Layer By Layer, a 3D printing marketplace, puts a new twist on the process for downloading and printing 3D objects. There are already some great marketplaces out there, including Shapeways and Thingiverse (Makerbot), but both have their limitations. Shapeways is great for designers because they get paid when their designs are printed, but it doesn’t allow users to download designs to print on their own 3D printers. Thingiverse provides the platform for downloading designs, but designers can’t monetize their creations. This is where Layer By Layer is trying a different model. Continue reading
Photo from Hansjorg Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University Harvard Shield
The reaction to first learning about 3D printing is usually one of intrigue and then pondering what the capabilities are for the technology. The simple answer to the functional use question is that 3D printing streamlines the process for prototyping a product. The futuristic idea is that the technology will make it possible to print anything right inside your house, without the need to ever go to the store. The reality, however, is that the technology has far wider implications beyond commercial use.
Jennifer Lawrence, Hansjörg Wyss Professor of Biologically Inspired Engineering at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and her team of researchers from Harvard and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign created a 3D printing process for making microbatteries that could be used in a wide spectrum of applications, including micro medical and communication devices. Continue reading
The rumors of a sale are true. Only weeks after opening their swanky new facility in Brooklyn, NY, Makerbot has been acquired by Stratasys (Nasdaq: SSYS). We might never know all the interested parties in acquiring Makerbot, but Stratasys’s acquisition shows the market is heating up and consolidating. Stratasys already went through a $1.4 billion merger in December 2012 with Objet, an Israeli based 3D printing company. The acquisition places Stratasys in direct competition with 3D Systems, another major player who already has a consumer printer, the Cubify.
Makerbot has sold 22,000 printers since their founding in 2009, which includes 11,000 of their newest printer, the Makerbot Replicator 2. When the acquisition closes, Stratasys plans on maintaining Makerbot as a separate subsidiary with current CEO Bre Pettis still leading the division.
When I went to order PLA filament for the first time for my 3D printer, I started with a list of suppliers on the RepRap Suppliers wiki. I systematically went through and clicked on all the websites and compared their prices. After going through the list, I was really surprised that none had a decent website, great prices (except for Chinese suppliers) or a large variety. I felt like I was looking at the early days of the internet. Continue reading
It doesn’t look like the innovations in 3D printing will stop anytime soon. botObjects, a company based in New York and London, is planning on releasing the ProDesk3D, a multi-color 3D printer. Based on the specifications that botObjects has released, this would be quite an impressive 3D printer. The printer boasts a five color PLA cartridge system, two extrusion heads, 175 mm/s printing speed and 25 micron printing accuracy. Even with these impressive stats, the printer is expected to be priced at $3,249 ($2,849 early orders). This is about the same price as the Form 1 stereolithography printer from Formlabs.
Based on the samples and renderings Continue reading