Tag Archives: interview
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!
Wired design correspondent Mike Senese interviews 3D Systems CEO Abe Reichental and a couple of aspiring engineers about the future of 3D printing. This video was taken at a FIRST robotics competition held at Monta Vista High School in Cupertino, CA. 3D Systems brought several dozen of their Cube 3D printers, part of the Cubify system.
Cubify photo by donjd2 used under Creative Commons license.
Finding a pair of glasses that fit properly and look good is a painstaking process. Could 3D printing help with this? Protos Eyewear thinks so.
Protos is an eyewear company based in San Francisco that uses 3D printing to manufacture their frames. This intricate layering process results in bold and striking designs that are impossible to make through standard manufacturing methods. Protos eyewear is lightweight and durable, and the material provides a unique look and feel.
We interviewed Protos founder and CFO Richart Ruddie to learn more about the company.
On3dPrinting: How did you and your founders come up with this idea?
Ruddie (Protos): We have always had a passion for eyewear. It’s a product that is almost dominated by a company called Luxotica and we are able to enter the market with a unique niche that they have not caught on as of yet. They’re fun to design because they require such attention to detail in regards to proportions and ergonomics. If you change the silhouette by as little as 1 millimeter, it can totally change the character and the fit of the frame. 3D printing is just getting to a point where it is inexpensive enough to use as a viable manufacturing method, and the materials are finally starting to become strong enough to be consumer grade. These factors are what motivated us to start the company.
On3dPrinting: What is the consumer benefit of 3D printed sunglasses?
Ruddie (Protos): Eyewear with an unparalleled aesthetic (see below for the pixel pair in particular). Soon to be custom fit eyewear that we will be able to take anybody’s facial dimensions and make custom fitted glasses for them which we believe is the next big thing in the industry. We are beta-testing tailored fit glasses right now and would be proud to let a few of your readers and yourself to join the beta process.
On3dPrinting: Is there a business or cost advantage with 3D printing technology over traditional manufacturing?
Ruddie (Protos): You have no upfront tooling costs. So you could easily develop hundreds and hundreds of different models at no cost. You also can make the glasses to order and eliminate the need for backstock.
On3dPrinting: Who is your target customer?
Ruddie (Protos): Techies, fashionistas
On3dPrinting: We would imagine some customers would be concerned about fit. Do you offer any guarantees?
Ruddie (Protos): We do have a return policy in place:
On3dPrinting: You’ve been in business for over a year. Any data you can report about your growth?
Ruddie (Protos): We have been putting together everything over the last year or so. We had a great launch party in San Francisco which had 75 designers, fashionistas, techies, and other SF’ers and they all loved the glasses. We sold out that night and have been working on improving our line of products since than. We just recently launched to the public and sell sunglasses right on the website. As of right now growth is slow as we work on getting the word out and connecting with others that are interested in the products.
On3dPrinting: Where can someone design and buy a pair?
Ruddie (Protos): Contact us directly and we can discuss customized pairs on both a single level and mass production basis.
Idle Print is trying to help people find solutions for their 3D printing needs at a fraction of the cost, while also helping people who own 3D printers make some income on the side. Idle Print is an online marketplace that allows sellers with 3D printers to find buyers who need an object printed. The company was created by Kevin Nuest and Blaine Wilson and debuted at Startup Tucson.
We spoke with Idle Print and here’s the transcript of the interview.
On3DPrinting: Hi Blaine, thanks for taking time to answer a few questions. First, what problem are you trying to solve at Idle Print?
Idle Print: The 3D printing market suffers from great inefficiency. Lead times are often measured in days if not weeks, and commercial services aren’t cheap. Meanwhile the rate of innovation and development of open source 3D printers is driving machine prices downward and capability upwards. Our founding assumption is that these two segments are ready to converge.
On3DPrinting: How much money do you think an end user can make?
Idle Print: That will depend on a great many things; supply/demand, additional services, marketing, capability, etc. We hope to enable proficient operators with a capable machines to make a living doing this, though I’m sure we’ll see a range of users from hobbiests to full-time users with a garage full of bots cranking out parts. If you consider the average cost of commercial print jobs, having a single machine generate a day’s salary at minimum wage isn’t unreasonable, and depending on how you calculate it, conservative.
Additionally, we hope for this to be a platform to offer additional services to supplement revenue via 3D modeling, scanning, post processing, etc. We want to enable users to provide a bit more than just printing, though that’s certainly the foundation.
On3DPrinting: Why wouldn’t someone just order a print from Shapeways or i.materialise rather than ordering from a consumers’ 3D printer?
Idle Print: In a word – Efficiency. Shapeways is running a several week backlog on their least expensive material and I’ve never heard of anyone getting anything back from Solid Concepts in less than three days. As someone in manufacturing who needs a model RIGHT NOW, that’s not acceptable. Meanwhile those same companies start their pricing at $1.40 per cubic cm. Last I checked, ABS is ~$.04 per ccm. While that’s not an apples to apples comparison, we believe there’s certainly room for such a service to compete with (if not supplement) existing commercial printers.
Additionally, we hope to help accelerate the shift from 3D printing from the domain of engineering offices and product developers to everyone else. Companies such as Makerbot and Cubify already spearheading the effort, making the service more efficient and available is our contribution to that goal.
On3DPrinting: How does someone get involved in Idle Print?
Idle Print: The best way to stay updated is via facebook at http://www.facebook.com/
Additionally, if you’d like to be notified once the service is up & running, you can sign up here: http://idleprint.co/ (still in early alpha)
On3DPrinting: Thanks Blaine! Good luck with Idle Print.
Father of the Fab Lab movement and MIT Professor Neil Gershenfeld speaks with RadioNZ about the current status of personal fabrication.
“It’s all a big accident,” Professor Gershenfeld starts out.
He goes on to say that we’re building micro-LEGOs to fabricate objects digitally. Listen to the full interview below.
Neil Gershenfeld photo by etech used under Creative Commons license.
Read more articles about Neil Gershenfeld.