5 Things We Learned from Designers of Things
Our minds are still spinning from all that we learned at the Designers of Things conference in San Francisco last week. The event featured some of the leading experts from Iot, wearable tech and 3D printing. To help you wade through all the golden nuggets of information, we’ve put together five of the things we learned from this year’s event.
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1. If your product doesn’t become “smart”, it will be considered dumb
Adam Justice of Grid Connect was one of our Micro Talk speakers on the second day of Designers of Things. The VP of an IoT company, Justice told us a story about a ceiling fan that he recently bought for his house. The ordinary fan was functional but what caught his eye soon after was a model that allowed him to control it with his smartphone. Justice used this example to stress the importance of connectivity in future products, stating that we are soon reaching a point where products that are not connected, or “smart”, will soon be considered dumb.  
2. Products will need to move beyond smart, to become “wise”
Beyond being connected, our keynote speaker, Gadi Amit, stressed that products need to start to become “wise”. Amit taught us that being “smart” doesn’t necessarily mean that a thing has intelligence. He pictured a world in which wearables and other connected items are equipped with context and machine learning that will add even more value to our lives.
3. Prototyping Solutions for Real Problems 

Our closing keynote is one we won’t forget. It’s not everyday you see a keynote that involves pipe cleaners and plasticine but these were the tools that TV host Dr. Mike North used to teach us that playing and prototyping can be one in the same. North asked the audience to team up and identify a real problem our teammate was having and then asked us to solve for it. In just fifteen minutes, team presented hardware solutions for snoring, trekking around in the snow and encouraging people to connect in real life rather than be on your phone. 
4. Good things happen when you open up your IP
Duann Scott from Shapeways taught us that when brands work with the creative community by opening up their IP and collaborating on designs, everyone wins. The Shapeways SuperFanArt parntership with Hasbro has allowed 3D printing designers to play with brands like My Little Pony and Transformers and has resulted in new designs, new revenue and accolades from the press and the community itself.  
5. Wearables can make old things new again
Gesture-tech, Myo, from Thalmic Labs showed us that wearable technology can give new life to something that has been around for a while. Chris Goodine, Developer Evangelist from Thalmic, walked our audience through a hands-on intensive class to get them to code the classic game Tetris to be played with your hands using the Myo. Watching the teams play Tetris with their hands in their air rather than tapping, clicking proved new interfaces are going to allow us to see things in a whole new light.
Were you at Designers of Things this year? What were some of the lessons you learned? Leave them in the comments. 

5 Things We Learned from Designers of Things

Our minds are still spinning from all that we learned at the Designers of Things conference in San Francisco last week. The event featured some of the leading experts from Iot, wearable tech and 3D printing. To help you wade through all the golden nuggets of information, we’ve put together five of the things we learned from this year’s event.

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How 3DM and IOT Is Bringing On The Industrial Renaissance
Samir Shah is passionate about bringing manufacturing back to North America. His talk at Designers of Things this morning began with the grim fact that here in the Western world our manufacturing economies are suffering because he says, “we hung on to the buying and handed over the making part”. But Shah sees us bringing manufacturing home on a local level in a shift he calls the “Intelligent Industrial Renaissance”.
[[MORE]]Shah is the co-founder of 4AXYZ, a leader in 3D printing wood space through their proprietary additive manufacturing process called S.A.M. or Stratified Addictive Manufacturing. His company has created a 3D printer that extrudes, bonds, compacts and mills items out of wood. The company only has one machine but the dream is to have hubs and nodes of these types of machines all over the USA to change the way that we produce and buy goods.
Shah sees 3D printing as being able to bring manufacturing back to the US but in new way. 3D manufacturing will afford consumers the ability to customize, the ability for artists to make money off their crafted goods and retailers to avoid having to house inventory with the risk that it won’t sell. 

The ability to digital distribute goods will reverse traditional manufacturing conventions. In this world, the manufacturing process involves digitally distributing CAD files and shipping raw material to allow for production to happen locally without a real need to ship the final product itself. In this scenario, items are printed JIT: just in time which means that customers will be able to get their goods in days or hours rather than weeks and months. On the wood side, Shah indicated that a six person dining set with a four foot table could be printed in just under 10 hours for a consumer.

Equipping local cities with the ability to manufacturer will create new jobs here in the West but Shah admits that the number of jobs won’t be the same as the number required for commercial manufacturing in the East because the machines being used for 3D manufacturing are much more advanced and efficient.
But perhaps new jobs will be created from making these products smart. The “intelligence” in Shah’s “Intelligent Industrial Renaissance” comes from embedding connectivity and sensors into goods to equip them with things like wireless charging, the ability to gather data or to be controlled. The inclusion of IoT components during the 3D manufacturing process not only wakes up “dumb” devices to give them another purpose but it also adds another layer of personalization for the consumer.  Shah used the example of a lamp that could be made with wireless charging or ordered with the ability to sense motion to turn on and off.
Shah and his team are currently adding connected components by embedding them into a product as its being printed but he sees the use of flexible chips and sensors as taking this a step further.

How 3DM and IOT Is Bringing On The Industrial Renaissance

Samir Shah is passionate about bringing manufacturing back to North America. His talk at Designers of Things this morning began with the grim fact that here in the Western world our manufacturing economies are suffering because he says, “we hung on to the buying and handed over the making part”. But Shah sees us bringing manufacturing home on a local level in a shift he calls the “Intelligent Industrial Renaissance”.

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Three of Tech’s Hottest Trends Collide Tomorrow at Designers of Things
The world is changing. 3D printing is bringing manufacturing to the masses, the Internet is spreading out from our computers to connect all things in the Internet of Things and we are starting to get even more intimate with our technology by wearing it as clothing and accessories with wearable tech. These three shifts all have huge individual impacts on how we live our everyday lives as well as have influence on each other. One of the common threads between 3D printing, IoT and wearable tech is the ability to use this technology to design solutions that solve for real problems in our world which is at the core of tomorrow’s conference in San Francisco, Designers of Things.
[[MORE]]Beginning tomorrow, the Mission Bay Conference Center in downtown San Francisco will be the home to three of the hottest topics in technology today. Designers of Things is bringing together designers, developers and innovators in an event that is jam packed with live demos, technical sessions and networking parties.
We’ve spent the past few months featuring many of the speakers who are voicing their thoughts and experience at the conference these next two days. Most recently was a conversation with Duann Scott from Shapeways who spoke to us about his experience in “making really cool things” with 3D printing when brands like Hasbro open up their IP to the creative community. The Shapeways-Hasbro partnership allowed select designers to collaborate with the uber popular “My Little Pony” franchise in building new creations under this brand and selling it on the Shapeways platform.
Back in July, we caught up with Karl Martin, CEO and Founder of Toronto-based Bionym, a wearable tech company behind the Nymi, a wristband to identify who you are and then relays your identity to any connected thing via Bluetooth. As Martin explained, identity isn’t just about security and passwords but also about preferences and customization opening up opportunities to use the Nymi to do anything from opening smart doors and accessing your email to changing the music station and lighting in an environment you walk into while wearing it. 
“Sensing” environments is something Adam Justice from GridConnect knows well. In a recent featured speaker post, Justice talked to us about ConnectSense, his company’s line of sensors for the home which track anything from motion to light. And we spent considerable time discussing the importance of a great first experience for new technology, which he explained, was striving to make technology “stupid easy” for the end user so that they are not overwhelmed. 
Scott, Martin and Justice all join us beginning tomorrow as we continue these types of conversations live on stage in San Francisco. For those of you who are not able to make it to the conference, we will be live tweeting from the @DoThingsCon Twitter account and posting featured sessions on the blog so be sure to follow-us and check back here soon.

Three of Tech’s Hottest Trends Collide Tomorrow at Designers of Things

The world is changing. 3D printing is bringing manufacturing to the masses, the Internet is spreading out from our computers to connect all things in the Internet of Things and we are starting to get even more intimate with our technology by wearing it as clothing and accessories with wearable tech. These three shifts all have huge individual impacts on how we live our everyday lives as well as have influence on each other. One of the common threads between 3D printing, IoT and wearable tech is the ability to use this technology to design solutions that solve for real problems in our world which is at the core of tomorrow’s conference in San Francisco, Designers of Things.

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Local Motors Succeeds in Test Driving First 3D Printed Car
Last week, Local Motors announced that it was attempting to 3D print a car and then test drive it at the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in less than a week. Saturday, Local Motors took the Strati, the first 3D printed car, out on its maiden journey around McCormick Place after 44 hours of print. 
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The final design of the Strati was selected from over 300 proposals and is composed of only 40 components made of tiny pellets of plastic infused with carbon fiber. This is compared to the 10,000+ parts a usual car is made with.
Not all the parts were 3D printed. The electric powertrain, battery, wiring and suspension are all from third-party suppliers. The vehicle weighs nearly 1,500 pounds and can clock 100-120 miles at a maximum speed of 40 miles per hour. 
Local Motors is working on reducing the time to print and intends to sell the car by the end of the year. 
You can check out the car in action via the Vine Local Motors posted on Saturday.
Source: TechTimes
Header Image source: Local Motors Twitter

On the sixth day, we #drive. The @localmotors #3dprintedcar drives off the show floor today @imts_2014 https://t.co/jHKMR2iGD9
— Local Motors (@localmotors)
September 13, 2014

Local Motors Succeeds in Test Driving First 3D Printed Car

Last week, Local Motors announced that it was attempting to 3D print a car and then test drive it at the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in less than a week. Saturday, Local Motors took the Strati, the first 3D printed car, out on its maiden journey around McCormick Place after 44 hours of print. 

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Netflix Releases Print the Legend Documentary Trailer (Video)
There is no denying that 3D printing is a disruptive technology which has the potential of truly changing many verticals from manufacturing to health. Netflix’s newest documentary, “Print the Legend”, explores the companies and people behind the growing 3D printing movement. This week, Netflix released the trailer to this film which will be available on the streaming network September 26. 
[[MORE]]The documentary takes a look at some of the innovative companies making 3D printing accessible to the masses including MakerBot and FormLabs. It also dives deep into some of the more controversial stories we’ve seen surrounding this technology including the 3D printed guns and printing prosthetic hands for those in need.
"Print the Legend" originally showed at SXSW and won the special jury recognition award for editing and storytelling. We’ve got to admit that just from the trailer alone you leave feeling like something pretty powerful is happening with this technology. We’ve got the trailer for you below or you can hit this link

Netflix Releases Print the Legend Documentary Trailer (Video)

There is no denying that 3D printing is a disruptive technology which has the potential of truly changing many verticals from manufacturing to health. Netflix’s newest documentary, “Print the Legend”, explores the companies and people behind the growing 3D printing movement. This week, Netflix released the trailer to this film which will be available on the streaming network September 26. 

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World’s First 3D Printed Car Live Printed This Week, Driven Saturday
We have seen houses, castles and even canoes created by 3D printers and so seeing a fully functional car in this list makes total sense. History will be made this week as Local Motors live prints the first 3D printer car followed by its first drive this Saturday. The print is expected to be 44 hours in length and will take place in Chicago at The International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS).
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Called Strati, the vehicle will be printed in one piece while the internal components will be sourced from other suppliers. All pieces will be assembled by global co-creation company, Local Motors who are most known for creating the off-road desert racer, The Rally Fighter. 
“The Strati was designed by our community, made in our Microfactory, and will be driven by you,” said John B. Rogers, Jr., CEO of Local Motors. “This brand-new process disrupts the manufacturing status quo, changes the consumer experience, and proves that a car can be born in an entirely different way.” 
Following the show, Local Motors will continue using 3D printers in its car creation. They intend to launch production level 3D printed vehicles for purchase in the months following the show.

World’s First 3D Printed Car Live Printed This Week, Driven Saturday

We have seen houses, castles and even canoes created by 3D printers and so seeing a fully functional car in this list makes total sense. History will be made this week as Local Motors live prints the first 3D printer car followed by its first drive this Saturday. The print is expected to be 44 hours in length and will take place in Chicago at The International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS).

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Last Week to Register for DoT 2014 with Special Pricing
Advance rates for Designers of Things expire Friday, September 12. Register this week to save up to $150 on your VIP, Tech or Demo Pass.
All pass holders will gain access to the Demo Hall, featuring cutting-edge technologies from innovative companies, including Autodesk, Freescale and Grid Connect. Join them and other participating companies to learn about new products, interact with designers and developers, and establish relationships with the brightest minds in wearable tech, 3D printing and IoT. Additionally, pass holders are invited to attend on-site parties hosted by Shapeways and Proto Labs after the Demo Hall closes on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively.
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VIP and Tech pass holders can also access a wide range of talks, intensives and workshops covering these technologies, including: Designing for 24/7 Wearability with Nirav “Rav” Sheth  from MC10, Designing Voice Interfaces for Wearables and Other Form Factors with Tanya Kraljic from Nuance Communications, and Wireless Connectivity and Wearables: The What, How, and Why with Cary Bran from Plantronics.
Visit the session scheduler on the Designers of Things Conference website for the full session listing or download the Official DoT 2014 app.

DoT 2014 will take place September 23-24, 2014 at the Mission Bay Conference Center at UCSF in San Francisco, California.

Last Week to Register for DoT 2014 with Special Pricing

Advance rates for Designers of Things expire Friday, September 12. Register this week to save up to $150 on your VIP, Tech or Demo Pass.

All pass holders will gain access to the Demo Hall, featuring cutting-edge technologies from innovative companies, including Autodesk, Freescale and Grid Connect. Join them and other participating companies to learn about new products, interact with designers and developers, and establish relationships with the brightest minds in wearable tech, 3D printing and IoT. Additionally, pass holders are invited to attend on-site parties hosted by Shapeways and Proto Labs after the Demo Hall closes on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively.

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Opening Up IP to Make Really Cool Things: Featured Speaker Duann Scott
Back in July, Hasbro and Shapeways embarked on a completely new venture never before attempted by a major brand. The global toy maker opened up its IP for its uber popular “My Little Pony” franchise to enable fans to 3D print and sell their own creations on leading 3D printing platform Shapeways. We caught up with Shapeway’s Designer Evangelist, Duann Scott, to chat about this partnership and talk about how cool things can happen when brands open up their products to the 3D printing community.
[[MORE]]SuperFanArt launched at Comic-Con 2014 and saw five designers have license granted to them to create new art and product offerings under the My Little Pony Hasbro brand. All of the designs, including some pretty wicked “Bronies” are all for sale on the Shapeways site. 
Scott told us that this is just the start of the partnership with Hasbro and that we should see the SuperFanArt program expand to offer license to a wider audience and start to include other Hasbro brands such as Dungeons and Dragons and Transformers.
As exciting as seeing branded art being created by fans that love it, for Scott the fact that a large brand like Hasbro has opened its IP to allow for the design community to collaborate is “groundbreaking”. He hopes that the success of this program will serve as a case study for those brands who may be afraid that they will lose control if they do the same. And he is hopeful that more brands and companies move in this direction.
The benefit for brands to partner with a platforms like Shapeways in creating 3D printed user generated content is the manufacturing, distribution and customer service. As Shapeways handles the printing and selling of the branded art, the print quality and customer experience associated with its brand is kept at a high level of standard. The benefit for the designers is the license to create under an existing brand and have the ability to profit from it. 
Scott sees more and more software being developed for designers to be able to customize without the need to know conventional 3D modelling techniques removing one of the major barriers of 3D printing today. With tools making the process easier to create and the license from brands to give designers the freedom to do so, 3D printing is well positioned to develop a new type of market where brands co-create with the community to develop new interpretations and products they may not have had the ability to realize otherwise.
Duann Scott will be speaking about the Hasbro-Shapeways partnership at the Designers of Things conference later this month in a session called “Fans + Open IP = Internet of Really Cool Things”. 
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This article is part of our featured speaker series for Designers of Things Conference which takes place September 23-24, 2014 at the Mission Bay Conference Center in San Francisco, California. Get your VIP and Tech passes by clicking here. 

Opening Up IP to Make Really Cool Things: Featured Speaker Duann Scott

Back in July, Hasbro and Shapeways embarked on a completely new venture never before attempted by a major brand. The global toy maker opened up its IP for its uber popular “My Little Pony” franchise to enable fans to 3D print and sell their own creations on leading 3D printing platform Shapeways. We caught up with Shapeway’s Designer Evangelist, Duann Scott, to chat about this partnership and talk about how cool things can happen when brands open up their products to the 3D printing community.

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Stratasys and Jenny Wu Pair Up To Create 3D Printed Jewelry Collection
Leading 3D printing company, Stratasys, has partnered with designer and architect, Jenny Wu, on her first 3D printed jewelry collection called LACE. The collection includes necklaces and rings which are inspired by geometric patterns and organic movement which are motifs found in the art and design installations she is most known for.
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Wu is an American architect and partner at the award-winning firm Oyler Wu Collaborative which specializes in experimental and progressive projects. Its most recent installation, The Cube, was a sixteen meter tall painted steel and rope installation created for the Beijing Biennale.
The LACE collection comprises of a line of 3D printed wearable jewelry including the graphic Tangens necklace which will be made available in black, white or translucent and a sterling silver polished Papilio ring inspired by the fluttering of a butterfly wing. The Papilio ring was recently sold via Paddle8, the International fine art and collectibles auction site.

"I wanted to design a range of jewelry that could be avant-garde yet wearable, and approached it from my architectural heritage of spatial and line-based geometries to form a bold but soft spectacle for the body," Jenny Wu explains. "From my 15 years’ experience with 3D printing for architectural projects, I knew it would deliver the capabilities to realize my creative vision for jewelry. 3D printing offers an elegant aesthetic and enables different layers and densities of fine and detailed pieces to be intertwined and produced within hours instead of months."
The LACE collection is in the final production stage and will be available Autumn 2014 from: http://www.jennywulace.com/

Stratasys and Jenny Wu Pair Up To Create 3D Printed Jewelry Collection

Leading 3D printing company, Stratasys, has partnered with designer and architect, Jenny Wu, on her first 3D printed jewelry collection called LACE. The collection includes necklaces and rings which are inspired by geometric patterns and organic movement which are motifs found in the art and design installations she is most known for.

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Linkin Park Gets 3D Printed For Fans 
Linkin Park is the latest music group to leverage the power of 3D printing to market its music. The band has teamed up with German 3D scanning and printing shop, Stramba, to offer realistic figurines of each band member to mark “The Carnivores World Tour 2014”.
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Based in Berlin, Stramba offers 3D printed photo-realistic figures and call themselves “pioneers” in this field. They offer their services to print and handcraft celebrities as well as ordinary people. 
Back in June of 2014 they scanned the entire band of Linkin Park and are now offering fans the chance to buy band members individually or as a group. Limited edition 1:5 scaled versions of Rob Borudon, Mike Shinoda, Chester Bennington and others in the band retail for $499 with only 99 available in the run. While a regular run of figurines scaled 1:10 of the each band member is available for $149. The entire band can be bought as one figure for $295.
All 3d figures are made of polymer clay and are printed and handcrafted in Berlin by Stramba. They take up to two weeks to create on demand and then another 3-4 days to ship. Right now Stramba has “exclusively opened [its] doors for Linkin Park” but its website states that they “will add more celebrities from Music, Sports, Movies and more all the time”.
Linkin Park joins Cut Copy and Bloc Party’s Kele Okereke and W.ill.i.am in using 3D printing to market music either by showcasing this new technology in a music video, like Cut Copy and W.ill.i.am have done in the past, or in the case of Kele Okereke actually use a 3D printer to print LPs of a new track.

Linkin Park Gets 3D Printed For Fans 

Linkin Park is the latest music group to leverage the power of 3D printing to market its music. The band has teamed up with German 3D scanning and printing shop, Stramba, to offer realistic figurines of each band member to mark “The Carnivores World Tour 2014”.

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Protecting 3D Printing Designs: Featured Speaker Patience Jones
As the consumer 3D printer space grows, so too are concerns about pirating of digital files which allow people to 3D print designs without the designers permission or any direct compensation for its use. In a way, the physical world is about to embark on a similar journey the media industry continues to struggle with in managing and monetizing products that have now gone digital. We sat down with Designers of Things speaker, Patience Jones, who graduated from the University of Michigan Law school to get glimpse into this topic which she will be also speaking about at the conference in September.  
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Jones has extensive experience working in the legal field on cases involving Intellectual Property. When it comes to protecting of 3D designs, Jones told us that in theory the same protections of written work apply, namely copyright, trademark and patents. But at this time it remains to be seen how the courts will apply the current structure to this new technology. And it may not be for a couple of years until we see some answers come to light. Jones told us that a critical 3D IT patent case was filed in Minnesota in 2013 and is currently scheduled to be handled by the courts in 2015.  
In the meantime, she did suggest that we could look to what happened in the music space, especially around the time of Napster, where a lot of fines were being thrown around before the fusion in the market took place and new monetization models appeared, including streaming music companies.
Jones did give some advice for those designing in 3D. The first is to understand who their client is and what the client expects. If you are a designer who has been commissioned to design a vase for someone, you need to know who owns the right to that vase. Will you own the rights or is the expectation that those rights will be transferred to the client you are working for. The second is that you have to register the right with the patent office and the bigger and more complex the project is, the more you will want to get an attorney involved. 
Ultimately though, when it comes to designs, there is a lot of room for interpretation, Jones told us. The closest thing she can relate to 3D printable designs are cases where large retailers get sued by designers for supposedly stealing their patterns and making them for cheaper. Despite years of litigation, many of these cases have not ended up very successful for the designers who take action.
Patience Jones will be talking about “3D IP: Intellectual Property Issues for Innovators” at our upcoming conference in San Francisco this September. 
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This article is part of our featured speaker series for Designers of Things Conference which takes place September 23-24, 2014 at the Mission Bay Conference Center in San Francisco, California. Get your VIP and Tech passes by clicking here.
 
 

Protecting 3D Printing Designs: Featured Speaker Patience Jones

As the consumer 3D printer space grows, so too are concerns about pirating of digital files which allow people to 3D print designs without the designers permission or any direct compensation for its use. In a way, the physical world is about to embark on a similar journey the media industry continues to struggle with in managing and monetizing products that have now gone digital. We sat down with Designers of Things speaker, Patience Jones, who graduated from the University of Michigan Law school to get glimpse into this topic which she will be also speaking about at the conference in September.  

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Gartner Hype Cycle Pegs Wearables, Connected Homes & Consumer 3D Printing as 5 to10 Years Out
The Gartner Hype cycle is a fantastic tool for businesses to plan their attack in using emerging tech in their portfolios. This year’s report shows the long road wearables, consumer 3D printing and even the connected home have before they reach success with the mass market. 
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Gartner positions consumer 3D printing and Wearables in the “Peak of Inflated Expectations” phase which represents a time when a hype cycle encounters a lot of publicity with some successes and scores of failures. Both are pegged to reach mainstream adoption (or the “Plateau of Productivity”) in 5 to 10 years.
Enterprise 3D printing on the other hand has been identified as being in the “Slope of Enlightenment” phase, a time when benefits are clear and enterprises start to get behind a hype cycle. Gartner predicts that enterprise 3D printing will reach mainstream adoption in 2 to 5 years.
When it comes to the Connected Home, Gartner sees this hype cycle as having the longest road of those that we have discussed. Connected home is defined here as a potential technology, living in the first phase as a Technology Trigger. 
One interesting hype cycle to note is Gesture Control which has graduated to the Slope of Enlightenment when comparing this year’s report to the 2013 version. Gartner gives Gesture Tech a 2 to 5 year estimate on mainstream adoption.
The Hype Cycle diagram is just one part of a full report by Gartner who is celebrating its 20th year of publishing this type of insight.

Gartner Hype Cycle Pegs Wearables, Connected Homes & Consumer 3D Printing as 5 to10 Years Out

The Gartner Hype cycle is a fantastic tool for businesses to plan their attack in using emerging tech in their portfolios. This year’s report shows the long road wearables, consumer 3D printing and even the connected home have before they reach success with the mass market. 

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Bringing On The Industrial Renaissance: Featured Speaker - Samir Shah

4 AXYZ is in the additive manufacturing business. But instead of printing with plastic, the company has developed technology which would allow them to create the first 3D printing machine to manufacture solid wood products. The company believes that a machine with this potential could radically shift the way we create and buy items crafted out of wood.  

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US Army Looking Into 3D Printed Food for Soldiers
Soldiers of the US army may soon be eating 3D printed food tailored to fit their nutritional needs. According to Army Magazine, the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center (or NSRDEC) is currently evaluating new methods of 3D printing which would allow soldiers to print pizzas to sandwiches with 3D printers equipped with ingredients they are either provided or, possibly in the future, items they have foraged in the field.
[[MORE]]One of the methods the Research Centre is assessing is the use of ultrasonic agglomeration, a process which shoots ultrasonic waves at particles to bind them together. Using this method, 3D printers would be able to create solid food in shapes you would expect, like a pizza looking like a pizza for example. This would drastically increase items on the military menu and could even reduce food costs because food could be printed on demand.
But the real benefit for NSRDEC is the ability to print food that is enhanced with nutrients which would be tailored to the particular dietary needs of the solider depending on their situation. “If you are lacking in a nutrient, you could add that nutrient. If you were lacking protein, you could add meat to a pizza,” Lauren Oleksyk, an NSRDEC researcher, told Army Magazine.
Food printing is already something that is being achieved in the 3D printing space but it is still very much in its infancy with most of the methods layering paste to create candy and edibles that need to be baked. Advancements in food printing spearheaded by the military could have far-reaching impacts on not just how we feed our soldiers but possibly how we feed our communities. We may all one day be heading to our 3D printers to cook up a family dinner.  
Source: Army Magazine via Motherboard/VICE

US Army Looking Into 3D Printed Food for Soldiers

Soldiers of the US army may soon be eating 3D printed food tailored to fit their nutritional needs. According to Army Magazine, the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center (or NSRDEC) is currently evaluating new methods of 3D printing which would allow soldiers to print pizzas to sandwiches with 3D printers equipped with ingredients they are either provided or, possibly in the future, items they have foraged in the field.

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Report Finds Businesses Evaluating 3D Printers, Few Using Them
3D printers have definitely gained a lot of attention this past year. These powerful maker machines have the potential to disrupt many industries but how many businesses are actively using them and for what? These are some of the questions Tech Pro Research asked to over 600 businesses in a study they did on “3D Printing: Benefits, Trends, Enterprise Applications”. 
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The report found that many businesses are evaluating the use of 3D printers but few are actively using them. In fact only 12% of the respondents indicated that they were using 3D printers at work. But despite the small number of organizations who are using them, most surveyed (48%) are evaluating them with 19% planning to implement 3D printers within the next 12 month. 40% of those surveyed said that they had no plans to implement or evaluate 3D printers for their business.  
Of those that are using 3D printers, most are using these machines for testing of ideas or concepts (73%) while prototyping (67%) and manufacturing of parts (40%) were also ways 3D printers were adding value to organizations.
For the 40% of businesses who are currently not considering 3D printing, Tech Pro Research found a lack of business need (66%) and lack of value proposition (27%) to be the reasons. They also identified that companies who do not perform engineering or manufacturing work do not see the benefit of these devices.

Report Finds Businesses Evaluating 3D Printers, Few Using Them

3D printers have definitely gained a lot of attention this past year. These powerful maker machines have the potential to disrupt many industries but how many businesses are actively using them and for what? These are some of the questions Tech Pro Research asked to over 600 businesses in a study they did on “3D Printing: Benefits, Trends, Enterprise Applications”. 

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