3-D printing

Cops 3-D print murder victim’s finger to unlock iPhone


The iPhone 6's Touch ID sensor is greatly improved over the 5s &mdash for me, anyway.
At least they didn't cut his finger off.
Photo: Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Instead of running to Apple to unlock iPhones involved in criminal case, cops may have found a new path to get past Touch ID’s security: 3D printing fingers.

Police officers asked for aid from the lab of professor Anil Jain at the University of Michigan this year to help them recreate a murder victim’s fingerprints by 3D printing each digit so they can attempt to unlock the device, which they think may contain clues that would help solve the case.

Microsoft app turns iPhone into 3-D scanner


Microsoft has developed an app that can turn the smartphone camera into a 3D scanner.
Microsoft has developed an app that can turn the smartphone camera into a 3D scanner.
Photo: Microsoft/YouTube

If you keep track of the ways the iPhone is a revolutionary tool, you can soon add 3-D printing the growing list.

A Microsoft research team has created an app that turns any smartphone camera into a 3-D scanner without the need for extra hardware.

These Apple Watch docks were made for Nightstand mode


Night Stand for Apple Watch
Take that, Apple.
Photo: ElevationLab

Apple Watch stand makers are responding to watchOS 2’s Nightstand mode feature, which will turn your wearable into a makeshift alarm clock and display the time in landscape mode when it’s charging on its side. New Apple Watch docks are starting to appear to accommodate this feature ahead of the software update coming this fall.

These 3-D-printed Apple Watch stands will show off your shiny smartwatch


Tossing your Apple Watch on the table just doesn't feel right.

After spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars on your new Apple Watch, it’s hard to justify tossing the device on the table to charge like discarded jewelry. If you’ve got a 3-D printer, it’s easy to class things up by printing out an Apple Watch stand.

These 3-D-printed Apple Watch stands will protect your high-tech timepiece from scratches and, more importantly, provide a platform to show off your new smartwatch to friends and family — even when you aren’t using it.

A variety of 3-D printing files are available to download completely free of charge, and they get the job done just fine. Take a look at some of the best designs out there — all of which cost nothing to download.

3-D printed Shelby Cobra ready to lay down the rubber


A blast from the past got a blast from a 3-D printer. This replica Shelby Cobra is on display this week at the Detroit Auto Show. Photo: Oak Ridge National Laboratory
A blast from the past got a blast from a 3-D printer. This replica Shelby Cobra is on display this week at the Detroit Auto Show. Photo: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

The curvy roadster with the V-8 engine is the stuff of legend and the muse of copy cats.

The Shelby Cobra turned racing on its head in the 1960s and though so few were ever produced, it became one of the most copied cars in history. Replicas continue to flood the market and a simple search on Ebay will turn up a variety of pricey replica kits.

But there’s one that might have earned a nod of approval from Carroll Shelby had he lived to see it.

For the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Shelby Cobra, a working 3-D printed replica is currently on display at the Detroit Auto Show.

Dog uses 3-D-printed prosthetic legs to run away with your heart


Derby took to his new legs almost immediately. Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac

Derby the dog has a birth defect that renders his front legs mostly useless. After his original owners surrendered him, animal-rescue organization Peace and Paws took him in, and that’s where he caught the attention of Tara Anderson.

Anderson is the director of CJP product management for 3D Systems, a company that specializes in 3-D printing and prototyping, and when a cart didn’t work well enough for the dog’s needs, Derby received some custom-made, 3D-printed prosthetics. The team decided that spring-like “running man” limbs would get stuck in the ground, so Derby’s new legs are rounded for maximum mobility and comfort.

3-D-Printed Adapter Lets iPhone 5 Fit In Any Dock



As a reader of Cult of Mac, I’d say it’s a safe bet that you have a whole bunch of 30-pin docks around your home. And that those docks have been rendered useless by Apple’s evil insistence on equipping all of its new devices with smaller, tougher, easier to use Lightning plugs.

Now, we bring good news. With just €13, you can resurrect your pointless plastic paperweight.

Button 2.0 Fastens Shirts, Secures Earbuds



I will be ordering a Button 2.0 for every single one of my shirts. I will even be sewing them onto my t-shirts in order to make them more useful. Why? As you can see in the image above, Button 2.0 is a simple upgrade to boring old Button 1.0 which turns it into a grippy place to clip your iPhone’s headphone cable.

It’s A Wrap: Cable Organizer Wrangles Tangles


The Wrap Wrangles Tangles.

I’m totally against the wrapping of wires, ever since being shouted at on a movie location for over-enthusiastically coiling audio and power cables around my thumb and elbow. Apparently that’s not how it’s done by the pros, and the experience has made me wince every time I see somebody stretching their headphone cables around their iPod.

Still, I’m clearly in the (superior) minority, and the The Wrap proves it. It’s a plastic 3-D printed widget which wrangles your cable into order.

3-D-Printed iPhone Case Solidifies Sound Waveforms Forever


Make a custom iPhone case showing any sound wave you like, frozen in time
Make a custom iPhone case showing any sound wave you like, frozen in time

Until now, most of the 3-D printed items I have seen have been slightly scratchy, brittle-feeling plastic prototypes sent to me by Kickstarter pitch-men.

But now Shapeways has teamed up with SoundCloud to bring us this cool-looking iPhone case which really shows the potential of 3-D printing. Using a custom app, you can freeze the sound-wave of your favorite piece of music and have it immortalized in a plastic case.

How To Make Your Own iPhone Macro Lens



Why spend $20 on a good-quality, purpose-made macro lens for your iPhone when you could spend $10 on 3-D printing your own holder and another $4 for a glass lens to put inside it? That, my friends, is a saving of six whole dollars. Six American dollars that Appsman — the maker of this clever lens — is doubtless frittering away on a night of frenzied celebration. And if you, too, want to make yourself six bucks richer, then read on.