Friday, 20 May 2011

3D printing – An ‘Industrial Revolution in the Digital Age’?

Lisa Harouni, Managing Director at mass-customization startup Digital Forming, says that “This technology [3D Printing] has been around for 20 years, but it’s about to hit the public in a big way,” she later explains. “It’s going to affect every facet of life — letting you manufacture bespoke products on demand that can be customized for an individual, and giving designers the freedom to make complex parts with less waste of material and a lower carbon footprint because it’s made locally."
  • 3D printed trinkets are eliciting all the head-turning excitement of a Maserati roaring along La Croisette during the Cannes Film Festival
  • Investors are starting to believe that something transformative is about to happen
  • The technology has been around for 20 years, but actually several different technologies are competing, and there is probably space for all of them at this stage
  • 3D printing lets you manufacture bespoke products on demand that can be customized for an individual
  • 3D printing  gives designers the freedom to make complex parts with less waste of material
  • Within Technologies, is already custom-designing products ranging from stiffer, lighter wings for Formula One cars, to cobalt chrome finger implants and lightweight titanium spinal fusion implants for medical use
  •  You can build your own entry-level 3D MakerBot printer from a kit for just £800 ($1,300)
  • Digital Forming, a 3D startup, works with partners whose industrial-scale machines cost up to £1 million ($1.6 million)  and can custom print items as complex and sensitive as watch mechanisms
  • Some compare the Digital Forming software to a 3D version of Microsoft Word for 2D home printing
  • A better term for 3D Printing may be Additive Manufacturing
  • For Digital Forming, the focus is now on building a global network of industrial-scale manufacturing centers, and using its software to help companies open up their products to customization

How small could a 3D Printer be?

Printers which can produce three-dimensional objects have been available for years. However, at the Vienna University of Technology, a printing device has now been developed, which is much smaller, lighter and cheaper than ordinary 3D-printers. They claim that with this kind of printer, everyone could produce small, taylor-made 3D-objects at home, using building plans from the internet – and this could save money for expensive custom-built spare parts.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Scott Summit explains the current state and future potential of 3D

Scott Summit, industrial designer and co-founder of Bespoke Innovations talks about the heady cocktail of 3D Scanning, Parametrics and Digital Fabrication:
  • 3D Scanning: Getting a physical thing into digital form so that ...
  • Parametrics: We can tweak it and manipulate it and reference it ...
  • Digital Fabrication: And then make that new, resulting thing physical so that we can do something with it

Sunday, 8 May 2011

This 3D Printed car can't be real? Can it?

3D printing gurus Stratasys took engineering company Kor Ecologic out to a couple fancy dinners, one thing led to another, and now we have the Urbee, the world’s first 3D-printed car.

The Urbee claims to be a fully-functioning automobile, the parts of which are entirely 3D printed, windows and everything.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

3D Printed StrandBeests

I first came across the work of Theo Jansen in the early 90s. I was utterly seduced by his art, engineering and vision. Now, his world has crossed over, is becoming more known, and has intersected with another of my interests, 3D Printing.

It appears that printing a small StrandBeest is possible. Shapeways, the consumer 3D printing service, offers these as on-demand 3D prints. So, if you don't want to try to build one yourself, you can now have one on your coffee table, for just a few dollars.