Posts Tagged "makers"

Celebrating Makers During The ‘National Week of Making’

June 21, 2016
3D Innovations

The National Week of Making (June 17-23) is a chance to celebrate and honor our nation of tinkerers, inventors and entrepreneurs. With barriers to entry diminishing and technologies becoming more available—such as 3D printers, design software and desktop machine tools—maker enthusiasts are now better equipped to design and build almost anything.

“Makers and builders and doers—of all ages and backgrounds—have pushed our country forward, developing creative solutions to important challenges and proving that ordinary Americans are capable of achieving the extraordinary when they have access to the resources they need.” – President Obama

Local and national maker communities have really started to rally around one another since the first National Week of Making took place in 2014. Makers are feeling empowered to learn new skills and develop products that make our lives easier and our world a better place.

Here at 3D Innovations, we support makers and the entire maker movement. We understand the desire to build and develop a cutting-edge product. The drive to commercialize an idea is what making and entrepreneurship is all about. Product development is exciting, yet it is also all-encompassing and full of challenges. With years of product development experience, on a wide variety of products, we pride ourselves on being a resource for the maker community.

If you are busy building a product but find yourself up against a roadblock, let us help! Below is a brief list of our core services.

  • Product Design. With a focus on product markets, our designers can optimize your product designs and functionality to exceed customer expectations. Designs conform to industry standards and follow Design For Manufacturing (DFM) and Design For Assembly (DFA) methodologies.
  • 3D Printing. We’ll generate a custom quote for you, anywhere in the world. From on-demand parts and customized products to full scale manufacturing runs, give us a try!
  • IP Protection. Every great idea needs to be protected. Use our resources to file for Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights.
  • 3D Engineering. We deliver value and focus on the complete development process.
  • Prototyping. Get your concept off quickly by using prototypes. Built from similar materials as the finished product, use as an aid in understanding your product’s aesthetic and visual appeal.
  • Prototype Finishing. Need Pre-Production grade parts? Projects that require unique finishes can be done with special coatings, custom painting, graphics, and Hydro Dipping applications. Post process finishing can give your prototype the finished look required for use in presentations, trade shows, and marketing/sales activities.
  • IP/Product Licensing. Need to license or sell your intellectual property? Take advantage of our expertise and confidentiality in this area in order to get a fully protected IP into the marketplace.
  • 3D Design. Using 3D Visualization and Design tools, you will have the capability to understand all aspects of your design before building physical prototypes.
  • Production. Avoid Manufacturing errors and expensive re-tooling. Utilizing domestic and foreign partners, we are able to provide low and high volume manufacturing sourcing solutions that specialize in Blow Molding, Injection Molding, and Rotational Molding manufacturing methods.

Don’t see a service you are looking for on this list? Let’s chat! Send us an e-mail at info@3d-innovations.comor or call us at 1-808-772-8667 to discuss your specific product development challenge.

Catch us at the ‘Third Annual Honolulu Mini Maker Faire’ on June 25th! Find details and further event information on our blog. See you there!

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

Startup Connector is a Manufacturing Accelerator helping companies commercialize—turning ideas into products.

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Drones Soar Into Academia

June 10, 2016
3D Innovations

As technology advances and expands, it is finding its way into classrooms. One such technology that has great teaching and learning potential is that of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or more commonly known as drones.

2016 Hawaii STEM Conference

2016 Hawaii STEM Conference

While drones are finding a place in many industries, academia is also an area where they are thriving. This is a hands-on tool that is relatively low-cost and allows teachers to bring lessons to life for students. We recently conducted a drone design and build workshop for teachers at the 2016 Hawaii STEM Conference and were delighted to see how many educators were not only interested in the technology, but wanted to integrate it into their schools. Our workshop covered the basics of drones—how to design and build them, and how to integrate the curriculum into their classrooms.

Below are a few of the ways that drones enhance lesson plans and get students actively involved.

  • Robotics. One of the most apparent subject matters drones can teach students about is robotics. Working together to make many parts function at one time requires an “if, then” mindset (“If I do this, then this happens.”). For students interested in becoming engineers, developing an analytical thinking skillset will help set them up for future success. It is important to consider that even short exposure to robotics can have a lasting impact on students to pursue complex careers that they may have never considered.
  • Mathematics. Basic math knowledge is essential to learning how to design and operate drones, also at a collegiate level, more complex concepts and principals can be explored.
  • Electronics. Wiring the drone’s microcontroller will teach the basic principles of electronics. Students will also come to understand the way electronic motors operate and how to repair them when they fail.
  • Programming. This is a big one because many schools are now realizing that in order to have successful students, programming is an essential skill they need to learn before entering the workforce. Building drones lets students explore and develop programming skills. As students advance they will be able to experiment with open-source hardware and software for the microcontroller.
  • Perseverance. Failure is not a bad thing, which is something many students (and adults) have a hard time coming to terms with. All of the above subjects we mentioned require students to test theories, and inherently there is a degree of failure associated with this testing. Building an attitude of “Why didn’t my theory work and how do I fix it?” creates open-minded students and life-long learners.

Developing the above STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) skills at an early-age is critical for the future job market—it is predicted that eight million STEM jobs will need to be filled by 2018.

If you are interested in learning more about integrating drone technology into your classroom or school, send us an e-mail at info@3d-innovations.com — We can provide resources and further insight to help you get started.

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

Startup Connector is a Manufacturing Accelerator helping companies commercialize—turning ideas into products.

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The Third Annual Honolulu Mini Maker Faire

June 7, 2016
3D Innovations

We are excited to share that 3D Innovations will be at the upcoming Honolulu Mini Maker Faire on June 25th. This is always a fantastic event and brings together our local community of makers.

We will have a booth at the event and would love to chat with you! Stop by the 3D Innovations booth to learn about Product Development, Prototype Design, 3D Printing and Manufacturing. If you have an idea for a product that you would like to bring to market and commercialize, come talk to us to see how we can help.

We will also have a few (awesome) 3D printed parts on display for you to check out and get your hands on.

If you have product development questions and don’t want to wait until the Honolulu Mini Maker Faire on June 25th, send them our way at info@3d-innovations.com or reach us by phone at 1-808-772-8667.

Flyer2016EventV4-page-001

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

Startup Connector is a Manufacturing Accelerator helping companies commercialize—turning ideas into products.

Subscribe to the 3D Innovations newsletter on our Facebook page!

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Startup Connector: Hardware Is Hard—Don’t Let That Deter You

April 13, 2016
3D Innovations

It’s true, hardware is hard, but the reward you get from launching a successful product makes the journey well worth it. Inventors and entrepreneurs are always looking for ways to create something different that has a real impact on society. Their brains never stop, never rest. They are always evaluating ideas and questioning ‘facts’. You can easily glance around any home or office and see the inventions that pioneers have perfected, and how these products have been integrated into our everyday lives. It is this rush and feel of accomplishment, that fuels the makers and hardware startups of the world.

StartupConnectorlogoThe path to hardware success is often bumpy, full of roadblocks and unexpected turns along the way. Founders of Startup Connector, Collin Kobayashi and Bob Nakata, know all too well the challenges facing hardware startups. “What we’ve seen is that there are a lot of products being developed, and there are different points where the companies get off track—whether it’s not having the right technical expertise, or not having the right experience, or not knowing where to go,” Kobayashi said. “The main gap that we’ve seen is that these companies can get through testing and prototyping, but really get stuck on getting their data package ready for full-scale production. One of the biggest pitfalls hardware startups run into are testing and certification requirements.”

With all of the challenges facing hardware startups, it is good to have knowledgeable and experienced professionals at your fingertips. Why not make the path to hardware startup success a little easier? This was the driving thought behind Startup Connector, a Hawaii-based manufacturing and commercialization accelerator. “Our main objective is to work with hardware development companies, to get them ready for full scale manufacturing. Getting them through the whole product development cycle, beyond prototyping to mass production.”

Advances in technology and manufacturing methods are ushering in a new wave of opportunity for hardware startups. Investors are taking notice of the hardware revolution, and helping propel the movement forward. If you have been mulling over a product idea or searching for the “right time” to focus on product development, now is your time.

Ready to partner with manufacturing and commercialization experts for your next project? Startup Connector is now accepting applications. Apply today! Getting your application in early will let us connect with you and keep you informed of the upcoming start dates.

*All quotes are from the Bytemarks Café interview conducted November 2015.

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

Startup Connector is a Manufacturing Accelerator helping companies commercialize—turning ideas into products.

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Engineering & The Women That Shaped The Field

March 16, 2016
3D Innovations

March is Women’s History Month and we would like to take a moment honor some of history’s most prominent female engineers. There have been many women before us that helped define a disciple and engineer change. We do not often stop to think about the technology they developed, but these women made incredible contributions to society and deserve credit for leaving a lasting mark. While a list of prominent female engineers could be pages long, we decided to focus on a handful of pioneers.

Engineering Pioneers

Below are five women that made in enormous impact on the engineering profession…

  • Martha Coston. Developed and secured the patent (in 1859) for signal flares. Her three-light design is an example of timely and effective product engineering and is said to have helped the North win the war. This technology is still used by the U.S. Navy today.
  • Grace Murray Hopper. Programmed some of the first computers. During her lifetime as a leader in the field of software development concepts, she contributed to the transition from primitive programming techniques to the use of sophisticated compilers. She believed that “we’ve always done it that way” was not necessarily a good reason to continue to do so.
  • Helen Augusta Blanchard. One of the greatest inventors of the industrial eraholding 28 patents and often referred to as “Lady Edison”.
  • Ellen Henrietta Swallow. The first woman accepted to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and earned her second B.S. there in 1873. A pioneer in industrial and environmental chemistry who went on to teach at the MIT Woman’s Laboratory.
  • Emily Warren Roebling. Responsible for the day-to-day construction of the Brooklyn Bridge. The dedication and hard work put into the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge by Emily Warren Roebling was noted by Congressman Abram S. Hewitt at the dedication ceremonies prior to the opening of the bridge. Emily was the first to cross the Brooklyn Bridge after it opened on May 24, 1883.

There are no doubt many more women who have helped propel the engineering discipline forward. Design News recently published a piece, 10 of History’s Greatest Women Inventors You Should Know, and many of these women did not get credit at the time for their work, but their inventions have shaped technologies that have changed our lives and the course of history.

Encouraging Girls to Pursue Engineering Careers

It is no secret that STEM careers are increasing at a rapid rate while the qualified applicant pool is relatively stagnant. We need more women to engage in engineering studies and become leaders in the industry. Breaking down the negative stereotypes associated with engineering and encouraging students to pursue the discipline are just a couple of the most basic ways in which we can help girls become excited about the field. Here are a few ways to make engineering come “alive” for students…

  • Expose them to women that have pioneered in the engineering profession.
  • Engage in family, or classroom, activities that spark curiosity and require creative solutions. A simple Google search leads to many results on engaging introductory engineering activities.
  • Empower and motivate them to take challenging math and science courses in high school and college.
  • Share your experience of the engineering profession with them. Many students have never met an engineer, so this is a chance to talk about what your job entails and why it is a fulfilling career.

For additional ideas, check out our Encouraging Our Future Engineers & Innovators post.

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

Startup Connector is a Manufacturing Accelerator helping companies commercialize—turning ideas into products.

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Encouraging Our Future Engineers & Innovators

February 10, 2016
3D Innovations

engineersweek2016National Engineers Week is just around the corner—February 21st to 27th—this is a time to celebrate engineers and encourage our future generations of engineers and innovators. By now we all have heard that STEM careers are in high demand however, the current flow of talent into the STEM pipeline is limited—time for change.

Engineering is a fantastic disciple that opens doors to a variety of career paths. Exploration and efficiency are reinforced mindsets in engineering classes and these principals help shape many of the top CEOs and inventors of today. In 2014, Harvard Business Review came out with a list of the 100 best-performing CEOs on the planet and a quarter of them held an engineering degree. “Studying engineering gives someone a practical, pragmatic orientation.”

Below are a few ideas on how we can work together, as a community, to encourage engineering and educate students about our profession.

  1. Help change the perception of engineering. Many students still view engineering as a viable career option only if you are “good ” at math and science. Engineering is more about solving real-world problems. Creativity is also a large part of our job that does not get enough attention.
  2. Become a mentor. Get out of the office and become a mentor for a local STEM focused organization. Students cannot dream about becoming an engineer if they have never met an engineer. Mentorship gives students a hands-on look and allows them to ask career questions in an informal setting. Our President and Chief 3D Officer, Collin Kobayashi, recently mentored a very talented team of students in Startup Weekend Honolulu 2015 and they ended up coming in first runner-up in the Global Startup Battle. These young innovators were merely 10 and 12 years old, yet had the determination, desire and support system in place to succeed.
  3. Organize a visit to your workplace. Work with a local school and organize a time for students to come to your office and check out what it means to be an engineer. Not only do most kids not know an engineer, they haven’t seen engineering in action. Give them a tour, introduce them to the engineers and technicians who work there, show them a project you or your colleagues are working on, feed them lunch, answer their questions, and take their picture and give them copies to remind them of how cool engineering is.
  4. Introduce a fun engineering activity. With a quick Google search you can find a million ideas on age appropriate engineering activitieseverything from building a tower with marshmallows and toothpicks to designing a CAD file for 3D printing. These activities show that engineering is more than math equations and calculators. Engineering is hands-on and should be introduced and taught that way!

You never know, you might just might be encouraging the next great inventor…

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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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Product of the Week: Dobot Robotic Arm

October 29, 2015
3D Innovations

Makers, educators and anyone with an interest in robotics is going to get excited about the Dobot Robotic Arm on Kickstarter. This robotic arm has been designed to be both a learning tool and a home assistant. Dobot is versatile and can draw, write, text, move objects and grab things following your orders. You are also able to mount a 3D printer head onto it and use it for 3D printing. Controlling Dobot is extremely simple, equiped with seven different control options, including: PC, mobile APP, EEG, voice, vision, leap motion and gestures, whichever suits your needs the best. It almost begs the question, Is there anything the Dobot can’t do?

Dobot“Dobot is the world’s first high precision robotic arm at consumer grade. It features industrial scale accuracy and stability, intuitive and versatile controls, all at a highly competitive price.” For our educator friends, imagine the excitement your students would exude when you brought this into the classroom. This would be a hands-on activity where students could study both robotics technology and coding. For our maker friends, this open source  robotic arm has nearly limitless potential to assist with projects. The team behind Dobot are makers themselves, and have really honed in on the wants and needs of the maker community.

 Dobot has far exceeded it’s original funding goal on Kickstarter and it’s easy to see why. The Dobot team has spent time not only developing a (cool) robotic arm, but a robotic arm that can be used by everyone. You do not need a strong technical background to get going with the Dobot. The exceptional product development and design of the Dobot sets it apart from the competition.

Learn more about Dobot on Kickstarter.

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Product of the Week: LumiPocket LT

October 2, 2015
3D Innovations

Makers this one is for you! The compact LumiPocket LT is a resin-based 3D printer, laser engraver and PCB etching machine that is ready to take your project to the next level. This machine is extremely versatile and eliminates the need of purchasing multiple machines for a single project.

lumi“It is more than just a high quality, resin based 3D Printer: it is also a fast PCB etching machine, and a Laser engraver that can work with many different materials.” The LumiPocket LT is completely autonomous, which means that once you have completed a printing/engraving/etching job within the software, you can simply insert the SD card into the LumiPocket LT and it will do all the rest, turning off after the work is done.

In addition to the full functionality of this product, its compact size also makes this product stand out. It measures a mere 20 x 12 x 38 cm, and weighs less than 2Kg. It was also designed to consume an extremely low amount of power, using less that 5W. While the 3D printer market might be crowded, the product design behind the LumiPocket LT helps it stand out from the competition.

Features Overview:

  • Light-curing, resin-based 3D printing. This type of 3D printing is fast and provides higher quality than FDM 3D printers, specially with 3D models with small details.
  • Fast PCB etcher. Insert a presensitized PCB board into LumiPocket LT’s special tray, import your PCB files, and watch it etch your PCB that is then ready to be developed.
  • Compact laser marker & engraver. Engrave many different materials using the integrated UV laser. This feature is very useful for creating business cards, QR codes, coasters, and much more.

Learn more about the LumiPocket LT on Kickstarter or the official website.

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Product of the Week: Ingocraft

November 14, 2014
3D Innovations

Just in time for the holiday season! Ingocraft is modernizing the world of traditional construction sets for children by incorporating 3D modeling and allowing families to 3D print customized pieces for the kit. As an engineering firm we understand the importance of engaging children at a young age by making learning fun and interactive. This kit not only makes learning fun but, it challenges children to learn new skills and use their imagination to create truly customized construction pieces for their personal kit.

“Ingocraft is a holistic approach to modern design/build, but for kids! Modern tech meets nuts and bolts, a combination to inspire and educate young people to be makers, inventors, creators, and future 3D printers.”

This kit would be great for family use or in the classroom. The introduction to 3D design and 3D printing are invaluable skills and the hands on approach is sure to excite and engage children.

Learn more about Ingocraft on Kickstarter!

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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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