Three companies of major interest to the 3D printing industry will be making their appearance at Austin’s SXSW Interactive conference this month, two start-ups and one well-established 3DP player. BioBots and CreoPop will be present at the event’s Accelerator startup competition, while XYZprinting has been nominated for the Interactive Innovation Awards.
The 7th annual Accelerator startup competition is intended to help “Uncover Amazing New Startups” and takes place at and around the Austin Convention center, the general hub of SXSWi activity. This event is brought to you by the ominously powerful Oracle and will pit ambitious inventors and thinkers against each other in a gladiator-style fight to the end. Just kidding. This competition is judged by people of varying degrees of power and influence in the tech industry. (Though if you do thirst for blood, Game of Thrones is returning to SXSW.)
The Accelerator competition all began when, out of hundreds of applicants, 48 were selected by the SXSW Screening Committee for competition. On Saturday, March 14, they will perform in the hopes of making it into the top 18, to be decided the following day, and, from that point, a new set of co-emcees and judges will review the applicants. Grand prize winners will finally be selected by the end of the day and honored at the SXSW Accelerator Awards that evening.
BioBots has been selected as a finalist in the “Digital Health and Life Sciences Technologies” category. This category honors products and services that help the medical community and patients create “better outcomes”, while maintaining sustainability and affordability. As one of the selected applicants, BioBots has an icon to celebrate this nomination on their website, so clearly they hold some respect for the wisdom of the SXSWi community.
BioBots has accepted the quest to recreate some of the finite complexities of human tissue for the betterment of humankind, using scanned 3D data sliced into layers, and recreated with biomaterial extruded from a printhead with X, Y, and Z-axis movement. BioBots has set out to build a bioprinting tool that is accessibly low-cost enough to reach out to a large number of scientists, engineers, physicians, DIY biologists, etc.”, while ensuring a resolution high enough for the task at hand. Their tumblr account is emphatic and earnest about the importance of such a task.
CreoPop has been selected as a finalist in the “Innovative World Technology ” category. This category is for those “creative and innovative” technologies that just can’t seem to fit in the other categories of Accelerator. CreoPop’s technology belongs to a category of innovation sometimes known as “3D printing pens”, which gives users the ability to draw shapes in the air (and in the round). According to their official website, CreoPop has developed the “world’s first 3D pen with cool ink.” Instead of heat, CreoPop uses photopolymers to let their “ink” flow, with the photopolymers “solidified using LED diodes”, allowing the user to make totally gnarly 3dDshapes. They are currently in the preorder stage.
The Interactive Innovations Awards honor the “best and latest advancements in 2014.” This year XYZprinting is up for the category of Innovative 3-DIY. This award is intended to bring honor and recognition to a company for using affordability to increase the accessibility of 3D printing or to a Maker for utilizing the technology. XYZprinting is being honored for the da Vinci 1.0 AiO. This product is an “All-in-One” printer that integrates scanning technology, editing software, and 3D printing for an accessible user experience. Winners will be announced on Tuesday the 17th.
The nominations of BioBots, CreoPop and XYZprinting are a validation of the significant role that the 3D printing industry is playing in the greater technology sector. This recognition may serve to strengthen the creative resolve of the industry and lead to exciting new possibilities. Stay tuned for more news from SXSW Interactive 2015.