled) alcoholic drink mixing machine that utilizes a 7-inch android screen, and some custom electronics to mix the perfect cocktail every time, without the need for a bartender. The team behind Barobot is looking to raise $151,500 to mass produce the Barobot and make it a retail success.

 

The Barobot is capable of holding 12 bottles of your favorite spirits, and can perfectly dispense the correct proportions for any drink in its library, making for a more accurate drink with less wasted boose. "Mixing drinks at home parties might prove a challenge if you are not a trained bartender with professional equipment. It requires remembering many recipes and accurate measures which could be disastrous if you forget, more importantly, it distracts you from interacting with your guests. Barobot takes care of your bar tending needs allowing you to focus on your friends," Barobot said in its Kickstarter Campaign.

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Arduino begins shipping TRE developer edition boards worldwide

This week, Arduino announced the launch of the first developer edition boards of its new TRE development system. The company said that it has listed the first 50 boards for sale on its website in an effort to boost its beta program and get some sample code up and working for the new development board.

 

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The Arduino TRE is not your typical Arduino board. It's a Linux computer running on a Sitara processor as well as a full Arduino Leonardo. It builds heavily upon the experience of both Arduino and BeagleBoard.org, combining the strengths of both. Arduino says that upon purchasing one of the developer edition boards, consumers will be invited into the beta program and will be invited to wok alongside Arduino and BeagleBoard.org teams on tasks such as writing examples, testing libraries and external hardware, and making projects.

Printrbot unveils new CNC Router for the DIY / Maker hobbyist

Printrbot has long been known for creating and selling affordable 3D Printer kits that enable almost anyone to begin 3D printing in their home, but that changed at this week's MakerCon in San Francisco. Earlier this week the company unveiled its first CNC Router that is targeted at beginner CNC users. The new Printerbot CNC Router is capable of machining wood, plastic and aluminum, albeit at different speeds.

 

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The machine features a Wi-Fi enabled Raspberry Pi that runs a web-based control software suite enabling users to connect to the device wirelessly. The control board is based on the TinyG board, and movement is accomplished via NEMA 23 stepper motors. A Makita Router is utilized as the tool head, and the entire thing looks to be able to accept stock up to 24-inches square. No word on pricing has been released, but I have reached out to Printrbot for more information.

Arduino launches the new Arduino Zero, a official 32bit Arduino

Yesterday, Arduino announced the launch of its latest edition to its user-friendly development boards. The new Arduino Zero is a powerful 32-bit version of the Arduino Uno, and is designed to empower creative individuals with the power to create something truly amazing. The board features an Atmel SAMD21 MCU which is comprised of a 32-bit ARM Cortex M0+ Core.

 

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The new Arduino Zero is based on a 3.3v standards, has 14 digital I/O pins of which 12 are PWM and 2 are reserved for UART. Analog I/O is handled by 5 pins featuring 12bits ADC and 1 pin with 10bits DAC. Flash memory is set at 256KB, SRAM at 32KB, and up to 16KB of EEPROM is available via emulation. Unlike its AVR siblings, the Arduino Zero is clocked at 48MHz.

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