Chicago is near and dear to my heart because it’s where I grew up and it’s where my parents live. So any news coming out of that fair city, with its delicious deep dish and crystalline skyline, is near and dear to me, as well. For that reason, I’m excited – nee… proud – to announce that 3D Systems has partnered with the Chicagoan design firm, and member of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), Innovation Factory. The goal? To make Chicago the design capital of the world.
Innovation Factory, which 3DPI has posted about before, helps clients develop products from the blueprinting phase all the way through the prototyping and funding phases. They rely on their own crowd-sourcing platform, called Innovation Fund, where users can post ideas for projects based on both flexible and all-or-nothing funding models. And the firm boasts a wide range of materials from which they can help clients manufacture products, including radiant light film, conductive thread, illuminating resins and hand moldable plastics.
Thanks to an exclusive agreement with 3D Systems, Innovation Factory will now also have use of the complete line-up of 3D printers offered by the industry leader. Unsurprisingly, both parties had nice things to say about one another. Jonathan Kinlay, co-founder and CEO of Innovation Factory said: “We are thrilled to partner with 3D Systems and deploy their powerful portfolio of 3D printers across our Innovation Factory product development platform. Our work here in the area and with CGI will be greatly enhanced from this exciting partnership.”
And Avi Reichental, CEO of 3D Systems, stated: “We are energized by the work Innovation Factory does with CGI and look forward to being their exclusive 3D printing partner. This collaboration underscores our commitment to democratize access to 3D printing technology and localize manufacturing for the benefit of inventors, students and entrepreneurs everywhere.”
The CGI can be a somewhat controversial topic, with some saying that the meeting of world leaders, CEOs and heads of non-profits leads directly to positive global change and others describing it more as an excuse for wealthy people to get together and feel good about themselves. And still harsher critics say that it is used to give kickbacks to business partners and donors. I’m still looking into it and have yet to make up my mind, but I’m crossing my fingers that any meeting that has Desmond Tutu as a speaker is at least doing something to make the world a better place.
I also can’t say if they’ll democratize access to 3D printing, but the partnership between 3D Systems and Innovation Factory, along with the brick and mortar GetPrinting 3D and the free maker space at the Chicago Public Library, is sure to help get my motherland on par with competing 3D printing hubs in the US, like New York and San Francisco.
Source: 3D Systems