(I) UPS Store launches 3D printing service across 100 stores / Lamp runs for 8 hours on one glass of water and some salt
UPS Store launches 3D printing service across 100 stores
By Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Sunday, August 02, 2015
(NaturalNews) The growing popularity of open-source, three-dimensional (3-D) printing technology is now taking shape as a national franchise operation, with the UPS Store leading the charge on this pioneering technology. The all-in-one packing, shipping, and small business solutions chain has announced that it will expand an initial pilot rollout of six stores offering 3-D printing solutions to 100 more stores in response to popular demand.
Customers will now be able to 3-D print innovative prototypes, end products, and various other one-of-a-kind items with ease, all without having to purchase their own 3-D printing machines. Participating UPS Store locations will now be equipped with all the tools necessary to upload specialized 3-D CAD files, for instance, allowing users to print whatever they wish with the touch of a button.
Small business owners are learning that 3-D printing is the wave of the future, offering a decentralized solution for innovation and product development that simply can’t be matched with traditional fabrication technologies. Whether you’re a home inventor, a business owner, or just a curious techie, the UPS Store’s 3-D printing offerings are making it easier than ever to put ideas to life.
“Small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to print prototypes as part of the new product development process,” explains a UPS Store announcement about the rollout.
“We’ve seen aspiring entrepreneurs take an idea to prototype, and then to market. We’ve seen inventors prototype a robot that interacts with humans by recognizing their voices and speech.” With this printer, The UPS Store locations will be equipped to produce items like engineering parts, functional prototypes, acting props, architectural models, fixtures for cameras, lights and cables.”
UPS has invested in top-of-the-line 3-D printing machines that cost $20,000 each
Select UPS Store locations, which are listed here, will be equipped with the highly advanced Stratasys uPrint SE Plus 3-D printer, a $20,000 machine that’s among the best in its class. The average home user probably wouldn’t purchase a machine like this, which makes having one available at your local UPS Store all the more enticing.
“The Stratasys uPrint SE Plus that we use in locations allows us to serve our sophisticated small business customers with precision and reliability that can’t be matched with a home printer,” says the company.
Sure, you could probably pick up a decent 3-D printer for your home for around $1,000 and potentially gain similar capacity for your needs. But for the average user, this probably doesn’t make practical sense, and according to UPS, the Stratasys uPrint SE Plus is capable of producing highly advanced parts that cheaper machines can’t produce.
Users can create Food Rising Mini-Farm Grow Boxes using UPS Store 3-D printing machines
If you’ve been following our work here at Natural News in recent months, you’ve probably seen some announcements about the Food Rising Mini-Farm Grow Box system for producing food off the grid, and without much resource input. Included in this project are instructions for users to 3-D print the parts they need to build these boxes.
With some UPS Store locations now offering 3-D printing at $30 per cubic inch of material, this may be a viable option for individuals who would rather not invest in a home machine. However, if you plan to 3-D print a lot of parts, or build multiple boxes and experiment with other projects, investing in a home printer like the RepRapPro replicating 3-D printers may be a better option (spools of 3-D printing material range in price, as explained in further detail here): https://reprappro.com/
To learn more about the Food Rising Mini-Farm Grow Box system and how 3-D printing is changing the world in which we live, visit: http://www.foodrising.org/
Lamp runs for 8 hours on one glass of water and some salt
Lighting is something that we take for granted in the developed world, but there are still many areas around the globe where people lack reliable access to light at night. They often use kerosene lamps, which contribute to indoor pollution and have to be refilled with oil regularly.
Aisa Mijeno, an engineering professor who worked for years with Greenpeace Philippines, noticed during her work there that many indigenous people in the over-7,000 islands that make up the country were using kerosene lamps exclusively for lighting. The family she lived with there would have to climb down the mountain that they lived on and then walk an additional 30 km to the nearest town in order to get more oil to fuel their lamps.
Mileno wanted to come up with a lighting solution that was both better for the environment and made the lives of the people better and easier.
Mileno told Core 77, “A few of the common things we noticed in marginalized island communities are the staple supplies of salt, water and rice. Almost all of the household we have been stationed in consist of these common elements in their homes.”
With that in mind, she developed an LED lamp that runs on salt water: one glass of water and two tablespoons of salt to be exact. (And as Gizmag explains, the lamp also relies on a galvanic cell battery with two electrodes placed in the salt and water electrolyte solution.)
Mileno formed the Sustainable Alternative Lighting, or SALt Corp. to develop the lamp and come up with a way to get it in the hands of people around the world that needed it.
The SALt lamp stays lit for eight hours a day with the salt water concoction, or for coastal populations, sea water, and can run every day for six months until the anode wears out. If it is used in tandem with another light source or for less time every day, it will last for more than a year.
The lamp uses the same science as that behind the Galvanic cell, which is the basis for batteries. The start-up said in changing electrolytes to a saline solution it makes the lighting non-toxic and a safer choice by removing the risk of fires from tipped over lamps and candles. It’s healthier for the people using it because the lamp doesn’t emit indoor pollution and the materials used are far better for the environment.
The lamp can also be used in emergency situations as both a lighting source and an energy source for charging phones with a USB cable.
There is no price set for the lamp yet, but they are letting people sign up for pre-orders on their website. SALt plans to have the lamp out by the end of the year or early next year, with a focus on getting it into the hands of the communities and NGO’s that need it most.