Rapid Ready Roundup: 3D Systems, LEGO-bot, Fasotec Returns, and SDCC
In the course of my diligent efforts to keep you good people up to date on the state of additive manufacturing (AM), I come across many interesting news items. I’ll gather them up every so often and present them in a Rapid Ready Roundup (like this one). You can find the last Roundup here.
We’ll start today’s Roundup with some acquisition news from 3D Systems. Continuing with its “growth through acquisitions” strategy, 3D Systems has completed the acquisition of French 3D printing firm, Phenix Systems. The company paid $15.1 million for 81% of the share capital and will immediately launch a simplified take-over bid process in accordance with the French Markets Authority on the remaining shares and voting rights. In addition to strengthening its European presence, the move brings more metal-based AM expertise to 3D Systems.
“Phenix Systems is a strategic and differentiated addition to our extensive 3D content-to-print portfolio and we are thrilled to deliver these powerful solutions to our customers,” said Avi Reichental, president and CEO, 3D Systems. “Our proven track record in advanced manufacturing, combined with Phenix Systems’ extensive metals technology and expertise represents a true game-changer that empowers our customers to manufacture the future.”
Moving on, I’ve sometimes declared that various RepRap inspired AM systems look like they’ve been constructed out of LEGO. Now it’s actually true. The LEGO-bot 3D printer has a chassis built from LEGO and was roughly inspired by the first MakerBot models. Soon we’ll have LEGO systems, printing LEGO to build other LEGO systems. LEGO-ception?
Next, you may remember reading about Fasotec’s, err, original, idea to make 3D prints of fetuses with data gathered from MRIs. Apparently fears that the MRIs would negatively impact the health of both mother and child put an end to that idea, but the company has bounced back with a new plan. Now, instead of a fetus, parents-to-be can have the face of their unborn children printed using data gathered from ultrasounds. I couldn’t make this stuff up.
Last for today, every good nerd knows San Diego Comic-Con is in full swing. This year, along with all the other con-exclusive goodies, fans of the Predator movies can get a special treat. 3D Systems is offering a chance for fans to order a 3D print figurine of the Predator holding the severed head of the fan. Heads are scanned in, rather than removed and shrunk, and the data is added to an existing 3D file. The models run for $39.99 each, which may actually be the least expensive figurines available at the con.
Below you’ll find some bonus content featuring a walkthrough of the Shapeways store in New York City.