This week’s news covers 3D printed prostheses and e-bike parts, an additive manufacturing business partnership, and two stories with 3D Systems at the center. The first is about the SLAbot-2 from 3D Systems, and the next one covers an intellectual property-focused partnership between 3D Systems’ Source3 and an entertainment data source. This endeavor will track and record copyrighted television and film-related digital content. In business news, Polish 3D printer manufacturer Zortrax reports record breaking profits — as 3D printing expands its market presence throughout Europe. We begin by noticing that a paper about 3D printing as a “new folk craft” was included in this weekend’s UC Berkeley folklore conference: very cool!
UC Berkeley Folklore Conference to Include 3D Printing
As 3D printing technology impacts higher education and academic disciplines, we see it emerging as a topic in seemingly unlikely academic spaces. One such space is the Western States Folklore Society’s 75th Annual Meeting this weekend at UC Berkeley. While the meeting program covers everything you can imagine from rituals to culinary tourism and Michelle Obama (and zombies, of course), presented research includes a paper entitled “A New Era of Folk Craft: 3D Printing as Folk Craft and Art” by Kiesha Oliver of Fresno City College. This session is embedded in a dense schedule, and is included on the panel “New Mobilities: Folklore Across Media” scheduled for Friday, April 8, 2016. You may have been lucky enough to catch it, but if not, we wanted to call your attention to 3D printing’s diverse impact across academic disciplines — including folklore studies!
Prosthetics from 3D Printing Non-Profit Havenlabs
Launched in January, Havenlabs is a non-profit that wants to help war veterans out by 3D printing prostheses for them. As we know, a growing and potentially lucrative market for the 3D printing industry is medical applications. If organizations and companies want in on the ground level here, they are going to have to be especially creative because the field may get saturated with 3D printed options for amputees. This is exactly what Havenlabs seems to be regarding this particular 3D printing niche: creative. Havenlabs co-founder River Castelonia gave a TEDx talk at Manhattan College recently that highlighted the non-profit’s origins and plans. In January, a GoFundMe campaign was launched to purchase a Formlabs Form 2 3D printer to help realize the organization’s mission. The campaign has already raised $2,345 toward this goal. The Havenlabs team has also been granted a Google scholarship providing free New York City office space for summer 2016. There’s little doubt we’ll be hearing from them again soon as they refine their organizational outreach plan to reach veterans: one of the populations most in need of these kinds of technological services.
E-Bike Parts from ETT Industries
An e-bike is a special kind of bike that gives you an extra boost when it comes to all of your pedaling needs. ETT Industries sees that there is a growing market for these bikes, as carbon footprints and gas prices continue to push people away from owning cars. To respond to this growing demand for augmented cycling, the company has released two new e-bikes: the lighter Trayser ($2,420) and the heavier Raker ($3,890). And guess what else the company is offering with its bikes? 3D printable bike parts that can be delivered via a partnership with Shapeways or printed at home.
Fully 3D printed bikes have been tried, and there have been some epic fails in the process. But it will be difficult to go wrong with 3D printed bike parts. This is great news for cycling enthusiasts who embrace the promise of new 3D printing technology and want to incorporate it into their own rides. Jay Wenn, CEO of ETT Industries, has this to say about the new e-bikes and their accessories:
“Both models are completely raw and we love them that way, but we also know people will like to make them their own. Offering a load of customizable 3D-printed accessories is our way of helping them achieve this. ETT is all about expressing yourself, and we believe we’ve made the best platform to enable that.”
Owners of these new bikes will have easy access to ordering parts — like iPhone mounts, front brake clips, and cup holders — from Shapeways or accessing the STL files for their own home printing enjoyment. New parts will continue to be added, so there will always be something exciting to look forward to if you obtain one of these new e-bikes.
Norsk Titanium Makes New Agreement with Precision Holdings
Norsk Titanium (NT) is the world’s leading provider of aerospace-grade additive manufacturing technology, and as the company grows and looks to expand its market presence, it also seeks new business partnerships. One recent new deal — a “strategic supply chain partnership” — was just announced between NT and Precision Holdings, a manufacturer under the umbrella of Texas-based private equity firm Insight Equity Holdings, LLC. Precision Holdings is supporting NT as it plans the first high grade industrial additive manufacturing facility in the US.
Warren M. Boley, Jr., CEO of Norsk Titanium, comments on this new partnership:
“We are delighted to announce this broad cooperation with Precision Holdings. As we drive our RPD™ technology across new markets and customer applications, Precision Holdings is an ideal downstream operations partner and collaborator in our newly-launched integrated supply chain network.”
Victor Vescovo, Chairman of Precision Holdings, is excited about the great potential of Norsk Titanium’s Rapid Plasma Deposition™ technology, and believes the technology will have a broad impact throughout titanium and aircraft parts production as well as “throughout a broader spectrum of other materials and industries in the future.”
3D Systems SLAbot-2 3D Printer Unveiled at AMUG Conference
We recently reported that 3D Systems just released a series of professional 3D printers known as the ProJet MJP 2500 series. This week, at the Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) conference, the company unveiled its ultra-fast SLAbot-2 stereolithography technology. SLAbot-2 technology is designed for automated manufacturing environments. This is the second iteration of a Figure 4 demonstration. Using an industrial robotic arm, it is made for the assembly line, built to scale, and boasts material breakthroughs, too.
3D Systems’ website explains how it plans to market the new technology. It is “…actively looking for companies that would like to use this technology to bring mass customized products to market, or convert their manufacturing to a digital process and eliminate the time and costs of conventional tooling.”
Showcasing 3D Systems’ additive manufacturing vision, here’s a helpful comment from 3D Systems about the technology featured in a YouTube video:
“We’ve housed ultra-fast additive manufacturing technology in discrete modules, allowing it to be placed into automated assembly lines and integrated with secondary processes, including material recovery, washing, curing and finishing steps.”
For a taste of the high-speed additive manufacturing future, compliments of 3D Systems, check it out via the video below!
Source3 Partners with EIDR to Track Digital Content
Speaking of 3D Systems, did you know it founded Source3 with some Google veterans? This company designs IP recognition and licensing platforms for third party intellectual property in user-generated content, and it has recently announced it is now a member of the Entertainment Identifier Registry (EIDR). EIDR provides metadata namespace for all movie and television properties, “simplifying search and discovery, analytics, rights tracking and royalty reporting in digital commerce.” Simply stated, this registry helps track and identify television and movie properties for its clients. How does this relate to 3D design and printing? The IP forces are garnering more power to track the illegal use of copyrighted and trademarked maker and seller content.
Source3 maps trademark and copyright assets, and has a database of licensable properties linked to licensor data. Using image recognition along with this database, Source3 recognizes and licenses third party IP uploaded by makers and sellers on marketplaces. “Handmade goods, on-demand printing, 3D printing, CGI, AR/VR” are all targets here — so look out all of you digital renegades!
Zortrax Reports Record Profits
Rafał Tomasiak, CEO of Poland-based 3D printer manufacturer Zortrax, recently commented on record breaking profits for the company, which made PLN 37.6 million in sales revenue during 2015. This is a threefold increase compared to the company’s 2014 results. Here, Tomasiak explains what the next phase is for the company as it plans to wisely invest its growing profits:
“These results allow our company to invest more and more funds into research and development. This will help maintain our competitive edge and allow us to continue setting new trends in the 3D printing industry. Our biggest expenses in 2015 were related to the development of our new Zortrax Inventure 3D printer. We’ll be placing an emphasis on R&D this year, just as we have before, and we intend to continue our work with developing new 3D printing equipment and materials. We’ll also focus on improving our 3D printing software; a key element of our entire printing ecosystem.”
As 3D printing expands across Europe, Zortrax expands the 3D printer manufacturing market. The company’s new emphasis on R&D will also provide new avenues for growth and opportunity in an expanded range of products and services.
That’s all the news this week! What struck you as most interesting? Discuss in the 3D Printing News forum over at 3DPB.com.