“3D printing is wowing entrepreneurs and enthusiasts because of its extreme flexibility. It has applications for almost any industry or field” (Yahoo Small Business).
Small businesses have found that 3D printing has not only helped on a per product basis, but overall it has made them much more competitive in the marketplace. Below are four ways in which 3D printing benefits small business:
Prototyping: You can now have a sketch in the morning of a product idea and by the end of the day, you can hold that product prototype in your hands. Yes this IS possible! 3D printing has simplified and streamlined the prototyping process for businesses. When you are able to modify your product design and prototype in a matter of a week or so, sending the final design to the manufacturer just became that much easier.
Personal Customization: 3D printing allows you to personalize renderings and products for each individual consumer. You are able to use different materials, tweak the product design and add additional customized features so that you provide your customer with exactly what they are envisioning. “Imagine people tweeting or sharing their personally customized version of your product that fits them perfectly. A business could easily market the base design for a product, and tout its customizability to consumers everywhere” (Yahoo Small Business).
Manufacturing: Cutting out the “middle man” on short production runs means that your business will be able to get your product to your consumer much faster and at a lower cost. Also, consider this, in the future a business might also be able to offer their product designs to consumers through a purchasing process so that consumers can download the CAD file and print out their own product at home.
Leveling the Playing Field: 3D printing allows small businesses to take on larger corporations in their field because of the quick product turn around times and increased flexibility. “There are a ton of companies, from one- and two-person organizations to sub-100-person organizations, that actually make themselves competitive with the 10,000-pound gorilla in their particular marketplace because of the advantages they get with 3D printing,” says Bruce Bradshaw, marketing director of Objet” (Entrepreneur). Not all large corporations have been quick to adapt 3D printing technology, and thus they have left themselves vulnerable to smaller and much more flexible businesses that are embracing the technology.
The efficiency of 3D printing has transformed business and will continue to have an ever expanding impact as the technology evolves and becomes more mainstream.
If you are interested in learning more about 3D printing and the advantages it can have on your business, contact us at email@example.com and would be more than happy to discuss this with you!
This week we came across an article, Rethinking objects and form are key to 3D printing revolution, and it really got us thinking about all of the possibilities 3D printing brings to the design and engineering table. If you ever find yourself on Pinterest, 3D printing blogs or anywhere that showcases 3D printed objects, once you get past all of the Yoda heads you are bound to see items that we already have, just re-created using a 3D printer (chairs, lamps, knobs, etc.). Though these items are cool to look at, we can’t help but think “Where is the real creativity?” in these products.
In the article (above) Terry Wohlers, an independent analyst who advises companies on the 3D printing sector, states the following regarding 3D printing: “You are almost unlimited as to the type of geometric complexity…You can do shapes and forms that otherwise would be very expensive to do with traditional manufacturing, or would require many parts that then are later assembled.” These new design and manufacturing possibilities are something that as designers we need to really gravitate towards. Thinking outside of the proverbial box. With all of the creative design tools at our disposal we should be showcasing unique products that stretch the boundaries of imagination.
Certain industries have already harnessed the creativity associated with 3D printing and are using the technology to better the lives of people everywhere. For example, “well over 90 percent of in-the-ear hearing aids are made using 3D printing, and that lets clever software, which can work out exactly how to optimize the acoustic properties of the hearing aid, into the manufacturing process”. When using 3D printing, design can look very organic and very different than what you would normally see.
We challenge our designer and engineering friends out there to begin rethinking objects during the design phase and allow more creativity into the process.
3D Innovations is a full service 3D Engineering/Design company – from the 3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product.
When it comes to getting students excited about STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) teachers and professionals have more tools at their disposal today then they ever have due to technological advancements. 3D printing/rapid prototyping is one technology advancement that really grabs the attention of not only entrepreneurs, corporations, makers, but our students as well. Bringing 3D printing/rapid prototyping into your classroom to invigorate learning will definitely help light that STEM “spark” in your students!
3D Printing/Rapid Prototyping
Build your idea one layer at a time. Transform your students’ virtual designs into functional prototypes by using 3D Printing. Utilizing your 3D CAD model, 3D Printing Technology will translate your 3D data into layers that are .005″ thick and begin to build your model one layer at a time in the Z axis. Models are built from ABS plastic and are strong enough to withstand normal wear and tear and are submergible so they can be used for Underwater Robotics projects or other applications.
Contact us today to see how we can support your 3D Printing needs and how it gets students excited about learning.
Often times entrepreneurs find 3D CAD to be extremely interesting and “cool” but do not actually grasp the immense benefits of the technology in relation to product development, prototyping and manufacturing.
Below are some of the major benefits to utilizing 3D CAD for your next project:
Concurrent engineering (CE) - Engineering and manufacturing process are enabled simultaneously from shared 3D CAD data.
Higher quality - Due to increased efficiency resulting from the ability to explore a greater number of design iterations during product development.
Lower unit costs - Due to reduced development and prototype expenses.
Rapid prototyping (RP) - 3D CAD models can be used to produce prototypes from RP technologies.
Identify inefficiencies - 3D CAD develops opportunities for the elimination of inherent inefficiencies in a design.
Increased accuracy of MRP data - 3D CAD data files can be easily linked and managed by MRP software.
Increased design flexibility & customization - 3D CAD offers a more robust set of tools and methods to modify designs.
Increased design data integrity - With a single 3D CAD model supporting all downstream processes, changes are reflected quickly and accurately.
During the planning stages of your next project, consider using 3D CAD technology to streamline your product development and manufacturing life cycles.
3D Innovations is a full service 3D Engineering/Design company – from the 3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product.
In 2012 we really saw a rise in personal customization…everything from the clothes we wear to the cars we drive. Consumers are driven by customization, it is human nature to want to stand out from the crowd. 2013 will be no different. The increase of interest in 3D printing for both personal customization and business product customization is going to continue to skyrocket this year.
Currently many consumers are familiar with 3D printing, but besides creating some small toys, people don’t understand how this industry can be very useful in their everyday lives. As the industry grows and matures we are going to see this perception shrink because 3D printers will be able to customize items that people never even considered (i.e. the knob on the dishwasher broke and instead of going out and buying a replacement, just print it).
Luckily, businesses are past this narrow perspective and have embraced 3D printing technology and the ability to customize products for consumers. Over the holidays Ford made news by gifting each engineer with a 3D printer. Ford understands the importance of the technology and how it will soon help drive their business. Small businesses and entrepreneurs understand that having a functional product prototype built before sending their design on to manufacturing saves a great deal of time and resources. This type of personal customization is making business much more efficient and consumer friendly.
We must admit that we respect and agree with the conclusion reached at the MIT Smart Customization Seminar in 2012, “Customization will be one of the most important aspects of living and conducting business in the coming decades.”
3D Innovations is a full service 3D Engineering/Design company – from the 3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product. Contact us today to learn more about prototyping and how we can assist your business, firstname.lastname@example.org.
A very hot topic this year has been STEM (science, technology, engineering & math) education. We have seen news outlets, politicians, parents, schools and even those in the entertainment industry rallying their support for STEM. It seems like the nation is really starting to take notice of the education gap and wants to work hard to fix it. We admire all of those advocates out there that work tirelessly on education reform, and are passionately dedicated to bringing about STEM education changes in our schools.
We now pose this question to you, What STEM education reform do you think will be the most critical and beneficial in 2013?
3D Academy, the education branch of 3D Innovations, is very focused on STEM education and we are currently ramping up for more opportunities in 2013 to visit schools and provide training services specializing in 3D Computer Aided Design (CAD) technology. We are anticipating that more schools are going to actively search for ways to increase their STEM education opportunities for students, instead of cutting funds to these areas, in 2013 and welcome this kind of positive change!
Let’s discuss…Please comment on this blog post with your thoughts!
As another week wraps up we are reminded that 3D printing is an ever changing technology that is constantly testing the limits of innovation. Just by glancing at the news sources for the popular 3D printing articles this week, we see that this technology has moved out of the realm of “hobbyists” only and into the mainstream news. Again, we look forward to the evolution of 3D printing and what changes we will see in the technology as 2013 (quickly) approaches.
Kickstarter and 3D printing have been linked together in the news quite a bit recently because of an impending patent lawsuit. Well we are here to shed some light on how 3D printing can actually be used to enhance your future Kickstarter campaign and hopefully reel in the big investors!
With this new lawsuit, it is almost guaranteed that Kickstarter will crack down even more on their acceptance of new projects and they will continue to strictly follow guidelines that are set in place. The updated Kickstarter New Hardware and Product Design Project Guidelines states that ‘Product renderings are prohibited. Product images must be photos of the prototype as it currently exists’. This means that in order to even begin your Kickstarter campaign it is imperative to have a functional prototype of your product. By requiring a product prototype, Kickstarter is limiting the risk exposure potential investors face — You are not able to “promise” that your product will have certain functions, you must prove that your product does indeed have the described functionality. (This is where 3D printing comes into play.)
3D printing is a technology that can help you fabricate a completely functional prototype of your product. Businesses use 3D printing to test out new products before sending them on to manufacturing. The 3D printing technology really lets you get your hands on an actual product to test, modify and finalize the design. Entrepreneur magazine recently posted an article about creating a prototype and the distinct benefits associated with it (article: Creating a Product Prototype). Even if you do not plan on having a Kickstarter campaign, having a prototype will help you test the functionality of your product, describe your product more effectively and encourage others (i.e. potential investors) to take your idea more serious.
Here at 3D Innovations we have had the opportunity to help numerous small business design and develop functional prototypes. If you are interested in learning more about our prototyping services please contact us at: email@example.com or by phone at (808) 722-8667. We help businesses all over the globe, so do not be shy about contacting us even if you do not live in Hawaii.
About us: 3D Innovations is a full service 3D Engineering/Design company – from the 3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product.
As the year comes to an end and news outlets begin to focus on top trends for 2012, 3D printing is still finding its way into the headlines. Many businesses and government agencies are really embracing 3D printing technology, and are taking notice that we are not educating future innovators (students) within our current education system curriculum. Our hope for 2013 is that 3D printing continues to expand, but more important we want to see more students become involved in STEM education activities. What are your hopes and dreams for 2013?
There is no doubt that 2013 will bring many more advancements in 3D printing. One major milestone is already scheduled, the release of the VXC800 by Voxeljet Technology GmbH. The continuous feature of this printer is sure to set it apart; it will offer a process that is continuous and require little human operation/interaction once that parts have been started.
“The VXC800’s process works by simultaneously executing the 3D printing build activities on one side of the system and the unpacking step on the rear of the unit — without requiring interruptions of the printer’s operations. The company explains further that its technology incorporates a patent-pending design that uses a horizontal conveyor belt to control the layer building process.”
This type of printer will have three major impacts on your current operations:
It enables you to build 3D models and unload completed models at the same time.
This capability means that you can do a lot of short runs of decent-sized models simultaneously and affordably.
Since the conveyor belts in operation are a loop — no linear beginning and end — the length of your model is limited only by practicality.
“The company says that the VXC800 as well as its operating costs will be lower than those of conventional 3D printing systems. The first deliveries of the VXC800 are planned for the second quarter of 2013.” This is definitely a printer that we will keep our eye on in the coming year.