Makerarm’s robotic fabrication system combines the functions of more than a dozen manufacturing machines—3D printing, milling, laser engraving, soldering, vinyl cutting, circuit board assembly—and fits on a desktop.
Makerarm is taking preorders for the main tower and three basic tool heads on its website for $1,499. The tower with all 19 heads and add-ons costs $4,847.
But it’s not this blistering performance that has attracted a strategic partnership with France’s PSA Group. It’s the drastic drop in manufacturing cost and complexity that Divergent Manufacturing Platform promises. Here’s what Czinger reckons it will cost to set up a factory for annual production of 10,000 units: 16 3-D printers, 10 flexible robots, 50 technicians, 20 additional staff, and a 100,000-square-foot building. That’s $42 million for the factory and $30 million in tooling.
Those numbers compare with $250 million to build a traditional factory plus $250 million for comparable conventional manufacturing tool-and-die equipment. By his accounting, the rolling chassis unit cost also comes in $500 cheaper (at $3,500), which brings the fully amortized per-vehicle savings of about $3,900. Imagine PSA’s savings on the mainstream Peugeot or Citroën it plans to build this way within three years at 180,000 to 200,000 units annually. Much of that cost and emissions reduction comes by eliminating the paint shop. The aluminum and carbon-fiber chassis doesn’t need it, and the unstressed composite body panels get molded in color or wrapped.
When it only takes a small fortune to get into the car business, Divergent envisions many 10,000-unit microfactories springing up around the country, which would create local jobs and promote local entrepreneurship—just like at the dawn of the automotive age when 1,800 automakers dotted the U.S. landscape.
Wired on 3D printing, robotic kicker and more as adidas perfects the laceless soccer boot of the future in its Lab
“To this end, the Future Lab developed a material it calls Primeknit - a yarn that's digitally printed in a single unit. Traditionally, boots are made from pieces of leather that are stitched together; the new technique means that a boot fits an individual's foot while remaining rigid at specific points - like a hardened piece of leather - by means of fusing the yarn. "Boots used to consist of a base material over which further layers were packed; now we are working with only a single layer," Müller says.”
“Next to the climate chamber is a 22-metre-long stretch of artificial turf. At one end is what adidas describes as the best football player at the facility: a flywheel with an artificial foot at the end, known as Roboleg. Its shots travel at 160kph - 40kph more than the average speed of travel of a ball from a professional player. Not only is Roboleg more powerful than a human, it can reproduce each of its shots exactly. Sixteen cameras in the ceiling of the lab record the trajectory of every ball, taking 3,000 pictures per second, analysing its flight using Hawk-Eye - the tracking technology used at Wimbledon for line calls and in the Premier League for goal-line decisions - which offers real-time data.”
Callahan, a celebrity caterer credited by Martha Stewart with inventing the bite-sized slider, bought his first 3-D plastics printer two years ago to wow guests at a holiday party. Today, he has his sights trained on printing the food itself. He imagined drumsticks with edible bones; could they be made of celery? Blue cheese? Hot sauce? Callahan already makes an edible cracker spoon to use with caviar, but he envisions an entire line of cutlery, plates and menus that could be printed and consumed at parties. He sees mini-milk cartons made of chocolate and Asian-style takeout boxes formed from wontons.
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.