Italian Startup Integrating 3D Printing and Blockchain Technologies to Bring Digital Manufacturing to a New Level

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We all know that 3D printing technology has been growing in leaps and bounds, but another type of rapidly growing technology is Blockchain. This is the underlying technology of Bitcoin, which was the first decentralized cryptocurrency – a type of exchange using cryptography to secure the transactions.

Blockchain is a set of blocks, or records, that hold transactional data. Then, important financial information, such as recipient details and the amount of transactions, are stored within the data set in a secure transfer. Interest has been increasing in incorporating Blockchain technology into the 3D manufacturing world – Blockchain has been used to store data of 3D printed aircraft parts, as well as in a military testing capacity. Even different stages of the 3D printing process could benefit from Blockchain – one example is the technology distributing tasks like the slicing stage between different users to ease computer capacity.

3D-TOKEN, a project born from the Italian Politronica Srl startup, wants to integrate Blockchain and 3D printing technologies, in order to create a unique, decentralized, global Just-In-Time Factory 4.0 for this century’s digital revolution.

3D-TOKEN’s goal is to connect thousands of 3D printers in a network hub based in Blockchain. According to the Wohlers Report 2016, over 278,000 desktop 3D printers were available in 2015, and the world’s millionth desktop 3D printer was just sold in December, so the natural conclusion is that, as demand increases for these 3D printers, they will become more and more affordable.

This is how Politronica Srl, a spin-off of the Politecnico di Torino, plans to operate the 3D-TOKEN project – by creating a Blockchain-managed network hub of desktop 3D printers. The project will be used to bring just-in-time small- to medium-scale digital manufacturing to a new level.

[Image: Coin Telegraph]

If the network, named the Network Robots’ Workforce, becomes a fully realized entity, it could, according to Coin Telegraph, “accelerate the 3D printing market to its full potential” by changing up industry norms on product cost and time to market. The online platform will act as a facilitator between various 3D printing projects, and help lower production costs to boot.

Politronica Srl currently has a network of 100 3D printers, but the goal is to reach 3,000 by the end of 2019, along with 1,000 network members and a production capacity of up to 300 tons of processed bioplastics – all through the innovative new 3D-TOKENS project.

The startup is already well on its way, having negotiated a deal through the network with design chain Flying-Tiger Copenhagen, which runs a total of 600 shops around the world. The two plan to roll out their collaborative Q3D all-in-one desktop 3D printing learning device and lamp in the coming months.

Similar to Cappasity’s ARToken (ART), the 3D-TOKENS project will also be rolling out its own native 3DT cryptocurrency, which is based on the open source Ethereum Blockchain (ETH); the ICO for this ended on February 11th. Users with 3DTs can trade them within the network at a fixed price, which will be revealed once the ICO has ended, as well as receiving profits’ share directly from the network. 3DTs can also be spent at internal marketplaces or on crowdfunding campaigns.

Until the ETH is back up to $1,350, Politronica Srl will be offering a 50% bonus, rather than 25%, for each 3DT token purchase. However, it’s important to note that people from China and the US, due to regulations, will not be able to purchase 3DT tokens; in fact, citizens and residents from Canada, Hong Kong, and Singapore should make sure they are eligible before purchasing the coins, which are non-refundable.

A total of 200 million tokens will be issued, with 150 million up for sale. The remaining 50 million will be allocated in the following ways:

  • 0.5 million for marketing
  • 4.5 million for rewarding participants according to 3D-TOKEN project milestones
  • 45 million for the Trust/Team, which will be frozen for two years after the Token Generation/Sale Period

Politronica Srl will soon begin expanding its new Network Robots’ Workforce network, first to northern Italy, and then to Europe. Hopefully in the future, the startup will even be able to operate its Blockchain-based 3D printing network, and lower production costs, on a global scale.

Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts in the Facebook comments below. 

[Source: Coin Telegraph]

 

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