Everyone loves Christmas cookies. Whole doughy herds of reindeer go into the oven, along with enough stars to fill the night sky and give Santa diabetes. For some people, baking Christmas cookies is part of the holiday tradition they look forward to. For others, it’s simply another chore associated with the holidays. Mixing the dough, rolling the dough, cutting the dough. Ugh.
What those folks really want for Christmas is some sort of machine that speeds up production. No, not a mixer. How about a 3D printer for the kitchen? The Foodini is here to save your dough-covered hands. The first commercially available additive manufacturing (AM) system for food preparation can make cookies in almost any shape imaginable, in a large variety of flavors. Continue reading
Bigger isn’t always better. While many additive manufacturing (AM) systems seem to be focused on growing larger and larger build envelopes, you don’t always need bigger parts. Micro laser sintering looks to be growing in popularity for the usual reasons AM is popular: speed and freedom of design.
For every article written proclaiming that additive manufacturing (AM) is overhyped or some kind of phase, companies like Materialise 3D prints and ship another object. New service bureaus and 3D design clearinghouses are appearing all the time, clamoring for attention from a public that has just begun to understand what AM can do for them.
Innovation is just as likely to be found in the garage as in the boardroom. Individual inventors can bring new ideas to the table that big companies might have overlooked, or never even considered. Crowd-funding site Kickstarter is a godsend for inventors and small businesses to find startup capital to bring their ideas to life. Formlabs is a great example of a successful Kickstarter campaign leading to a rapidly growing business.
Rapid Ready initially covered Formlabs and its FORM 1 Kickstarter project all the way back here. Unlike many additive manufacturing (AM) systems found on Kickstarter, the FORM 1 offered something new; stereolithography printing in a desktop package. Tech junkies that follow Kickstarter developments were apparently as interested as we were, and Formlabs destroyed their $100,000 with a total of nearly $3 million pledged. Continue reading