Posts Tagged "business"

3D Printing Trends to Track in the New Year

January 14, 2016
3D Innovations

From the looks of things, 2016 is going to be a breakout year for additive manufacturing (3D printing)in terms of industrial applications and global supply-chain disruptions. New materials and 3D printer advancements have accelerated the industrial applications for 3D printing (think GE and Ford). Simultaneously, these advancements have shifted the business landscape—supply chains are quickly transforming to meet new demands. In 2016 executives will be compelled to pay very close attention to 3D printing technology and emerging opportunities to inject it into their business to speed up product development cycles.

In relation to the consumer market, personal 3D printers will most likely see a decline, the short-term consumer market is inundated with inexpensive consumer models. However, the CAD technology that enables 3D printing will continue to become more user friendly. With advancements in 3D scanning and 3D modeling, the design technology behind 3D printing is poised to become more accessible.

Forbes recently published 8 Hot 3D Printing Trends to Watch In 2016 and while we agree with all eight points outlined, we feel that there are three, in particular, on the verge of major breakthroughs with significant business implications.

  1. Pushing the limits of technology. While 3D printing technology is decades old, notable recent advancements have propelled the technology into the mainstream. In the coming year, expect to see advancements in 3D printing materialsglass, recycled materials and metal, just to name a few. In addition, 3D printers are getting bigger (much bigger), as engineers as developers envision themselves ‘printing’ homes and large industrial parts in a single print.
  2. Outsourced 3D printing gains share. This is something we have seen in our line of business. More and more businesses are finding it beneficial to use a external providers to design and print prototypes. With 3D printer advances, external providers are able to quickly validate designs and print high-quality prototypes in hours, thus eliminating the headaches and hassles of printing internally.
  3. Virtual inventory becomes real. Producing parts on-demand is a game changer for businesses. Storing large quantities of a product is costly, and with technology today, it’s becoming obsolete. The cost savings associated with virtual inventory is sure to grab the attention of executives. Cloud-based virtual inventory is one way the supply-chain is shifting and moving more towards a supply-network.

3D printing technology is fundamentally changing the business landscape and 2016 is sure to be another exciting year.

Cheers to 2016!

Have questions about 3D printing technology? Send them our way,


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

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Product of the Week: The MoonRay Desktop 3D Printer

June 3, 2015
3D Innovations

Crowdfunding websites have become a mecca for 3D printing technology. While most of the 3D printers we see have a single feature that makes them standout from the competition it is a rarity to find a 3D printer that is efficient, versatile and compact. Our featured Product of the Week, MoonRay, meets all of these and more. The engineers behind the MoonRay Desktop 3D Printer set out to bridge the gap between quality and price, and from their Kickstarter page it looks like this has been successfully accomplished.

MoonRay“The desktop 3D printers on the market today fall into two groups: expensive and high resolution or less expensive but with sub-standard printing quality. We designed the MoonRay to bridge this gap and bring high-quality printing capabilities to an affordable desktop 3D printing unit.” The phenomenal printing quality of the MoonRay means that your finished product will be accurate and the ultra-fine details won’t be lost. We have seen this type of accuracy in large commercial sized 3D printers but never before in a compact desktop printer at this price point.

The overall design of the MoonRay is simple and intuitive. “The MoonRay has no moving parts that aren’t essential to the printing process. This simplicity allows the MoonRay to keep running smoothly over time.” To get started with MoonRay all your have to do is plug it in (seriously)! No assembly required means that you can start printing right away. The sleek outward appearance of MoonRay coupled with the internal technology makes this 3D printer truly one-of-a-kind.

Learn more about MoonRay on Kickstarter and the official website.


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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3D Innovations: Upcoming Events

March 12, 2015
3D Innovations

Spring is almost here and, it’s a busy time around our office. We have a few upcoming events that we are very excited about and wanted to share with you!

The first event is next week, March 18-20th, and it’s a free 3 Day AutoCAD Workshop for Students in grades 7 to 12. This event is in partnership with STEMworks and will be held on Oahu at the Manoa Innovation Center from 9 am – 3 pm. You can learn more about the workshop on the STEMworks Facebook page and can quickly register on Survey Monkey.

On March 26th our President & Chief 3D Officer, Collin Kobayashi, will be speaking at the Hawaii Pacific Export Council monthly seminar, “Emerging Global Trade Trends: Where Are the Future Profit Pools?” discussing how Additive Manufacturing (3D printing) is making a global impact on business.

April 17 & 18th we will be at the annual Hawaii STEM Conference on Maui. We look forward to this event each year because the students are so excited and inspiring!

This May 9th is the Honolulu Mini-Makerfaire 2015 at Iolani School and we will be participating again this year. It is always fun connecting with local makers and the entrepreneurship community. Learn more about the Maker Faire on the official website and register for a FREE early bird ticket!

We will be sharing event updates and photos from each event on our Facebook, Twitter and Google+ pages so be sure to check them out!

If you are in town, we would love to see you at an event, please stop by and say hello!


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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Harnessing the Power of Additive Manufacturing Technologies

December 17, 2014
3D Innovations

By now most businesses understand that there is value in additive manufacturing (a/k/a 3D printing) technologies but still might be puzzled as to how this technology can have an immediate impact on their business. The book, Fabricated by Hod Lipson and Melba Kurman, takes a look at a broad range of industries and how these businesses have harnessed the power of 3D printing to reduce costs, time and design complexity challenges. These authors found that across an array of diverse industries there were ten distinct “rules” pertaining to additive manufacturing technologies that kept reoccurring.

Below are the 10 Principals shared in Fabricated that can help businesses take full advantage of 3D printing technologies. While some of these principals can be seen today others are still in infancy.

  1. Manufacturing complexity is free. On a 3D printer, complexity costs the same as simplicity.
  2. Variety is free. A single 3D printer can make many shapes with minimal human intervention.
  3. No assembly required. Interlocking parts can be created with a 3D printer, thus reducing assembly time.
  4. Zero lead time. A 3D printer can print on demand when an object is needed.
  5. Unlimited design space. A printer can fabricate shapes that until now have been possible only in nature.
  6. Zero skill manufacturing. A 3D printer gets most of its guidance from a design file. To make an object of equal complexity, a 3D printer requires less operator skill than does an injection molding machine.
  7. Compact, portable manufacturing. Per volume of production space, a 3D printer has more manufacturing capacity than a traditional manufacturing machine.
  8. Less waste by-product. Less material waste ends up on the factory floor.
  9. Infinite shades of materials. As multi-material 3D printing develops, we will gain the capacity to blend and mix different raw materials.
  10. Precise physical replication. We will scan, edit, and duplicate physical objects to create exact replicas or to improve on the original.

We invite you to delve deeper into each of these principals in the Ten Principles of 3-D Printing article found on Industry Week.



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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Protect Your Invention

October 15, 2014

Patenting your product is an important step towards success but not necessarily one of your first orders of business. “Only 2 to 3 percent of all patented products ever make it to market,” which means you are going to want to make sure your idea is a sound invention or viable business before the patent process begins.

Patents, Defined
What exactly is a patent? “A patent is a right granted by a government to an inventor. It gives the inventor the exclusive right, for a limited period, to stop others from making, using or selling the inventor’s product without the permission of the inventor. When a patent is granted, the invention becomes the property of the inventor. A patent–like any other form of property or business asset–can be bought, sold and licensed.”

In the Entrepreneur article, To Patent or Not to Patent, there is a helpful list of factors to consider before you delve into the patent application process:

  • Patent research. Make sure your idea isn’t infringing on someone else’s patent. To do that, you should conduct a “preliminary patent search.” This step will help ensure that your idea hasn’t already been patented. You can either hire an expert to help you or perform this step yourself.
  • Prototype. You should develop a basic prototype to determine your product’s functionality. This ensures you have a close-to-final design when you do file for a patent. (Changing materials or mechanics is difficult once your patent’s been filed.)
  • Market research. Define your market and determine how large it is. If it’s too small, your product may not be commercially viable.
  • Cost to manufacture. Determine how much it will cost to manufacture your product. If it costs more to make than the market is willing to pay, your invention is just a money pit.

Once you’ve determined there are no roadblocks to commercial success, it’s time to consider whether or not you need a patent. Just as many inventors patent their ideas and never take them to market, thousands of products in the market today aren’t patented–or even patentable–at all. In addition, your attorney may recommend filing for a copyright or trademark instead–an easier and less expensive process–if it makes legal sense.

Learn more about patents and the patent process in To Patent or Not to Patent.


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 is Coming to Hong Kong – Get 10% OFF

July 15, 2014

3D Innovations is proud to announce that we’ve partnered with Inside 3D Printing Conference and Expo! The event will be traveling to Hong Kong on August 26-27, and bringing along the brightest speakers in the industry as well as progressive exhibitions from the organizations that are helping move the 3D printing revolution forward.

Session topics include Medical Applications in 3D Printing: Biomodeling and Patient Specific Instruments, 3D Printing and The Future (or Demise) of Intellectual Property, Funding 3D Printing Start-Ups in Asia, Additive Manufacturing for The Aerospace Sector, and more.

Whether you’re an additive manufacturing veteran or new to 3D printing, don’t miss the chance to stake your claim in the 3D printing business boom. Interested in attending? Get 10% OFF Gold Passports with code 3DINNOVRegister now!

Interested in exhibiting? Email for more information.

Can’t make it to the event in Hong Kong? See all upcoming Inside 3D Printing events at

Common Product Development Questions

November 14, 2013

An informed decision is the right decision.

Product Development Process

We understand that the product development process can raise a lot of questions. Such as…

  • I have an idea, but how should I design it?
  • What is the best prototyping method for my concept?
  • How do I manufacture my product?
  • I have a product, but how do I successfully launch it?

If you are grappling with some of these questions, don’t worry because you are not alone. Many entrepreneurs have a great invention idea but are not quite sure how to make it a reality. As an engineering firm that handles every stage of the product development life cycle, we have experience dealing with all types of product development questions, and we understand that it can be challenging getting these questions answered. In order to move forward in the development of your product you need to have the answers so you can make an informed decision about your next step.

We truly love educating entrepreneurs and small business owners about all aspects of the design process, so please feel free to e-mail us with your product design/development, 3D printing, prototyping and manufacturing questions!


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

Going Green with 3D Printing

October 11, 2013

We are at a moment in time where everyone is trying to conduct business in a more sustainable and environmentally friendly manner (which is a great thing). That is why a recent article published on caught our attention, 3D Printing is Greener.

This article is reporting on a new study, “Environmental Life Cycle Analysis of Distributed Three-Dimensional Printing and Conventional Manufacturing of Polymer Products”, and the study goes beyond measuring material waste and instead delves into the realm of energy consumption. The study concludes that  “…3D printing requires between 41 and 68 percent less energy than making these items in a factory”.  It also states,  “The bottom line is, we can get substantial reductions in energy and CO2 emissions from making things at home. And the home manufacturer would be motivated to do the right thing and use less energy, because it costs so much less to make things on a 3D printer than to buy them off the shelf or on the Internet.”

We found this article to be extremely interesting, but since it is only a single study we wanted to see if any additional research teams had come to this same conclusion, and indeed we found a study conducted by the UC Berkeley mechanical engineering department, in which they released the following article, Is 3D printing an environmental win?, in it they also compare the energy component of 3D printing and traditional manufacturing. They conclude that “…3D printing can be greener, if it’s the right kind (FDM); but again, the biggest environmental win comes from sharing the fewest tools so each has the most utilization.”

There is always progress to be made when it comes to being environmentally friendly; but from what we are seeing so far, 3D printing is on its way to becoming a leading sustainable technology.

Please feel free to share your thoughts on these articles with us!


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

Guest Bloggers Welcome

October 3, 2013

If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it. -Margaret Fuller

Contribute Your Genius. We would love to connect with bloggers that have a passion for engineering and innovation! We are specifically interested in sharing information related to Additive Manufacturing, 3D Devices and Manufacturing (U.S. vs. overseas)…However, we are always open to your ideas as well…

Post. If you are interested in contributing a blog post, please contact us at so that we can discuss your topic and get your post scheduled.

Bio & Photo. You are invited to include a short bio and photo along with your guest blog post — You can also include a url to your website, twitter handle (along with any additional social media information).

The world of engineering is ever-changing and we appreciate you taking the time to share your knowledge with our community.

*If you have any additional questions, please contact us at

New Design Project – UFO: A DIY Turntable Strobe

July 24, 2013

As a design, engineering and 3D printing company we have the opportunity to meet fantastic entrepreneurs and business owners and often we become fully immersed in the projects we work on with them; The UFO Turntable Strobe is one of these projects. The genius behind this Kickstarter project is Jim Hagerman, and we previously had the opportunity to work with him on his widely successful Bugle2: A DIY Phono Preamp project. When he approached us with this new project, the UFO Turntable Strobe, we were on board!

Jim has been working on this project for years and was facing the challenge of keeping the design and production costs manageable. We were able to assist Jim by designing and prototyping the unit to not only be visually appealing, but extremely cost effective as well.

What is it? The UFO is a self-contained strobe light and dot pattern that indicates when your turntable is spinning at the correct speed, whether 33.3 or 45 RPM. It sits on the center spindle and works with any turntable. The unique design not only looks superb, it also has crystal-controlled accuracy. The push-button on top steps through the various operating modes.

Who needs it? Anyone with a turntable! If you want to know that your table is accurate or if it has a speed adjustment, the UFO is exactly what you need. And it doesn’t cost any more than a traditional two-piece pattern disc and strobe light.

Why do you need it? Maybe you just like the way it looks with the room lights off – glowing and hovering in space above your LP. Maybe you’re a DJ working night clubs and want to set yourself apart. Or perhaps you just care a lot about sound and try to get the most out of your vinyl playback system, implementing every tweak possible to minimize distortions. If you have a heavy duty turntable with a massive platter, I suggest getting the weighted version, as the extra mass and damping can improve the noise floor of your system.

View the official Kickstarter UFO: A DIY Turntable Strobe page.