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
Euromold is underway, and that means new product reveals and company announcements about future endeavors. As the largest design and manufacturing conference in the world, Euromold draws vendors and attendees from around the globe to hear about advances in technology, and see the latest innovations. Additive manufacturing (AM) has become an integral part of the conference, thanks to its growing impact on parts production, rapid prototyping, and end-use product manufacturing.
3D Systems is first off the blocks this year to showcase its newest products: the ProJet 4500 and ProJet 5500X. The ProJet 4500 offers high resolution, full-color plastic prints, and the ProJet 5500X advances 3D Systems’ dedication to multi-material composites printing. Let’s take a closer look at each in turn. Continue reading
Additive manufacturing (AM) has been widely embraced by the medical community, and one of the technology’s most frequent medical uses is prosthetics design. All manner of prosthetics have been designed with the aid of AM, including high tech models, low cost models, and even animal prosthetics. AM’s flexibility and material options make it uniquely suited to building prosthetics more quickly and less expensively than through traditional manufacturing methods.
UK based Fripp Design is looking to add to the potential of 3D printed prosthetics with its development of AM-built facial prosthetics. Through careful material selection and model design, the company is planning to offer nose, ear and eye prosthetics. Not only will these prosthetics be less expensive than the custom, hand-crafted models currently used, they will also be available in a fraction of the time. A prosthetic could be ready in days, rather than the months currently required. Continue reading
The Information Age is glorious. At no other point in history have humans had such easy access to enormous amounts of information. Movies, books, music, and more are all at our fingertips. With the advent of 3D scanning, we can even experience objects we might otherwise never see, from museums and collections around the world.
The Smithsonian is on top of the digitalization of information. In addition to the massive amount of written material that has been digitized, the museum has added 3D printing to its arsenal, allowing easier examination or “lending” of exhibits. Now, with the new Smithsonian X 3D Collection, users can take a close-up look at history, or even print out replicas to educate and impress. Continue reading