Tag Archives: BusinessWeek

Video: Will 3D Printing Kill Manufacturing Growth in Asia?

Asia Manufacturing 3D Printing

In the video below, Bloomberg Businessweek shares 3D printing trends, including key highlights:

  • The rapid drop in prices for 3D printers is increasing adoption.
  • Public company performance. For example, 3D Systems stock is up 200%.
  • The potential “black swan” impact on Asia manufacturing.

The reporter draws an analogy to the early 1980s when personal computers started to become mainstream.

The key question: will 3D printers kill manufacturing growth in Asia? A UBS analyst believes 3D printing will tilt the economic advantage back toward the U.S. and other western countries.

Watch the full video below, or go to Bloomberg Businessweek:

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Shenzhen, China photo by mwiththeat used under Creative Commons license.

MakerBot CEO Bre Pettis is 3D Printing’s First Celebrity

Bre Pettis, MakerBot CEO

Congratulations to MakerBot CEO Bre Pettis for being called “3D Printing’s First Celebrity” by Bloomberg BusinessWeek! We are sure that fame is not his key driver, but it’s great to see him getting recognition for being a pioneer in consumer 3D printers.

MakerBot has received more than $10 million in venture capital from a huge variety of sources and has put that money to good work so far. Pettis is just about the only 3D printing celebrity—holding his own, for example, during an appearance on The Colbert Report last June. Using a hand-held laser scanner, Pettis captured a three-dimensional image of Stephen Colbert’s head and then printed it on the spot. “We no longer have to rely on the Chinese for our plastic pieces of crap,” Colbert said. “Because what’s cheaper than a Chinese worker? A robot.” Pettis also presented Colbert with a chimera, fusing Colbert’s head to the body of an eagle, perched atop the dome of the Capitol Building.


Read the full editorial at Bloomberg BusinessWeek.

Bre Pettis photo from bre pettis used under Creative Commons license.

3D Printed Legs: Giving Amputees the Power of Personal Expression

3D Printed Prosthetic Leg

The mission at San Francisco-based Bespoke Innovations is to bring more humanity to people who have experienced the loss of a limb, simply stated on their website as: “Because Every Body is Different.”

Founded in 2009 by an Industrial Designer and an Orthopedic Surgeon, Bespoke is part of the movement towards individualized and innovative medicine. Again, from their website:

Each of our bodies is unique, as are our tastes and styles. Humans are anything but one-size-fits-all, and we want to recognize that fact. We achieve this by creating products that allow our clients to personalize their prosthetic legs. Our hope is to enable our clients to emotionally connect with their prosthetic limbs, and wear them confidently as a form of personal expression. Our products turn something ordinary into something amazing.

3D Printed Prosthetic Leg


Bespoke shares a case study of a woman named Deborah:

In 2004, Deborah lost her lower leg in a motorcycle accident, changing her life from that moment forward. Initially, Deborah was fitted with a standard prosthetic limb in order to regain some of the basic functionality from her life before. Later, she purchased a ‘running leg’ and resumed competitive running through the Challenged Athletes Foundation. She now swims regularly, runs in marathons and is currently training for her first triathlon.

Although the prosthetic limb returned much of the mobility and activity to her life, the titanium hardware and mechanical fittings comprising the new leg simply could not represent her individuality or uniqueness. In 2010, Deborah met with Bespoke Innovations, who presented her with the opportunity to have a custom ‘Fairing’ made. The Fairing, a product that results from a process developed by Bespoke, recreates Deborah’s unique body shape, while allowing her to express her personal style and fashion sense.

How it Works

Bespoke Fairings™ are custom coverings for an existing prosthetic leg, precisely designed to fit the body through 3D scanning technology, and 3D printed to express personality and individuality never before possible. Fairings typically sell for under $5,000.

The video below shows the 3D printing process.

Bespoke has been featured in Bloomberg BusinessWeek and other major publications.

Below is video from Mashable discussing the design and customization process.



Top 3D Printing Headlines from Last Week: Crowdfunding, Fashion, 123D, $500 Printer

Seed of Yggdrasil - 3D Printed

A roundup of the top news On 3D Printing brought you from April 23 to April 29.

Monday, April 23

Tuesday, April 24

Wednesday, April 25

Thursday, April 26

Friday, April 27

3D Printing Blossoms into the Mainstream – BusinessWeek Special Report

3D Printing Blossoms into the Mainstream

BusinessWeek has published a special report on 3D printing, adding to the growing list of mainstream publications that are writing about this emerging disruptive technology.

First, the author takes us into the home of 14-year-old Riley Lewis, whose father purchased a 3D printing kit for $1500 so that Riley and his friends could spend the weekends in the garage making whatever cool new products they wanted.

Riley and his friends have accepted as a mundane fact that computer designs can be passed among friends, altered at will, and then brought to life by microwave oven-size machines. The RapMan is a crude approximation of far more expensive and sophisticated prototyping machines used by corporations, much in the same way that hobbyist PCs were humble mimics of mainframe computers. Riley and his dad, David, spent 32 hours putting together a 3D printer from a $1,500 hobbyist kit.

The article also shares with us the history of 3D printing, which is older than most people think.

The ability to print physical objects wasn’t invented in Silicon Valley or some well-funded corporate research lab. It originated about 30 years ago in Southern California, where Chuck Hull was working for a modest-size manufacturer called Ultra Violet Products, or UVP. An engineer and physicist by training, Hull helped steer the development of the company’s ultraviolet-light curable resins, which were used to add protective coatings to furniture and other surfaces. Always a tinkerer, Hull began experimenting after hours with laying down numerous coats of the resin to make plastic models.

Finally, contemporary companies from MakerBot to 3D Systems to Amazon to Mercedes to Microsoft and beyond are profiled for their use, or speculative future use, of 3D printing technology.

Already companies such as Mercedes (DAI), Honda (HMC), Boeing (BA), and Lockheed Martin (LMT) use 3D printers to fashion prototypes or to make parts that go into final products. The technology has broadened out to attract vacuum maker Oreck and Invisalign, which produces custom braces for teeth. Microsoft also uses a 3D printer to help design computer mice and keyboards.

Great research! Enjoyed the article.

Via BusinessWeek.