Product of the Week: HYDAWAY

April 17, 2015
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We know that staying hydrated is just one small step we can make to living a healthy lifestyle. Many of us try our best to stay hydrated throughout the day, but it can be quite a challenge if you are not reaching for a convenient disposable water bottle. HYDAWAY is a handy alternative to disposable plastic water bottles.

hydaway“HYDAWAY is an easy-to-use, reusable water bottle designed for people with active lifestyles who are searching for an alternative way to carry water that’s just as convenient as buying bottled water.” With 50 billion plastic water bottles being thrown away each year, and less than 25% being recycled, HYDAWAY is offering an environmentally friendly alternative. The compact design of HYDAWAY makes it truly innovative and an ideal companion for an active lifestyle.

“Whether you’re a frequent flier, a mile-a-minute mom, a weekend warrior or just someone who thirsts for thoughtful design, HYDAWAY fits the life you live. No more lugging around bulky ‘empties’, no more disposables in landfills, no more hard to clean bottles. HYDAWAY is flat out ready to go, whenever and wherever.”

From a design perspective, we love seeing the stages of development on the HYDAWAY project timeline!

Learn more about the HYDAWAY on Kickstarter or the official website. You can also follow the company on Facebook and Twitter.

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3D Innovations is a full service 3D Engineering/Design company – from the 3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product.

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Kick-start Your Crowdfunding Campaign

April 14, 2015
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All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them. ~Walt Disney

Concept 3D PrintingSo you have an idea that you believe it viable and would be a crowdfunding success but are unsure where to begin. At this stage in the game you probably have thousands of questions running through your mind. What would be my crowdfunding goal? How do I find a manufacturer? Is a prototype necessary? Where do I turn for packaging design?

While setting up your crowdfunding campaign is exhilarating, it is critical that you are well prepared. Below are points to consider as you are preparing to launch your campaign.

1. Don’t Underestimate Product Costs. One major issue facing new inventors is how easy it can be to underestimate the actual cost of bringing a product to market. Crowdfunding is typically an all or nothing funding approach, so depressing the funding goal is a common error. Without a proper funding target you are creating future issues and doing a major disservice to you and your investors. A way to combat this is by having a professional analyze your designs and provide you with an estimate on the actual manufacturing costs. This proactive approach not only helps with your campaign, but it also proves to investors that you are serious and well prepared.

2. Prototype. Your product should be prototyped. This stage lets you work out any design challenges and ensures that your product is in fact viable and able to be manufactured. It also helps define product costs, create marketing material, file a patent and gain customer feedback before manufacturing begins.

3. Details, Details, Details. Really put time and effort into the information you share with potential investors. Show them your initial development timeline and prototype changes. Explain how you have overcome certain challenges and how this has prepared you for the journey that is ahead.

4. Invest in Marketing. A video on our crowdfunding page is a must-have. You don’t need to invest in a big marketing firm but you do need a quality video and product images. Check around with friends and colleagues to see if they know someone that can help or reach out to freelance marketers for assistance.

5. Patent Protection. It is always a good idea to think about some form of intellectual property protection before placing your idea on a crowdfunding website. Most potential investors want you to succeed but there are those few that may want to steal your idea. Research patent protection through the USPTO and/or take some time to chat with a licensed patent attorney.

Have additional questions about launching your crowdfunding campaign? Please feel free to send your questions our way at info@3d-innovations.com

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Product of the Week: Zero Waste Cap

April 10, 2015
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Many innovative products are solutions to problems that we experience every day; Zero Waste Cap is one of these solutions. How many times have you caught yourself throwing away a bottle of lotion because the pump has quit working? You know there is more lotion inside but the hassle it takes to retrieve the lotion usually doesn’t seem worth it, so you recycle the lotion bottle and head out to buy a new one. The Zero Waste cap is an adaptable cap that solves this problem completely.

zerowaste“Zero Waste Cap is designed to easily thread on the necks of lotion bottles you find at local stores. Zero Waste Cap transforms a lotion pump bottle into one with a flip top cap that can be balanced upside down on the cap. Once sitting upside down gravity pulls the lotion toward the cap so it’s easy to remove.”

This adaptability design of the Zero Waste Cap makes this product truly unique.

Learn more about Zero Waste Cap on Kickstarter and the official website.

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Product of the Week: Planetware

April 3, 2015
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Earth day is right around the corner (April 22nd) and the entire month of April is “Earth Month”, and in honor of this we have decided to feature a product that is truly sustainable and aims to make our world a better place for future generations. Planetware is tableware that is good for the earth. This line of cups and tableware is made of only three natural ingredients (bamboo, rice, and corn) and is built using a zero waste process. Also, if you do ever decide to throw out one of the pieces, it will compost completely within two years, thus leaving zero impact on the earth.

planetwarePlanetware is “a full tableware line of cups, plates and bowls that not only looks good, but you can feel good using. Made of sustainable bamboo, rice husk, and corn, it’s microwave and dishwasher safe, shatterproof, and free of synthetic dyes and chemicals”.

We admire the sustainable deisgn of Planetware and the desire to take an everyday product and drastically improve upon it.

Learn more about Planetware on Kickstarter and the official website. You can also follow the company on Facebook and Instagram.

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3D Printing & Injection Molding Are Compatible

April 2, 2015
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Design_News_LOGOMany times it seems as though 3D printing and Injection Molding are at odds with one another, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. There is a need for both types of technology in manufacturing, as was demonstrated at NPE 2015 recently.

Design News recently posted a synopsis of the event as it pertained to 3D printing, 3D Printing Partners With Injection Molding At NPE 2015. “3D printing (3DP) had its own area in the form of the first ever NPE3D pavilion of exhibits and demonstrations, as well as an NPE3D conference track with six presentations.” The event did a great job of highlighting these two technologies and their inherent compatibility. “A theme that was reflected in several ways was the use of 3D printing to assist in, or improve on, injection molding, as well as improvements in 3D printing materials and processes that are making better functional prototypes and end-use parts.”

If you were able to attend the event please let us know what you thought of the NPE3D exhibits pavilion and presentations with a comment below.

We invite you to read the entire Design News article and view the slideshow from the event.

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Product of the Week: mDrawBot

March 27, 2015
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This 4-in-1 robotics kit would be a great project for a robotics class or a weekend project at home. mDrawBot is a 4-in-1 drawing robot kit, that can be assembled into 4 different configuration drawing robots: mScara, mSpider, mEggBot and mCar. All four of these robots can draw on different surfaces and the best part is that build time is about an hour. This is one of those kits that can really spark a love for engineering in children because of its interactive nature.

makebot

  • mScara is a SCARA (Selective Compliance Articulated Robot Arm) driven by stepper motors. If you install a pen on mScara, it can draw pictures on a flat surface. Replacing the pen with a laser diode, it can turn into a desktop laser engraver.
  • mSpider is a drawing robot which can draw pictures on a wall or a white board.
  • Just in time for Easter, the mEggBot is designed to draw on things that are improbable to print on, such as eggs. It can be used to write letters or to draw expressions on eggs.
  • mCar is a three-wheel robot car. It contains two stepper motor drive wheels and a ball caster wheel. It can draw its own movement tracks on the surface. If you install a chalk instead of a pen, it can draw on the floor.

Learn more about the mDrawBot robotics kit on Kickstarter or the Makeblock website. You can also connect with the company on Facebook and Twitter.

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The Emergence of the Maker Movement

March 26, 2015
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The maker movement is made up of some 135 million adults in the U.S., however, it’s more than just a U.S. movement. Maker faires that celebrate the movement have popped up in Japan, Italy, Norway, and Chile. Makers use their skills to craft items such as clothing, baked goods, jewelry, and art; contributing $29 billion to the U.S. economy annually.

From 3D printers to laser cutters—makers employ various tools to create their goods. Many gather at makerspaces where they share these resources. Makerspaces are havens for techies, artists, and entrepreneurs.

Learn more about the maker movement below and how it’s influencing the way we craft.

(A big thank you to CustomMade for this fantastic infographic!)

Click to Enlarge Image

A Movement in the Making

A Movement in the Making
Infographic by CustomMade

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Product of the Week: Fogo Adventure Gadget

March 20, 2015
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If you are an active outdoorsman, or aspire to become one, the Fogo is one tool you will want to add to your backpack. We are amazed at all of the technology inside this compact gadget. From the outside you might think this is just a high-tech flashlight, but in reality it’s so much more than that. The Fogo is the ultimate outdoor companion. A quick glance at the Fogo features summary and you quickly realize the extent of technology in this device…

fogoFogo Feature Summary:

  • GPS Receiver
  • Flashlight
  • USB Backup Battery
  • App Based OS
  • Bluetooth LE (aka Bluetooth Smart)
  • Motion Tracker/Pedometer (Accelerometer)
  • Backlit LCD Screen
  • Ambient Light Sensor
  • Digital Compass (Magnetometer)
  • Bicycle Computer (Speed, Elevation, Odometer, Bluetooth Sensors)
  • Rechargeable, Field-Replaceable Batteries
  • SmartCap Interface (USB/UART/5V Power)
  • Clock/Calendar/Alarm
  • 128MB built-in Flash storage

Digital Walkie Talkie SmartCap Feature Summary:

  • Send/Receive Text Messages
  • Real-time Voice Communications
  • Digital Voice Messaging
  • Built-in Microphone and Speaker

This innovate take on a traditional flashlight encompasses a range of fantastic product design. Whether you want this all-in-one outdoor gadget to lighten your carrying load or want to give it as a gift, one thing is sure, the Fogo will not disappoint.

Learn more about Fogo on Kickstarter or the company website. There are only four days left to back this project! You can also follow Fogo on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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The Evolution of Education

March 19, 2015
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Design_News_LOGOLately there has been quite a bit of news about the uncertain future facing traditional four-year colleges. Most recently, Sweet Briar College, a 114-year-old private women’s college in Virginia announced that it would be closing its doors for good at the end of this semester. Many people believe that Sweet Briar College shutting down is just the beginning of what’s to come. Politicians and well-known public figures have been speaking out about the trouble with the current education system and the need for immediate reform.

This week Design News published an article that delves into the heart of the matter, Q&A with David Goldberg: Universities Must Change to Keep Up with ‘Era of Design’, in which Mr. Goldberg discusses disruptive innovation in regards to public and non-profit universities. He also talks about for-profit universities and how they are taking a business style approach to education to attract and retain students, and so far this model seems to be catching on. In regards to STEM education, retention is a major challenge for schools, but this for-profit model might be one way to keep students on track until graduation. Let us know what you think!

You can read the Q&A session with David Goldberg in its entirety on the Design News website.

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Product of the Week: Buhel SOUNDglasses

March 13, 2015
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These sunglasses are like nothing we have seen before! The Buhel SOUNDglasses enable hands-free communication without wires or an ear piece. At first glance you cannot even tell that they are so high-tech, but that is part of the beauty of them. SOUNDglasses “allow you to listen to music or audio from a multitude of sources thanks to the innovative Bone Conduction Technology (BCT)”. These sunglasses keep your ears free of any device, which means you are still completely aware of your surroundings. As we know, traditional earbud technology cuts down on your awareness and increases your chance for an accident.

buhel“With this amazing product you can easily make and receive phone calls via bluetooth, listen to music without earphones or earbuds, communicate with GPS systems and other electronic devices and be able to hear surroundings sounds like voices traffic, alarms etc.”

Within 48 hours on Kickstarter the $80,000 goal for the Buhel SOUNDglasses was met (we aren’t the only ones impressed with them and this technology)!

Learn more about the Buhel SOUNDglasses on Kickstarter or the official Atellani website. You can also follow the company on Facebook and Twitter.

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3D Innovations is a full service 3D Engineering/Design company – from the 3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product.

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