Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Tech Giant joining the 3D Printing Game

The internet is still buzzing about HP's recent announcement that they will be entering the 3D Printing arena in June. Although HP's specific game plan remains unclear, Martin Fink, CTO and director of HP Labs, says "HP is currently exploring the many possibilities of 3D printing and the company will play an important role in its development.

Originally on March 19, HP's Meg Whitman announced that they would be entering the market in June, but they have since revised their projection, that it would in fact make the announcement by the end of their fiscal year (which ends in October).
HP Labs

While everyone's expectation was that HP would first enter the consumer market, HP foresees consumers utilizing print service providers, such as Fedex Offices. It appears that HP will enter the 3D Printing market as an enterprise solution, providing 3D Printers to the print service providers of the world. HP claims to have already solved several major obstacles of 3D printing, including the biggest hurdle, painfully slow printing speeds.

While 3D Printing is still at it's earliest stages, it is hard to ignore a $2.2 billion dollar industry, which is expected to exceed 10 billion in 20211. Until now the 3D Printing market has been mostly comprised of smaller players. Now with the tech giant throwing their hat in the ring, it could change the game entirely and bring 3D printing to a whole new level. You can bet, all eyes are going to be on HP in October!

See the entire Q&A with Martin Fink: What is HP Doing in 3D Printing? 


1. Data: (published in Wall Street Journal June 2013, from Wohlers Report 2013, Wohlers Associates)

Friday, March 21, 2014

Who says you can't own a Porsche Cayman

There is a place where driving pleasure reaches its pinnacle. Where the laws of physics are set in asphalt, and where gravity insists on finding its center. It’s a point so precisely located, a single degree can be the difference between a perfect moment and profound disappointment. Welcome to the apex of the curve, where the new Porsche Cayman lives. The new Cayman. There’s an apex just waiting for you to arrive. Get your Porsche Driving Experience for the low MSRP of $52,600.00!

Or.... you could just download it through this link and own one for free. Porsche released a 3D Printed design file for everyone to download for FREE back in December, and if you missed it, it is still available for download. Print one for yourself, modify, or scale it to your specifications and use your 3D Printer to bring it to life. Get creative and personalize it!

Here are just a few of those designs posted on Twitter under hashtag #3DCayman.





Thanks to Porsche, for making the Porsche Cayman a reality for the rest of us!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

3D Printing: The Classroom Evolving

One of the most innovative technologies in the world today is 3D printing. 3D Printing is being applied in areas such as architecture, construction, automotive, aerospace, medical industries, fashion and food, just to name a few. This technology will also open new dimensions and revolutionize Education. It will change the way we teach, the way we learn. 3D Printing will put learning literally into the hands of our young minds and create an exciting and interactive environment.

According to an article in Educators Technology Magazine, “3D printing is a technology that allows users to turn any digital file into a three dimensional physical product...schools are still in the early stage of adoption of this innovative technology, but the exciting thing is what is to come...3D printing provides several features that can revolutionize education.”

Classroom Changes
With limited budgets and constrained resources always being a huge obstacle, 3D printing can economically provide teachers with an unlimited supply of relevant three dimensional visual aids on demand. These aids can then be used to help students understand difficult concepts. Students will be able to explore, problem solve, and retain information at a much higher level. It stimulates their curiosity and will convert students from passive participants to active creators in the classroom.

Science, History, Endless Applications
Most studies have found that visual learning styles as opposed to traditional learning styles greatly improve the totality of a student’s learning experience. Imagine a biology class that is able to provide students with the ability to touch and feel microscopic lifeforms invisible to the human eye, but with 3D models can be printed to help students visualize the intricate cell structure. Math lessons could include geometrical shapes to explore and measure. Historical events and Earth Sciences can be taught with replicated models of artifacts and fossils from the appropriate time periods. Rather than memorizing facts from a book, students are able to comprehend and effectively apply their new found knowledge. The environment in which these kids will learn, will forever be changed.

Inventors & Creative Thinkers
Blurring the lines between playing and learning inspires kids to invent new things or even re-imagine what already exists. Kids today were raised with modern technology, it is second nature to them. This engrained acceptance of technology gives them a unique perspective on how technology can make our lives better.  Students become inventors and creative thinkers. There is no limit to possibilities that 3D printing will bring to the classroom, further fueling the anticipation of the wide-spread adoption of a 3D printer in every class.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Surgeons are Developing Important Skills with 3D Printers

Being a surgeon is a profession that requires a person to develop a high level of skill. These individuals must have advanced hand-to-eye coordination abilities. Developing these skills and abilities is something that requires talent and practice. It is now possible for surgeons to perfect their skills and abilities with the use of 3D printer training models. This is becoming a popular tool that's utilized in the training of brain surgeons.

According to an article in Business News Daily, “3D printing relies heavily on designers who can take a product idea and translate it into something that can feasibly be brought to life...3D printers are being used in many design disciplines, such as product design, medical device design, architectural visualization and entertainment design.”

Mixed Reality Surgery
As part of their training at the University of Florida, future generations of surgeons are practicing on 3D models of the brain. These models are being used in conjunction with images of different types of surgery. They refer to this type of training as mixed reality surgery. It provides the training surgeon an opportunity to conduct actual surgical procedures on a 3D printed model. These models are based on the images of brains from real patients and their skulls. These images are obtained from MRI and CT scans.

Individual Surgery
Many surgeons who have trained using this method believe it has potential beyond simply being used for training. They believe this technology could help patients in the real world. A 3D model could be made of a patient's current brain and skull condition. This would enable a surgeon the opportunity to practice a specific procedure prior to performing the surgery. Doing this could be a huge help when dealing with a delicate surgery.

Interactive Training
When surgeons train in the traditional method they spend a lot of time viewing surgical procedures. They then practice performing surgical techniques on cadavers. After a period of time they are carefully introduced into actually doing surgery. Being able to perform surgical procedures on 3D models increases the level of experience a resident has prior to becoming a surgeon.

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