3D printed selfie!

The ‘Ultimate Selfie’ Made Possible!

http://goo.gl/ZCbcM2

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According to one 3D printing CEO, people are underestimating the potential demand for this product. Here’s why.

In the following video, 3D printing specialist Steve Heller interviews Conor MacCormack, CEO of Mcor Technologies, an Ireland-based 3D printing company that uses ordinary copy paper as the primary material in its printers, during EuroMold 2014, the world’s largest 3D printing conference, held in Frankfurt, Germany, in November.

The pair talk about the rise of the 3D-printed selfie and what it’ll take to reach critical mass. Ultimately, MacCormack believes Mcor’s suite of full-color 3D printers that have significantly lower operating costs — up to five times cheaper than the full-color competition — are well suited to drive the price of the 3D-printed selfie down to an attractive price point.

Steve Heller: We’ve seen a lot of these 3D-printed-selfie booths, if you will, around the EuroMold show. I know a lot of the technology uses a Z Corp technology, right, 3D Systems-based multi-material, full-color technology?

Conor MacCormack: Yes.

Heller: I was wondering if you could talk about the evolution of that. Is this the real deal? Right now, a 3D-printed selfie could be anywhere from $50 to $300, as you were saying earlier. Obviously, that price point needs to come down. You think that maybe Mcor could be a good fit for that.

MacCormack: Yes, I think people have underestimated — I don’t know how many people have said it to me here over the last two days. People have underestimated how big that [3D printed selfie] market is growing.

People thought it was a bit of a gimmicky idea. Who’s going to get a scan of themselves or whatever, and what will be the function of it? But they’re missing the point that if you can connect with somebody on an emotive level…

It’s something very strange about looking at yourself or someone that you know in a 3D printed sense. It’s a bit of fun, and that’s fine. It doesn’t all have to be part of a jet engine or something that goes into an aircraft. It’s fine to have something that’s a bit of fun.

When you look at these models here, something that’s pure white or something that’s full color, people are going to gravitate toward the full color, so the higher color quality is going to really only expand that market. I think that whole size of the industry is going to get really, really big.

If you look at, say, for example, photographs, the 2D photograph industry, I believe that’s a $200-$300 billion industry, and that industry is in a bit of a decline as maybe people are printing their images in different ways. That’s a real, real good opportunity for people in the 3D printing sense to actually tap into that.

I keep on calling these the “ultimate selfie.” When you turn on your Instagram instantly, the first thing it does is it’s pointing back at you — it’s not pointing out. We’re in that nation. We’re in that kind of era where people are taking scans of themselves and photographs of themselves, so I think people are underestimating the desire and the demand to print that.

When you want to get something that you’d have in your home or give to somebody as a gift, the two big things are price point and then the color quality.

If price point and color quality are the two big drivers in there, then we’re [Mcor is] very, very well, perfectly suited for that because running cost, as I said earlier we can be in full color maybe five times cheaper. Something that’s into that price range, something that’s $25, we’re $5. That’s the kind of things that we’re talking about. It’s big, big changes.

That means that people can set up businesses, people can become [3D printing service] bureaus. They can buy [3D printer] machines and they can offer the service. You will see this all over.

The [3D] scanners are becoming really, really small. You don’t need the big booths or a big investment, to get a big photo booth. You can get a scanner to fit over your iPad, you can use your mobile phone and scan people.

That’s getting better and better, literally on a month-per-month basis, and it’s all software-driven. It’s new algorithms that make the color matching better, make the geometry better, and then you’re going to be at the sweet spot where people will say, “Yes, that’s good enough quality. That’s the right price point for a gift. I’m not going to pay $300 for it, but I’ll pay maybe $30 for it.”

There is a number in there that actually will really accelerate it, and then it’s a case of can we make them fast enough, and how many machines are needed to tap into that massive market?

FOOL.COM
by Steve Heller, Fool Contributor | Feb 8, 2015 at 11:15AM

3D printing car factory!

To All Car Fanatics: Introducing the World’s First-Ever 3D Printing Car Factory!

http://goo.gl/0hK66z

National Harbor

The series production of cars using 3D printing is on the horizon.
If you live in the Mid-Atlantic region, you should soon be able to buy a 3D-printed car — or at least see one made. Developers at National Harbor — a 350-acre waterfront property in Prince George’s County, Maryland — announced their plans earlier this month to open a facility for Local Motors by year’s end. The facility, which is expected to be approximately 40,000 square feet, will include a 3D printing microfactory, lab, and showroom.

Local Motors aims to change the way autos are made and sold
The business model of Phoenix-based Local Motors, founded in 2007, involves crowdsourcing the designing of vehicles, and then building and selling them locally. Its ultimate goal is to open microfactories near all major urban centers. Manufacturing autos close to their ultimate buyers should cut down drastically on distribution costs.

The company currently has locations in Phoenix and Las Vegas, but according to theWashington Post, the National Harbor site would be “the first Local Motors outpost to print, refine and assemble a fleet of cars via 3-D printer.”

“It’s like an IKEA. People will come from all around to experience it,” the Washington Postquoted Justin Fishkin, chief strategy officer for Local Motors, as saying. I think that might prove true. Surely, many 3D printing aficionados, as well as tech lovers and auto enthusiasts, will probably find something of interest to do and see at the facility, which promises to have a major demonstrative — and perhaps even a participatory – bent.

Additionally, there reportedly will be hundreds of other 3D-printed items for sale. So, members of the general public who don’t fall into the above-mentioned groups might also find something that appeals to them – and their wallets.

Autodesk: Local Motors’ public-company partner
OK, so this is cool, but where’s the investing link?

Strati

Software maker Autodesk (NASDAQ:ADSK) announced last fall that it’s collaborating with Local Motors. Local Motors is using Autodesk’s Spark, a new open platform for 3D printing, as it continues to work with privately held Cincinnati Inc. and Oak Ridge National Laboratory to develop the Strati, the world’s first 3D printed full-size car. In September, the trio used the BAAM (big area additive manufacturing) machine that Cincinnati and ORNL are developing to produce the Strati electric vehicle live at the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago. They repeated the feat earlier this month at the Detroit Auto Show.

The Strati will initially be classified as a neighborhood electric vehicle, limited to driving on roads with posted speed limits of 45 miles per hour or less, according to Popular Science.However, PopSci also reports, “Local Motors is seeking approval from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for highway-capable vehicles.”

If the Autodesk-Local Motors team-up can demonstrate that the Spark platform increases the ease and efficiency of Local Motors’ 3D printing efforts on its Strati project and beyond, Spark could accelerate the adoption of 3D printing for industrial applications. This in turn would likely benefit Autodesk, which makes computer-aided design, or CAD, software for 3D printing as well as for other applications.

The bigger picture… a bigger 3D printing industry pie
If Local Motors’ efforts help light a fire under the adoption of 3D printing for industrial applications, the entire size of the 3D printing industry could grow faster than projected. And estimates are already robust: Industry analyst Wohlers Associates expects that the global 3D printing industry will grow from $3.07 billion in 2013 to more than $21 billion by 2020; that’s greater than a 31% compounded average annual growth rate.

In this scenario, manufacturers of 3D printers and companies that provide 3D printing services for industrial applications could benefit to varying degrees. These companies include 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD)Stratasys (NASDAQ:SSYS)ExOneArcam, voxeljet,and Materialise. (Materialise doesn’t make 3D printers like the others; however, it does provide 3D printing services.)

Granted, Cincinnati’s BAAM machine could be looked upon as a competitive threat to the existing 3D printing players. However, for the near and intermediate terms, I think it’s more likely than not that the introduction of BAAM to the scene will help the existing 3D printing companies more than it will hurt them. The target markets of Cincinnati Inc. and the existing players do not currently overlap, as Cincinnati is solely targeting large-scale 3D printing.  

Stratasys, in my opinion, could especially benefit from the increased use of 3D printing for both prototyping and short-run production applications in industrial settings. The 3D printing industry leader offers printers that can print in an impressive range of tough thermoplastics, well suited for various industrial applications. Unlike its main rival, 3D Systems, Stratasys currently doesn’t sell systems that can print in metals, though I think it’s just a matter of time until it does. Stratasys does, however, provide metal 3D printing services via its on-demand 3D printing services operation.

I also think it’s likely that Stratasys will eventually possess capabilities to print in carbon-fiber-reinforced plastics. Stratasys has been working with Oak Ridge National Lab since 2012 to develop FDM carbon-fiber-reinforced plastics. (FDM stands for “fused deposition modeling,” one of Stratasys’ three 3D printing technologies.) Successfully infusing reinforcing fibers into plastic feedstock is widely considered a major key to scaling up 3D printing to produce large parts for automobile, aerospace, and other applications where strong but lightweight materials are needed. And, in fact, the Stratis that are being produced by Cincinnati’s BAAM machine are largely being made using reinforced plastic.

Final thoughts
The proposed opening of the first factory to use 3D printing to produce vehicles is surely a positive for the 3D printing industry as a whole. It’s too soon, however, to predict how the success of such an endeavor will affect the fortunes of the existing players. But I’ll continue to follow the Local Motors’ story and keep 3D printing investors abreast of new developments.

FOOL.COM

by Beth McKenna, Fool Contributor | Jan 31, 2015 at 10:33AM