Tag Archives: Amazon
In the video below, Andy Greenberg from Forbes interviews Shapeways Evangelist Duann Scott onsite at their New York factory. Scott answers questions ranging from technical to strategic.
Highlights of the interview:
- Shapeways uses Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) to get finer resolution and more flexibility than fused deposition modeling (FDM) can offer.
- Scott does not see home 3D printers as competition; to the contrary, people with 3D printers at home will become better designers, testing their iterative concepts at home and then looking to a marketplace like Shapeways for the final product.
- Shapeways also enables customers to sell their designs and print in a multitude of materials.
- They built their factory in New York to be close to their customers.
See why Duann Scott calls Shapeways the “Amazon of 3D printing” in the video below.
Here are the top 10 most popular stories On 3D Printing brought you in October 2012.
Thanks for reading in October!
Bill Gates photo by MATEUS_27:24&25 used under Creative Commons license.
A roundup of the top news On 3D Printing brought you from October 23 to October 26.
Tuesday, October 23
Friday, October 26
Will Amazon adopt 3D printing and actually manufacture goods they sell? That’s the question discussed in an article at the Commerce Times.
Why would Amazon be interested in 3D printing? My guess that Amazon might be interested is because it is currently adding warehouses throughout the United States with a not-so-long-term goal of being able to offer same-day delivery to its customers. With warehouses strategically located throughout the country, it would be able to set up 3D printing facilities within them, thus making three-dimensional products (manufactured products) conveniently available to major population centers.
With 3D printing, Amazon would merely have to “manufacture” products as the orders come in: no inventory, no storage, and no fuss. This would be somewhat similar to how Amazon revolutionized the publishing business. With 3D printing, Amazon could conceivably become the leader of another Industrial Revolution.
Google acquired upstart SketchUp in 2006, made the product free, and drove tens of millions of users. Now Google is selling the SketchUp product and staff to Trimble, a company best known for GPS technology.
On the SketchUp blog, John Bacus, Product Manager, SketchUp wrote:
In its time at Google, SketchUp has become one of the most popular 3D modeling tools in the world. With over 30 million SketchUp activations in just the last year, we’re awfully proud of our accomplishments. But there’s still so much we want to do, and we think we’ve found a way forward that will benefit everyone—our product, our team and especially our millions of users.
That’s why I’m sharing today that the SketchUp team and technology will be leaving Google to join Trimble. We’ll be better able to focus on our core communities: modelers who have been with us from the beginning, as well as future SketchUppers who have yet to discover our products.
Why Did Google Sell SketchUp?
The simple answer is focus. As founder and new CEO Larry Page wrote in his 2012 update to investors, ”Since becoming CEO again, I’ve pushed hard to increase our velocity, improve our execution, and focus on the big bets that will make a difference in the world.”
SketchUp apparently is not included in Google’s big bets.
Good Move by Trimble
Google made the investment to turn SketchUp into a popular software platform. Trimble can capitalize on that brand. Trimble announced in a press release that SketchUp would “enhance its office-to-field platform”.
Trimble will also continue to partner with Google on running and the SketchUp 3D warehouse, an online repository where users find and collaborate on 3D models. And Trimble will keep offering a free version of SketchUp.
“SketchUp and the corresponding 3D Warehouse provide an important element of our long term strategy by enhancing the integration of our field presence with the wider enterprise,” said Bryn Fosburgh, Trimble vice president.
Did Google Make a Mistake?
Google’s move is surprising to those who believe 3D printing is at an inflection point and will be a disruptive force on our global supply chain by empowering a new generation of product creators.
We reviewed Autodesk 123D, Sketchup and Tinkercad and later featured Anarkik3D, a crowdfunding hopeful. Although SketchUp was not necessarily the best design software for 3D printing, it was one of the most popular free 3D design software packages on the planet and inspired many people to get into design. Google has now lost that audience.
We have previously suggested that giants like Amazon would get into the 3D printing field. It would surprise us if Google stayed out of the industry altogether.
Perhaps SketchUp was too technical of a product for the mainstream. Should we prepare for a new 3D modeling software from Google? A web-based 123D of their own? Or perhaps a different play.
Impact on 3D Printing?
Not much today, as summarized by Fabbaloo:
Is this a big change for 3D print operators? We think not so much, because SketchUp just isn’t the best tool for modeling solid objects. It doesn’t even output the STL format used by all 3D printers unless you install a special plug in.
But the long term impact depends on whether Google re-enters the 3D printing field with a new product.
Photo by Scott Beale / Laughing Squid, used under Creative Commons license.