Category Archive for "3D CAD"

3D CAD: Exploration & Iteration

At its most simple level, the engineering discipline is about exploration and iteration—which are the two principles computer-aided design (CAD) is built upon. CAD has come a long way from the time when its primary use was to document finalized drawings. Where once CAD was a final step in the design process—today, it is a valuable first step. If you are not using CAD from the initial design stage, you are missing out on some of the most helpful aspects of the program.

Design Iterations

When it comes to designing, iterations are both helpful and inevitable. How often does our first design actually become the final design? Many inventors have an idea of what they want their final product to look like, but often times this initial design idea has to be modified to account for usability and manufacturing. With 3D CAD you can explore a seemingly endless array of design options without the need of “starting from scratch” for each iteration.

Explore the Design Possibilities

Coming up with the best possible design of a product is a trial-and-error process. You try one approach, when it fails, you try a different approach, and so forth until you come up with the best possible design. The features many CAD programs have today allow you to quickly navigate this trial and error stage while honing in on a final design that will meet all needed specifications.

By using a 3D digital design process, we are able to create designs and validate them with up to 95% certainty that they will work before even building a prototype. -Collin Kobayashi, President & Chief 3D Officer of 3D Innovations

Two valuable CAD features are parametric design and direct modeling, as detailed below by Autodesk:

“Parametric modeling allows users to build intelligent and reactive sequences of geometries in which engineers gradually capture their design intent. In this case, intelligent and reactive means the capability to create geometric objects that react to each other and behave as they would in the real world, rather than just on a computer. So as you iterate and change your model, the software’s parametric modeling capability maintains consistent relationships between elements.”

“With direct modeling, you manipulate a model’s geometry by pushing, pulling or twisting it. This allows you to focus initially on creating geometry rather than thinking about building features, constraints and design intent into models. You add features and constraints when editing the model, so you don’t have to edit the interim model stages.”

3D CAD lets you get a real sense for the product you are developing. Not only does it speed up product development, but it brings ideas to life at the fraction of the cost of what it takes to prototype. By shifting CAD to the start of the design process, you are opening the door to an array of design possibilities.

Need assistance creating a 3D Digital Design for your product idea? Contact us! Email us at info@3d-innovations.com or give us a call at 808.722.8667. We look forward to talking with you!

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3D Innovations is a Product Development Company – from the 3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product.

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Demand for 3D Digital Design Rises

January 26, 2017

3D CAD has become a critical early step in the product development process. These digital designs minimize design challenges and manufacturing complications.

Below are three common questions we regularly receive about 3D CAD technology:

What is 3D CAD?

Three-dimensional computer aided design, or 3D CAD, is a type of software that helps engineers, product designers, architects and other professionals design schematics for three-dimensional objects.

When is the best time to use 3D CAD in the product development cycle?        

For most, the first step in the quest to produce the next big innovation is building a digital design of the product idea using 3D CAD.

Product Design and Development | 3D Prototyping3D CAD can be used to initially test product design theories and understand all of the design aspects without the need for building physical prototypes. Even though prototyping costs are decreasing, due partly to additive manufacturing (3D printing), it is best to develop a 3D digital design before producing a prototype.

It is not to say that 3D digital design is meant to replace physical prototyping, but it is bringing advantages throughout the design workflow that include computational fluid dynamics (CFD) tools for virtual simulation/testing, using the same data as for physical prototyping.

By using a 3D digital design process, we are able to create designs and validate them with up to 95% certainty that they will work before even building a prototype. -Collin Kobayashi, President & Chief 3D Officer of 3D Innovations

What are the major benefits of 3D CAD?

Test product ideas. With 3D digital designs you can easily test form, fit, materials and functionality without the need for a physical prototype.

Clarify product functionality. If you plan to seek funding from an outside source, digital designs are a great way to communicate an idea. You can demonstrate the product without having to produce a physical prototype.

Speed up time-to-market. The goal of every hardware startup is to get your product into the hands of consumers as quickly as possible. Your company is not profitable until you begin to sell units, therefore any tool that speeds up time-to-market is valuable. With 3D digital design files you can not only design and communicate a product idea, you can also export the design into various file formats for use with CNC machines and 3D printers for production. Manufacturers around the world have adopted common practices and standards that rely on the use of digital design files for their production processes. This adoption of using digital designs for their downstream applications eliminates operator error, increases productivity, and allows for more competitiveness in the marketplace.

Reduce Costs. From the onset, 3D digital designs reduce costs in the form of prototyping. While later on in the product development cycle, these same designs reduce costly errors during production.

The demand for 3D digital designs is rising and it is easy to see why.  For hardware entrepreneurs, 3D digital designs are a great way to explore a product idea, build upon the idea and solicit feedback.

Need assistance creating a 3D Digital Design for your product idea? Contact us! Email us at info@3d-innovations.com or give us a call at 808.722.8667. We look forward to talking with you!

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3D Innovations is a Product Development Company – from the 3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product.

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3D CAD Speeds Up Product Development

August 18, 2015
3D Innovations

“Innovation” has been a popular buzzword in the last few years, especially when it relates to technology, with each new innovation promising more than the last. But there are many steps between an initial product idea and a truly innovative new product. For most, the first step in the quest to produce the next big innovation is building a digital design of the product idea using 3D CAD.

Product Design and Development | 3D PrototypingEngineers are increasingly using 3D CAD to develop product designs and models, visualizing concepts, exploring new design ideas, and simulating how a design will perform in the real world. Whether the design is a corporate building, an automotive part, or an innovative consumer product, 3D CAD has become an early critical step of the design process.

For entrepreneurs and inventors, 3D digital designs of ideas and inventions save both time and resources, since 3D CAD can be used to initially test product design theories and understand all of their aspects without the need for building actual prototypes. Even though prototyping costs are decreasing, due partly to additive manufacturing (3D printing), it is best to develop a 3D digital design before producing a prototype.

Demand for 3D Digital Designs Is Rising

3D digital design is on the rise, driven in part by entrepreneurs with the need to communicate their product concepts clearly with potential investors. Whether the audience is an investment firm or a crowdfunding platform, digital designs allow stakeholders to visualize concepts and provide feedback and modification ideas. Multi-platform collaboration is extending to investors, part suppliers, and other product development team members, as the digital designs are used congruently to develop marketing materials, packaging, and customer demonstrations.

Design validation is a critical step in the product development process. Until it is tested, a virtual design is merely a theoretical assumption. So it is not to say that 3D digital design is meant to replace physical prototyping, but it is bringing advantages throughout the design workflow that include computational fluid dynamics (CFD) tools for virtual simulation/testing, using the same data as for physical prototyping. Files can be exported into various formats that CNC machines and 3D printers can utilize for production.

Within the enterprise system, a physical prototype has many advantages over CFD simulations and should not be replaced; rather 3D digital mockups and physical prototypes should be jointly integrated in the product development process. In the testing phase, a prototype should serve to validate the product’s form, fit, and function, as well as mechanical and thermal properties. Existing workflows will maintain multiple iterations of digital design and physical prototyping to get new products to a manufacturing-ready state.

Manufacturers around the world have adopted common practices and standards that rely on the use of digital design files for their production processes. This adoption of using digital designs for their downstream applications eliminates operator error, increases productivity, and allows for more competitiveness in the marketplace. Digital design, paired with design automation practices, ultimately leads to higher efficiency and increased communication between the customer and the manufacturer.

Product Commercialization

While direct focus of 3D digital design is on product manufacturing, marketing teams will be using these same designs to create photo renderings and produce distinctive packaging designs and design demonstrations for early investors. Digital design is speeding up the marketing development process as a way to reduce total development time and quickly get products to market and, in turn, consumers. Working congruently in this manner, across departments, keeps the commercialization timeline on track.

Getting a project started out on the “right foot” with 3D digital designs will minimize challenges and complications later on in the design cycle, which is why organizations are increasingly adopting them. While the benefits of 3D CAD might seem obvious during the design phase of the product development lifecycle, the real benefits extend far beyond this and into prototyping, manufacturing, and even the commercialization phase.

Note: We (3D Innovations LLC) published this article on the Design News website in June 2015.

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3D Innovations is a full service 3D Engineering/Design company – from the 3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product.

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Benefits & Drawbacks of the New 3MF File Format

May 20, 2015
3D Innovations

In recent weeks there has been chatter about the new 3MF file format and what it means for the 3D printing industry. “3MF is a new 3D printing format that will allow design applications to send full-fidelity 3D models to a mix of other applications, platforms, services and printers” (3MF Consortium). The aim of 3MF is to close the design loop, which means that from design to print only a single file is required. Current STL files can be frustrating for designers as they find themselves spending more and more time fixing technology issues, which takes time away from actually developing innovative designs. We asked Collin Kobayashi, President & Chief 3D Officer of 3D Innovations, to weigh in on what he sees as the benefits and drawbacks of 3MF…

The benefits of 3MF…
  • Increased scalability and usage across all software platforms;
  • Will lead to further adoption of ASTM standards;
  • Bridges the gap between multi-platform design programs;
  • Updates the old .STL format which was originally developed when 3D Printing was first introduced over 20 years ago;
  • Creates an open source field for further collaboration between companies and industries;
  • Opens up opportunities for further development and adoption by smaller companies;
  • With the spike in growth in Additive Manufacturing/3D Printing, a new format is needed to keep up with the advancements in this technology;
  • May introduce a new method to print with multi-materials and/or multi-colored format;
  • Potential for smaller sized files with more data.
The drawbacks of 3MF…
  • Needs to be managed by a consortium of companies to avoid monopolization by Microsoft;
  • Skeptics will challenge this new format because of Microsoft’s past products;
  • Still too early to tell, but has many added benefits over current .stl process.

This new file format is revolutionary for the 3D design and printing industry, but as always, time will tell if it has actual sticking power with designers. Please let us know what you think of the new file format and the consortium by leaving a comment on this post.

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3D Innovations is a full service 3D Engineering/Design company – from the 3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product.

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2015 Hawaii STEM Conference: CAD Competition

April 20, 2015
3D Innovations

stemconfThe 6th Annual Hawaii STEM Conference concluded this past weekend and we had the honor of being part of it once again. This year 3D Innovations held a CAD competition that was focused on having teams develop a design solution based on an existing problem presented to them. The challenge was to design a custom bike light that will easily mount to the handle bars on a child size bike. The students utilized Solidworks to produce their digital designs. The challenging part for the teams involved taking the requirements they were given and simultaneously addressing all of the design specifications.

Once the students had completed the task, they then presented their design outcome, photo renderings, anticipated material costs and packaging designs/options to a panel of expert judges. Maui High School presented an outstanding design solution and came in first place! This team was cohesive and had great communication which helped them take the lead. It was great to see that all of the student participants in the competition showed determination and strong problem solving skills.

We would be remiss without mentioning the keynote speaker at the conference, Titan Gilroy of Titan America Manufacturing. Titan grew up in Hawaii and fought an uphill battle for a good portion of his life and has come out on top. He is the proud owner of a CNC machining company and a major proponent of american manufacturing. His story really resonated with the audience and his charisma was inspiring. You can learn more about his company on the official Titan America MFG website and more about Titan himself on the Alliance for American Manufacturing website.

Please visit our Facebook page to view the photos we snapped at the conference in our 2015 Hawaii STEM Conference album.

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3D Innovations is a full service 3D Engineering/Design company – from the 3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product.

3D Academy, A Division of 3D Innovations, LLC provides training services specializing in 3D Computer Aided Design (CAD) and 3D Printing Technology.

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Optimizing Design for 3D Printing (CADSpeed Interview)

February 1, 2015
3D Innovations

Recently Collin Kobayashi, President & Chief 3D Officer of 3D Innovations, was interviewed by CADSpeed. The CADSpeed blog is the brainchild of Cadalyst magazine and is “devoted to helping CAD users, CAD managers, and IT personnel optimize hardware for 3D CAD applications”. In the interview Collin discusses the emergence of 3D printing and the challenges facing a CAD designer when they design for 3D prints and production. Below are a few excerpts from the interview but we encourage you to read the interview in its entirety on the CADSpeed blog.

3D Printing Services | Rapid Prototyping Services | 3D-innovationsIn what ways do you predict that 3D printing will revolutionize industry?

Initial 3D printers and processes were limited to various types of plastic such as ABS, nylon, and other polymers. With the introduction of metal 3D printing several years ago, it has opened up other industries and applications to adopt 3D printing as a standard, not an option. Large aerospace companies are beginning to integrate 3D printed parts into their products. Development of new materials and technology to build parts is evolving and a fast pace. These new, revolutionary developments will drive the 3D printing/additive manufacturing industry into areas that will change the market. Such industries are medical, food, and biotechnology, to name a few. By using 3D printing over conventional manufacturing methods, designs can be more complex while increasing their functionality.

You talk about rapid prototyping being one of the advantages of 3D printing. Can you give a couple of real-world examples of this, and why it’s helpful?

In most applications, having the ability to 3D print a prototype for testing form, fit, and function is extremely critical. When tolerances are not crucial, 3D printing is a far more cost-effective and efficient option than having the parts CNC machined. For one particular project, we needed to build a prototype of a miniature cooler design. This product was unique and had multiple parts with some complex features and details. It was designed to be injection molded and to have a set or several sets of these prototypes made would have cost well over $10,000 to produce. By using 3D printing to build the parts, the cost and lead time was reduced significantly, allowing the customer to receive the parts in a shorter amount of time. Because the project only required several prototypes, it wasn’t cost effective to even make “soft tooling” to produce the low amount of prototypes needed, so 3D printing really made the most sense.

To take advantage of 3D printing, you have to start with 3D models. Can you talk about some other ways that 3D CAD differs from traditional CAD drawing?

Traditional drawings, sometimes referred to in our industry as “shop drawings,” have been mostly superseded by 3D design solutions. CAD/CAM was the first set of methods to adopt this practice, translating 3D digital design data directly into the manufacturing machine’s software more efficiently than manual translation. By using a 3D digital design process, we are able to create designs and validate them with up to 95% certainty that they will work before even building a prototype. Integrating other processes such as FEA (finite-element analysis) and CFD (computational fluid dynamics) tools with the digital design process will help to predict the functionality. This would not be achievable from 2D drawings, as no computational data exists. In addition to these design tools, having a 3D digital design will enable us and the client to see the product fully assembled, view it from all angles and visualize the entire design digitally.

…Read more from this interview on CADSpeed.

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3D Printing Conference and Expo in Hong Kong to Shed Light on the Impacts of 3D Printing Across Industries

July 30, 2014
3d-innovations.com

Mediabistro Announces Inside 3D Printing Conference and Expo in Hong Kong to Shed Light on the Impacts of 3D Printing Across Industries; Terry Wohlers of Wohlers Associates to Keynote

3D Printing ExpoMediabistro Inc.  and 3DPrintingIndustry.com are hosting Hong Kong’s first significant tradeshow about 3D printing, the Inside 3D Printing Conference and Expo, on August 26 – 27, 2014. With 3D printing rapidly picking up pace in the industry, both in terms of its development and adoption, Mediabistro has invited the brightest and most prominent industry leaders from around the world to converge in Hong Kong to share their views on the future of the technology, as well as strategies to succeed in the upcoming third industrial revolution.

“3D printing was invented quite some time ago, but due to the printers’ limited capabilities and the high costs associated with 3D printing during the technology’s infancy, it wasn’t really adopted or used extensively – until recently,” said Alan M. Meckler, Chairman and CEO of Mediabistro Inc. “Looking at how fast the 3D printing technology is currently developing, I think it’s only a matter of time until 3D printing completely revolutionizes all aspects of manufacturing. Hong Kong, being the gateway city to the world’s capital of manufacturing – China, is one of the most suitable locations for us to host Inside 3D Printing. If anyone wants to ride this upcoming economic boom, this conference and exposition is something not to be missed.”

T3D printing expohe two-day event, organized by Mediabistro, consists of 18 seminars covering topics from aerospace, art, and bioprinting to the makers revolution, start-ups of all kinds, and more. Stratasys, the Platinum Sponsor for the event, will be hosting the morning keynote session on August 27. The keynote speakers participating in the conference include Terry Wohlers, Principal Consultant and President, Wohlers Associates, Inc.; Nave Rachman, Technical Director, Stratasys Asia Pacific & Japan; and Michele Marchesan, Chief Opportunity Officer, 3D Systems.

Wohlers will host the opening keynote titled “The Next Frontier in 3D Printing.” Working as a consultant for many corporations in different industries, Wohlers will share his views on where the 3D printing technology is headed based on his extensive experience and professional background.

3D printing expoRachman’s day 2 morning keynote is titled “Manufactory Application in 3D Printing: Direct
Digital Manufacturing (DDM).” He will explain how traditional manufacturing tools have successfully been replaced by FDM technology. Later in the day, Marchesan will highlight key trends and share advanced manufacturing initiatives during the afternoon keynote titled “Manufacturing the Future.”

In addition to an impressive lineup of speakers, the event will also feature Hong Kong’s largest exhibition related to 3D printing. If your company is interested in sponsoring or exhibiting, contact us at 3dprinting.sponsors@mediabistro.com.

For more information including the full list of speakers and the agenda for Inside 3D Printing Conference and Expo, please visit http://www.inside3dprinting.com/hong-kong/

Interested in attending? Get 10% OFF Gold Passports with discount code 3DINNOV. Register now!

About Mediabistro Inc.

Mediabistro Inc. (OTCQX: MBIS) is a leading Internet media company that provides services for social media, traditional media, and creative professionals. Mediabistro is a leading producer of 3D printing and bitcoin trade shows. Service offerings include an online job boardnews and analysistrade shows and events, online and in-person courses, and research products. Mediabistro is changing its name to MecklerMedia Corporation on August 11, 2014.

All current Mediabistro press releases can be found online at:
http://www.mediabistro.com/corporate/press.html

For Press Information

Please contact:

Stella Wong – Waggener Edstrom Communications

Tel: +852-2578-2279/ Email: stellaw@waggeneredstrom.com

Turning Ideas into Prototypes

July 24, 2014
3d-innovations.com

We recently came across a white paper by National Instruments titled, “Six Good Reasons to Prototype” and wanted to share it with you. Nothing is more exciting and exhilarating than coming up with a brilliant idea. However turning that idea into an actual product can be more challenging than you might expect.

3D CADThe journey from concept to market is typically a long road riddled with hidden obstacles and unforeseen turns. Building a quick prototype of a design can help smooth that path as well as present some other benefits.

Why Prototype?

1. Fail early and inexpensively – Real innovation always includes a risk of failure. Thomas Edison once joked, “We now know a thousand ways not to build a light bulb.” By building a prototype, you can quickly weed out the approaches that don’t work to focus on the ones that do.

2. Gather more accurate requirements – Almost half of all project costs are attributed to rework due to inadequate requirements. Traditional requirements gathering techniques such as interviews and focus groups can fall short because many people find it difficult to conceptualize a product before they see it. By developing a working prototype, you can demonstrate the functionality to help solidify requirements for the final design.

3. Technically understand the problem – It is unfortunate that system architecture must come so early in the design process because time only enhances your understanding of the problems that you may encounter. Have you ever thought, “If I could go back in time, I would change … ”? By developing a functional prototype, you are forced to address both the foreseen and the unforeseen technical challenges of a device’s design. Then, you can apply those solutions to a more elegant system design when you move to the final deployed solution.

4. Resolve conflicts – The best engineers have strong opinions about how a given feature should be implemented. Inevitably, differences of opinion result in conflicts, and these conflicts can be difficult to resolve because both sides have only opinions, experience, and conjecture to refer to as evidence. By taking advantage of a prototyping platform, you can quickly conduct several different implementations of the feature and benchmark the resulting performance to analyze the trade-offs of each approach. This can save time, but it also ensures that you make the correct design decisions.

5. Rally financial support – In the years since the dot-com bubble burst, investors such as venture capitalists have grown more risk-adverse when investing in start-ups. Even within larger companies, internal projects face similar scrutiny from executives looking to maximize revenue. By developing a prototype to demonstrate the feasibility of your idea, you lower the risk of investment and therefore increase the probability that your idea will be funded.

6. File patents more easily – Before 1880, all inventors had to present working models or prototypes of their inventions to the patent office as part of the patent application process. Today, the United States Patent and Trademark Office uses the “first to invent rule,” which grants a patent to the first inventor who conceives and reduces the technology or invention to practice. Though no longer required, a prototype is still the best and safest way to demonstrate “reduction to practice.” Furthermore, key components of a patent application, such as patent drawings and the inventor’s logbook.

The full white paper is available on the National Instruments website.

If you would like more information about prototyping or have questions, please feel free to e-mail us at info@3d-innovations.com

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3D Innovations is a full service 3D Engineering/Design company – from the 3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product.

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Inside 3D Printing Conference Begins Next Week in Seoul – Get 10% OFF

June 4, 2014
3d-innovations.com

Inside 3D Printing Seoul, which kicks off next week, is set to be the first 3D printing trade show in South Korea, as well as one of the largest events Inside 3D Printing has hosted to date.

Taking place June 12-13 at the Korea International Exhibition Center (KINTEX), the event will host a select group of knowledgeable speakers from a range of industries, including engineering, design, business, academia, investing, intellectual property, and more.

The event’s keynotes will be presented by Daniel Thomsen, General Manager of Stratasys Korea Ltd., and Seok-Hwan You, Founder and CEO of ROKIT. Other conference speakers include Wim Michiels, CEO of Materialise Malaysia Sdn Bhd and Vice President Asia Pacific at Materialise NV; Yang Yihu, President and CEO of ESUN; Sungkwon Choi, Professor, Dept. of Industrial Design at Seoul University; Kang Min Hyuck, Founder and CEO of OpenCreators; Emma Kwon, Business Development Management at Materialise N.V; and more. Click here to see the full speaker list.

3D Innovations has partnered with Inside 3D Printing South Korea to offer members 10% OFF full conference passes with code 3DINNOV. Register now!

Can’t make the conference? Visit inside3dprinting.com for all upcoming Inside 3D Printing show dates.

Which comes first…Prototyping or Crowdfunding?

April 17, 2014
3d-innovations.com

Many entrepreneurs out there have great ideas but get stuck on their first big leap into action and ask themselves…Should I prototype my idea or start crowdfunding first? Should you get started on a crowdfunding site with a great idea sketched onto a piece of paper or develop a functioning prototype to clearly communicate your idea. In short, the answer is that prototyping comes first. Having a prototype of your product idea maximizes your chances of receiving funding.

1. A prototype shows investors that you are serious. When you take the time to have a functioning prototype built you are showing any potential investor that you are committed to making this product a success. A prototype also gives you a chance to refine your idea and make sure that it is a viable product that can be built (and easily manufactured at a later date). As you will see on any crowdfunding website, a product video is key. Having an aesthetically pleasing prototype to show off in this video will help your marketing efforts and allow you to clearly explain and demonstrate your product.

2. First impressions are invaluable. Having a prototype not only provides investors with an idea about your product but it also gives them insight into you and your business. Investors want to see that you have thought this through, you are prepared and ready to execute. The quality, functionality and overall aesthetics of your prototype will allow investors to gauge your commitment and ability to handle future challenges.

3. Crowdfunding your way to success. While a prototype will help you raise capital for your product, it will also help you delve into product development and manufacturing in a more streamlined manner than if you were just starting from a paper sketch of your idea. A prototype provides a clear vision of your product and it will help you clearly communicate design and functionality aspects with your engineering and manufacturing partners.

Please feel free to contact us with any prototyping or product development questions you may have at info@3d-innovations.com

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3D Innovations is a full service 3D Engineering/Design company – from the 3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product.

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