While I’m not in the market for a 3D printer, there was a large section at CES 2015 to explore. We cannot turn our backs on this unique and foreign technology concept. Printing something in 3D. After my time walking around, I realized I want a 3D printer! Most of time I spent in the 3D zone was seeing more how this technology is being applied to most all aspects of our lives. The technology has come a long way in the past few years and continues to grow in both quality and how it can be applied to everyday life things.
MakerBot- My First Stop
So this post all about MakerBot, which was my first stop. They had great examples of how to apply 3D printing technology.
The Feinstein Institute of Medical Research and Makerbot announced in a a joint press release on January 27, 2015 how the medical team utilized a MakerBot Experimental 3D printer to create “…cartilage designed for tracheal repair or replacement.” What the 3D printer generated was a tracheal scaffolding, obviously able to be customized because of the technology, then used to grow cells and create a replacement trachea section. This was a cost effective alternative to extremely expensive “bio” 3D printers. The MakerBot PLA (this is the filament feeding the printer and what eventually becomes the 3D print) was simply the regular PLA filament and there was sterilization from the heat in the extrusion process. I mean this is pretty awesome of an accomplishment. If you are more interested in this I pasted the link below to the press release.
Meanwhile, there was a long table of 3D printed items in glorious pastel colors. These came from the folks at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. Her team is partnered with MakerBot in a collaboration to create PLA filament colors designed by Martha Stewart and 3D printable items. Here is where the two companies find a niche area to exploit the features of having a 3D printer at home. A home consumer can purchase and download a “table accessory design” as you can see in the photos. To add to your options for printing colors, the PLA colors offered by Martha Stewart are called Lemon Drop, Robin’s Egg and Jadeite. All items can be purchased from the MakerBot Digital Store.
Finally, Hoover and MakerBot showed how a Factory part could get to the consumer by download and print rather than traditional order and ship. their partnership allows for a consumer to download 2 pilot accessories for their Hoover Air Cordless. A flashlight mount and a battery mount. The battery Mount is shown in the picture with my colleague holding it up. I mean, this is pretty revolutionary for my generation when it used to be calling an 800# to find the part and then paying and waiting a few weeks for shipping. This demonstrates the potential for a manufacturer to provide options for printing parts and accessories and may in the future reduce their costs to maintain inventory. Even if the consumer is slow to adopt the 3D technology, the warehouse/fulfillment house could be come a print and ship destination, which would greatly reduce manufacturing and inventory storage costs.
Press Release – MakerBot and Feinstein Institute of Medical Research – 3D tracheal repair
Press Release – MakerBot and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia – Collaboration Announcement