Tag Archives: UK

UK Retailer Sainsbury’s Sees Disruption to Retail in 3D Printing

Sainsburys Retail 3D Printing

Sainbury’s IT director Rob Fraser sees a disruptive shift on its way, thanks to 3D printing. Speaking at BETT, the UK’s largest trade fair for education technology, Fraser commented on the potential impact 3D printing would have on retail.

“We have to prepare for the fact that consumers may soon not want to buy pre-packaged iPhone cases of the shelf, but build and design their own,” said Fraser. ”The big challenge is we don’t know what’s coming but we have to prepare for it. Technology is changing at a rate we can’t predict, and if we can predict it, it’s already been established. The technologies we can’t predict will be with us in five years’ time.”

Sainsbury’s Fraser told UK publication V3 to expect more information about its 3D printing plans later this year.


Via V3.co.uk.

Sainbury’s photo by nogger used under Creative Commons license.

Team Great Britain Olympic Cyclists Fitted with 3D Printed Helmets

3D Printed Olympics Cycling Helmets

Team Great Britain has an edge above other teams, at least in cycling, thanks to 3D printing. UK Sport and British Cycling commissioned the design and production of custom cycling helmets, bespoke to each Olympic cyclist. Using laser scanning and 3D printing technology, the helmets were designed and prototyped in no time.

According to the company, the prototypes were physically used as part of the helmet fitting process; giving the athletes confidence that their helmet fit would be flawless.

Extensive testing found that aluminium honeycomb, often used within the aerospace industry, worked well as a material for the helmet core. When combined with the unique dual shell, it was said to outperform previous designs in terms of absorbing impact energy efficiently and ensuring deceleration forces weren’t transferred to the wearer.

Dr Scott Drawer, head of research and innovation at UK Sport, said: “Our job is to ensure our athletes make it to the start line among the best prepared and most feared in the world. Britain has a wealth of expertise in science, engineering and technology and by working with companies like Crux Product Design we can tap into a much wider network of skills and abilities from other industries to ensure we are leaving no stone unturned in our pursuit of sporting excellence.”


Via Eureka Magazine.

Fab Lab of the Week: 2nd Fab Lab Opens in the UK, Fab Lab Airedale

Fab Lab Airedale

This week’s featured Fab Lab is called Fab Lab Airedale. Located in Dalton Mills, Keighley, it is the UK’s second Fab Lab. The first Fab Lab in the UK was opened in Manchester in 2010.

About Fab Lab Airedale:

Fab Lab is the first stage of an ambitious project to create a Centre of Manufacturing Excellence within Airedale serving Bradford District and the surrounding parts of the Leeds City Region.  Fab Lab Airedale is a collaborative venture between the Airedale Partnership, Bradford Council and Leeds City College, with support from The Manufacturing Institute.  The Fab Lab Airedale will operate as a not for profit company limited by guarantee.  Any profits generated through the running of the Fab Lab will be reinvested in the aims of the project which are to promote innovation and excellence within the local manufacturing and related sectors.

Dalton Mills offers the perfect mix of old and new, blending the opulence of Victorian splendour with modern facilities ideal for today’s fast-paced working environment.

Dalton Mills is a former textile mill, located by the side of the River Worth, on Dalton Lane in Keighley, near Bradford. The majestic mill, which has been a landmark of the town for more than 140 years, was acquired by Magna Holdings Ltd in 2004.

It is now having a multi-million pound make-over to restore it to it’s former glory, and with massive regeneration taking place in Airedale over the next decade, there has never been a better time to relocate to Keighley.

Learn more about Fab Lab Airedale at their website, or follow them on Twitter @FabLabAiredale.

See all of our featured Fab Labs in our weekly series.

Come to London for the Olympics, Stay for the 3D Print Show

London Olympics 3D Print Show

The Internet changed the world in the 1990s. The world is about to change again.

That’s the tag line for the next big event in London after the 2012 Olympics: the 3D Print Show in October. Stay tuned for more coverage from us leading up to the show.

Below is an excerpt from a preview of the 3D Print Show by the UK publication The Telegraph.

Kerry Hogarth, the organiser of the show, said the show would introduce people to the entire process involved in 3D printing: scanning real world objects to make replicas, designing new objects using computer software and then printing the results.

“The people who will come to the show are probably early adopters,” she said. “Over the last three to six months a lot of people have been enquiring about what to do.”

Among the companies exhibiting at the show will be EuroPac 3D, a scanning company whose work includes scanning the Harry Potter set for use in computer-generated imagery and scanning decaying sculptures on the roof of Blenheim Palace so that they can be accurately preserved.

John Beckett, EuroPac’s managing director, said: “We’ll have scanners there that will be able to scan, say, jewellery. We’ll have a complete body scanner which will be able to make a complete scan in about five seconds.”

Although printers capable of producing large objects are still outside the price range of most people, Ms Hogarth predicts that prices will fall over the next couple of years.

Via The Telegraph.

London Olympics photo by UK in Italy used under Creative Commons license.

A Sweet Alternative: 3D Printing Chocolate for Easter

While most 3D printers use plastic polymers, UK scientists have changed the game, developing a method for printing chocolate. All we can say is: Delicious!

Lead scientist Dr Liang Hao told BBC about the process:

“You just need to melt some chocolate, fill a syringe that is stored in the printer, and get creative printing your chocolate.”

Chocolate 3D Printers are expected go on sale in the April. Read more at BBC.

Below is a video of the chocolate printer in action.