Tag Archives: 3D Printer
3D Printing Network Shares 3D Printer Usage Across 200 Cities
3D Hubs, the world’s largest network of 3D printers with over 1,100 printing locations across 200 cities, has publicly shared a report of how 3D printing is being used and which 3D printers, materials and colors are most popular.
“3D printing is a disruptive technology that people are beginning to embrace, and given our unique position within the sector, we thought it would be interesting to highlight emerging trends we’ve started to see on the 3D Hubs network,” said Brian Garret, CTO and co-founder of 3D Hubs.
Out of 1,100 printers in the 3D Hubs network, Ultimaker and MakerBot are the brands signed up most. Ultimaker is taking the lead in Europe and MakerBot in the USA. They are mainly used to make prototypes and all kinds of gadgets, such as customized smartphone and camera cases. White is the preferred color, followed by blue, red and green.
Highlights of the 3D Hubs Trend Report
Sourcing from their actual order data, 3D Hubs has given the market insight into actual 3D printing activity. Here are some highlights:
- 3D printer brands: Ultimaker and MakerBot currently account for a combined 40.4 percent of the more than 1,100 3D printers on the 3D Hubs network, followed by RepRap (11 percent) and Prusa Mendel (7.3 percent) amongst others. MakerBot leads in the United States and Ultimaker leads in Europe.
- Prototypes: The number one use case is still prototypes, however more and more end products have begun to be printed. Gadgets, phone accessories, gifts, toys and fashion items like jewelry currently make up more than half of the platforms’ print jobs.
- Colors and materials: Given that desktop printers represent 90 percent of the 3D Hubs network, it is not surprising that plastics like ABS and PLA make up about 80 percent of the 3D printer materials available. Other popular materials include nylon, wood and flexible rubber-like materials. Customers can order these materials in a variety of different colors, however, white is currently the most offered color (15.7 percent), followed by blue (14.5 percent), red (14.1 percent), and green (12.9 percent). More exotic colors are also being offered including gold, silver and glow-in-the-dark colors.
You can quickly browse through the charts in the report below, or read the full 3D Hubs Trend Report at http://www.3dhubs.com/trends.
How 3D Hubs Works
The majority of 3D printer owners use their device less than 10 hours a week, and 3D Hubs harnesses the remaining 95 percent idle time. Printer owners earn money when their 3D printer is not in use, and simultaneously establish social connections within their local 3D maker community.
3D printer owners simply join the Hubs listing in their city to offer 3D printing services in their neighborhood. Each Hub decides how much money it wants to earn, and sets its own start-up price for a 3D print, plus additional fee charges for each cubic centimeter of material used.
3D Hubs performs a 3D model repair check using Netfabb cloud software for each order to ensure the uploaded 3D-model is watertight, automatically repairs it if necessary, and once the 3D-model passes inspection, the order is processed and forwarded to the Hub. 3D Hubs adds a 15 percent commission (excluding any applicable taxes) on top of the price entered for each customer quote, processes the order, and collects the payment.
Customers use 3D Hubs to locate 3D printer owners in their neighborhood, and then order and pick up sustainable, locally printed objects in a matter of days instead of weeks – something that sets 3D Hubs apart from centralized 3D printing services.
Based in Amsterdam and founded in April 2013 by two former 3D Systems employees, 3D Hubs is a privately held company backed by Balderton Capital and Rockstart Accelerator.
Watch this video to learn more about how 3D Hubs works:
Radiant Fabrication Announces Lionhead, an All-In-One 3D Scanner and 3D Printer, Coming to Market in October
What Apple’s iTunes did for music, Wisconsin-based Radiant Fabrication is hoping to do for 3D printing. In 2001, Apple debuted it’s “Rip. Mix. Burn.” ad campaign which featured a young man asking famous musicians from a broad array of genres if they could perform for his mixed CD. With it’s new CD-RW hardware and iTunes software, Apple made it easy for anyone to rip a library of CDs, then select a variety of tracks and burn a new mix. Below is Apple’s 2001 ad.
Fast forward to 2013, when copy-and-paste of real-world objects is slowly becoming a reality thanks to technology like the MakerBot Digitizer Desktop 3D Scanner and Fuel3D Handheld 3D Scanner. But there is still a problem: getting a design from 3D scanner to 3D printer.
Introducing Lionhead All-In-One 3D Scanner and 3D Printer
Today, Radiant Fabrication announced Lionhead™, the first consumer-level 3D printer to incorporate printing and 3D scanning into a single device packaged with Radiant Li™, an intuitive and powerful 3D modeling software.
“We created the Lionhead and Li to streamline the 3D printing experience, allowing consumers to model, edit, print, and scan from one piece of software and hardware,” said Nathan Patterson, Radiant’s co-founder and president. “Together, it means that consumers spend less time and money learning complex software packages and maintaining their printer, and more time using and refining their ideas.”
The Lionhead is designed to be reliable, easy to use, and faster by automating common tasks and printing with multiple printheads simultaneously. The included Radiant Li editor uses controls similar to popular video games, like Minecraft, to make creating and modifying models simple and intuitive. For the first time, an integrated scanner and Li software simplifies recreating and modifying real world objects. Users can press the Scan button, place an object on the Lionhead printing platform, and close the doors. In a few minutes, a copy of the object will be ready in Li for any improvements to be made and one click of the Print button starts the printing process.
“While the market for 3D printing is estimated to triple by 2018, 3D printing adoption has been limited to engineers, designers, and hobbyists due to a steep learning curve,” a company spokesperson said. “Users have needed strong technical knowledge and skills to model objects using complex software such as Maya or SolidWorks and then print and maintain their 3D printers. Today, Radiant Fabrication is making 3D fabrication accessible by providing a complete and seamless 3D printing, scanning, and modeling workflow.”
If successful, the Lionhead’s simplified approach could broaden adoption of 3D technology, giving a large base of non-technical consumers a way to access the world of 3D printing, much in the way that Apple created an onramp for non-technical users to build digital libraries of music.
Here’s a photo gallery of the Lionhead Bunny, with front doors both open and closed.
Going to the Bank of Kickstarter
Like other companies before it, Radiant Fabrication is going to the bank of Kickstarter, i.e., crowdfunding, to raise money for bringing its initial systems to market.
The company will launch its Kickstarter campaign this month to introduce its printer/scanner to the SMB and consumer markets, gather user feedback, and raise funds to expedite delivery of enhanced full production systems. Upon reaching its Kickstarter goal, Radiant Fabrication will start shipping Lionhead Bunny (beta) systems in October 2013.
Radiant Fabrication will offer their four printhead Lionhead Bunny (beta) printer/scanners for $1,649.
3D Scanning and 3D Design
In the video below, company president Nathan Patterson demonstrates how 3D design works in their voxel-based software Radiant Li, available for Mac and Windows.
And in this next video, Patterson shows off the 3D scanner baked into Lionhead.
The product uses silhouette scanning, which takes photos at different angles and compares to a calibration photo to build the 3D model. Voxels are created at 0.5mm resolution. The scan literally takes less than 1 minute as shown in the video.
Learn more at www.radiantfabrication.com.
Bukito 3D Printer is Portable, Affordable and Fast
Last year, Diego Porqueras from Deezmaker launched a Kickstarter campaign for the Bukobot 3D printer and raised $167,410 from 290 backers, or an average of $577 per backer. With that successful track record, Diego’s team has launched a new campaign for the portable and affordable Bukito 3D printer.
What is the “Bukito”?
Industrial 3D printers are massive machines. While desktop 3D printers like the MakerBot Replicator 2 are much smaller, they are still far from portable.
The Bukito is a sturdy, fast and portable 3D printer. It has 100 micron resolution, speeds up to 150 mm per second, and can be taken anywhere. Think about taking your 3D printer to school for projects, the local coffee shop, a friend’s house, on a family roadtrip, or even library (yes, it’s quiet enough).
Deezmaker is looking to raise $54,000 in crowdfunding on Kickstarter. With 32 days to go, they have already raised $38,094 from 84 backers, or $454 per backer. To get the Bukito 3D printer kit, the minimum pledge is $549.
Watch the video below to learn more about the new Bukito portable 3D printer.
Hat tip to Hack Things who also covered this story.
Amazon Gets Into 3D Printing
E-commerce behemoth Amazon.com has thrown its weight in support at 3D printing.
Over the last week they have begun to roll out a 3D printing category, listing 3D printers, parts, supplies and software.
3D printers include:
- MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer
- FlashForge 3D printer, dual extruder w/2 ABS spools
- Afinia 3D Printer H-Series
- Cubify Cube 3d Printer Silver (2nd Generation) Latest One
- Mbot Cube 3d Printer Dual Head
- Airwolf 3D Printer AW3D V.5 + 1 LB Filament Assembled Prusa Reprap Repstrap
- FelixRobotics BV, 100 040.0, Felix 2.0 Complete DIY 3D printer kit
- and more
It’s exciting to see Amazon getting behind 3D printing!
Enterprise-Class 3D Printer Prices to Drop Below $2,000 by 2016, Gartner Reports
In a new report. Gartner says early adopters of 3D printing technology will gain an innovation advantage over rivals.
3D printing is disrupting the design, prototyping and manufacturing processes in a wide range of industries, according to Gartner, Inc. Enterprises should start experimenting with 3D printing technology to improve traditional product design and prototyping, with the potential to create new product lines and markets. 3D printing will also become available to consumers via kiosks or print-shop-style services, creating new opportunities for retailers and other businesses.
“3D printing is a technology accelerating to mainstream adoption,” said Pete Basiliere, research director at Gartner. “It is a technology of great interest to the general media, with demonstrations on science shows, on gadget websites and in other areas. From descriptions of exciting current uses in medical, manufacturing and other industries to futuristic ideas — such as using 3D printers on asteroids and the moon to create parts for spacecraft and lunar bases — the hype leads many people to think the technology is some years away when it is available now and is affordable to most enterprises.”
The material science behind 3D printing processes and materials will continue to progress, and affordable 3D printers are lowering the cost of entry into manufacturing in the same way that e-commerce lowered the barriers to the sale of goods and services. As a result, the 3D printer market will continue moving from niche adoption to broad acceptance, driven by lower printer prices, the potential for cost and time savings, greater capabilities, and improved performance that drives benefits and markets.
“Businesses must continuously monitor advances to identify where improvements can be leveraged,” said Mr. Basiliere. “We see 3D printing as a tool for empowerment, already enabling life-changing parts and products to be built in struggling countries, helping rebuild crisis-hit areas and leading to the democratization of manufacturing.”
3D printing is already established in industries ranging from automotive manufacturing to consumer goods to the military, as well as the medical and pharmaceutical industries. Businesses can use 3D printing to design personalized products, components, working prototypes and architectural models to promote their brand and products in new and interactive ways. Indeed, there are opportunities to create entirely new product lines in which the finished 3D-printed product is what the consumer purchases.
3D printers are now priced so that any size business can invest in them and start experimenting with the myriad ways to monetize them. By 2016, enterprise-class 3D printers will be available for under $2,000. Early adopters can experiment with 3D printers with minimal risk of capital or time, possibly gaining an advantage in product design and time to market over their competition, as well as understanding the realistic material costs and time to build parts. Furthermore, enterprise uses for 3D printers have expanded as capabilities of 3D scanners and design tools have advanced, and as the commercial and open-source development of additional design software tools has made 3D printing more practical. Gartner believes that the commercial market for 3D print applications will continue expanding into architectural, engineering, geospatial and medical uses, as well as short-run manufacturing.
Major multinational retailers have the means to market the technology to consumers and generate revenue by selling printers and supplies, as well as from sales of individual 3D-printed pieces. One vision is for the retailers to not only sell the printers, but also offer a service bureau that prints custom items or personalized variations on stock items, a key consumer trend.
Another possibility is for roving display vans to visit the retailer’s stores. Customers would visit these self-contained vans parked in front of the store that contain two or three operating printers and watch parts being made (including possibly their own personalized 3D item). Alternatively, the consumer could order the custom or personalized part to be made while they are shopping, or to be available for pickup the next day.
More detailed analysis is available in the report “How 3D Printing Disrupts Business and Creates New Opportunities.” The report is available on Gartner’s website at http://www.gartner.com/resId=2373415.