These days, few topics are discussed and debated as much as that of robotic automation. What jobs will robots replace? What industries will they benefit the most? Are they dangerous, or how will we make them safe? These are all relevant and important questions that deserve the many discussions already in progress, but I think a good place to start is to talk about some of the history of robotic automation, and how robots are changing and improving.
Fulfilled By Voodoo: Plug-n-Play Manufacturing & Fulfillment for Online Product Stores
Ever since we started Voodoo Manufacturing, we’ve been excited to build a service that allows anyone to manufacture products and start businesses. Our goal has always been to empower people to invent, design, and deliver products without the tall barriers that manufacturing typically creates. That’s why today we’re incredibly excited to announce a new service that marks a major step in this direction: Fulfilled by Voodoo.
Fulfilled by Voodoo, or “FBV” for short, is a full-stack manufacturing and fulfillment service that makes it easier than ever to start and scale any business selling 3D printed products online. With FBV, you can link your e-commerce storefronts directly to our factory and outsource the 3D printing, quality control, assembly, packaging, and shipping of your products. Every time you receive an order from a customer it’s automatically routed to our factory, where it’s manufactured on-demand and then drop-shipped directly back to your customer.
Overcoming Modern Manufacturing’s Biggest Obstacles
For anyone who’s ever designed and sold a physical product, they’ve learned how difficult it can be to set up a reliable, scalable, and affordable manufacturing pipeline. For many people this is an insurmountable hurdle that they fail to overcome. At Voodoo, we believe manufacturing isn’t the essence of a product – it’s a means to an end. Just as technology isn’t important for its own sake, but rather because of what it does for you, manufacturing is important because of the product it enables you to make. For how amazing modern manufacturing is, there are still so many examples of people failing to successfully manufacture a product. Or, even worse, people who never even start on their journey to bring a product to market. This happens for many reasons – from high upfront costs, to long lead times, to complicated design-for-manufacturing requirements – but at the core of this lies the fact that manufacturing is still a largely difficult, painful, and treacherous process.
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 →
It goes without saying that there’s a lot going on within our country right now. Regardless of political belief, most of us can agree that the issues at hand are important and will significantly impact the lives of many.
Although some companies avoid taking stances on hot button social and political issues, many have recently started to speak up about what they believe in and take action. As a team, Voodoo Manufacturing believes that it is our duty as citizens of the United States, and as human beings, to do what we can to make the world a better place for everyone. While it’s possible to disagree about what that means and how to do it, hopefully it’s easy to agree on a few fundamental ideas, with the core being that all people are created equal and should have equal opportunity to live free and happy. Continue reading →
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 →
This article originally appeared on TechCrunch on June 26th, 2016.
The recent ubiquity of 3D printers and innovations in prosthetic design, manufacturing, and distribution offer a viable solution for the millions of people living with limb loss around the world. In the United States alone, close to 200,000amputations are performed each year, yet, with prosthetics priced between $5,000 and $50,000, having one can almost be considered a luxury. Traditionally, the process of getting a prosthetic limb can take anywhere from several weeks to months. Since prosthetics are such personal items, each one has to (or should) be custom made or fit to the needs of the wearer. However, as 3D printers become more affordable, with some available for under $200, the possibility of anyone being able to design and print a prosthetic limb in their home or local community is rapidly becoming a reality.
For Mother’s Day this year, you could have given your mom a $30,000 3D printed model of ‘you’ if you cashed in on the viral Groupon offer. The idea was that you could give your mother the ever-lasting gift of your presence, or at least something to occupy your now-empty childhood bedroom. While this was a unique one-time promotion, making full-size custom mannequins is actually possible, and costs only a fraction of the hefty Groupon price tag. To prove this out Voodoo Manufacturing teamed up with NYC-based startup, Body Labs, to build an economical end-to-end pipeline for 3D printing life-sized human bodies in our Brooklyn 3D printing factory.
Body Labs makes highly-sophisticated software for interpreting human body shape and pose by translating raw 3D scans, or basic measurements, into 3D digital body models. In essence, they’ve built a way to take unprocessed 3D scans of people that may be noisy or incomplete, and turn them into fully semantic, clean models of your actual body shape. There are many applications for Body Labs’ technology beyond making 3D printed mannequins, such as predictive health tracking, advanced clothing design, mass product customization, virtual simulation, and more.
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.