Tag Archives: Forbes

Our Detailed Guide to CES 2013: Welcome to the Year of 3D Printing!

CES 3D Printing 2013

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) opens this week in Las Vegas. This year will include over 20,000 products from more than 3,000 exhibitors.

CBS News highlighted 3D printing as one of the key trends at CES this year, along with Ultra HD and mobile computing.

MarketBot, 3D Systems Corp and Sculpteo are among a handful of companies that make 3D printers that will be showing off new products at CES 2013, Scientific American reports. As home 3D printers become more affordable, the community of enthusiasts also continues to grow. Cracking the mass consumer market may be the next step for manufacturers of 3D printers.

“The consumer space is a key market for 3D and small steps have been made in this space via hobbyists and model makers in arts and craft projects and self-employed designers,” Accenture senior executive Kumu Puri writes in a blog post for Forbes.


Here is our list of the top exhibitors showing their latest developments in 3D printing.

3D Systems

Since 1986 3D Systems has transformed entire industries with powerful 3D content-to-print tools. The company intends to democratize access to affordable 3D content-to-print solutions for professionals and consumers. Launched last year at CES, Cubify is 3D System’s consumer zone (www.cubify.com).

Booths: LVCC, Central Hall - 15447, Venetian Ballroom - 71003

See our coverage on 3D Systems.

3D Printed Guitar by 3D Systems



Afinia will be showing it’s award winning 3D printer, and full line of ABS filament. Our H series 3D printer was voted “Best Overall Experience” in the recent make magazine 3D printer shootout. Live 3D printing demonstrations will be held continuously during the day.

Booth: LVCC, South Hall 4 - 36388

See our coverage on Afinia.

Afinia H-Series 3D Printer


Delta Micro Factory Corp.

Maker of popular personal 3D printer, Up! Series.

Booth: Venetian Ballroom - 70524

See our coverage on UP! 3D printers.



The Form 1 is the first truly high-resolution, low-cost desktop 3D printer, achieving professional quality at a price individual designers and engineers can afford. Our technology fills the gap between low-quality hobbyist machines and high-end printers that cost tens of thousands of dollars.

Booth: LVCC, South Hall 4 - 35160

See our coverage on Formlabs.

3D Printing Broad Horizons



Kraftwurx is the worlds original platform for 3D printing in the cloud. Showcase, buy, sell and create virtually anything you can imagine in 70 materials and worldwide shipping. Based in Houston, TX, our mission is to empower everyone for custom-made goods and empower manufacturing to deliver it.

Booth: Venetian, Lvl 3 - 74411

See our coverage on Kraftwurx.

Solar Photovoltaic Film


Makerbot Industries

MakerBot® is a global leader in desktop 3D printing with engineers, entrepreneurs, and people who just like to make things. Honored as Popular Mechanics “Overall Winner” for best 3D printer, Time Magazine’s Best Inventions of 2012, and Fast Company 2012 Innovation by Design Awardee.

Booth: LVCC, South Hall 3 - 32025

See our coverage on MakerBot.

MakerBot GrabCAD 3D Printing Challenge



Sculpteo offers a fully online 3D printing service – from the upload of your 3D model to the final object – designed to make this new technology easy and accessible to all. In addition to affiliates, Sculpteo, has its own 3D printing facilities in France for R&D purpose.

Booth: LVCC, South Hall 2 - 26111

See our coverage on Sculpteo.

3D Printing Infographic Future of Manufacturing


Stratasys, Ltd.

Stratasys is a leading manufacturer of 3D printers and production systems for prototyping and manufacturing applications, recently merging with Objet to create leader in 3D printing and direct digital manufacturing.

Booth: LVCC, South Hall 4 - 35463

See our coverage on Stratasys and Objet.

Stratasys Mojo 3D Printing System


You can setup your own CES itinerary at the MyCES website.

See you at CES!

Video: Inside Shapeways Factory, the Amazon of 3D Printing

Shapeways logo

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.



Via Forbes.

3D Printing Industry Growth: Forbes Incorrectly Says $52B by 2020

Infographic How 3D Printing Works Preview

In an article by Forbes contributor Jennifer Hicks, a new high-water mark is set for the expected growth of the 3D printing industry: $52 billion by 2020.

Take for example,  3D printing, a market that’s growing so fast that people can’t keep up. It’s market potential is around $1.3 billion and expected to grow to $52 billion by 2020. That’s a 300 percent growth. The cost of a 3D printer started at $400,000 and today you can get one for around $2,199 (via Makerbot). What if, says Ismail (who incidentally was wearing a 3D printed belt) you combined 3D printing, robots and the housing industry?

Unfortunately that figure is off by a factor of 10. The actual projected industry growth is $3 billion by 2018 and $5.2 by 2020, both figures we published over the last few months. Sorry, Forbes, we would love to see the industry growing to $50 billion, but it probably won’t happen by 2020.


3D Printing iPhones in America: Disrupting Foxconn’s Assembly Line

Foxconn iPhone 3D Printing

Forbes contributor Baizhu Chen writes about economics with an emphasis on the US and China. He recently wrote an article about how the US could take back manufacturing from China and the implications of that move.

This article was a reversal on an earlier stance where he said that US doesn’t make iPhones because we don’t want to. Here was is original logic:

America does not produce iPhones here because we, the average middle-class American family, demand that Apple outsource its production to China. The 10 largest shareholders of Apple are all either mutual funds or institutions. The largest shareholder is Fidelity, and the second Vanguard. If Apple is not able to generate good returns for the average American, we will punish these mutual funds by moving our retirement money to somewhere else. So who decides to locate the manufacturing bases of Apple, Dell, and Nike to China or other countries? Average Americans, who seek high returns on their investments.

Mr. Chen published a revised point of view where he explained how 3D printing technology will be the catalyst for disruption of this traditional low-wage assembly line work.

We can make iPhones in America, but not under today’s cost structure and technology. Lining up thousands of American workers in the 20th century style assembly line, doing repetitive work day in and day out, is not going to win manufacturing jobs back to America from developing nations. Making iPhones in America would require some great American creativity and productivity. This will become increasingly possible given the emerging new technology, especially the additive manufacturing which uses 3D printers turning layers of materials into solid objects.

But, a 3D printed manufacturing concept diverges from the classic scale economy model and becomes de-centralized.

3D printing technology overthrows the notion of a scale economy. Putting thousands of 3D printers in the same location will not improve cost competitiveness over scattering them in different places. Future manufacturing will be a very de-centralized process. 3D printers have become so cheap (personal 3D printers cost as low as less than $1000) that in the future, consumers can even produce their shoes, toys, kitchen wares at homes or a shop nearby. They can download the designs from the internet, tweak according to their tastes, and change the sizes for their own purposes. Future manufacturing no longer needs thousands of workers doing repetitive jobs in the same location.

The de-centralization of manufacturing therefore removes the need for hubs like China to produce everything.

The widespread use of 3D printing technology in manufacturing could lead to de-globalization of manufactured goods. In the past century, we have seen a globalization process in which companies allocate production sites in countries that make the most sense in terms of costs, far away from consumers. In this process, China and other developing nations have become the manufacturing hubs, producing products for consumer nations like the United States. The use of 3D printing technology will counter this globalization process, and could pull manufacturing away from China or other developing nations back to countries where products are consumed.

Ironically, now that low-wage jobs overseas can be replaced by local technology, high-skill design jobs can now be globalized and shipped overseas.

While manufacturing of goods could be localized with additive manufacturing, the professional services including engineering, design and intellectual protection will be globalized. This has a profound impact on redistribution of income among nations. America, leading in additive manufacturing technologies, will undoubtedly be the biggest winner in this process. American companies, not only can print “things” in local printing shops in America, but also in China for Chinese consumers using American designs. This could even reverse the trade balance between America and China.

Which means that America will not see a resurgence in assembly line jobs. To the contrary, the US will now face competition for skilled digital engineering and design jobs, and tomorrow’s engineers need to be trained with this in mind.

However, those hoping this process will generate a large number of manufacturing jobs in America will be disappointed. The additive manufacturing will not bring back 20th century assembly jobs to America. What is needed more for America’s future is engineers, designers, and IP lawyers. Politicians arguing for solving unemployment problem by bringing back iPhone assembly jobs are looking in the mirror backward. They should be moving forward by focusing on policies to improve our education to produce talents for future manufacturing.


Read the full article by Mr. Chen at Forbes.

3D Printing a Futuristic Airplane Cabin: Innovation at Airbus

3D Printing Airplane Cabin

Could you 3D print an airplane? Some engineers at Airbus seem to think so, at least by 2050 and with a really big 3D printer.

Bastian Schaefer, a cabin engineer with Airbus, has been working for the last two years on a concept cabin that envisions what the future of flight would look like from the passenger’s perspective. From that came a radical concept: build the aircraft itself from the ground up with a 3D printer that’s very large in deed, ie. as big as an aircraft hangar. That probably sounds like a long shot, since the biggest 3D printers today are about the size of a dining table. But the Airbus design comes with a roadmap, from 3D-printing small components now, through to the plane as a whole around 2050.

Why use 3D printing at all? Airbus parent EADS has been looking into using the process, known as additive layer manufacturing, for making aircraft for some time because it’s potentially cheaper, and can result in components that are 65% ligher than with traditional manufacturing methods. Airbus’ concept plane is also so dizzyingly complicated that it requires radical manufacturing methods: from the curved fuselage to the bionic structure, to the transparent skin that gives passengers a panoramic view of the sky and clouds around them.

The challenges are many. First, you need a 3D printer big enough to print airplane parts. Second, you need to incorporate precise, lightweight materials into the additive manufacturing construction. And third, this novel design needs to pass stringent regulation in the aviation industry.

Again the engineers are on the case.

EADS has been experimenting with 3D printing and famously printed an “Airbike” last year. Schaefer, who has been with Airbus for six years, started working on the transparent concept cabin project around the same time as the Airbike project in 2010, calling on colleagues from different departments at Airbus. “We have an opportunity to do something different,” he told them.

He and other industrial designers, tech- and trend-scouts started brainstorming and came up with the current, 3D printed concept design. He has around 10 people working on the project with him, including industrial designers and tech scouts, all trying to push the technology forward.

Below is a video showcasing the Airbus concept cabin, which incorporates many of these new design ideas.


Via Forbes.

Airplane cabin photo by WexDub used under Creative Commons license.