3D Systems sues the maker of the Form 1 3D printer and Kickstarter for patent infringement

What will this mean for low cost 3D printers and crowdsourcing?

Formlabs, maker of the Form 1 3D printer that was a runaway hit on Kickstarter, is being sued for patent infringement by 3D systems. 3D systems is also suing Kickstarter for promoting the project on the grounds that Kickstarter had a financial stake since they take a 5% cut.

The Form 1 raised $2,945,885, a remarkable feat, because it offered low-cost stereolithography printing. Other low-cost printers like the MakerBot and RepRep use a plastic extrusion technique, but the Form 1 uses UV cure resin, allowing for much higher resolution prints.

This brings us to the main issue. 3D Systems has an extensive patent on the use of stereolithography for 3D printing, and they are claiming that Form Labs violated it. Specifically, 3D systems is claiming that Form Labs infringed claim 1 and 34 of U.S. Patent No. 5,597,520.

This will be a case to watch. Regardless of the outcome, it could have a large impact on the future of low cost 3D printing and crowdsourcing.

Via Tech Crunch

Joshua Harker’s 3D printed sculpture explodes on Kickstarter (again!)

Yeah… I want one.

Anatomica di Revolutis

Joshua Harker, an artist who took up 3D printing to push beyond the limits of sculpting, took Kickstarter by storm last year with his Crania Anatomica Filigre skull design.

Now he’s back, with a new project called Anatomica di Revolutis that builds on the aesthetics of his previous work and takes it to new heights.

Harker’s first Kickstarter project raised nearly $80,000, while this latest one has over $20,000 in less than a week of funding. (In fact, the $20k mark was reached in just four days!)

The project starts with an ornate skull design at the center, which combines with two other pieces to form an elaborate mechanical sculpture: (more…)

Form 1 3D printer reaches almost $3M on Kickstarter

The low cost stereolithography 3D printer reached almost 30x its funding goal and broke the Kickstarter record.

The Kickstarter campaign for the Form 1 stereolithography 3D printer beat all expectations and then some. It ended with $2,945,885 in funding, almost 30x the goal of $100,000. It had $1M in funding in the first day, and before the end it broke the Kickstarter record formerly held be the Oculus Rift of $2.4M.

What make the Form 1 special is that it is the first laser-based 3D printer available at an affordable price. While most stereolithography printers cost tens or hundreds of thousands, the Form 1 was offered for as little as $2299 for the first 25. It is aimed at (and price for) the professional market, but this price is still shockingly low compared to equivalent printers currently on the market.

Read more about the printer in our earlier post announcing the beginning of the Kickstarter campaign.

Via WebProNews

MilliMount smartphone mount prototyped with Ponoko, launches Kickstarter campaign

Unexpected uses expected

MilliMount

MilliMount, an expandable smartphone mount that recently launched on Kickstarter, was prototyped early on using Ponoko’s 3D printing service.

If funding is successful, the combination phone stand/tripod mount/windshield mount will be manufactured through traditional means. But during development, Spatial Studios used one of the great strengths of 3D printing: iteration. That enabled creator Randy Ganacias to make changes over and over until the design was declared finished.

Scanning documents

What’s neat is that although many use cases have been planned for (such as book scanner, above), it’s the unplanned ones that are most intriguing. The MilliMount has space to accommodate metal rings, elastic bands, and bolts… All in service of connecting up whatever odd thing you can think of.

(more…)

PandaBot 3D printer launches on Kickstarter

Friendly and disruptive

PandaBot 3D printer

The PandaBot 3D printer launched on Kickstarter earlier this morning, coming in an initial backer price of USD$800. Panda Robotics, the company behind the PandaBot, hopes to entice new users by providing friendly software and sturdy, attractive metal construction not normally seen at that price point.

I visited the Toronto office of Panda Robotics yesterday to have a look at the prototype unit and see some test prints. I’ve taken part in some events with Panda in the past, but I’d never really had time to sit down and watch their printer in action.

Here’s a comparison shot of how the resolution of the prototype’s prints has improved over time: (more…)

Electro-luminescent prayer mat glows when facing Mecca, a Kickstarter project

bringing the El Sajjadah to production

The El Sajjadah is an illuminating prayer mat by product design studio SOPDS. Using a built-in digital compass and user input of current location, the mat detects the direction of Mecca and lights up when properly oriented. The glowing pattern depicts the story of life and indicates a place for the feet and hands during prayer.

This innovative combination of technology and religion has received international attention ranging from a cover story in the UK’s T3 magazine to the International Inventor’s Fair in Kuwait to a recent exhibition and acquisition by the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Encouraged by the global interest in the El Sajjadah, SOPDS members Soner, Bahadir, Ben, and Cat have launched a Kickstarter project to put his prayer mat into production and make it available to the 1.6 million+ Muslims around the world.

Rewards for project backers include both an A3 and full scale size prints, an actual El Sajjadah from the first production run, a customized version from our UK lasercutting partner RazorLAB, and the opportunity to work with designer Soner Ozenc on a completely custom electro-luminescent prayer mat.

Check out this Kickstarter video to learn more about the project and see the mat in action.

TJ* the animatronic puppet on Kickstarter

An Arduino-controlled puppet with moving eyes and mouth.

Jeff Kessler originally made TJ* to use in a short movie he was making before deciding to develop it for the public. TJ* is an animatronic puppet head with eyes the move up, down, left, and right as well as a moving mouth.

It is intended as both a toy for children that they can continue to improve as they grow up and as a development platform for makers and artists.

The complete system is still available for pre-order on Kickstarter for $120, but if already have an Arduino you can pre-order just the head and servo motors for $50.

Via designboom

Meetup recap: Talking prototyping and Kickstarter

November Bay Area Ponoko Meetup RecapStarting this past November, we have established a new format for Ponoko Bay Area Meetups. After relaxed conversation over drinks and nibbles we then kick into 4 short presentations on a theme.

November’s meetup was centered around prototyping, and as we were fortunate to have two speakers with hugely successful Kickstarter campaigns, the discussions looked into that as well.

I kicked off proceedings by discussing the prototyping process for my recent Rocket Ship Project – which you’re welcome to download all of the files for and make or elaborate upon yourself.

Ryo Chijiiwa told the story of how he designed and prototyped a small solar charger device, which he then put up on Kickstarter, where he raised over $30,000 for his first production run of the product. You can read more about his project and purchase one of his solar chargers at http://www.bootstrapsolar.com/

Shandy Brown was next, passing around some of the exquisitely engraved hexes from his Boardcrafting project. He talked about the process behind developing the initial idea, developing the final design and then also having wild success raising funds on Kickstarter to optimize the product and begin shipping it – raising over $44,000.

Finally, Josh Reuss presented a wide variety of prototypes for the Sunburst Clock project he is currently working on. He talked about the key considerations necessary when approaching a product idea and his process for developing, refining and perfecting a design. I myself was so taken with his clocks I’ve now got one in my kitchen.

Our next Ponoko Bay Area Meetup will be held in February, and will focus on maker businesses and creative entrepreneurship – the challenges and rewards of making and selling products yourself. We’ve got two super exciting speakers already lined up, and are still looking for a couple more. If you’d like to join us, RSVP now! If you’re interested in speaking, please be sure and get in touch with us.

If you’re interested in hosting a Ponoko-supported meetup in your own city or town – register your interest on our Ponoko Meetup Everywhere page. If you work out a date and location, we’ll be happy to assist you in promoting the maker gathering and making it a successful event!

Help make this 3D printed skull the most funded sculpture on Kickstarter!

4 Days left to help fund Crania Anatomica Filigre

crania front

I covered this unique Kickstarter 3D printed sculpture project by Josh Harker several weeks ago. Harker is now in a final push to get within the top three most funded art projects before his Kickstarter timer runs out. To do this Crania Anatomica Filigre must raise at least $75,691 in pledges.

In order to achieve his goal, Harker has added additional rewards to appeal to new backers and those who may want to upgrade their backing dollar amount. Including a special skull within a skull variation for top tier backers.

If your keen to support this project, please visit the Kickstarter project page.


David is an industrial designer from New Zealand. He contributes a weekly article on personal fabrication for Ponoko. You can follow him on Twitter @dizymac

3D printed skull sculpture — a Kickstarter project

Artist’s Kickstarter project aims to put more art in front of more people

Crania Anatomia Filigre is a 3D printed sculpture by Joshua Harker who is using Kickstarter to launch the art piece and to reach a more global audience than is possible with galleries and exhibitions.

This delicately designed sculpture is based on drawings Harker made about 20 years ago, and now finally technology has caught up to the artist’s ideas.

Harker is full of praise for 3D printing, claiming what was once impossible to produce in sculptural form is now in the realm of reality:

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