Motorola Mobility, a Google company, is building a 3D printed modular phone, and has partnered with 3D Systems for commercial fulfillment. More »

The Captured Dimensions pop-up studio was located in the Smithsonian Castle and featured approximately 80 digital cameras all connected to 3D software. More »

Microsoft expanded their support for 3D printing by launching a Windows 8 app called 3D Builder. It includes a library of objects you can edit and 3D print. More »

3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) announced the availability of the Sense 3D scanner, the first 3D scanner designed for the consumer and optimized for 3D printing. More »

With rumors circling that 3D Systems will be purchased by IBM, the stock soars. We look at why IBM might be interested in the 3D printing giant. More »

 

The Largest 3D Printing Event Worldwide Coming to NYC in Two Weeks – Get 10% OFF

In less than two weeks, Inside 3D Printing Conference and Expo will take over the Javits Convention Center in New York City for two full days of comprehensive programming, impressive exhibits, 3D printer giveaways, and more. The conference, which is expecting more than 3,000 attendees, will feature a startup competition, exhibits on 3D printing design and business, hands-on workshops, and more.

Session topics will explore the current state of the 3D printing industry, the capabilities of modern technologies, and what’s on the horizon for this exciting field. Comprehensive programming has been scheduled for April 3 and 4, including presentations titled “3D Printing, Past and Future,” “Virtual Surgical Planning in Craniofacial Surgery,” “How Professional Investors are Playing the 3D Printing Boom,” “Using 3D Printing to Eat Healthier,” and more. View the full agenda here.

3D1

With 3D printing DIY and design attracting growing interest, the conference has added a separate track of programming geared towards the Maker community. A special section of the exhibit floor has also been dedicated for art, fashion, and creativity within 3D printing. The Maker Summit and Pavilion will explore how even those who are new to 3D printing can use these technologies to craft and create objects.

We’re partnering with Inside 3D Printing NYC to offer 10% OFF full conference passes with code ON3DP. If you register before April 3 you’ll save an extra $300 on on-site prices. Click here to register now.

 

Inside 3D Printing will be hosting additional conferences this year in Seoul, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Santa Clara, and Milan. Click here to see the full world tour schedule.

Shapeways Celebrates Pi Day with 3D Printed Mathematical Art

3D printing marketplace Shapeways celebrated “Pi day”, March 14 or 3-14, by showcasing a collection of 3D printed mathematical art on their homepage.

There is the Pi Pendant for $64.75 by somersault18:24, the Escher Knot for $14.78 by ShapeKays, and the Rubenstein’s Cactus for $40.21 by henryseg, among many other designs inspired by mathematics.

Shapeways Pi Day Collection

Do you have a math teacher or math student in your life? Maybe you should head over to Shapeways and pick up one of these incredible and elegant designs.

Shapeways Pi Pendant

3D Print a Meme, Win Much Wow!

Facebooke has just turned tene last monthe. Amaze.

Such much has changed since the very beginning. Wow. Very much so good memes were posted on this social network. Much more wow will be if it will be three dee printed.

Alright, let’s get serious… Yes, Facebook has really turned 10 this month. Yes, it has changed a lot since 2004. It has become a tool for communication between people. It has changed even the way how people interact with each other.

Sharing is caring? Sharing is laughing! Internet memes – that is something that had become big during these 10 years. Of course, you have seen at least one of them online. (Probably, even more than one.) Jackie Chan? Beyonce? Anybody? Yeah, we see that troll face you are making!

3D printed memes

Ladies and gentlemen, it is time to see a meme in reality!

Make a 3D printable meme and get so much wow prizes from our sponsors for the best 3D printable model and portfolio. You and your friends will be a part of jury – likes and shares of your model will be counted as points. So, do not forget to share and promote your model online.

This is the latest competition from 3D printable model marketplace CGTrader. The winner will receive:

  • Tazz 3 3D printer from Lulzbot
  • 200 USD gift card to shop on Sculpteo
  • Promotional features of 3D printed design on Mashable
  • 100 USD gift card to shop on Protoparadigm
  • Filaments from 3D 2Print
  • 300 USD from CGTrader
  • CGTrader T-shirt

Plus prizes for the runners up. Visit CGTrader to learn more.

How 3D Printing Could Revolutionise Product Packaging

This is a guest post by Jonny Rowntree, whose bio is at the end of this article.

As one of the corporate and creative world’s most booming industries, product packaging and printing is constantly changing its nature, becoming more innovative and diverse with each advancement.

With printing processes such as offset, flexo, and digital printing, manufacturers and businesses are able to design a package print which is durable, protective, and visually appealing for a relatively substantial cost which sees positive results.

But what about experimenting with technologies like 3D printing?

3D Printed Product Packaging

Does this highly sophisticated and versatile development of the printing process have the potential to revolutionise the product packaging world, or at least one stage of the process? Critics may argue that until the technology becomes more mainstream, the method may be a little too mad – at least, cost-wise. But it’s also a technology which could be worth looking at for businesses.

The World of 3D

It’s not just riveting cinema action anymore – 3D has ventured into the homes and businesses of aspiring designers and developers, with some even patenting their own economical version of the printer, and leading national institutions holding their own exhibits on the technology. But how exactly does 3D printing work?

The technique itself is fairly straightforward, creating a solid image by process of accumulation or additive process, whereby differently shaped layers of material are laid down on top of one another. This varies from the subtractive processes of traditional printing methods which rely on cutting or drilling to reduce the material. The 3 main types are extrusion, granular, and light polymerised.

3D Printed Product Packaging

Beginning with virtual blueprints in STL, PLY, VRML or WRL file formats, which are created with software such as computer aided design (CAD) or animation modelling software, the images are divided into cross-sections and the machine binds these successive layers together on a build bed or platform. These are laid down using liquid, powder, paper or sheet material components which are then fused together to create the desired shape and size (determined by printer and X-Y resolution in dpi – dots per inch – or micrometers).

The time taken to print the model can range from hours to days, dependent on the project, with addictive systems resulting in greater versatility and quickest production time vs. injection moulding which provides a more economical method. During the final stages, sometimes additive processes are combined with subtractive processes which remove additional material creating a higher level of accuracy.

Due its incredibly adaptable nature and capability to print not only various shapes and sizes but print several colour combinations at once, 3D printing is quickly becoming the new alternative for businesses across the globe, commonly used for prototyping and distributed manufacturing in:

  • Architecture and construction (AEC)
  • Industrial design
  • Art and sculpture
  • Automotive and mechanics
  • Aerospace
  • Military
  • Engineering (most specifically civil)
  • Medical industries
  • Biotech
  • Education
  • Geographic information
  • Food industry
  • Fashion, footwear, and jewellery as well as several others.

With increasing accessibility to 3D printers and the freedom of open source 3D printing, more customers are able to effectively reduce costs in their business due to saving money on not using other printing techniques which may require several different machines and processes to produce one type of object, as well as the ability to print out solid objects which would otherwise be expensive to purchase.

Re-energizing the Art of Packaging

Inevitably, 3D printing provides the perfect venue for the creation of packaging, particularly flexible packaging. This field alone hails a large number of companies which specialise in developing software toolkits for businesses that use flexible packaging blueprints, modules and templates. A business can benefit from not having to combine traditional printing techniques, maintaining machines, or contracting printers, as well as saving on labour and resulting in a quicker turnaround time and more profit.

3D Printed Product Packaging

Businesses might question the quality of the product, asking whether the product will be safe and durable, as well as aesthetically appealing and marketable. These demands are met by customising 3D printers themselves as well as incorporating the concerns of a 3D printer into the initial design process.

There is a massive selection on the market which specialises in 3D printing machines, ranging from entry-level basic functionality to high-end, state of the art technology, catered to industry leaders and designers with new prototypes frequently developed. Though initially high in price, supply and demand is bringing it down gradually and as more packaging design is integrated into its function, more improvements will be made and will become accessible to businesses of varying sizes. In fact, this technology could eventually replace flexographic and offset printing in the future, if not make a considerable impact in the competition.

Eco-friendly? Getting there.

Like much of the new technology which is making waves across the packaging industry, 3D printing is becoming one of the more sustainable practices by reducing carbon footprint and using recycled materials and components which are treated carefully and meet regulation standard. By being able to produce an entire package, it saves the amount of resources which would typically go into the traditional printing techniques due to its ability to replicate other material, as well as eliminating the need to acquire and transfer materials between two different printing styles.

Most impressively, it also places considerably more capabilities into the hands of small businesses, who can produce their own packaging and in turn make a profit – a viable investment for years to come.

 

About the author: Jonny Rowntree is a freelance writer based in the North of England working with worldwide printing partner, Elanders UK.

3D Printing Week: Leonardo DiCaprio, Bulgaria, Design, Dollhouses

Here’s the top 3D printing news from last week.

Although Leonardo DiCaprio didn’t win an Oscar, there’s still a chance for him to take home his own golden statue thanks to 3D printing. The designer community at 3D printing marketplace CGTrader came up with a number of designs for Leonardo DiCaprio Oscar statues, paying homage to his role Jordan Belford in Wolf of Wall Street.

Figurine for Leo Oscar

Artec Group has announced a partnership with ScanSource, a value-added distribution company with more than $4 billion in sales.  Artec Group and ScanSource have signed a Master Distribution Agreement naming ScanSource as the main distributor for Artec Group in the USA.

3D printing marketplace Threeding has announced a partnership with the regional historical museum of Pernik, Bulgaria. Under the agreement, Threeding.com will 3D scan museum exhibits and sell the digital models on its website Threeding.com.

Matthew Terrell is a member of the Horizon research department at the University of Nottingham in the UK. Terrell is interested in the motivations of designers, animators and users of 3D modeling communities, inspired by the work of MIT Professor Eric von Hippel on lead-user theory. To further his research, Terrell is reaching out to the design community in an open questionnaire called Motivations in Online 3D Communities.

If you are at SXSW this year, try to find Shapeways. 3D printing marketplace Shapeways announced that they will be offering selfie scans at SXSW so you can 3D print your own mini-me.

Designers often look for inspiration from classic methods. A guest post profiles the latest bioprinting technique called “Block Cell Printing” which is inspired by centuries’ old Chinese woodblock printing.

Digital Dollhouse Acquired by 3D Systems

3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) continued its acquisition path with the purchase of Digital PlaySpace (DPS), a proprietary, innovative and immersive digital play platform that connects brands, retailers and consumers to 3D printable play activities. This 3D printed dollhouse maker was profiled at CES 2014.

Artec Group launched Shapify.Pro – a new version of its 3D-selfie technology designed for Microsoft Kinect owners – and a way to monetize 3D prints. The figurines are exact replicas of what is scanned by Kinect, 3D printed in monochrome or color plastic at 1/20th actual height.