Category Archives: Technology

How We’re Building a Robotic 3D Printing Factory

March 17th, 2017 by

Manufacturing is one of the most fundamental, yet inaccessible building blocks of modern society. It is how we produce the overwhelming majority of parts and products we use both intentionally, and inadvertently. “Manufacturing”, unlike “making”, can be described as the process of repeatedly producing a physical object at scale. Over the past couple centuries we’ve transformed our methods of manufacturing from the human-first approach used to make textiles during the Industrial Revolution, to the assembly line structure introduced by Henry Ford, to modern just-in-time production invented by Toyota, to today’s imminent robot revolution. Continue reading

High-Volume 3D Printing vs. Injection Molding

February 2nd, 2017 by

High Volume and Bulk 3D Printing

So you’re launching a physical product. Maybe it’s just a simple object, maybe it’s a hardware product with integrated electronics, or maybe it has mechanical functionality. You’ve built one (or probably many) prototypes, you’ve launched a successful crowdfunding campaign in order to manufacture your first batch, and now you need to do just that.

This is the point at which many entrepreneurs run into trouble – how do you scale from 1 to 1,000 units? Or 10,000? Maybe even 100,000 if you’re lucky. There are many factors to consider when scaling your manufacturing, but one of obvious concern is the method with which you’ll create the physical components for your product.

So how does someone go about choosing the right method that will scale along with his or her business? Here we’ll explore the pros and cons of two popular types of plastic part manufacturing: injection molding and 3D printing. Continue reading

Will Food 3D Printing Really Become a “Thing”?

May 16th, 2016 by

This article originally appeared on VentureBeat on April 17, 2016. 

“Food 3D printing” is something of a mythical creature. It’s been talked about a lot, and there have been a few sightings of it, but no one’s quite sure if it’s real or not. Well, I think it’s about time someone takes a shot at cracking open the case.

In essence, food 3D printing is this: you take a standard 3D printer, replace the non-edible material (like plastic filament) with something edible, and voilà, you have a food 3D printer! In reality though, the results have been less than amazing. What you typically get with a food 3D printer is a purée of perfectly good food extruded into an odd-looking shape. Today there are a few companies trying to pave the food 3D printing path.

The PancakeBot machine. Image Credit: Kickstarter

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