Category Archives: 3D printing & RP

Fabricating and 3d printing roundup of 2008

Wedgwoodn’t ceramic tureen created by Michael Eden with 3d RP technology.

Wedgwoodn’t ceramic tureen created by Michael Eden with 3d RP technology.

Fabbaloo, the blog devoted to all things fabbed (as in fabricated, 3d printed and desktop manufactured) offers this roundup of the field’s trends in 2008:

  • The rise of sophisticated specialized printing services. Let’s face it; there have been 3D print services around for quite a while, but it’s only this year that a few breakthrough companies began applying advanced Web 2.0 approaches to the problem. Companies like Ponoko, Shapeways and others are breaking new ground and beginning to gather a large audience that will eventually become the personal manufacturers of the future.
  • The increasing capabilities of large-scale 3D printers. Increased build chambers, more colors, new and unusual print media and multiple media printing were all introduced by the major equipment vendors, Z Corp, Stratasys, 3D Systems and Objet. More, please!
  • We’re still waiting for the price breakthrough. The “Apple Laserwriter moment” has not yet arrived, but it’s surely coming. Equipment such as MCOR’s paper printer and Desktop Factory’s sub-USD$5,000 device should be generally available in their initial incarnation in the coming year. Meanwhile, we await an inexpensive device to really blow open the market.
  • The creativity unleashed by personal manufacturing. One can only look at Ponoko’s library of designs to see what is beginning to happen; nothing less than Web 2.0 for manufacturing.

I have no doubt that 2009 will be a turning point for Rapid Prototyping and desktop manufacturing – it will be the year when everyone gets extremely excited about its possibilities, and realises that there’s really a Second Industrial Revolution in the making.


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Let there be stuff! The magic of rapid prototyping

FRONTdesign Sketch Furniture chair

FRONTdesign Sketch Furniture chair

Artists and designers are being drawn to the still evolving technologies of 3D printing and rapid prototyping like moths to the light. The potential seems enormous, the possibilities expand daily, the capabilities of these state-of-the-art technologies appear magical enough that they might allow us to solve our ecological meltdown, our lust for endless novelty, our post-modern desire for individuality and our creative yearnings, all in one mind-boggling go.

FRONTdesign has been experimenting with laser sintering 3D printing, developing a method to materialise freehand sketches drawn directly in the air. They showed the process of making Sketch Furniture and the final pieces of furniture at Tokyo Wonder Site last November – here’s the video:

Hector Serrano at 100% Design, London

Hector Serrano‘s project Waterdrop, developed in collaboration with Javier Esteban for Spanish bathroom company Roca, is currently on show at 100% design in London. The installation is presented as a tribute to water, and aims to capture its movement and beauty. Watch the animation here.

Serrano, originally from Valencia, studied Design Products at the Royal College of Art and is now based in London. His studio works on commercial designs with Spanish and international companies, but has also developed a strong experimental side with projects such as their Reduced Carbon Footprint Souvenirs, that can be sent by e-mail and then manufactured on demand using stereolithography rapid prototyping.