3D Printing

3DPI Editorial Round-Up: June 2014

Another month has come and gone and we are exactly half way through 2014. Where has that time gone? Blink again and it will be Christmas! At 3DPI it’s been another busy one. We continue to grow the team and this month welcomed Land Grant and Hsin-Ju Chuang to the writing team, while Elias will be able to enjoy some respite with support from Tony over on 3DPI.TV.

Ari, Eetu and Mark all made the trip to South Korea for the Inside 3D Printing Event there (it was a longer journey for some than others) and were nigh on staggered at the welcome and interest they received there. Overall the event proved the most successful to date for the organizers, Mediabistro.

In terms of 3D printing land, where to start? I guess it has to be with the furore surrounding the goings on at Makible. The company has been struggling to fulfill orders and is in difficulty which has seen mixed reactions from backers of the crowd sourced funding campaign, subsequent buyers and the Makible community in general. The full spectrum of the reactions can be seen in the comments section following the article. I have had word from Jon Buford that he will take up his right of reply, but still awaiting the opportunity to move that forward. The unfortunate situation at Makible is indicative of the general problems that many small 3D printing start-ups face. And while we all love the success stories, it just goes to show that great ideas — and good intentions — do not always translate to a workable business model.

We can’t leave June behind with out mentioning the extravaganza that is the FIFA world cup, which is, I believe, still ongoing! Companies across the 3D printing industry focused some of their marketing activities on the frenzied attention that this top level football championship attracts right across the globe. Just some of the 3D printed football-related applications that got our attention were the SambaCan, the sports bags by Nike and a (symbolic) 3D printed football.

But perhaps the most poignant was the very first kick of a ball in Brazil, which was enabled, in part, by 3D printing, which was used in the making of a robotic exoskeleton that allowed 29 year old Juliano Pinto to kick the ball.

Medical and healthcare applications of 3D printing easily form the basis for the most inspirational stories about the tech. Even when large corporations are involved, they bring out the very best in people and, more importantly, make a real difference to real lives. Nothing sums this up more than the growing movement around 3D printed prosthetics — at the local level. Land also reported on the healthcare sector, with a specific focus on what is happening in NYC, the territory he is predominantly covering for 3DPI.

The “Made in America” ethos got a big boost in June. America Makes is certainly still very active in this regard, but the impetus this month came from the highest echelons — specifically the leader of the free world himself. President Obama hosted the first White House Maker Faire and prior to the event was 3D scanned and 3D printed — the results of which were unveiled on the day.

There were also a couple of videos focused on 3D printing doing the rounds this month. They were both intended as jokes and raised some laughs, but in fact there is a serious side of the productions that provide a commentary on the status of the actual use, uptake and perceptions  of 3D printing. Kudos to the Klaxons and Creative Fuel.

Talking about raising some laughs, a few of us, childishly, found it hard to keep a straight face covering the new Dildo Generator! And I, for one, think Scott’s name was much better.

It would be remiss of me not to mention Materialise joining the swelling ranks of publicly listed 3D printing companies this month. The company celebrated its IPO by ringing the NASDAQ bell on its first day of trading on 25th June.

And so into July, which will see regular writer Scott coming to work with us full time. Yay! Ari and Eetu are off to Australia for the Inside 3D Printing event in Melbourne, meanwhile, on the other side of the world I will be jumping in my car and heading down to Nottingham for the International Conference on 3D Printing & Additive Manufacturing.

It’s only going to get busier …..