3D printing is an almost always inspiring, but often very serious, business. When stories of 3D models being used to help diagnose illness and even save lives in the medical arena are hitting the headlines–or when learning about the manufacturing of high-quality components that must undergo the strictest of quality standards for use in automobiles and even spacecraft–we understand the substantial impact the technology is having on nearly every corner of our world–and we are getting the picture that things are only rolling forward from here.
Sometimes though the greatest way to get the public revved up and enthusiastic about something new is to get a little outrageous, over the top–and to allow interaction. Formlabs, no stranger to staying in the news with continual releases of innovative products and materials that are very popular industry-wide, is setting up something never done before: a popup manufacturing factory.
Working with the team coordinating the O’Reilly Solid conference, ‘Hardware, Software & the Internet of Things,’ to be held June 23–25, 2015 in San Francisco, Formlabs will be taking the progressive technology of 3D printing to an all new interactive marketing height with their popup.
Event-goers, while enjoying mingling with peers, designers, engineers, entrepreneurs, researchers, and investors, will also get to enjoy the Formlabs popup factory and take away a 3D printed social networking wearable designed by digital artist and designer Marcelo Coelho, best known for innovative, experimental work–and especially of late with a focus on wearables designed for crowds, events, and installations.
The factory installation will be using raw components and the 3D printing resin Formlabs is famous for to make the 3D printed bracelets called Alike bands. Imbued with sensors and LEDs, these intuitive bracelets are able to alert attendees regarding others who have similar interests. Not only is it a fun and interesting technique for demonstrating new products within the industry, the wearables are also a great way to get a sense of community going at the conference, and help people break the ice with introductions.
“A real-time micro-factory of this scale has never been attempted before at a conference like Solid,” said David Cranor, Associate Chair of O’Reilly’s Solid Conference. “We are proud to partner with Formlabs in this unprecedented endeavor to demonstrate 3D printing’s vital role in the new world of agile global manufacturing where hardware, software, and the Internet of Things intersect.”
Hundreds of the Alike bands will be rolling hot off the Formlabs 3D printers on a first-come basis for those attending the show, which is held at the Fort Mason Center.
“This exhibit illustrates the real power of 3D printing. We’re manufacturing 500 one-of-a-kind electronics for conference attendees to wear. This level of customization is really difficult through normal mass manufacturing,” said Will Walker of Formlabs. “We’re really excited to push the boundaries of how we think about making things and Solid is the perfect place to showcase this idea.”
Formlabs will be, of course, showcasing their lineup of 3D printers in the popup factory as they set up the portable mass production facility which is not only a conversation piece in itself, but will be producing them as well, as event goers use their Alike bands to further facilitate meeting, greeting, and enjoying the conference experience overall.
Discuss this interactive installation and the networking potential in the Formlabs 3D Printing Popup Manufacturing Factory forum over at 3DPB.com.
Also to look forward to at the show: On June 25, Ian Ferguson, lead engineer at Formlabs, will share insights on hardware product development for startups with a talk called ‘Around the block again: Tricks and tools learned in the trenches building a follow-on product.’
Formlabs and O’Reilly Solid are working together to see that the first ever popup manufacturing factory comes to fruition at the Hardware, Software & the Internet of Things conference to be held June 23–25 in San Francisco. Formlabs will have a manufacturing line set up using their own 3D printers to produce 500 wearable networking bracelets that have sensors and LCDs which alert attendees as to others with similar interests. The 3D printed Alike bracelets were designed by computational artist Marcelo Coelho. Check out the full article for more details on the popup operation: http://3dprint.com/75374/formlabs-popup-at-solid/