Tag Archives: innovation

Tesco Hints at 3D Printing Coming to Retail

Tesco 3D Printing

Will Tesco Introduce 3D Printing?

Retail giant Tesco is giving hints about its potential entrance into 3D printing.

In a blog post by Tesco Innovation Ambassador Paul Wilkinson, he shared his enthusiasm for 3D printing technology and hinted at how it could be introduced at Tesco.

So what does this all mean for Tesco then? Well I’m making no promises, but there are a few things I can predict for the future. We already print photos and posters in many of our larger stores, so why not other gifts and personalised items? How about letting kids design their own toys and then actually being able to get them made. What if we had a digital catalogue of spare parts for items that you’d bought? They could be printed on demand and ready for you by the time you’d finished your shopping. You could even take a broken item in to store; we could scan it in 3D, repair it digitally and make you a new one. The potential for 3D technology to revolutionise the way we view stores and what we can get from them is vast.

We’re pretty excited about 3D printing and we’ll be working hard to see how we might be able use it to make things better for customers. We won’t stop there though and as always we’re constantly seeking out the genuinely ‘next big thing.’ Up next I’ve got a trip to Silicon Valley – the heart of the technology industry, where as well as meeting some of the big names I’ll also be getting together with lots of start-ups and trying to find that idea or product that might just change the retail world. Watch this space to find out more about what I get up to.

With Staples already embracing 3D printing and many other retail shops introducing 3D printers and 3D printed goods on their shelves, will Tesco be the next to join the movement?

Photo of Paul Wilkinson’s desk from his blog post.

Alliance Announces New 3D Printing Innovation Centers in China

China 3D Printing Innovation

3D Printing Innovation Centers in China

Investments in 3D printing innovation are increasing. President Obama last week announced a $200 million program to develop 3D printing institutes. Now a Chinese group plans to build 10 innovation centers focused on 3D printing.

Luo Jun, CEO of the Asian Manufacturing Association (AMA) and executive secretary-general of the China 3D Printing Technology Industry Alliance, told the Global Times ”Over the past 30 years, 3D printing technology has already been applied in the aerospace, automotive and biomedical industries, and now the conditions are ripe for it to scale up.”

Although 3D printing can create complex designs, it cannot compete today with the cost efficiences of traditional manufacturing. The innovation centers are therefore looking to develop complementary manufacturing processes.

The alliance will build 10 innovation centers at a cost of 20 million yuan ($3.3 million) for each.

“China can consider developing an industry-led strategic transformation plan to focus on technological innovation and differentiation. It can enact policies that bring in capital and technology-­intensive industries from developed countries and it should work on improving how to utilize innovations imported from other countries,” Ricky Tung, co-leader of the Manufacturing Industry Group at auditing and consulting firm Deloitte China, told the Global Times. ”Going forward, (China) should continue to improve incentive mechanisms to cultivate technical leaders and promote deeper cooperation between enterprises and academic institutions,” said Tung.


Via Global Times.

Photo by TechYizu used under Creative Commons license.

Obama Announces $200 Million Program for 3D Printing and Innovation

Obama 3D printing

President Obama Sees 3D Printed Future

The White House has announced a new program to create three new manufacturing innovation institutes, funding it with $200 million from the Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of Commerce, NASA, and the National Science Foundation. 3D printing is a key focus of the program.

Back in February, Obama called 3D printing a “revolutionary” technology in his State of the Union address, describing NAMII, the recipient of a $30 million Federal grant as “a once-shuttered warehouse [and] now a state-of-the art lab where new workers are mastering the 3D printing that has the potential to revolutionize the way we make almost everything.”

Why 3D Printing?

In the White House press release, some example uses of 3D printing, or additive manufacturing, are presented.

The Department of Defense envisions customizing parts on site for operational systems that would otherwise be expensive to make or ship. The Department of Energy anticipates that additive processes would be able to save more than 50% energy use compared to today’s ‘subtractive’ manufacturing processes.

Read the full announcement at whitehouse.gov.

Video: How 3D Printing Will Change the World and Industry Interviews

PBS Video 3D Printing

In the PBS video below, the 3D printing industry is profiled.

3D Printing is heralded as a revolutionary and disruptive technology, but how will these printers truly affect our society? Beyond an initial novelty, 3D Printing could have a game-changing impact on consumer culture, copyright and patent law, and even the very concept of scarcity on which our economy is based. From at-home repairs to new businesses, from medical to ecological developments, 3D Printing has an undeniably wide range of possibilities which could profoundly change our world.

The video includes interviews with:

  • Sam Cervantes from Solidoodle on innovation
  • Carine Carmy from Shapeways on supply chain disruption
  • Michael Weinberg from Public Knowledge on copyright and IP
  • Joseph Flaherty from Wired.com on bioprinting and more

Watch the full video below.

Must-See Infographic: How Long Until the 3D Printing Revolution?

Infographic 3D Printing Revolution Preview

In this must-see extensive infographic, the emerging 3D printing revolution is profiled and detailed. Who are the players? Where is the industry going? Will there be a legitimate marketplace or will pirated 3D printed goods emerge? It’s all here.

3D Printing in the Home Infographic


Via: Newark and Farnell, orignal designers.