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Category: 3D printer

There are 3 posts published under 3D printer.

What do You Think is Going to Disrupt the Technology World Most in 2014 and Why?

The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.


1. Wearable Tech


They are not only the next obvious horizon for consumer technology, but also smart watches, Google Glass and the like will force the tech world to re-approach the human-technology interface that we’ve relied on for so long — keyboards. Many ways of interacting with technology are being tried for novelty (Siri, for example), but it will only become crucial as wearable takes off in late 2014.


Brennan White ( ), Watchtower ( )








2. Same-Day Delivery


Amazon is doing it. Wal-Mart is in on it. Even eBay is joining up. Same-day delivery will have as much impact on changing consumers’ habits and eliminating the need for social contact and traditional errand running as the miracle of the Internet has had in the last 20 years.


Ty Morse, Songwhale ( )


ty morse







3. 3D Printing Advancements


I think advancements in 3D printing will be the most disruptive technology to come out in 2014. It will allow first world countries to produce goods at a much lower cost without having to pay taxes and tariffs. If developing countries lose income because they are losing manufacturing contracts, will they continue to respect our intellectual property laws?


Nikki Robinson ( ), Gloss and Glam ( )








4. Privacy-Enhancing Technologies


Privacy has been an ongoing issue since the Internet has existed. With more data available than ever, and cases of service providers or government agencies sharing private information, privacy-enhancing technologies are growing in importance. We are reaching a peak in privacy issues, and I believe 2014 will be a pivotal year for services to aid in enhancing users’ privacy.


Phil Chen ( ), Givit ( )








5. Healthcare Automation


Healthcare will be big in 2014 with new legislation adding complexity and requiring more care. Disruption will come from new digital health tools that deliver the care and efficiently pay for it.


Neil Thanedar ( ), LabDoor ( )








6. Mobile Payments


More and more big brands, such as Starbucks, are integrating payment in their mobile apps. I think whoever cracks the code on simple mobile payments across many brands or apps is going to win big. Because everyone is so connected through their mobile devices now, adding a payment option will make the connection even greater and more valuable to brands because of the intelligence it will provide.


Sarah Schupp ( ), UniversityParent ( )








7. TV on the Internet


Netflix has started to make its own content, and cable as we know it will change. Because this content is released in seasons, not episodes, consumer demand for entertainment will no longer be on a linear schedule. Widespread Internet-TV consumption will be made possible via expanding fiber optic networks, and it will allow advertisers to become more dynamic to a specific viewer’s preferences.


Ben Rubenstein ( ), Yodle ( )


ben rubenstein







8. Self-Driving Cars


I think you’ll begin to see self-driving cars take root in 2014. Transport trucks, taxi cabs and, finally, consumer-level cars will all be driverless within the next 10 years. However, this next year you’ll see the first steps occur in the consumer space in California.


Liam Martin ( ), ( )








9. Virtual Reality for Gaming


Gaming technology is evolving fast because it’s such a competitive industry. With the new consoles having the ability to track almost any motion and interaction with the game in real life, it’s only a matter of time until the technology incorporates vision into the experience and literally puts you in the game.


Russ Oja, Seattle Windows and Construction, LLC ( )




3D Printing: Hype Or Transformative Technology? By Vikram Kumar of Mega

Everyone seems to be convinced that 3D printing will be transformative. The BBC noted in a recent news item that “the technology is available for the same price as a top-end TV at shops… 3D printing has been hailed as the future of manufacturing.”


3D printing, or more appropriately ‘additive manufacturing,’ creates solid objects from digital files, one layer at a time. This allows innovative designs, complex shapes, and a variety of materials that are otherwise impossible or impractical using conventional manufacturing techniques. Because each build is essentially custom, it’s suitable for one-off or low volume manufacturing. At the same time, this custom build is also 3D printing’s major weakness, because the lack of economies of scale.


What does the future hold?

Even unanimous predictions of success can’t guaruntee a technology’s success.. When the Segway was launched, many claimed that it would “be to the car what the car was to the horse and buggy.” The original Iridium satellite network ambitiously aimed to create an orbiting phone network that could beam calls to every inch of the Earth’s surface. However, the founding company filed for bankruptcy nine months after the service launched.
So, what is the future of 3D printing? Will it live up to its promise of being “the future of manufacturing” or dissappear like the Segway, restricted to only a handful of hobbyists? The signs so far have been positive but the future is uncertain.


A framework for predicting technology-led transformation

In the absence of a crystal ball and a well accepted predictive model, a good starting point is to look back at technologies (in the broadest sense of the term) that have succeeded. What led to their success? What ingredients did they have that were absent in the failed cases?


There is no doubt that some recent successes appear with the Internet and iDevices (iPod, iPhone, and iPad). The former is an open platform while the latter is tightly controlled by Apple. This difference indicates that the openness or closed nature of the technology is unlikely to be a good indicator of success.


It seems that one critical ingredient for a techonology to be really groundbreaking is for the technology to be a platform.  Success comes from enabling the development of an ecosystem based on the technology, rather than a narrow impact of the particular technology itself. An ecosystem implies diversity of suppliers, views, business models, and ‘skin in the game.’


How are new business ecosystems created?

Predicting success then shifts to considering the creation of a new business ecosystem in the future, a more difficult and complex question than looking at 3D printing alone. Again, in the absence of a crystal ball and a well accepted predictive model, I’d like to put forward a potential approach.


Jonathan Zittrain’s book The Future of the Internet- And How to Stop It put forward the view that ‘generativity’ is an essential character for the development of open platforms. In his book, Zittrain defines this term as “a system’s capacity to produce unanticipated change through unfiltered contributions from broad and varied audiences.”


Very usefully, the book provides five principal factors that indicate if an ecosystem created by a new technology is generative. A critical point Zittrain makes is that the technology needs to meet all five factors, rather than only some of them, in a mutually reinforcing fashion. Looking at the extent to which 3D printing meets the five factors, individually and as a whole, then becomes a way to predict whether it will lead to a new business ecosystem and thereby become truly transformative.


Leverage: the more a system can do, the more capable it is of producing change.


Adaptability: how easily the system can be built on or modified to broaden its range of uses.


Ease of mastery: how easy it is for broad audiences to understand how to adopt and adapt it.


Accessibility: The easier it is to obtain access to a technology, along with the tools and information necessary to achieve mastery of it, the more generative it is.


Transferability: how easily changes in the technology can be conveyed to others.


3D printing ticks each of these five factors.



The framework and analysis developed here is neither robust nor a guaranteed predictor of 3D printing’s future success. Nevertheless, it provides a reasonable basis to predict that 3D printing will in fact become transformative by being a generative technology leading to the development of a new business ecosystem. In the absence of a crystal ball, that’s about as good as it gets.


Backing that up, here’s one early example: already 90% of all in-the-ear hearing aids are made via 3D printing to optimise and individualise acoustic qualities. And 3D printing is just beginning.


Reaping The Benefits Of The 3D Printer

The 3D printer, a device which came out in 1984, and having been used in industrial conditions for 20 years,

has finally caught the public eye, and has become available for common man. Over the past few years, the technology has not only become more refined, but incredibly cheaper as well, and therefore more readily available for public use. Companies such as Stratasys, and Cube have made the 3D printer available for as little as $300, and fairly simple to operate.


With any technological item that fosters so much room for creativity, and potential for mind-blowing feats, we often see incredible ideas, and uses of the technology at hand, further expanding it’s range of utilization. The same is with the 3D printer. While most people have stuck with printing napkin holders, and life-size models of Yoda, here are some extraordinary things that people are doing with their 3D printers.

Custom Designed Surfboards

MADE Boards, a company that is a part of an ongoing Kickstarter project, is using 3D printers to design surfboards that are custom designed for each surfer. Using the mobile app for MADE Boards, customers can figure out which board shape and style is best for them, and then MADE will build that board. The internal structure of the surfboard is made using the 3D printer. Shannon Marks, MADE Board’s founder says that 3D printing allows the company to take into account the surfer’s geographical location, the way he or she rides their surfboards, and uses this performance data to influence the design of the surfboard. All this data is collected using the MADE app, and cross-references weather, wave-speed, and wind direction to give customers the most personalized surfboard they can get.


 3D Printed Home

DUS architects, an Amsterdam based Dutch firm, plans on using a 3D printer to build a home. The firm is using a nearly 20 foot 3D printer called the KamerMaker to build parts of the house from plastic. The firm says the process has already begun, and that they aim to have the entire front of the house build by the end of the year, and that a 3D printed kitchen, study, storage, and guestroom are soon going to be added to the building.


 Human Organs

Using cells and a 3D printer, researcher Stuart Williams, claims that all human organs, including the heart, can be printed, using the 3D printer to create ‘bioficial organs’, within the next 10 years. These organs will essentially be made out of the patient’s own cells, a detail which will rule out the medical danger of patients “rejecting” donor organs. “Treatments for heart disease right now,” Williams says, “often involve devices that don’t cure the disease, but what they certainly do is prolong life and allow patients to get out of bed in the morning. The total bioficial heart concept is a cure for cardiovascular diseases.”