Tag Archives: interview
Avi Reichental Shares His Perspective on Materials, M&A, and More
Avi Reichental is CEO of the $5 billion 3D printing market leader 3D Systems. After delivering an inspiring keynote at at the Inside 3D Printing conference in San Jose, Mr. Reichental gave On 3D Printing an exclusive interview, where we discussed the future of materials for 3D printing, materials safety, unintended consequences and risks, and of course, M&A.
Watch the video below to see the full interview.
- 3D Systems Continues Acquisition Trail with 3D Printing Startup The Sugar Lab
- 3D Systems: Will the 3D Printing Giant Continue to Thrive?
- 3D Systems Acquires UK-Based Rapid Prototyping Firm CRDM
- 3D Systems CEO Predicts Moore’s Law Will Hit 3D Printing Technology – Inside 3D Printing Chicago
- 3D Systems Issues New Common Stock; Watch Out for M&A
- 3D Systems: Geomagic Design to Advance CAD and 3D Printing
SupplyBetter Launches Comparison Shopping for 3D Printing
Calling itself the “Kayak of 3D Printing”, SupplyBetter provides comparison shopping for 3D printing. With over 200 suppliers, SupplyBetter gives more choice to a designer or consumer looking for a 3D printed object. Sometimes you want to print high quality and sometimes you want low cost. SupplyBetter helps you find the right fit.
We spoke with SupplyBetter co-founder and CEO Matthew Du Pont.
On 3D Printing: Tell us what SupplyBetter does.
Matthew Du Pont: SupplyBetter does two main things.
1) We help buyers find better service bureaus for 3D printing – most companies online are trying to sell you their own printing services, even if they’re not the best fit. We have a database of hundreds of companies that provide 3D printing, which lets us match companies with the right supplier based on geography, material, price, speed, and application. It’s similar to Kayak – buyers come to us, upload a drawing and some information on what they want, and we pick the best suppliers and pull together quotes for the buyer.
2) We help buyers find better contract manufacturing beyond 3D printing. Our eventual goal is to be the best way of finding manufacturers for custom mechanical parts, so whether they need a small run of wood parts in the US or metal casting in China, we’re happy to help them out. We charge buyers if and only if they select a supplier we find for them, and have helped people with wood, plastic, and metal parts.
On 3D Printing: How did you get started?
Matthew Du Pont: Matt and Rob have been friends for seven years. They both have previous unpleasant experiences with procuring custom parts (Matt at a trucking company, Rob at a robotics company), and decided to build a better way to get things made. They’ve been working on SupplyBetter since early 2013.
SupplyBetter has helped buyers in North America and Europe, and quoted suppliers worldwide. Our customers so far have mainly been hardware startups and makers, seeking to prototype or bring prototypes to production.
On 3D Printing: Where can someone go to learn more?
Matthew Du Pont: Here are some links:
www.supplybetter.com - The main homepage, for people looking for quotes on 3D printing
3D Printing Competition at CGTrader
3D model marketplace CGTrader is hosting a 3D printing competition. The company is looking for innovative 3D printable models and are giving away great prizes, including two Ultimaker 3D printers, 3D prints, gift cards from Sculpteo, Filaco, Stash, as well as an opportunity to sell designs in 3D printing store iMakr in London.
In order to participate, designers need to create 3D printable models in .STL format and upload them for sale or download to CGTrader. Further information on the competition is available here: http://www.cgtrader.com/
We talked with CGTrader’s Dalia Lasaite about the competition and the marketplace.
On 3D Printing: What is CGTrader and why are you running this competition?
Dalia Lasaite: CGTrader is a designer-friendly 3D model marketplace for artists and designers. We aim to offer the best conditions for both sellers and buyers of 3D models – the authors on our marketplace receive over 90% of royalties, and can interact directly with the buyers, thereby landing additional jobs or establishing relationships. On the other side, the buyers enjoy direct contact with the sellers, low prices, as well as high quality of the models. Our aim is to make sure that talented designers can make a living off creating and selling professional-level, high-quality 3D models. The 3D models traded on CGTrader are used in a variety of fields, including games, visualizations, ads, architecture, simulations – and now, increasingly, in 3D printing.
The 3D printing industry is rapidly developing, and we noticed increasing interest in this technology from both buyers and sellers on our marketplace. In order to encourage our designer community to step into this exciting field, we decided to start this competition and challenge them to create 3D printable models. While majority of 3D designers have primarily worked in digital domains, they typically have very strong 3D modeling skills and unlimited creativity, but may have not tried using a 3D printer or designing for 3D printing – so this competition was a natural step and had a very positive reception.
On 3D Printing: We’re not quite halfway through the competition yet. Are you seeing any submissions that excite you yet?
Dalia Lasaite: We’re always amazed by the creativity of the 3D designer community! The submissions started rolling in recently, but we’ve already seen a whole spectrum of models from useful to beautiful to crazy. Steampunk-based alphabet letters, parts for coffee machines, Escher sculptures, graffiti spray gun, cars, characters, toys – you name it! And of course, there is the Robohand, whereby you can actually print the whole prosthetic hand – definitely changing the world for the better. There are a few submissions representing the first 3D printable model of designers – and it is great to see how willing they are to learn and pick up this technology.
On 3D Printing: You’re giving away an Ultimaker 3D printer. Why that 3D printer?
Dalia Lasaite: Yes, and not one – but two 3D printers! We’re very excited to work with Ultimaker for this competition. Ultimaker printer is one of the best printers on the market right now. It has a large build volume, is very fast, and delivers high-quality prints. When organizing the competition we discussed it with several experts, and all recommendations pointed to Ultimaker – so it was fairly easy to choose.
We also have other awesome sponsors – including 3D Print UK, iMakr, Sculpteo, Filaco, Stash – the winners of this challenge will be very lucky!
On 3D Printing: What’s the future hold for CGTrader?
Dalia Lasaite: CGTrader aims to be the largest 3D model marketplace for professional level, high-quality 3D models. It is hard to say how the 3D printing industry will develop during the coming years – but our goal is to help designers monetize their creations, and provide the buyers with a wide selection of 3D models directly from designers. At the same time, we hope to contribute to the growth of the industry by providing a place to trade 3D models and encourage more designers to try their hand in this field.
Thanks to CGTrader for this interview!
Enter the CGTrader competition before June 30th to qualify.
3D Printed Lightclip Turns Your iPhone into a Batman Signal, or a Ninja Ghost, and More
This is a review of Lightclip, one of the coolest and most elegantly-designed 3D printed products we’ve come across. We also interview the designer.
(For full disclosure, the designers behind Lightclip sent us a complimentary product to try out.)
The Lightclip is a 3D printed accessory for the iPhone that becomes illuminated when you turn on a flashlight app. A variety of designs were created by Lab02 and are available for sale at Shapeways for $12 to $17 each.
Our Impression of Lightclip
The design is quite a step up from what you would normally expect from 3D printing. Instead of rigid ABS plastic, the Lightclips are 3D printed in White Strong and Flexible (Nylon). As Shapeways said in their own review:
This material is very strong (obviously), affordable and an excellent light diffuser. The Lightclip emits a beautiful ambient light, which is evenly distributed and very easy on the eyes. Use it as a nightlight, at a camping trip or when in need of a superhero!
We loved the different types of Lightclips. Included in the Shapeways store are a traditional light bulb, a ghost, a ninja ghost, and a Batman spotlight. Each one fit perfectly to capture all of the light from the iPhone flash; no leakage. See the gallery below for examples.
Fun for kids. Though not a toy, kids were very attracted to the Lightclip, turning the flashlight on and off repeatedly to see the Lightclip glow.
In summary, the Lightclip is really more about fun and fashion than function, but it’s worth the $15 price point as a conversation piece and perhaps a night light on occasion.
Interview with the Designer of Lightclip
We interviewed Dinos Costanti, the designer of Lightclip. The transcript of our interview is below.
On 3D Printing: Tell us about your organization and your history in 3D printing.
Costanti: My name is Dinos Costanti and i’m a software developer and 3D modeler. Vangelis Hadjiloizou is a painter and the ex Creative Director of the largest advertising agency in Cyprus. We started working together as freelance industrial designers in 2011. Right from the beginning we wanted a way to prototype our designs. We had access to a nice CNC machine locally, but we needed something better. That’s how we started using Shapeways and i.materialise.
We were very impressed with the capabilities of the modern 3D printers, especially with the EOS SLS machines. We even used them for a small production run of 110 small mushrooms that we designed as a giveaway for one of our customers. That was the final proof for us that 3D printers can be used for small scale manufacturing.
So we launched Lab02.org as a place to show and promote our personal designs. That is probably the dream of every designer; A way to make and sell the products that no one is willing to fund and manufacture! And as 3D printing becomes more popular, we’d love to feature the designs of other Cypriot designers.
Over the past 3 years we’ve gained a lot from the 3D printing community. And it is thanks to it that we can now afford our own 3D printer. As our way of giving something back we’ve made the Lightclip available under a Creative Commons license. This way anyone can download, modify, and print his or her own for free!
On 3D Printing: The designs you have made are very intricate and probably more elegant than what most people would expect when they think of 3D printing. Was it difficult to design?
Costanti: Not at all! The Lightclip went from initial idea to sketching, modeling and prototyping in about 10 working days. That included 5 days for Shapeways to print and ship the prototype.
I think that the 3D design software companies are starting to realize the need to address the amateur or rather the non-engineering crowd. We mainly use Moi3D, a NURBS modeler created by Michael Gibson, the original developer of Rhino. This is probably the easiest and friendliest NURBS modeler on the market and a perfect fit for designing for 3D printing.
On 3D Printing: How do you see these types of 3D printed goods growing in adoption?
Costanti: The production of 3D printed goods is going to explode. As more 3D printers are becoming available, prices are being pushed down. And as 3D printing materials become cheaper we are coming to a point, maybe in a year or so, where 3D printing will be a viable and cost effective solution for small scale manufacturing. Especially so for the 100 – 3000 units production runs which, using traditional injection molding, are currently in kind of a “no man’s land”. That is mainly due to high molding costs which demand a major investment with traditional methods, but are not required at all with 3D printing.
That is going to have a profound impact on the variety and complexity of available products as more and more designers can simply self-publish their products using their own 3D printer or a 3D printing service.
On 3D Printing: How has your experience with Shapeways been?
Costanti: Our experience with Shapeways has been amazing right from the beginning. Their engineers are very knowledgeable and they were instrumental in our quest to master the basics of designing for 3D printing. Also, their printing times are constantly improving. They will usually ship a lot sooner than the date they quote!
There is little doubt in my mind that these 3D printing services are the prototypes for the factories of the future.
On 3D Printing: Any other creative ideas your working on at the moment?
Costanti: We’ve had another very successful product with i.materialise, the Dragonbite grip which was designed for printing in stainless steel. It is currently the feature of a design competition at i.materialise.
We are also working on the initial sketches of our new project, a water pipe, designed to be printed in ceramic. This is the one material we haven’t used so far and we are very excited about it. I’m sure that it will present its own challenges but it is something we wanted to try for a long time. We hope it will be available in a month or so.
Thanks for sharing the Lightclip with us!
3D Printed Phone Cases: UCreate3D Takes On Nokia?
Two Dutch entrepreneurs who call themselves “pleasantly insane, incredibly ambitious” are crowdfunding to build a multilingual global platform they call UCreate3D to offer 3D Printed customizable phone cases.
Koen is running the offices in Hong Kong and is responsible for production. Vincent moved to San Francisco to focus on sales and e-commerce! It all started when Koen couldn’t find a nice case for his HTC Sensation. Only one year later they launched this IndieGoGo campaign!
We got a chance to interview these two Dutch 3D printing enthusiasts. Here’s a transcript of our interview.
On 3D Printing: It seems like your inspiration to use 3D printing is about personalization. Can you elaborate?
It is about availability and personalization. How cool is it that you can give your two year old Galaxy SII with a customized case to your parents when you are buying an SIV? Instead of buying a one-fits-all sleeve you can create something they like, they can relate to and make it a personal gift instead of just a phone. And the cool thing is, if they don’t like the design you’ve made, they can create a new switchable panel!
On 3D Printing: Nokia announced a 3D Printing Kit for its Lumia series phone. How are you going beyond what they’re doing?
We’re really happy that a big brand like Nokia understands the importance of 3D Printing and starts experimenting early. What Nokia is doing is for 3D Printing experts, engineers or developers, in other words people who know what they are doing. Designing a case and getting a perfect fit isn’t easy, even for educated industrial designers. It takes a couple of test runs to get a good case. 99.9% of the (mass) market is not interested in doing this. We want to make it simple! People can design their own case or choose one of the pre-selected designs, choose one of the seven colors we’re offering and can expect a perfect case with high quality on their doorstep a couple of days later. This isn’t only for Nokia users, but all smartphone and tablet owners!
On 3D Printing: Who created the design software? What was that experience like?
We´re working with an amazing team of software developers. One of the reasons we are doing crowdfunding is the webshop. We’ve are investing a large part of the $20,000, we’re raising, in the webshop. Vincent has over 7 years experience with E-Commerce and start ups and developed more than 20 webshops in multiple languages. The plan that we have for our webshop is ambitious, but realistic. Realistic if you work with the right people. Our webshop will be very simple, easy to use and our customer service will be amazing. This is the combination for a successful E-Commerce company.
On 3D Printing: Where will you 3D print the actual cases? Will you use an existing 3D printing service or your own production?
Co-Founder Koen Munneke runs our office in Hong Kong and is responsible for production. If you want to be better, you have to think outside of the box. Koen is a 3D Printing expert and knows everyone in the field in Asia. Vincent´s expertise lies in consumer products, so we have combined the best of two worlds. The 3D Printing technique (this needs a verb, not sure what you want to say here) with painting and coating from different markets. Our coating originates from the automobile industry. We’re working with several 3D Printing, paint and coating experts to get the best quality for our products. The 3D Printer that we’re using costs hundreds of thousands of dollars, so we partnered with a manufacturer.
On 3D Printing: How do you plan to market your service?
IndieGoGo is the start. We have been featured on several blogs and websites, so we’re off to a good start. Our first market will be the US & Canada and China. We want to make 3D printing simple and available to everyone. So don’t be surprised to find our services in Korean, Spanish, Japanese, Portuguese and Russian in the coming years!
Want to fund their campaign? Go to Indiegogo and contribute!