This week’s news covers a range of topics, from a shoe midsole 3D printed with material from ocean trash, to Onshape’s new app store that includes apps from both Pinshape and Materialise’s 3DPrintCloud. These apps step up the game on providing easier routes from designing in a cloud to printing an object. In other industry news, ScanSource Inc. will now be distributing Airwolf 3D products, Germany’s voxeljet has expanded to Pune, India, and Robo 3D has successfully raised $5 million in new funds that will go towards research and development, and sales and marketing, projects.
Ocean Trash Provides 3D Printing Material for Shoes
While there is so much debate about environmental issues like climate change, hardly anyone can argue about the recycling of trash into new objects. Two companies, Adidas and Parley for the Oceans, have done a great thing with something rather pernicious and disturbing: ocean trash. At the Parley Talks that took place at COP 21 (the climate change conference recently held in Paris), a shoe was released that was made out of recycled ocean trash. This was done to call attention to how much plastic pollution there is in our oceans. The midsole of the shoe was 3D printed using polyester and gillnets. The upper part of the shoe was made from ocean plastic content.
Eric Liedtke, an Adidas Group Executive Board member responsible for Global Brands, had this to say about the project:
“World leaders forging an agreement is wonderful, but we shouldn’t need to be told to do the right thing. The industry can’t afford to wait for directions any longer. Together with the network of Parley for the Oceans, we have started taking action and creating new sustainable materials and innovations for athletes. The 3D-printed ocean plastic shoe midsole stands for how we can set new industry standards if we start questioning the reason of what we create. We want to bring everyone from the industry to the table and create sustainable solutions for big global problems.”
Adidas, a company that is no stranger to 3D printing, also plans to stop using plastic bags in its stores in 2016.
Onshape and Pinshape Develop Partnership for Ease of Services
Onshape is a company that provides fully cloud based CAD software. Pinshape is a platform allowing users to sell or show their 3D design work. Now, through a new partnership, Onshape users will be able to upload their designs to Pinshape with ease. Onshape’s team has much expertise, and is comprised of original members of the Solidworks team. The company has recently launched its Onshape App store, which features many third party apps that help optimize the company’s CAD tool. One of these apps is the Pinshape 3D Market app. Benefits of this partnership include the fact that Onshape is free, users can share and sell designs faster, and Pinshape will attract more high quality designs this way. Users will benefit from all of these excellent features, which are created to provide a more quality design and sharing/selling experience facilitated by partners working together to complement each other’s strengths in 3D design.
Materialise’s 3D PrintCloud is One of Onshape’s New Apps
As explained above, Onshape’s app store is new, and another one of its applications is Materialise’s 3DPrintCloud. This app provides you with the option to 3D print your Onshape design after checking its suitability for printing. Is your print the right file format? Are all of its walls thick enough? These are the kinds of issues that 3DPrintCloud addresses, and the app can be used on a variety of familiar platforms such as 3D Warehouse, Skyforge, AstroPrint and, of course, Onshape. Materialise has twenty-five years of experience in 3D printing and the company has a very good grasp of what can go wrong during a print. It moves 3D designs from the cloud to the 3D printer by running a 3DPrintCloud test. Within five clicks, you can have your design tested for weaknesses before it gets printed. The goal is to allow designers to focus on what to 3D print, not how to 3D print. With expanded access to 3DPrintCloud, this has become more possible, as designs move from the cloud to the 3D printer with greater fluidity while retaining printing quality.
ScanSource Inc. to Distribute AirWolf 3D Products
AirWolf 3D manufactures desktop 3D printers, and it has recently agreed for its company products to be distributed by a leading technology products
and services distributor, ScanSource Inc. Both companies will benefit from this agreement, as Airwolf 3D products will be more accessible to resellers. ScanSource benefits because desktop 3D printing is more in demand these days, and so they are likely to increase their customer base by carrying Airwolf products.
Mark Mathews, President of Airwolf 3D, has this to say about the distribution agreement:
“Airwolf 3D is excited to have ScanSource as a key channel partner in the distribution of our products to the 3D reseller channel. ScanSource is a proven distributor of high-tech products in growth markets and we are confident that their dedicated 3D team will be a great asset to Airwolf 3D as we build our VAR organization.”
Germany’s voxeljet Opens Subsidiary in India
Germany-based voxeljet is known for manufacturing large-format and high-speed 3D printers and parts services for commercial and industrial customers in the aerospace, automotive, art and architecture, film and entertainment, engineering, and consumer products sectors. Recently, the company has expanded its operations to Pune, India, which is a manufacturing and automotive center located near Mumbai. voxeljet already has subsidiaries in the US, the UK, and Canada. This further expansion eastward represents the global demand for 3D printing technologies, and voxeljet is ready to help develop India’s position in the global 3D printing market.
Robo3D Raises $5 Million in New Funding
Robo 3D, a company that focuses on designing and manufacturing 3D printers and related products for the consumer/desktop segment, has recently announced it exceeded its expectations by raising $5 Million from GTT Ventures, Forest Capital, and other sources. Robo3D reports it plans to use this funding for research and development and sales and marketing activities. Robo 3D has come a long way from its humble beginning as a start up begun by San Diego State University students in 2012. After running a great Kickstarter campaign, which validated the demand for the company’s plug and play 3D printer, the R1 +Plus, the company grew along with the demand for its product, and now Robo 3D’s product is sold on Amazon and Best Buy websites. Which of these stories were your favorite? Let us know in the 3D Printing Stories We Missed forum on 3DPB.com.