his past May, a 54-foot-tall inflatable duck floated into Hong Kong harbor, delighting the wide-eyed children and bringing grins to the faces of unsuspecting adults. Thousands came by, smartphones in hand, to snap a picture of themselves with the duck. A huge floating rubber duck is the kind of thing people want to remember. But what if there were new ways to highlight an event like the Hong Kong duck, something beyond pictures? What if we could create an in-store retail experience that could help people capture the moment in new and exciting ways? And how could 3D printing be used to do it?Continue Reading
Thousands of years ago, ancient cultures (Egyptians, Greeks, Hindus) used wooden splints wrapped with linen to secure broken bones. Hardened casts started popping up in different forms around 30 AD, incorporating anything from wax and resin, to seashells and egg whites, to flour and animal fat in an effort stiffen the bandages and set the bone more reliably. The process evolved over centuries until we arrived at the plaster bricks we put on our broken bones today, which offer superior support and customized fit to provide the best environment for healing. But casts can invite a host of nasty skin issues, itchiness, staph infections, and dermatitis into your life. Not fun. A splint, on the other hand, is removable and less itchy. However, in order to secure the fracture, its straps must be very tight, meaning a lot of throbbing, aches, and general pressure. But leave it to a mathematician with a broken wrist and 3D Systems technology to experiment with a wrist cast/splint (a “clint” or a “splast”). His mission: to quickly blend optimal support with comfort and removability.Continue Reading
New 3D scanning and 3D printing technologies are allowing us to obliterate old limitations. They’re giving rise to disruptive inventions, unseen production methods and dynamic products. 3D technology is a lot of fun, too. Take foosball. Foosball is fun.Continue Reading
Last month I wrote about Bend Not Break, a memoir written by Ping Fu. Fu is the founder of Geomagic and now chief strategy officer at 3D Systems. In her book, Fu wrote about her life as a young girl in China and her experiences living under Mao’s Cultural Revolution. She described being forcibly removed from her family by the Red Guard at 8 years old and spending the next ten years living with her younger sister in a government dormitory under brutal conditions before ultimately emigrating to the U.S. For me, it was a harrowing, but ultimately uplifting story about overcoming adversity.
But that’s not how many people reacted to the book.Continue Reading