Bernardo Michel Luhrs
2016 SEAP Intern
3D Printed Services
Many local libraries are now offering 3d printed services in which users can come in and print or design an object that they need printed. Some libraries offer this service for free but others charge a small fee dependant upon size or amount of prints per user.
Shapeways is an online service that allows anyone to upload or download someone else’s or their own design of an object to be 3d printed. The company allows the user to design the product, pick the material they want it made out of, and the dimensions of the product. Shapeways also has an interface which allows users to sell or buy other user’s designs that they have created.
MakeXYZ is not a 3d printing service but rather a way for users to connect. A person whom is in need of a 3d printer can be connected with businesses, local shops, or other people with 3d printers in their homes to print the object they need. The user then pays the supplier who will then ship the product to them within 3 days.
FunkyFaces is a company that allows users to upload images of their head to be 3d printed onto a Lego® head model. The company then sells the users their own personally customized Lego® figurine.
General Electric is using additive manufacturing to produce over 85,000 fuel nozzle heads for the Leap Jet engines. The company is using 3d printing as an easier and quicker solution to the assembly lines already in use.
The Boeing Airplane Company:
The airline company was one of the early adopters of 3D printing technology, and has made more than 20,000 3D printed parts for 10 different military and commercial planes. The 787 Dreamliner has 30 3D printed parts, including air ducts and hinges, which is a record for the industry. Using Stratasys 3D printers, the company also printed an entire cabin.
The auto company has been using 3D printing technology since the 1980s and recently printed its 500,000th part with a 3D printer, which was an engine cover for the new Ford Mustang.
Nike made 3D printed cleats for the 2014 Super Bowl. The Nike Vapor Laser Talon has a 3D printed plate and cleats made from selective laser sintering technology, and the Vapor Carbon Elite also has parts produced with a 3D printer. The Nike Vapor Laser Talon, which weighs 5.6 ounces, was designed for football players running the 40 yard dash on football turf.
With American Pearl jewelry company, customers can create a unique piece of jewelry by choosing specific metals, gems, or diamonds, ordering them online, and then 3D printing them. There are eight metal options to choose from, such as platinum or rose gold, as well as an array of diamonds and other gems like sapphires and emeralds.
Hasbro recently announced a partnership with 3D Systems, to develop and commercialize 3D printers later this year for children's toys and games.
Hersheys has also teamed up with 3d Systems to produce a printer that can print edible 3d chocolate designs. Although there is no word on when the printer will be released, the 3d Systems sugar lab has already proven that 3d printed food is possible.
MakieLab prints 10 inch flexible fashion dolls from thermoplastic. Customers can choose all of the features of the doll: face, eyes, jaw, smile, hair, and more. They are made in the London headquarters and shipped around the world. The company markets the product as environmentally friendly not only because of its custom printing that produces less waste, but also because the packaging is made from recyclable materials.
Design Reality, a UK based design consultancy, uses the Objet260 Connex1 multi-material 3D printer; to prototype gas mask respirators for the UK Ministry of Defence and US Fire Services – reducing a 5-6 day prototyping process to just hours.
Formlabs is the first 3D printer company to bring stereolithographic (SLA) printing to a mass market. Today, it has offices and two assembly plants in the US and Europe. In early 2016, Formlabs also acquired 3D marketplace Pinshape.
Carbon 3d, the 3D printing startup co-founded by CEO Joseph De Simone combines molecular science research with hardware and software technology to propose a system that could 3D print up to 100 times faster than current methods.
Local Motors is an American motor vehicle manufacturing company. They develop electric bicycles, racing cars, toy cars… and 3D printed cars. When first announced, the idea to 3D print an entire car as a single piece seemed like just another media stunt. And yet it proved to be not only successful but also one of the most daring and potentially disruptive initiatives in 3D printing.
MyMiniFactory is primarily a curated database of 3D printable models, as well as an academy for young designers who want to learn how to design 3D printable, physical objects.
Doob Group is a 3D scanning startup based in Düsseldorf, Germany that has achieved some spectacular results in the huge business of 3D selfies. Doob is the only one that offers fully tailored solutions — both with 3D software and 3D printing — as well as several branded stores with its proprietary “Dooblicator” photogrammetric 3D scanner. These stores are located in some of the biggest world capitals, including New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Berlin and Barcelona.
Whiteclouds focuses solely on offering a full-color 3D printing service. The strategy works, and Whiteclouds recently become the biggest full-color 3D printing service in the world, expanding its range of full-color Projet 660, 860 and 4500 3D printers from 10 to 24 machines – that’s a very impressive number, even for professional services.
ColorFabb is a company that produces a wide variety of materials that can be used in 3d printers. With their extensive offerings in PLA to Carbon Fibre to Copolyesters like the brand new nGen filament, ColorFabb is the 3D printing company to watch in consumables.
Founder Massimo Moretti’s focus is on developing a huge 3D printer to create low-cost housing units, using low energy and local resources. The technology has proven itself several times and is currently in use in Italy. However, the 3D printing company also makes some of the best low-cost delta 3D printers and are the only ones that can also implement an efficient system for pneumatic extrusion of clay. They have recently begun expansion overseas to the U.S. market.
This Swedish startup began by developing a commercial “consumable” for bioprinters, a low cost “hydrogel” that could be used in several different open systems. After that, they went the extra mile and launched a low-cost bioprinter.
Now they are already starting to pursue the idea of a Thingiverse-like database of biomodels, as well as the business of commercial bioprinting services.
Based in New York City, Body Labs is at the forefront of technology that makes it easier to create virtual copies of oneself, either to use in health and fitness or for online shopping.
Both applications can result in either virtual or 3D printed physical products, customized according to one’s exact body measurements and data.
DD produces blueprints for 3d printable guns, magazines, and ammunition. This has become widely debated as many people are questioning the safety of the weapons and whether or not these weapons are undetectable.
FabLens is a company which creates camera lenses through the use of 3d printers. They do not use actual glass in the lenses, but merely acrylic, which is able to replicate the same effect as a camera lens.