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
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 a quick piece of materials news. Stratasys has released a new material named ABS2 for its line of Object Connex AM systems. According to the company, the new material has been designed to improve rigidity, durability and functionality for 3D printed objects with fine details and thin walls. Stratasys also claims ABS2 is ideal for printing cores and cavities for use in low-volume injection molding applications using thermoplastics.
At this point in the evolution of the additive manufacturing (AM) market the challenge isn’t finding a 3D printer to buy, it’s finding a worthwhile printer to buy. With AM systems popping up on Amazon, and with brick-and-mortar stores the likes of Staples putting 3D printers on the shelves, buying an AM system isn’t much more difficult than purchasing any other electronic doodad.
Most of the 3D printers within the price range of individual consumers are material extrusion systems that build up objects in layers using PLA or ABS plastic. A notable exception is Formlabs, which offers stereolithography with its desktop FORM 1. Now a new system named the Peachy Printer has arrived on Kickstarter and Indiegogo, and offers photolithography builds at an astonishingly low price. Continue reading
Recently I’ve noticed a shift in a fair amount of the mainstream media coverage of additive manufacturing (AM). It appears as though people are bored with writing about the capabilities of 3D printing and the pendulum has swung to focus on the shortcomings of the technology. Words like “overhyped” and “limited” have begun to pop up with some regularity.
Obviously AM isn’t going to solve every design or manufacturing challenge, but I find such a rapid 180° turn in point of view to be somewhat disingenuous. It was with that general thought floating around in my head that I watched C.ideas‘ first video with delight. The video showcases how the differing AM processes can be used together to create a near-perfect replica of the 1927 Miller 91 race car. Continue reading