Service Bureaus

Staples and 3D Systems Partner for In-store 3D Printing

It’s sometimes easy to forget that additive manufacturing (AM) isn’t really a brand new technology. 3D printers toiled away in labs and back rooms for years cranking out prototypes and the occasional custom part without receiving much in the way of attention. Only recently, with the rollout of home AM systems, has the technology entered the general consumer’s consciousness.

One expression of increased awareness is the push to move 3D printers from the back of the shop to the front. Staples has been at the forefront of this movement, adding AM systems to store shelves, and offering AM printing services in Europe since last year. Now a new partnership with 3D Systems (3DS) will bring AM services to Staples in the US.

(null)

Stratasys Acquires Solid Concepts and Harvest Technologies

The business world of additive manufacturing (AM) is still taking shape. The technology is still new enough that market leaders haven’t quite yet managed the level of global saturation as older tech companies, such as Apple or Microsoft. Part of the process of market maturation is acquisitions.

Stratasys has announced the acquisition of Solid Concepts and Harvest Technologies. Both companies are AM service bureaus, with Solid Concepts having a global presences and Harvest Technologies as mainly an US entity. Both companies will assist Stratasys with future growth, and provide additional resources for its in-house service bureau, RedEye. Continue reading

RAPID to Run Alongside The Big M

Additive manufacturing (AM) continues to grow by leaps and bounds, driving innovation and creating new opportunities for manufacturing. New conventions dedicated to AM have begun to sprout up all over the globe, but the granddaddy in North America is SME’s RAPID conference and exposition. For nearly 25 years, RAPID has brought together industry leaders to share information about developments in 3D printing, and to provide a meeting ground for AM businesses and customers.

This year RAPID will run alongside the International Manufacturing Research Conference, and The Big M manufacturing conference in Detroit, MI. The event will run from June 9 through June 12 at the Cobo Center. Unsurprisingly, AM will be one focus of the Big M, with RAPID’s customary range of lectures, seminars and other educational opportunities providing a solid framework of knowledge for the conference. Continue reading

Amazon Tests Print-on-Demand Services

Even if you never feel the need to own a 3D printer of your very own, the odds are fair you may want to take advantage of additive manufacturing (AM) at some point for a special gift, hard to find item, or just for the novelty. Print-on-demand manufacturing is a growing business, already operating at enough volume for companies such as Shapeways to build their own dedicated factories.

Following the general modus operandi of, “If it’s sold online, we want a piece of the action,” Amazon has taken note of the potential for sales in the print-on-demand market. The result is a partnership with 3DLT to launch a pilot program offering both print-on-demand items and digital designs ready to be printed at home, or at the office if you are sneaky enough.

Continue reading

Artiphon and 3D Printing Make Sweet Music Together

If asked to list the fields in which additive manufacturing (AM) has had a big impact most people probably wouldn’t think to add music. 3D printed instruments are a thing, as are reproductions of vinyl records, and MakerBot is making the mixtape cool again by printing out a cassette tape body for a flash drive filled with music.

Artiphon is using AM to help create and share music with the introduction of the INSTRUMENT 1, a music machine that has carved out a new product category the company has dubbed the multi-instrument. With assistance from an iPhone or iPod, the INSTRUMENT 1 can be strummed like a guitar or banjo, placed on a musician’s shoulder like a violin, or placed flat across the lap to produce steel drum and drum pad sounds. Continue reading