Additive manufacturing (AM) is revolutionizing the manufacturing industry by offering increased customization for consumers. Sites like Shapeways exist to provide customers with unique 3D printed products that can be tweaked to suit the customer’s desires. Only AM could offer the sort of end-use products sold on Shapeways, thanks to the technology’s design and material flexibility.
Following its acquisition by Google, Motorola has also been focusing on customization. The early steps were similar to those taken by Nokia, offering variously colored cases and different configurations of the Moto X. Perhaps unsatisfied by mainly cosmetic options, Motorola has moved on to Project Ara, and the goal of developing a modular smartphone with the assistance of 3D Systems. Continue reading
Regardless of its focus, a museum offers more to society than a place where people can gaze at carefully prepared displays. Museums are really centers for education and research, and the displays are as much a side effect of learning as they are the main point. Even if you are just a visitor, a good trip to a museum should leave you enlightened, it should teach you something about the world around you.
As additive manufacturing (AM) enters the mainstream of public consciousness, much work remains in educating the public on how the technology works and what it is capable of producing. Museums are natural partners for this kind of education. The Science Museum in London, England and the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) in New York City have set up exhibits featuring 3D printing. Continue reading
More companies are hopping on board the 3D printing express every day. Microsoft will be offering additive manufacturing (AM) support with Windows 8.1, Staples has already begun to roll out its print centers, and consumer goods giant Tesco is investigating how it might commercialize the technology. Now eBay is getting into the act with a new app for iOS devices called Exact.
Exact allows users to browse different categories of 3D printed goods, select an item they like, and then customize that item for printing. Currently, the app supports products from MakerBot, Sculpteo and Hot Pop Factory. While eBay already offered a number of 3D printed goods on its site, finding them could prove difficult, leading to the creation of the app. 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.
Let’s start this Roundup with an update from the US government about its manufacturing initiative. Apparently NAMII has been considered a success, as the White House has announced the launch of competitions for three new manufacturing innovation institute sites. This represents $200 million in additional funding for the project and President Obama has continued to call for congress to approve the investment of $1 billion to complete 15 sites nationally. Continue reading