Although most of its printing will be done in-store, Leigh says, Staples will outsource large-scale jobs to the facilities of 3D Systems, which is running the New York and L.A. trials and has been selling 3D printing services since 2010.
If its U.S. test pays off, Staples says it will consider placing 3D printers in other stores and offering similar services online. Leigh says he wants to showcase 3D printing for casually interested customers, letting them play with the machines and use an in-store photo booth to print their faces on customized action figures.
The Kosair Children’s Hospital physician turned to the University of Louisville’s engineering school for help and was able to secure the use of a MakerBot 3D printer. With the 2D CT data turned into a 3D model and blown up to twice the normal size, it was far easier for the medical team to see the problems they were dealing with. Roland was born with a hole in his heart, with a deformed aorta and pulmonary artery. Because the heart must be stopped for surgery, the timing is critical — not being able to see an organ until you open the patient up means less time for doctors to find and repair damage.
The use of a 3D model for a pediatric heart surgery is a first for KY, but it’s not the first time 3D printers have been used to create models of surgical procedures. According to Tim Gornet, manager of the University of Louisville’s Rapid Prototyping Lab, the engineering school has already worked with doctors to create models of tumors and spinal defects. The total cost of printing up the model on a MakerBot? About $600.
Since founding The Sugar Lab in 2012, the husband-and-wife team have used crystallized sugar to print everything from intricate lattices that dissolve in cocktails to delicate replicas of an extinct orchid, scanned from the Smithsonian archives. They've also collaborated with Duff Goldman of Baltimore's Charm City Cakes to create a custom wedding-cake stand made of interlocking hexagons, a design that would be impossible to make by hand. The couple created their tech prototype by modifying an existing printer by 3D Systems (which recently purchased The Sugar Lab). The machine works by wetting dry sugar to create a frosting-like texture; repeated thousands of times, the process slowly builds a three-dimensional structure. "There's already a cultural expectation that dessert should be sculptural," says Liz, "so sugar is a great place to start introducing 3-D printing into people's lives."
Cognizant on this blog and Infor on the Deal Architect blog have their badges in animated GIF file format. Here come their physical cousins. From their Kickstarter pitch
“We've been working over the past several months on a way to print animated gifs onto lenticular cards. Each sheet of lenticular film has many tiny lenses, which allow us to print around ten frames of animation onto small cards. It's been around since the 1940s, but has mostly been used for children's toys.
We've been doing tons of test prints with different materials and different types of film, and have started working with a lenticular manufacturer that will allow us to do custom prints. We've also been building out a website where you can upload a gif, select a portion to print, and order a gif card in a variety of sizes. We've been sharing and showing these gif cards among friends — it's been really fun, and addictive to play with."
I have written about previous GE versions of the sleigh. This year “GE scientists are turning to the crowd and the power of 3D printing to design a whole new sleigh for Santa that will ensure he makes all of his deliveries this holiday season.”
Some of the entries already submitted on GrabCAD’s site
In the meantime, as more of holiday gift requests and fulfillments flow through ecommerce sites BusinessWeek describes Santa's other sleigh
"At mighty Amazon, the omniscient computer program that practically runs the company’s supply chain is known internally as the Mechanical Sensei. The program tracks all the items and orders coursing through Amazon’s systems. It makes millions of small decisions, such as how much of a particular product Amazon should buy, and—given the geographic dynamic of demand for that particular —where in its massive network of fulfillment centers to store it.'
“They offer a variety of designers and artisans, who can custom design your products, or tools that enable you to customize existing products. Truly, the possibilities are limitless. With the capability to print in 35 different materials (and new ones coming), Shapeways has high-end, professional grade, 3D printers that can print in color, acrylic, and also polish and dye process to color your products.
Below is the company’s “Business Card" - a set of interlocking 3D cubes with the name of the company on front.
Standley, 44, starts by sketching
the geometry of a piece on paper, then drawing its four key
layers in CorelDRAW vector-graphics software. The rest of his craft
is progressing between those way-points by drawing intermediate
paper layers. "That's where the left side of the brain takes over
and I get into the tiny detail." Standley's largest piece,
Demeter, (in photo) is 134 layers deep and took three months to make.
He's not worried about his niche being commodified, though: "It's
not like everyone has a laser."
Time's cover story (sub required) - how technology (3D printing, advanced analytics), cheaper energy, smarter workers - are all helping the US rev up its manufacturing engine.
"The past several months alone have seen some surprising reversals.
Apple, famous for the city-size factories in China that produce its
gadgets, decided to assemble one of its Mac computer lines in the U.S.
Walmart, which pioneered global sourcing to find the lowest-priced goods
for customers, said it would pump up spending with American suppliers
by $50 billion over the next decade--and save money by doing so. Airbus
will build JetBlue's jets in Alabama. Meanwhile, in North Carolina's
furniture industry, which has lost 70,000 jobs to rivals abroad, Ashley
Furniture is investing at least $80 million to build a new plant. "If
you go back 10 years, we didn't think we'd be manufacturing in the
U.S.," says Ashley's CEO, Todd Wanek."
NY Times on the crowdsourcing at this week’s Fashion Week in NYC
“fashion designer Alexander Wang is joining forces with Samsung to create a new print based on doodles, sketches and photographs that are being contributed via smartphone by some of the top names in fashion.”
Meanwhile at the Paris Fashion Week couple of weeks ago, 3D printing caught attention
“Dutch designer van Herpen’s eleven-piece collection featured two 3D printed ensembles, including an elaborate skirt and cape created in collaboration with artist, architect, designer, and professor Neri Oxman from MIT’s Media Lab, and 3D printed by Stratasys….The 3D printed skirt and cape were produced using Stratasys’ unique Objet Connex multi-material 3D printing technology, which allows a variety of material properties to be printed in a single build. This allowed both hard and soft materials to be incorporated within the design, crucial to the movement and texture of the piece.”