3D Printing

Xavier's Center for Innovation Adds MakerBot Innovation Center

People living in Ohio have a lot of pride for their state, which is understandable when it is so easy to find inspiration everywhere. Murphy Company holds the Buckeye State particularly near and dear to our hearts, and that is why we are excited to share that Cincinnati, Ohio based Xavier University purchased a MakerBot Innovation Center for their own Center for Innovation (CFI). The Innovation Center comes complete with thirty one MakerBot Replicator 3D Printers (twenty five desktop, three Z18s, and three mini compacts), three MakerBot Digitizer desktop scanners, a large supply of MakerBot PLA filament, and software to manage the entire system. I had the pleasure of speaking with Shawn Nason, director of the CFI, to learn more about innovation, MakerBot, what this integration means for Xavier, and to dispel some myths about 3D printing.

Meeting Up with MakerBot

In early January, a small group from Xavier consisting of Nason; Annette Marksberry, Assistant Provost and CIO for the university; and Carol Maegly, Assistant Vice President for Provost Budget & Planning; set off to Las Vegas to attend the largest Consumer Electronics Show in the world.

The annual conference is devoted to everything and anything within the world of consumer electronics, from the latest wearable technology and phone apps to the future of audio and video. A decent sized section of the event is dedicated to the ever growing 3D printing industry, and that is where 'X' marked the spot for the Xavier group.

"Our intentions when we went there were not to strike up or make any deals.  I had attended before, but [Marksberry] and [Maegly] had never been, so the mindset was to go out there for two and a half days, immerse them into what it was like, and to help open up our eyes to where we could go in education."

Upon arriving at the conference, they were initially drawn to MakerBot's eye-catching pavilion, and decided to stop in to have a brief conversation with the company. That evening, the Xavier group committed to purchasing the Innovation Center, and by the next morning, they had signed the deal. They were now the proud owners of a piece of history.

Xavier's Center for Innovation

For most people, committing and signing a deal this large within twenty four hours of hearing about it is considered spontaneous, but Xavier is no stranger to 3D printers. Professor of mathematics and computer science, Gary Lewondowski, bought one in 2012 and librarian, Alison Morgan, applied for a grant to create a MakerSpace within the main library. After receiving the grant approval, she added two printers to the university's catalog. Coincidentally, all three printers happened to be MakerBots.

With all of this attention spent on ingenuity and cutting edge technology, it is no surprise that in 2014 when a rash of colleges began closing their doors, Xavier developed a plan to increase revenue for the school while also benefitting the student body. That is where Nason came into play.

"I was brought in to look at creating non-traditional revenue streams for the university," claims Nason.

CFI works specifically with the health care industry, higher education space, and what Nason refers to as the, "innovation igniter" space. They provide training and development around innovation practices and capabilities.

Those outside of Xavier's academic community are not excluded from using their services. In fact, a fair amount of companies work with them, including architecture firms and print shops, to name a few. They even printed fossil bones for the Cincinnati Museum Center.

The Future of 3D Printing

In the ever expanding 3D marketplace, my exposure to different perspectives and directions grow as Murphy Company ventures further into this arena. At the time of this interview we are also in discussions to represent MakerBot as another addition to our 3D product line. The expansion does come with a common concern voiced from those new to the community. "Will 3D printing be something that is really going to stick around, or in time, will the spools run bare for good?"

Our confidence in this area is rooted in witnessing a twenty five year old technology being updated, utilized and brought to the forefront of innovation by educational institutions like Xavier, and thought leaders like Nason. Having accomplished so much in such a short time, I was curious to know where he thought the technology was heading.

"I believe that 3D printing is just really a disrupter to all industries. This next week we'll be speaking at South by Southwest, and we are talking about innovation detonation. I honestly believe that it has so many applicable uses in innovation and industries."

He recounted a story to me about a project that an Intro to Making class has been working on:

"They are literally doing all kinds of cool creations. A very cool project that they're working on right now is helping build a prosthetic for a dog. It has not been completed yet, but they are in the process of designing it to create a front, right paw for a Golden Retriever named 'Tiny.'" [read more about Tiny here]

From creating prosthetics in the healthcare industry to printing food, drill bits or anything else one can think up, 3D printing and creative thinking go hand-in-hand. Nason tells me that, when it comes to innovation, his mission is simple:

"St Ignacious Layola is quoted for saying, 'go forth and set the world on fire.' We want to find and help find the spark in every individual to create that fire."

For more information on Xavier's Innovative efforts, head to the Center for Innovation website or Shawn Nason's blog.

#MC3DP #MCEducation #Innovation #EducationAnd3DPrinting

This week's article is part of our series on 'Education and 3D Printing.' Published by Kevin Murray.

How 3D Printing is Growing Interest in STEM Curriculum

This week’s article is part of our series on ‘Education and 3D Printing.’Published by Kevin Murray.

In America, the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields are in dire need of young professionals. Baby Boomers currently hold the highest percentage of these positions, and as they begin to retire, the urgency to find replacements drastically increases. A problem we currently face is that a growing number of students are not interested in these kinds of classes.

According to the US Department of Education, only 16% are proficient at math and interested in a STEM career. Living in an era of constantly evolving technology and instantly accessible information means that the STEM related career standards of the past are no longer acceptable. In order to raise the bar higher, school officials need to find ways to inspire the younger generations early on.

Students as Makers

Organizations like TechPoint Foundation for Youth are testing ways to get kids interested in STEM paths by giving grants to select schools in an effort to help incorporate 3D printers into their curriculum. Students at Creekside Middle School in Carmel, Indiana, one of the recipients of the grant, have connected greatly with their printer.

This is not just another step to overcome until the next test; they are exposed to real life, hands-on applications of printed objects. In math, as an example, kids learn about graphing a function that uses the x, y, and z axes. They can then apply that function to a 3D printer and see exactly how manipulating one axis affects the creation.

If teachers created uniformity within the curriculum, like what Arden Academy did in Solihull, England, students could experience the synthesis of STEM courses. Arden's project for Year 7 students looked at the chemistry of plastic and the physics of the printer, then using Google Sketch Up, designed "predators" in biology. Being an integral piece of the process is far more engaging than videos or worksheets, especially when the kids are devoting attention to actively seeking out information.

Most schools who incorporated 3D printing into their curriculum claimed that there was a bit of a learning curve. Getting used to Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software took some time. Yet, teachers found that quality training, paired with reliable support from manufacturers and internal staff helped greatly expedite their comfortability with the system's workflow.

Local Educational 3D Printing Efforts

Alex Bandar, PhD, Founder and C E O of the Columbus Idea Foundry
Alex Bandar, PhD, Founder and C E O of the Columbus Idea Foundry

Within most cities lie plenty of opportunities for educators to expand their knowledge base. Here in Columbus, Ohio, The Columbus Idea Foundry (CIF) set up a community learning center and maker space geared towards training and providing access to materials used for anything from business and artistry to general hobbies.

As a means of helping those new to 3D Printing technology, people can work with the intricacies of the CAD software on site. After users feel more comfortable, CIF currently has one printer available for hourly use, as well as access to many others throughout the Columbus area. Ethan Dicks, member and instructor at the CIF, has hosted a free 3D printing "meetup" at the shop every second Wednesday from 7pm-10pm for the last five years.

In 2012, MAKE Magazine, the champion of this new tech-DIY revolution, ran a few competitions to see which city around the world could bring the most people together to participate in 3D printing, electronics/programming, robotics, and the like.  From New York and San Francisco, to London and Singapore, 300 cities around the world competed and nobody was more surprised than Alex Bandar, founder/CEO of the Columbus Idea Foundry, when Columbus won.

Columbus and the CIF placed 1st in the world in this meetup competition; 1st in the world for Raspberry Pi (an open source/open hardware electronics/programming platform), and second in Robotics (although the high school robotics team sponsored by the CIF, the Cougar Robots 4251, came in 1st in the world in their own 2600 school competition).  "This is a testament to the innovative spirit and talent of the Central Ohio region," says Dr. Bandar, "and is an example of how this new 'Maker Movement' can reinvigorate the midwest - once the home of the US manufacturing base, and soon to be the home of the US innovation base."

The Future of Education

Education is of paramount importance, especially when it comes to new technology. The ones who will best utilize all of the upcoming advances are the younger generation, as kids quickly catch on to the latest products and know how to access information. Learning how to organize that information will take the guidance of well informed educators. Murphy Company recognizes just how imperative this growth is and seeks to support the community. Whether it comes from providing work shops or partnering with our neighbors at CIF, we are working hard to investigate the best methods for preparing individuals of all ages for the leap into the future.

Interested in 3D Printing? Check out our selection of 3D printers#3DLayers (our 3D Printing digital newsletter), and head to CIF's website to keep up with all of their latest educational opportunities.

#MC3DPrinting #STEM #MCEducation #ColumbusIdeaFoundry #CIF

Dr. Alexander Bandar is a computational metallurgist by training, and an entrepreneur by accident.  Having worked ten years in the field of manufacturing software, with clients from GM to Apple to the Defense Department, he now directs the Columbus Idea Foundry - a community workshop, or "makerspace", which he began as a hobby and is now his full-time career.  Newly relocated to a 65,000 sf warehouse in Columbus OH, the Columbus Idea Foundry houses tools from blacksmithing to 3D printing, teaches classes on the design and fabrication resources available at the shop, and then sells memberships to anyone who wishes to use the workshop as if it were their own.  With 200 members and growing rapidly (of whom approximately half are entrepreneurs), the Columbus Idea Foundry is the world's largest and most active makerspace, and is quickly finding a place in the creative, educational, technological and business ecosystems of Central Ohio and beyond.  Dr. Bandar speaks and consults regularly about this exciting new "Maker Movement", has presented multiple TEDx talks on the subject, and most recently was invited to deliver the Cultural Heritage presentation on behalf of the City of Columbus at the Intelligent Cities Forum in Manhattan.

A New 3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing Center For Cleveland

Case Western Reserve University is set to benefit from a new on-campus 3D printing and Additive Manufacturing R&D facility following its recently announced formal partnership with Rapid Prototype + Manufacturing (rp+m). The company will move its research and development arm to the university where it will “join forces” with faculty researchers to develop new technologies in the growing additive manufacturing market and assist students in entrepreneurship and with research opportunities with the technologies — with the specific aim of boosting economic development in this region of North America.

The Avon Lake-based business and Case Western Reserve have announced that they have signed a memorandum of understanding to create the Additive Manufacturing Studio in think, the high-tech invention center on campus, this summer.

rp+m employees will work in the studio, where the company will install eight additive manufacturing platforms. The equipment will triple the number of 3D printers in think and increase the breadth of materials that can be used threefold, including bringing the first metal-printing machines to campus.

The university and rp+m have also agreed to pursue research grants and research and development partnerships with companies locally and worldwide — an effort that has already begun.

“We are very excited to help create the Additive Manufacturing Studio at think,” said Anthony Hughes, chief technology officer at rp+m. “This has been over a year in the making and another way in which we are broadening our partnership with Case Western Reserve University.” The collaboration, Hughes said, “is essential to rp+m’s business success.”

William “Bud” Baeslack, provost of Case Western Reserve, said the joint effort will boost research and better prepare students for the workforce, commenting: “Beyond gaining infrastructure and support that we couldn’t on our own, their staff and our students will be working side-by-side — our students will collaborate and be engaged in a real-world learning environment.”

rp+m and the university are already working together with other companies to convert a laser hotwire welding technique into a 3D manufacturing process, a project funded by America Makes, the Youngstown-based National Network of Manufacturing Innovation institute. They have also hosted a company on campus and at rp+m, in an effort to establish another research and development partnership.

A 3D Blueprint For The Future, a digital manufacturing strategy for New Zealand. As the 3D movements expands more countries do not want to be left out.

Green Party information and technology spokesperson Gareth Hughes launched a component of the Green Party's Smart Green Innovation package today. The Blueprint For The Future, a digital manufacturing strategy for New Zealand, will:

• develop a digital manufacturing strategy;

• support and develop 3D printing;

• educate and empower students in the use of digital manufacturing.

"This component, like the Green Party's proposed structural timber award, is a blueprint for the future," said Mr Hughes.

"The world is changing, we need to change with it and invest more in smart green innovation like digital manufacturing.

"We need to be investing more into smart green manufacturing and digital manufacturing technologies like 3D printing, which offer new economic opportunities.

"Other countries are investing significant and considerable attention in digital manufacturing in areas like 3D printing and New Zealand risks being left behind if we don't develop a national strategy.

"The Green Party will institute a taskforce to establish a digital manufacturing strategy for New Zealand, one part of our blueprint for a smart green economy," said Mr Hughes.


Blueprint for the future: a Digital Manufacturing Strategy for New Zealand

3D Systems and Konica Minolta Partner for Accelerated 3D Printing Integration

ROCK HILL, South Carolina –June 5, 2014 – 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) announced today that it has entered into a strategic alliance with Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc.(Konica Minolta) to distribute its complete 3D printing product portfolio through Konica Minolta’s nationwide network of dealers and authorized resellers, as well as its direct sales channel. This relationship marks Konica Minolta as the first original equipment manufacturer to sell, support and service 3D printing products through the traditional printer and office equipment channel in the United States.

Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A. is a leader in enterprise content management, technology optimization and cloud services with solutions that help organizations improve their speed to market, manage technology costs, and facilitate the sharing of information to increase productivity.

With this alliance, Konica Minolta will enter the rapidly emerging 3D printing market to provide its customers access to additive manufacturing solutions, complementing and expanding its product and services portfolio distributed through its network of dealers in the U.S., as well as its direct distribution. Konica Minolta plans to focus on high-growth industries such as manufacturing/industrial, healthcare and education applications.

“Our goal is to arm our nationwide, exceptional sales organization with the cutting-edge products and services they need to grow their businesses and gain a competitive edge,” said Kevin Kern, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. “By teaming up with 3DS, the recognized industry leader, and offering the most comprehensive suite of 3D printers materials and services, we’re able to do just that.”

Some of the first products that Konica Minolta will resell from 3D Systems include:

  • ProJet® 3500 Series Professional 3D Printer - Ideal for engineering, manufacturing and mechanical environments, the ProJet 3500 Series prints high-quality, durable plastic parts with accurate and high-resolution.  This printer series is ideal for rapid manufacturing, functional testing, design communication, rapid tooling and more.
  • ProJet® 660 Professional 3D Printer - The ProJet 660 targets consumer products, healthcare, education and other vertical market customers that are interested in printing full-color, photo-realistic models for product design, prototypes, assemblies and color concept models.

“We are thrilled to be able to work with an established and experienced partner like Konica Minolta U.S.A and access their nationwide network to accelerate 3D printing adoption,” said Michele Marchesan, Chief Opportunity Officer, 3DS. “Our ability to attract world class organizations like Konica Minolta sets us apart from competitors and provides a unique opportunity to serve a wider range of customers, maintain closer relationships with them and gain insights into how to better meet their needs.”