Reflections after 16 hours with a new 3D printer
As a spectator, it may appear like 3D printers are getting closer than ever to being as easy to use as a desktop inkjet printer. For those who have purchased (or indeed built) their own 3D printer over the last few years, you’d know that this is not the case. There is a lot of tweaking, upgrading and also patience required to get this amazing technology up and running in your own home.
Scott Hanselman plunged into the world of 3D printing and has published an hour-by-hour account of his first two days (16 hours of ‘working’ time) with the Printrbot printer. It’s an engaging tale of triumphs and woes, with much useful advice for others who may be wondering whether to purchase a printer of their own in the near future.
I’ve been using this printer now for basically 16 total hours over a few days, so we’ll call it two days. I went through a number of emotions over this last two days an learned a TON, some about the Printrbot Simple Metal specifically, but also about 3D Printing in general.
Click through to read the full account and discover why Scott’s concluding thoughts are positive and optimistic about the future of home 3D printing.
via Scott Hanselman
How 3D printing went from pipe dream to your desktop
When Ponoko was founded back in 2006, we envisaged the third Industrial Revolution, where consumers of the future can download and make products at home. The road to distributed digital mass production was paved by the pioneering work of stereolithography inventor Chuck Hull and transformed once again with the rise and rise of MakerBot, to name just a few.
In a fantastically comprehensive article over on Digital Trends, the full history of 3D printing has been laid out in detail.
3D printers are all the rage with enthusiasts, but they didn’t just materialize out of nowhere like the sculptures they produce. Here’s the untold story of how the next big boom in technology came to be over 30 years.
It’s a fascinating story where dreams become reality and the stuff of science fiction enters our daily lives. We have seen this first-hand, with over 400,000 custom products produced online via Ponoko’s global network of digital making services.
Click through to Digital Trends to learn how other key influencers have helped shape the strange past and seemingly impossible future of distributed digital mass production over the past 30 years.
via Digital Trends: Manufacturing the Future
image thanks to Pete Golibersuch/Knurling LLC
Anatomy of a successful Kickstarter
Jeremy Williams is the San Francisco based engineer / hacker / programmer / maker / video game enthusiast behind the Game Frame, a fully-programmable grid of LEDs designed to make it easy to display animated pixel art and old-school video game graphics.
Earlier this year Jeremy raised over $154,000 on Kickstarter for the Game Frame – an amazing sum considering the project’s original $15,000 goal.
7 months later – With the last of the Kickstarter rewards fulfilled, we sat down with Jeremy to get some insight into what led to his amazingly successful campaign.
Here’s a look at what has happened before and after the campaign was funded, along with some important lessons—both good and bad—that crowdfunding hopefuls can learn from Jeremy’s success story.
Discover where technology will take us over the next 12 months
With another year wrapping up and a whole new 365 days of 2013 ahead of us, the big thinkers over at frog’s Design Mind posed the question of just what this bright future has in store. Some of the technologies mentioned are already surfacing as a part of our daily lives, whereas others are represented by emerging trends that may see continued development and growth, rather than full realization, during 2013.
The list was compiled by a collection of technologists, designers and strategists from the vast intellectual pool at Frog’s studios across the globe. Did 3D printing make it into the top 20? You bet it did.
The broader topics include:
– More Intelligent Machines
– Devices With Human Appeal
– Inspiration From the Physical
– Enhanced Online Selves
– New Roles for Existing Tech
– 3D Printing Goes Mainstream
– Tech Gets Poetic
– Specialized Social Networks
To find out just what it is that digital manufacturing will be doing for us over the next 12 months and see further treats that are just around the corner, click through to the source article for the full story.
frog via FastCo Design
Sugru sheds light on the unsung hero of creativity
Most of us have already encountered Sugru, and many are using it in all kinds of interesting, creative ways. The team behind this extraordinary putty have enjoyed becoming a hub for Fixers so much that they put their heads together to come up with an equally extraordinary document: The Fixer’s Manifesto.
“We made this to fuel the conversation about why a culture of fixing is so important.”
Drawing inspiration from documents such as the Repair Manifesto by Platform 21 amongst others, this variation seeks to expand and grow by tapping into the huge community of makers, thinkers and fixers that have already shown such inspired creativity using Sugru.
Click through to see the The Fixer’s Manifesto in full, and keep in mind that this currently exists as Version 1.0 in what is intended to be an ever-evolving credo that can be tweaked and tinkered with, in true Sugru style. (more…)
Technology, economy, change, and Detroit.
Last week, more than 50 leaders in today’s entrepreneurial technology scene gathered at the invitational Techonomy conference.
Our own David ten Have was invited to join a panel entitled The DIY Economy: The Democratization of Finance, Design, Manufacturing, and Distribution. Fellow panelists included Grady Burnett of Facebook, Mark Hatch of TechShop, and Danae Ringelmann of Indiegogo.
The idea was to feature speakers that represent each stage in creating your own business. Funding (Indiegogo), prototyping (TechShop), manufacturing (Ponoko), and marketing (Facebook).
You can watch the full 45 minute panel sessions in the video below or read the transcript here.
Dave’s latest interview is online.
3D Printer Hub recently posited ten questions to own David ten Have, digging deeper into the implications of 3D printing.
Dave talks about what excites him most about this technology — “ARM and Arduino platforms… the vehicle for making much smarter 3D printed products” — the ethical grey area of democratizing manufacture, and whether all this 3D printing buzz is an evolution or a revolution.
Favourite quote: “This business is about unleashing creativity. Anytime you allow people to honestly express themselves, you create much, much more value than you can throw your arms around.”
Read the full interview at 3D Printer Hub.
The results are in from the first survey on 3D printing community
A little while ago, we mentioned that the P2P Foundation were putting out a call for participants in the first ever wide-scale survey on the 3D printing community. The results are now in, and they provide a number of interesting insights on where things are heading in the world of digital manufacturing.
“3D printing has been around for a few decades already. In that sense, the technology is nothing new. What is different now is the method in which 3D printers and related software are developed and in some cases even manufactured: the open source/peer production model.”
People are increasingly aware of the far-reaching changes that are rapidly becoming a part of their everyday lives. Networks of users, development processes and established systems all interact in a cyclical process that fuels enthusiasm and drives innovation. (more…)
Welcome to the third Industrial Revolution
At what point has the status quo been shaken to its core… and we can declare ourselves in the midst of a Revolution? Reflecting on the changes that are taking place in various manufacturing industries, a recent article in The Economist puts forward some interesting points and suggests that we are, indeed, at the cusp of the Third Industrial Revolution.
If you’ve ever wondered about the impact that technologies such as Additive Manufacturing can have on a larger scale, then you are well advised to click through and read the full text. Before the really juicy content kicks off, there is a neat overview of current industrial practices, followed by an introduction to 3D printing and how it is already so much a part of our lives. Then things start to get interesting.
It’s not all about Additive Manufacturing – the factory of the future is also evolving to make use of smarter and more flexible production equipment. This means that as the number of people directly employed in making products declines, there will be a direct impact on the cost of labour (and therefore cost of production). What does this mean? Manufacturing techniques will make it cheaper and faster to produce locally, moving work back to the rich countries that enjoy so much gleeful consumption.
“Everything in the factories of the future will be run by smarter software. Digitisation in manufacturing will have a disruptive effect every bit as big as in other industries that have gone digital, such as office equipment, telecoms, photography, music, publishing and films. And the effects will not be confined to large manufacturers; indeed, they will need to watch out because much of what is coming will empower small and medium-sized firms and individual entrepreneurs. Launching novel products will become easier and cheaper. Communities offering 3D printing and other production services that are a bit like Facebook are already forming online—a new phenomenon which might be called social manufacturing.”
“The fine line between speaking and being heard is storytelling.” – Greg Power
Editor’s note: In this guest post, CEO and co-founder Cassandra Glessner of San Francisco based nonprift SF Commonality gives some marketing advice that we at Ponoko truly believe in: sell your story and the orders will follow.
Forget marketing. That’s right, I said it; forget branding, synergy, and any other buzzword that make people’s eyes glaze over and brains recoil in horror. The most important thing that any small business start-up should recognize instead is that what you are really selling when you sell anything is a good story.
If people buy your delicious tomatoes or your jewelry or your solar panels, your whats-its, or your widgets; they are buying it because they are sold on the story of it. They compare, in an instant firing of emotional synapses, the story of that product with other stories of the other products out there, and purchase yours because they found yours more personally compelling. Your photographs, your presentation, you yourself — everything you put out there about your product is part of that story.