3D Printing: A Bridge Between3D Printing: A Bridge Between
Engineers, Designers and Innovation?Engineers, Designers and Innovation?
From A to Z
Life before academia
Subtractive Manufacturing 101
The really old way: Take a block of material and
carve it out
You want to make a bust of yourself...
The more modern
•Generate 3D model
•If possible, recycle
Additive Manufacturing 101
• Generate a 3D CAD
• Software slices the 3D
model into thin slices
• Machine builds it layer
• The thinner the slices,
the better the quality
of the model
For most of the 90s, Additive Manufacturing was
known as Rapid Prototyping, and mostly used
for prototyping engineering parts.
In the last decade AM has begun to make
appearances in real, commercially available,
products, ie. moved beyond prototypes.
Why Additive Manufacturing?
1. Complexity for Free
3. Complete products in one print
4. Trying Ideas with minimal risk
5. Encourages Innovation
6. Supply-Chain Reduction / On-demand
Advantage 1: Complexity for Free
• The more complex the part, the better it is
suited to Additive Manufacturing (AM).
• If a part is relatively simple, there are,
generally, more cost-effective ways of
manufacturing it than AM.
• Many simple parts can often be consolidated
into one much more complex parts as no
assembly is required (so less assembly labour).
Art & Design Objects
Freedom of Creation
Advantage 2: Mass customisation
• A small production run of parts can be
undertaken in which each part is uniquely
customized to suit the user
• It costs no more to do 100 different
components than 100 of the same component
• This opens up a whole new area of business
for products that are mass-custom-made for
Knee replacement, EOS
Hip socket, Ala Ortho, Italy, made
on Arcam machine
Laser Sintered Hearing Aids,
Dental Crowns and Bridges, EOS
Know your baby before its born…
Tomohiro Kinoshita , of FASOTEC, the company
offering the 'Shape of an Angel' model, even offers
parents a miniature version which could be a 'nice
adornment to a mobile phone strap or key chain.'
Advantage 3: Complete Products
• AM allows the production of complete
products with moving parts. This can greatly
reduce the amount of assembly (ergo labour)
required to make products.
Textile & Fashion Applications
Freedom of Creation
Francis Bitonti & Michael Schmidt Studios
3D printed airplane
University of South Hampton
Advantage 4: Try Ideas at No Risk
• Testing the market with an idea, using
traditional manufacturing methods, can often
be extremely expensive. AM allows small
production runs of product to be taken to
market with very little capital risk.
• This allows many more inventors to realize
their inventions and test their market validity.
Galantai Soap Dispenser
Short production run of
100 units undertaken for
Adding Aesthetics to Utility
People who feel good about how
they look are likely to be happier
than people who are uncomfortable.
Bespoke Innovations has taken
this to heart and, through the power
of AM, has created what they call
3D Printed Musical Instruments
• Body configuration without flex
• CAD files suited for mass-customisations,
aesthetics, neck scale/style, pickups,
bridge, electronics, tremolo, etc.
• Colour on SLS
Where to from here?
• Have sold around 30 instruments since July
• Americana won Best in Show at NAMM 2013
• Licensed designs to 3D Systems in November
2012. They are now working to take over sales
• Working on app that allows customer to
design their own 3D printed guitars in an
intuitive ‘gaming’ style
“Spore” Guitar Creator online customer co-creation software
Advantage 5: Encouraging Innovation
• The relatively low-cost ability to easily try out
ideas generates many innovations that would
just not have seen the light of day with
• AM has seen children returning to making
things. Where, over the past 20 years, they
have slowly drifted into a digital
entertainment age, 3D printing is now
allowing them to move back from digital into
Beauty and the beak
FabCafe in the Shibuya, Tokyo offers
custom-printed chocolate, that
resemble a customer’s face. It’s done
with 3D printing technology
“Eat Your Face Machine” (EYFM) is a
3D printer developed by David Carr
and the MIT Media Lab
May 2013: 3-D Printer Makes A Bionic Ear
The “inks” consisted of hydrogels mixed with calf cells and silver nanoparticles.
Michael McAlpine, Princeton University
Baby's Life Saved with 3D Printing
Researchers built a 3D printed device that saved the life of Kaiba Gionfriddo, born with a rare
condition, tracheobronchomalacia, that caused life-threatening breathing problems.
polycaprolactone splint, Dr. Glenn
Green and Scott Hollister, PhD,
University of Michigan
Prototype engagement ring, in case she says “No”
Innovative use of power sources
Markus Kayser’s “Solar Sinter” 3D printer
And, of course, it was only a matter of time…
The Justin Bieber
Virginia tech’s 3D printing vending
The DreamVendor is an interactive 3D printing vending machine for Virginia Tech
students to enable them to quickly make prototypes for their academic, or personal,
design projects. Insert an SD card with the 3D model into the machine; the
DreamVendor then prints your 3D part and dispenses it into a bin when it's finished.
The Challenge: Innovation vs Engineering vs Design
Don’t be stupid!
You cant do that…
What do you mean
you can’t make it like
Additive Manufacturing missionary
Innovation and AM
• Yes! We absolutely need more engineering
research into the technical aspects of AM
• Design for AM is fantastic!
• But let’s not forget about the innovations
that are often brought about by those who
know nothing of the engineering constraints
• So avoid telling people what cannot be done
How do you avoid telling people what cannot be
done with AM while, at the same time,
dispelling the many myths created by bad
reporting, and by us giving people bad advice by
telling them that anything can, and should, be
made with AM?
In other words, Is it time that we now start a
much more effective and responsible education
program around AM and it’s uses?
Because it crosses all disciplines, from hard-core
engineering, to art & design, to social sciences,
to business, additive manufacturing gives us an
unprecedented opportunity for all disciplines to
work in much closer synergy than ever before,
and to innovate in an extraordinary manner.