3D printing is well on its way to revolutionizing manufacturing around the world. Rapid Ready provides near daily examples of breakthroughs in nearly every major manufacturing field, including automotive, aerospace and medical. While the technology has only gained some measure of popular appeal in the last few years, its roots go back 30 years and can be traced to 3D Systems’ founder and CTO, Chuck Hull.
This year Hull’s achievement will be officially recognized as he’s inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Hull’s name and likeness will join luminaries of invention such as Thomas Edison, Eli Whitney, and the Wright Brothers. The formal ceremony will take place May 21, at the United States Patent and Trademark Office in Alexandria, VA.
When I was a kid, we didn’t have the panoply of interactive media that surrounds children today. Sure, we had video game consoles, but I didn’t know any kids that spent more time playing Nintendo than they spent playing with other kids and, particularly, with a broad range of toys. The toys are still around, but it seems to me they frequently take the back seat to technological distractions. Maybe a shake-up is in order.
That could be part of the thinking behind the recent moves on the part of 3D Systems. Signs that the additive manufacturing (AM) giant has been leaning toward 3D printing as entertainment began with the acquisition of Gentle Giant Studios, strengthened with the announcement of a partnership with Hasbro, and became a certainty with 3D Systems’ latest acquisition, Digital PlaySpace. Continue reading
One of my first professional writing gigs was to build a short index of emerging technologies, specifically technology on the bleeding edge. During my research, one of the bits of interesting tech I found was work on exoskeletons, both for the handicapped, and for increased strength. That particular piece of tech was the only one my editor didn’t believe. I’m pretty sure he accused me of cribbing from Aliens. Maybe I’ll forward him this article.
3D Systems and Ekso Bionics have come together to create what 3DS is calling the first bespoke exoskeleton. The exoskeleton was built using body scans performed by 3DS and the robotics technological know-how of Ekso Bionics. The result has allowed Amanda Boxtel, paralyzed in a skiing accident, to walk again for the first time in 22 years. Continue reading
Additive manufacturing (AM) has become an integral part of a number of businesses and industries, including aerospace and medical, and the technology’s impact is only likely to increase as time passes. Defense is taking a hard look at AM, automotive is finding ways to leverage 3D printing, and numerous small businesses still find plenty of rapid prototyping value in their AM systems.
Continued growth relies on innovation as much as consumer appeal and, in a capitalist world economy, the monetary forces that drive innovation generally come from outside investments. Alan Meckler has launched the first 3D printing mutual fund, named the “3D Printing and Technology Fund,” to bring more funds to the global business of 3D printing. 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 some patent news. Royal DSM has won a patent dispute in Europe concerning the development of materials for stereolithography. The patent in question, EP1232198, titled, UV Curable Compositions, was held by 3D Systems. The successful challenge allows DSM to expand its Somos brand of stereolithography materials, and opens the door for other companies to do the same. Continue reading