Product of the Week: Bevel 3D Photography

July 31, 2015
3D Innovations

Sharing photos on social media has become a large part of our everyday lives. Whether it’s to capture a special moment or share a fantastic meal with our online community, we are hooked on sharing our photography. The Bevel 3D wants to take your photos to new heights by making them truly three-dimensional. “Bevel is the world’s first attachment capable of capturing real 3D photographs on any smartphone or tablet. You can even use Bevel for 3D printing.”

Lifestyle1With Bevel, you can capture an experience in a revolutionary way and share it across all of your personal networks. We see 3D scanning being put to use everyday to help capture product images and recreate artifacts, but not at this kind of personal level. Bevel is a mere 2.5 inches long and simply connects through the headphone jack of your smartphone or tablet. “The photos can be rotated, turned into animated GIFs and viewed from multiple angles. You can also add an image of the background behind the 3D photo.” The creative touches you would be able to put on your photos are virtually endless. 3D photography is certainly a disruptive technology but having the ability to easily capture and share moments in this new way provides an array of new opportunities.

As an engineering firm, we are delighted to see that Bevel can be used for 3D printing purposes. From a business perspective, having 3D scanning technology accessible through a phone or tablet would be very convenient throughout the entire product development process.

Learn more about Bevel on Kickstarter and the official website.

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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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Product of the Week: StemBox

July 24, 2015
3D Innovations

It is well-known that there is a major gap in our STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education pipeline and that nearly 40% of companies report difficulty in filling positions because of a lack of STEM skills*. With the ever increasing demand for STEM skills, it is imperative that we spark a love of STEM education in our students early-on. Fostering interest in STEM related subjects at an early age encourages students to explore these types of careers as they progress through school. The best and most effective way of getting our students interested in STEM is through real world, hands-on learning.

stemboxThis week we are featuring StemBox, “a subscription box that makes real science accessible to young girls and empowers them as young scientists”. StemBox sends out boxes full of all the necessary equipment to conduct real-world science experiments. “Each box contains sophisticated labware and reagents for the science experiment, a protocol, fun science accessories, and a link to our corresponding videos. Our educational videos feature in-depth explanation from a real female role model working in that box’s field.” On the StemBox Kickstarter page you can view their “Strawberry DNA Extraction Box” and the “Owl Pellet Dissection Box”, both of these boxes encourage young girls to get out and explore the world around them. We also see that there is a future engineering kit in the works!

It has been proven that students learn more and retain information when they are able to participate in activities. Having these StemBoxes tailor-made for age level and interests is a fantastic way to make subjects come alive for students.

Learn more about the StemBox on Kickstarter and the official website!

*Source: Bridging the STEM Attraction Gap by National 4-H Council

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Functional Prototypes are Critical for Success

July 23, 2015
3D Innovations

The ability to effectively communicate your idea with a functional prototype is one of the many benefits of prototyping. Whether your goal is to find investors or patent your idea, a prototype shows that you have tested your design, finalized your product and are ready for the next step.

Still asking yourself, “Should I prototype my idea?” consider the following factors…

3D Printing Services | Rapid Prototyping Services | 3D-innovationsTest the Design & Finalize the Product

3D modeling is a great tool for conceptualizing and structuring your idea, but there is no substitute for a functional prototype. A prototype allows you to fully test the design, try out different materials, and really dive in to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Before you head out to launch your product or obtain funding you want to be sure that your product is feasible and can be successfully manufactured.

Gaining Investors

Whether you are preparing a professional presentation for angel investors or planning to launch a crowdfunding campaign, a prototype is necessary. Investors want to see that you have vetted the design and have worked out all of the “kinks”. To gain the trust of investors you want to present your product in the most comprehensive way possible. While a presentation is good, a functional prototype makes you stand out in the crowd and shows that you are committed to the successful launch of your product. Additionally, crowdfunding campaigns rely heavily on descriptive videos and nothing is more descriptive than showing the complete functionality and capabilities of your product.

Team Collaboration

Illustrating an idea with words alone can be a challenge for even the most descriptive orator. 3D CAD designs help clarify aspects of the product for team members, but a prototype brings the idea to life. When team members get to feel the product and test it themselves it is no longer an obscure idea but a tangible one that they can work with.

Patent Application

For many inventors the thought of a patent application can be daunting. While a prototype is not required for a patent application it is highly encouraged by many patent attorneys. With a prototype you can clearly demonstrate the patentable features of the design and describe in detail each component of your product.

The prototyping process should not be overlooked or underestimated. This step in the product development timeline is a critical factor for future success.

Have further questions about prototypes or the prototyping process? Please contact us at info@3d-innovations.com

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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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Product of the Week: The Airhook

July 17, 2015
3D Innovations

Traveling anymore is quite complicated, and to make matters worse, seat size and legroom is quickly diminishing to make room for additional rows of seats. Maximizing your amount of seat space is necessary for a comfortable journey. The Airhook is a small device that clips onto your locked tray table and holds both your tablet or phone at eye level as well as a drinking cup. This one device allows you to enjoy additional legroom by completely eliminating the need for a tray table.

airhook“The Airhook is a patent-pending two part system: a stable drink holder and a secure hook to mount your electronic device. Travelers needs have changed since airplane tray tables were designed decades ago, and vertical use of the tray table allows for a more comfortable flying experience.”

The design of the Airhook is relatively simple, yet it is solving a major problem. Dare we say that this device could be solving the legroom problem once and for all? We can definitely see why this product has been wildly successful on Kickstarter. As an engineering firm we know that perfecting a design takes time, and on the Airhook Kickstarter page you can view the different prototypes they experimented with before landing on this final design.

Learn more about The Airhook on Kickstarter or the official website.

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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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Product of the Week: 3DSimo Mini

July 10, 2015
3D Innovations

Quite simply the 3DSimo is the ultimate tool for makers. We know that the aforementioned statement is bold, but we have yet to see such a small (and well designed) tool with so much power and flexibility. While 3D printing pens are popular, this tool goes beyond and incorporates additional functionality. The 3DSimo fits comfortably in your hand and can be used for 3D printing, soldering, engraving, burning, foam cutting and much more. Makers can use any standard 1.75 mm filament, which means there is both flexibility and numerous material possibilities.

3Dsimomini“The 3DSimo mobile app gives you control over the temperature and speed so you can work with different and sometimes totally new materials. The FREE Android and iOS app connects to your Mini via Bluetooth. The 3DSimo app allows you to adjust the temperature, speed and different material profiles with precision. The app will also provide you with instructional videos, templates to print and regular software updates.”

According to Atmel, an American-based manufacturer and major backer of the Maker Movement, 135 million U.S. adults are Makers and USA Today reports that Makers fuel business, pouring some $29 billion into the world economy each year. The Maker Movement is already quite large and continues to grow at a rapid pace. The 3DSimo Mini is one tool that makers should add to their ever expanding toolbox.

Learn more about the 3DSimo Mini on Kickstarter and the official website.

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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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Hawaii Doubles Down on Commitment to Innovation

July 8, 2015
3D Innovations

htdc-bill-signingThis past Tuesday (June 7, 2015) Governor David Ige enacted two pieces of legislation aimed at supporting innovative small businesses and manufacturing here in Hawaii. Collin Kobayashi, our President & Chief 3D Officer, along with many other business owners and state agencies had been working behind the scenes to help provide testimony and garner support for these bills. Collin is the Co-Chair on the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii’s Light Industrial Manufacturing Group and provided support to boost the bills. “It was an honor to have the opportunity to be there while Governor Ige signed both bills into law.”

“State agencies responsible for promoting and improving innovation and technology in Hawaii received a $4 million boost at a bill-signing ceremony held in Governor Ige’s office Tuesday (KHON 2 News).

Below are summaries of each bill…

  • SB 1001: Establishes a manufacturing development program through the High Technology Development Corporation (HTDC) to provide grants to manufacturers in the State for the purchase of and training of employees to use manufacturing equipment and improvement in energy efficiency of manufacturing equipment.
  • HB 1069: Expands the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program by appropriating funds for HTDC to provide grants to businesses with a federal small business innovation research phase II or III award.

High Technology Development Corporation (HTDC) executive director Robert Melton said “the actions of the governor and the Legislature will give us a big boost toward reaching our 80/80 goal announced this year, with the aim of creating 80,000 jobs earning $80,000 by 2030 in fields involving technology and innovation”.

You can view video of the ceremony and scroll through the pictures posted by the Governor’s office.

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Product of the Week: Drop Smart Pool Monitor

July 1, 2015
3D Innovations

dropIt’s summer time and that means more time outside in the pool. While spending time in the pool is a staple of the season, maintaining a pool can be a challenge. Drop, the smart pool monitor aims to simplify the care process for your pool. “With Drop, you can monitor all the relevant variables in our easy-to-use app: chlorine, pH,temperature, movement, and overall water quality. Watch the levels change in real time when you make adjustments to your pool.” The app also alerts you to any unexpected pool activity so you are constantly aware of what is happening in your pool. Drop is solar powered, so you will never have to worry about it losing its charge.

 Drop Specifications:

  • Solar powered with lithium-ion battery back-up.
  • Measures temperature, pH and ORP (Oxydo-Reduction Potential) as a proxy for chlorine levels.
  • 3-axis accelerometer for movement detection Compatible with chlorine, mineral and salt pools.
  • App for iOS and Android.
  • Connects wirelessly to the Drop Cloud (wifi connection required).
  • Provides a custom maintenance plan designed to help you maintain a perfect balance without over-use of chemicals in your pool.
  • Adapts and learns about your pool – recommendations and accuracy will improve over time.

As a design firm we are always interested in the process taken to achieve the final product, and on the Drop Kickstarter page you can view early sketches, prototypes and product testing. You can truly see the time and dedication devoted to perfecting the design. Drop is the perfect pool assistant.

Learn more about Drop on Kickstarter and the official website.

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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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Product of the Week: Aumi Night Light

June 26, 2015
3D Innovations

Night lights are a staple in many children’s rooms and throughout the entire house. The Aumi is a completely redesigned and re-imagined night light. “Aumi is the smartest Night Light you’ll ever own. It’s a Bluetooth enabled, portable, multi-colored nightlight that you control with your smart phone or tablet.” The simplicity of its design along with features make Amui truly innovative.

aumiAumi at a glance…

  • Connectivity: Bluetooth LE/Smart (iOS & Android)
  • Automatic: Sensor can be use to turn light on automatically when dark, or off when it’s daylight.
  • Timers: Use timers to turn off or dim light, set reminders.
  • Battery: Rechargeable Lipo battery, up to 8 -10  hours of light per charge. Stays on when power goes out.
  • Lighting: High quality RGB LED’s – allow over 16 million color choices. Light brightness is fully adjustable.
  • Responsive: Manually adjust the brightness or turn the unit on and off with simple intuitive controls.

Aumi is a night light but also serves as portable lighting, since it is equipped with a rechargeable battery. This feature makes it ideal for children and anyone who might require extra light around the house after dark. The low profile design of Aumi (0.8 inch width) also means that when it is plugged in, it’s not obtrusive and less likely to accidentally get knocked out of the wall. We know that we say it time and again, but some of the most innovative products out there are simply upgraded and redesigned products we all use on a daily basis, the Aumi included.

Learn more about Aumi on Kickstarter or the official website.

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The Correlation Between Patents & Innovation

June 24, 2015
3D Innovations

With increasing litigation sparked by patent trolls, patents and the entire patent system have come under scrutiny. Many are calling for patent system reform while others are saying that the entire system should be abolished. Getting rid of the entire patent system would “strip away much of the incentive to create, impeding investment in new technologies, slowing the production of new creative content and harming economic growth”. In short, it would be a disaster.

“Just because today’s technologies can sometimes make it easier to invent more quickly and at less cost doesn’t mean the resulting inventions are less valuable to society or less worthy of protection.” Without the protection of the patent system many entrepreneurs would be at risk of having their innovations simply stolen by larger competitors. The Patent Act of 1790 was the first federal patent statute in the United States and it was created because there was a need to safeguard inventors. While patent laws have transformed over the years, the principle that entrepreneurs and inventions need safeguards remains true.

The current patent system in place does have its flaws and standards should be tighter to ensure that only inventions truly worthy of protection receive intellectual property rights. Reforming the patent system should be the next step, not abolishing it. “The fast pace of innovation and the increasingly international flow of goods and content can create challenges for traditional patent and copyright systems. But those systems, despite their flaws, remain vital to economic prosperity. The correct approach is to update them, not dismantle them.”

Have further questions about patents, the patent process or prototyping for a patent application? Please contact us at info@3d-innovations.com

Works cited: The Scientific American – Why Patents and Copyright Protections Are More Important Than Ever

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Product of the Week: FOVE Virtual Reality Headset

June 19, 2015
3D Innovations

foveVirtual reality headsets once seemed like a thing of fiction, however the technology for them is quickly advancing and they are now part of today’s reality. The FOVE Virtual Reality Headset on Kickstarter has made quite a splash and was funded in a mere 72 hours! FOVE is the first eye tracking virtual reality headset, which means that it tracks a user’s gaze and calculates where in 3D space a user is looking. This enables the graphics engine to adjust focus and allocate rendering resources accordingly.

With FOVE you can…

  • Aim With Your Eyes. Simply target, aim and shoot with true line-of-sight targeting.
  • Make Eye Contact. Look, laugh and communicate with virtual characters just like in the real world.
  • Focus Your Vision. View realistic scenery that blurs and sharpens, reacting to where you are focusing.
  • Move Naturally. Tilt your head to reduce simulation sickness by reducing the need for unnatural head movements.

“FOVE enables eye-tracking by incorporating custom small form-factor infrared sensors inside the headset. These sensors bounce light off the retina to register how the eyes are angled. Our unique algorithms can calculate the parallax between the eyes to track and measure depth-of-field focus.” The technology behind this virtual reality headset make is great for gaming but the technology goes far beyond that as well… “Eye Play the Piano is a collaborative project between the University of Tsukuba’s Special Needs Education School for the Physically Challenged and FOVE. FOVE recognizes eye movement and blinks to trigger the selected chord, which is then conveyed to the piano.” (You can view a video of the children in action playing the piano on the FOVE Kickstarter page.)

Virtual reality is the future of storytelling and this technology has far reaching capabilities. If you are interested in learning more about the technology behind FOVE, check out the Kickstarter page; It is full of videos, renderings and fascinating VR technology information. You can also visit the official company website.

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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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