3D Crowd Project Updates – 20th January

Here we are at the end of January – at least I assume it’s January; the days, weeks, and months have all blurred together somewhat… I hope that you are all keeping safe, well, and most importantly warm! If you have had some snow, I hope you have enjoyed building snowmen or admiring from afar with a cup of hot chocolate. Let’s get to it with our latest project update.


Project: Tetra – Jamie

What is it? Creating open-source solutions to cost-prohibitive medical technology – our current focus is working on a ventilator splitter.

What’s new? The printed circuit board is ready to be made after having been reviewed. The resin prints have been dispatched and will be fitted soon.

What’s next? Once we have our final PCB, it’ll be time to assemble it all within a shell before popping it in its casing. There are some exciting discussions being had around funding for Project Tetra once some documentation for the project has been finalised.


Project: Photo biofuel reactor – Matthew

What is it? Predominantly a means of turning algae into biofuel.

What’s new? Through doing an online entrepreneur training program, Matthew is evaluating the direction we want to take this project, with bioremediation being the most logical step. Algae is already being used for tertiary stage clean up by removing phosphates and nitrates, and so this direct focus will hopefully help to open the door further for funding support.

What’s next? Our next stage is finalising the prototype to pass along to the Universities of Bath or Swansea along with the STL files. Hopefully then the postgraduate students will analyse it and come up with some design improvements of their own. We are also exploring the potential of working with a wastewater treatment company for lower and middle income countries without a water system. We would look at treating raw sewage with the microalgae and reactor to transform it into a fertiliser.


Project: Prosthetics (in collaboration with e-Nable) – Ed

What is it? Designing and printing of a range of prosthetic limbs for children both within the UK and across the globe.

What’s new? We have some very exciting news – our prosthetic hand has arrived with our lovely volunteer tester! As with any new project, we are facing some teething issues…

How can I get involved? We always knew that the design would need some tweaks: some of you may have seen Ed’s post on Discourse here asking for help. The hand is a bit tight on one side, and Ed’s outlined two potential routes for remodelling: adjusting the original design, or testing the newly released Kinetic Hand design from Free 3D Hands. Please take a look and share your thoughts and ideas – we would love to hear from you!


Project: Babel – Rich

What is it? Our database and online catalogue for quality checked, tested, and refined 3D designs.

What’s new? Alongside site maintenance and editing, the team have been working on Fitra – a device designed to help ill-fitting face masks sit better. We have been having some issues with it, as you may have seen on Rich’s Discourse post here. Although it’s an interesting design to print, we may have to move away from the original design idea to make it a successful print.

How can I get involved? If you are or know someone who is a medical professional, we would love some feedback on a few small pieces. As these are medical pieces that would be used in a crisis setting, we just want to make sure that they would not be damaging or harmful should they be used.


Any other business: Alongside a very in-depth discussion about branching out into using materials other than PETG, we had an update from the pedal project that Matthew has been working on. If you would like to try rising to the challenge of reworking the design on Discourse here, we would love to see how it turns out and get any feedback that you may have.

Rounding things off, we know that 3D printing doesn’t always work out perfectly every time. We are looking to put together a gallery of 3D printing fails and errors and would love some contributions. Send us over some images, and we might feature you on our website or in our newsletter!