Someday, the dusty back shelves of America's warehouses could be replaced by UPS and SAP-enabled 3-D printing.
To do that, the package-delivery company and business software company are working with an Atlanta-based company that has Louisville, Ky. production facilities called Fast Radius to do 3-D printing of parts.
At the Chanel boutique in Bushwick, Brooklyn, black-and-white tweed skirts hang near gold lamé gowns. Classic black-toed beige pumps are on display on a glass platform lit from below. A quilted leather handbag with a gleaming gold clasp is also on view, perfectly paired with a rabbit fur coat.
Alas, this shop is not open to the public. That’s because it’s just two feet long by two feet tall, and it’s inside the apartment of a man named Phillip Nuveen.
Mr. Nuveen, 27, is a designer who works almost exclusively in miniature, often making minute versions of the most sought after luxury goods. Each item is made by hand or with the help of a 3D printer. He has designed little Hermès bags, Eames chairs and Louis Vuitton steamer trunks that Barbie most likely would be only too happy to have Ken carry for her.
"Launching a refrigerator takes two and a half years from mind to market," Venkatakrishnan says. Or imagine a new product, like a slushie maker. "It takes six months to a year to do the engineering feasibility," he says. "Then it takes a year and a half for us to go into the system to make a decision. Then you get a team together and scale that up, which takes another year and a half." Four years later, you have your slushie maker. And so do your competitors.
By contrast, consider FirstBuild's most successful product to date, a small machine called Opal that produces "nugget ice". These are small, soft pellets of ice popular at fast-food restaurants and convenience stores in the south of the US. Prized for their cooling ability (the ice has more surface area) they can, curiously, also be comfortably chewed. It was a niche market, with an uncertain consumer demand for making nugget ice at home.
FirstBuild is an experiment by parent company GE that combines the power of so-called "open innovation" -- the idea that new products can come from outside a company's own walls -- with the speed of additive and low-volume manufacturing, topped off with the novel promise of crowdfunding, or getting a passionate, self-selecting market of consumers so early to adopt that they are willing to buy something before it has even been built.
Italy’s craftsmen have been undermined by competition from China and other parts of Asia. Since the beginning of the global economic crisis, the northeast’s industrial sector has shed about 135,000 jobs—some 17 percent of its total workforce. “We needed to find an escape route,” says Ignazio Pomini, the president of HSL, a 27-year-old maker of automotive prototypes located in Trento, northwest of Venice. “To use the same technology, the same skills, the same space, the existing investments, but for a new business.”
A few years ago, in an effort to diversify his company’s offerings, Pomini teamed up with Selvaggia Armani, an artist and designer. The two began working on a series of lamps designed by Armani and manufactured to order on Pomini’s 3D printers. The pieces—some of which include intricate meshwork or interlocking chains that would be difficult to produce using traditional methods—take shape slowly, each layer fused from powdered nylon by a high-power laser. The project was a surprising success: Pomini now works with more than a dozen designers; he introduced 3Dprinted jewelry in 2012. “This is the beauty of this technology,” says Armani, 47. “You can build things that are impossible.”
Google’s new logo uses a custom, geometric sans-serif typeface called Product Sans
Not to be outdone, so does Facebook. The first logo was created in 2005 when the company was just getting started and it used a Klavika typeface. The new logo is a custom typeface that was created by the in-house design team and Eric Olson from Process Type Foundry.
“Warm and contemporary, Bookerly is inspired by the artistry of the best fonts in modern print books, but is hand-crafted for great readability at any size. It introduces a lighter, more graceful look and outperforms other digital reading fonts to help you read faster with less eyestrain.”
Of course, Apple had to also introduce its own new font, San Francisco
The Epson EcoTank, though, is notable mostly for what it’s gotten rid of: ink cartridges. Or more specifically, a lifetime of pricey ink cartridge refills.
The five new EcoTank models range from $350 to $1,200 in price, depending on capacity and feature set, but even the most affordable version promises enough ink in its reservoirs to cover 4,000 black and 6,500 color pages before requiring a refill. This is an absurd amount of ink, unless you are home-printing an outrageously popular zine, and even then you should be pretty well covered.
My daughter got a nice tour (thanks to librarian Clement Ho) this weekend of the library at American University in Washington, DC.
Impressive all the scanning, poster, 3D and other printing technology, the loaner devices and materials the students can avail of.
My favorite was the Bookeye 4 scanner with the cradle so you don’t have to contort books to scan them
“One secret behind Bookeye 4's superior quality images is that it employs a linear CCD with dual reflecting mirrors that move instead of the lens; all but eliminating distortions inherent with both film and digital cameras (e.g. chromatic aberrations, barrel and pincushion distortions). Another reason for Bookeye 4's superior image quality is that the lens always remains perfectly perpendicular to the book whether in the flat or 'V' position, thereby enabling the scanner to digitize each side of the book in perfect alignment. The end result is a scanner that captures documents precisely from edge to edge while gently preserving the subject matter.”
a close second was the LocknCharge FUYL cells to store and charge laptops and mobile devices
I drooled about all these loaners - not listed Google Glasses which are also in inventory
I would like to borrow these :)
colorful reminder the world is still pretty analog!
The next generation of desktop 3-D printers might do away with the excruciatingly slow process that current units use. Researchers have unveiled a printer that replaces the current extruder nozzle that squeezes out melted plastic one layer at a time with light and oxygen.
The makers of the Carbon3D printer have demonstrated a technique they call continuous liquid interface production (CLIP), which grows 3-D printed parts out of a liquid resin bath. Ultraviolet light and oxygen work to build a stronger part in layers just tens of microns wide. Build times can be reduced from hours to minutes, they say.
“Right now the technology is still too expensive for a mass audience — a good unit can cost thousands of dollars — but the history of breakthrough innovations suggests the price will soon drop significantly. Because of its versatility, the technology has the potential to destabilize more industries than just the entertainment sector. But they can all learn something from the music industry’s long struggle against piracy.
Both P2P downloading and 3D printing revolve around computer files packed with intellectual property — performing artists’ copyrighted songs, in the former, or CAD files that contain firms’ industrial blueprints, in the latter. These files are shared and posted all over the Internet. And just as with music, 3D printing is hard to track because it can occur in the privacy of someone’s home or office; requires little manufacturing equipment or investment beyond the device itself; and features a robust, supportive online community that generally doesn’t view the activity in immoral terms.”
“Batmanghelidj says that BarTender’s ability to adapt to any label printer creates another differentiator, too. “In an FDA-controlled environment, the labeling process is very complex,” he says. “For example, if a label change is needed, one person makes the change, it’s then reviewed and signed off by several other people, and there’s a very intricate process for validating that all the appropriate labels were updated and all the old labels were decommissioned. Without our solution, which includes the BarTender bar code print and design engine, our customers would have to manually manage hundreds of label files, which is not only time-consuming but highly error-prone. In one example, we helped a customer reduce the number of managed label files from 5,000 down to just five templates.”