Tag Archives: Hod Lipson

10 Principles of 3D Printing – Presentation by Melba Kurman

Industry Analyst Presents Key Principles of 3D Printing

Melba Kurman is a former Microsoft product manager turned author and technology analyst who has been writing about 3D printing for the last 3 years. She co-authored Fabricated: The New World of 3D Printing with Cornell professor Hod Lipson, which was published earlier this year.

At the Inside 3D Printing conference in San Jose, Ms. Kurman delivered a presentation called The 10 Principles of 3D Printing.

Melba Kurman Principles of 3D Printing

The overall theme of the talk is that 3D printing is an ecosystem that is disruptive to the limits of design, but not a technology that is going to take away jobs. Rather, 3D printing is going to open up the doors for revolutionizing design and manufacturing by making complexity free.

Below are the 10 Principles of 3D Printing by Melba Kurman:

1. One 3D printer makes many shapes - Just upload a file and the 3D printer will take over. The 3D printer can print whatever is defined by the file, in contrast to single-purpose machines of the industrial revolution era.

2. Small footprint manufacturing – Home 3D printers are small enough to sit on a desk but advanced enough to create truly functional objects. It doesn’t take a 3D printer the size of a showing printing an airplane wing with a small 3d printer
a man carrying the cube

3. No lead time from design to product – It used to take weeks for each step in the design and manufacturing process. Now just upload and 3D print.

4. Skill lies in the design, not the operator – While it’s still a skilled craft to 3D model and design, 3D printing now works with the push of a button. This ease of reproduction also comes with risks, such as 3D printed guns and IP infringement.

5. Less waste – The original trade name for 3D printing is “additive manufacturing,” because objects are created layer by layer rather than subtractive methods like milling. This process means that there is less waste as a by-product of production.

6. No assembly required – 3D printed objects are made in one single piece, even intricate designs with moving parts. This leads to more elegant products that are sturdier while relying less on an expansive supply chain and assembly.

3D printed bike chain Objet

7. Infinite blends of materials – New materials for 3D printing continue to become available, and even blending materials is now possible.

8. Duplicate, edit and copy physical objects – With advancements in 3D scanning technology like the MakerBot Digitizer, physical objects can be digitally captured and reproduced, physical copy-paste.

9. Unlimited design space – Traditional design constraints do not apply in 3D printing. Take for example, the 3D printed titanium jaw used as a personalized implant on a patient, or “biomimickry” art that takes inspiration from nature.

Dr. Ivo Lambrichts Displays 3D Printed Jaw

10. Manufacturing complexity is free – Historically, cost is correlated to complexity; more complex objects are more expensive. But with 3D printing, a complex structure (like the one pictured below) is equivalent in cost to physical block of material of the same volume. This has profound implications on pricing and the cost of personalization.

Melba Kurman Complexity is Free


Inventor of 3D Printing Scott Crump: “My Dreams Started in a Garage”

Inside 3D Printing Conference Kicks Off in San Jose

Alan Meckler, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of WebMediaBrands, welcomed the packed crowd to the Inside 3D Printing San Jose. “3D printing is not a device, but an ecosystem,” Meckler said, preparing the audience for 2 days of 3D printing experts from across the value chain.

Conference attendees have come from 38 states and 10 countries are represented, Meckler said.

This success is leading Meckler to continue his 3D printing conference world tour in Singapore, Seoul and Shenzhen over the next year. (Related: read our recap from Inside 3D Printing Chicago)

Alan Meckler Inside 3D Printing San Jose

Keynote by inventor of FDM, Scott Crump

Cornell professor Hod Lipson introduced Stratays’ co-founder S. Scott Crump, giving Mr. Crump credit for not only inventing key technology in 3D printing, but also seeing it through to build one of the biggest 3D printing companies in the industry.

Mr. Crump shared his personal story of inventing FDM (fused deposition modeling) in his garage with his wife Lisa in 1988, 25 years ago. His journey was initially a personal one. He wanted to create a toy froggy for his 2-year-old daughter. But he also had a broader vision of giving engineers the capability to create a physical object from a CAD file.

In 1992, Mr. Crump created the first operational 3D printer. He raised funding, developed a facility, and launched his company Stratasys.

Scott Crump Stratasys

Mr. Crump shared details about the scale of Stratasys. The company now has 24 different 3D printers, ranging from those designed for the home to prototyping to full production, and collectively those 3D printers use over 120 different output materials. These 3D printers range from $2,000 to over $600,000. Stratasys is always innovating, with over 560 patents pending or granted.

Stratasys, now combined with MakerBot, has sold over 50,000 3D printers (25,000 sold by MakerBot), and generated over $360 million in revenue last year.

Making a Difference

Perhaps the most passionate part of the presentation was Mr. Crump’s examples of how 3D printing is making a difference.

He shared the story of Emma, a toddler who was fitted with 3D printed magic arms to address a rare condition she was born with called arthrogryposis multiplex congenita. 3D printing literally gave Emma a second chance at life. (Related: read our article about Emma’s story)

Emma Magic Arms 3D Printing

In the long run, Mr. Crump said, everyone can benefit from 3D printing, whether you’re an engineer, jeweler, or investor. “My dreams started in the garage, where will yours start?” he concluded.



Inside 3D Printing Chicago Conference – A Full Retrospective

Inside 3D Printing Chicago

Inside 3D Printing Chicago – What We Saw

Looking ahead to the next Inside 3D Printing conference in San Jose (September 17-18, 2013), we’ve identified some of the key takeaways from the most recent Inside 3D Printing Conference and Expo in Chicago.  The below summary lays out both what we learned during the conference about recent developments in the 3D printing (additive manufacturing) revolution and some of the core challenges still facing the industry.  Through their insightful remarks, Inside 3D Printing’s speakers made clear that this technology is capable of unleashing human creativity beyond the limits of what we consider possible today.

Inside 3D Printing Chicago

Professor Hod Lipson emphasized during his lecture that the future of 3D printing is one of portable, instant manufacturing where complexity is free, and we can create any object we are capable of imagining with zero constraints and zero lead time.  Prof. Lipson’s lecture, along with keynotes by industry heavyweights and a range of tutorial presentations, made clear that the industry continues to make significant strides forward.

Among these positive developments is the fact that, according to Lipson, better, cheaper and faster machines continue to be introduced in a wider range of materials.  Conference exhibitors presented machines capable of printing in alternative materials like copy paper, wood, and rubber-like plastic materials, among many others.  Speakers also emphasized that makers and scholars are working to increase the use of natural raw materials in 3D printing processes, which now include sawdust, salt and wood, among others.  It is also possible to print in more environmentally friendly materials such as bioplastics and in live materials such as human cells.

It is also worth noting that today’s 3D printers can print functional parts in multiple materials seamlessly and with no assembly required.  These parts have already met with a wide range of applications, including engine parts, prosthetics and outer casings for electronic components, among others.  Prof. Lipson anticipates that future printers will be able to create and combine new forms of materials, as well as print integrated systems containing electrical and later digital components.

3D Printed Fashion Dita Von Teese

Importantly, 3D printing has allowed designers to consider a new approach to design.  Inside 3D Printing made clear that the concept of “design for manufacture” is starting to fade with the onset of 3D printing.  Conference presenters Isaac Katz, Michael Schmidt and Francis Bitonti noted that artists and designers are now able to design and 3D print virtually any geometric structure their minds can conjure.  This ability, when paired with the high precision capability of virtual effects and CAD software, now allows designers and makers to think about creating as nature does.  The ultimate impact of this exciting development is that the objects we make can now reflect the organic, layered, fluid and undulating structures found in nature – structures that would be cost prohibitive or impossible to make otherwise.

Inside 3D Printing also provided an opportunity for Michael Raphael of Direct Dimensions to update participants on the impressive capability of 3D scanning technologies.  Raphael noted that, 3D scanning technology has also seen ”massive change” over the past three years thanks to the growth of the 3D printing industry and other technologies like smartphones and GPS.  Scanning equipment has become more powerful, portable, and affordable.  In the past three years, the price of high end scanning equipment has decreased dramatically, with gear that formerly carried a price tag of over $100,000 now available for purchase for under $1,000.  Mobile and video game applications like 123D Catch and Microsoft Kinect have also made 3D scanning technology more widely available and this trend is expected to continue with the release of the Kinect 2.  Applications for 3D scanning technologies are also wide ranging, from current uses in high definition surveying to potential future uses in mass customer apparel.

Avi Reichental Keynote Inside 3D Printing Chicago

At Inside 3D Printing Chicago, attendees were able to watch industry leaders engage the market in new ways.  For example, 3D Systems CEO Avi Reichental announced during his keynote speech a new strategic alliance with Deloitte to assist companies in adopting 3D printing design and manufacturing solutions.  Disney Entrepreneur in Residence Cydni Tetro also evaluated the role of 3D printing in retail and illustrated how the Disney Company has applied 3D printing technology to create premium retail experiences like the “Carbon-Freeze Me Experience,” which allows Star Wars fans to purchase a 3D printed image of themselves appearing to be frozen in carbonite.

In addition to highlighting these and many other exciting developments in the industry, Inside 3D Printing also raised a number of questions about the future of the technology and its impact on existing processes.  As the technology develops, 3D Printing has identified several key questions for industry participants to consider moving forward:

  1. How will materials experts within the industry, as well as the maker community, continue to harness the technology into practical applications and make it widely accessible?
  2. What will be the environmental impact of 3D printing, and how will the ability to print objects in more varied and earth-friendly materials develop?
  3. What will be the social impact of this technology?

Ultimately, despite the naysayers, Inside 3D Printing provided an opportunity for speakers, exhibitors and attendees to share their progress, identify key priorities, and show how 3D printing will transform our future.


Authored by On 3D Printing contributor Lisa M. Pérez, co-founder of Heart Design Inc.

For more coverage on the conference, read our top stories from Day 1 and Day 2.

3D Printing’s Apple 1 Moment: 3D Printing Conference (Part 1)

3D Printing Conference Apple 1 Moment

Inside 3D Printing Conference (Part 1)

We are in New York City at the Inside 3D Printing conference, where several thousand 3D printing professionals and enthusiasts are gathered to discuss what’s happening, and what’s possible, in 3D printing.

Cornell Professor Hod Lipson opened the conference, asking “How will 3D printing change our lives?” He continued, “In the last 2 or 3 years, it all took off.”

Lipson then welcomed 3D Systems‘ CEO Avi Reichental for the formal keynote. He provided some insights into where the technology is being used today and where it will go. Here are some of his insightful and powerful statements:

  • “3D printing is going to disrupt everything around us.”
  • “Complexity is free.”
  • “3D printing means consumers will be able to co-create with their favorite brands.”
  • “New and disruptive business models, [and] new retail opportunities ahead of us.”

3D Systems is also making several announcements today we’ll cover in a separate article. After Reichental’s keynote, Brian Evans took the stage. Evans is an assistant professor at the Metropolitan State University of Denver.

“I’ve never taught a class this large,” Evans joked as he kicked off. He then took the audience through a fundamental overview of desktop 3D printers, discussing topics from design to materials to current challenges. He walked through different design software in a hands-on demonstration using the Stanford bunny as an example for what’s cool and what’s hard about 3D printing.

3D Printing Conference Stanford Bunny

3D Printing’s Apple 1 Moment

“3D printing is in its Apple 1 moment,” said Evans as he showed a photo of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak (above). The first Apple 1 was just a circuit board. Customers had to build a plywood case around it. “Who knew that in 30 years we’d all be carrying iPhones?” Evans mused.

There’s an excitement in the room at the Inside 3D Printing conference today, probably best characterized by the concept that something created today, by someone at this show, could become as transformative as the iPhone in a few years.

Stay tuned for more coverage! #3dprintconf

Inside 3D Printing Conference Is Next Week – Discount Available

Inside 3D Printing Conference

Inside 3D Printing Conference & Expo kicks off next week, April 22-23, in New York City. This is the first conference of its kind in the region and several of the industry’s heavy hitters will be present.

Attendees will hear presentations on 3D printing’s impact on daily life, education, food, engineering, design, architecture, manufacturing, firearms, fashion, and business, while networking with professionals from 3D Systems, Shapeways, MakerBot, Solidoodle, and more. View the full agenda here.

Speakers include Hod Lipson of Cornell University who co-authored Fabricated: The World of 3D Printing, Hugh Evans III of T. Rowe Price Associates, Brett Lyons of Boeing, Gonzalo Martinez of Autodesk, Jennifer Ritter of Estee Lauder, and Ofer Shochet of Stratasys. View the full speaker list here.

The conference’s two full days of tutorials and seminars will provide attendees with a blueprint for how to invest and utilize 3D printing in coming years, while the exhibit hall will showcase the latest 3D printers and services.

Use On 3D Printing’s exclusive discount code: PRINT for 15% off a full-conference pass. Avoid on-site prices and register by April 21.