Posts Tagged "Manufacturing"

Product of the Week: WELLY Reusable Bottle

May 15, 2015
3D Innovations

Did you know… Americans use more than 29 billion plastic water bottles each year and only 1 in 6 is recycled, (National Geographic)? Our planet is being polluted with water bottles that take hundreds of years to disintegrate and create a tremendous burden on the environment. Many of these plastic bottles end up in landfills, streams and oceans. When we make the conscious effort to stop purchasing single serve bottles and invest in reusable bottles, we can start to combat this environmental issue and make our world a better place.

Our featured “Product of the Week”, WELLY Bottle, is a sustainable, filtered and sleek reusable bottle. WELLY is designed to be “an easy-to-carry, reusable, BPA-free water bottle with a built-in filter made from activated and carbonized coconut shells that purifies your water as you drink it”. The thoughtful design of WELLY is what captured our attention. From the shape of the bottle to the design of the cap, each piece was carefully crafted to be convenient and functional. Below are just a few features that make the design of WELLY standout…

  • wellyA mouthpiece that is protected within the bottle’s cap, ensuring it stays clean, yet easily accessible by tapping the bottle’s trigger
  • Bamboo hand panels you can squeeze to accelerate water flow
  • A finger loop that makes carrying your bottle by hand or on a carabiner easy and secure
  • Feet on the bottle’s bottom for stability
  • An opening large enough to accommodate ice cubes
  • A slim profile to minimize the space required to carry the bottle in a bag or purse

The company goes one step further and places emphasis on creating not only a superior bottle but one rooted in sustainability. “WELLY considers all three pillars of sustainability (environmental, economic, social) in every decision that we make. From our materials that we source to our packaging used to ship WELLY to your doorstep, we aim to minimize our carbon footprint while reducing the demand for oil and plastic from our world.”

Learn more about Welly on Kickstarter and the official website.

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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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Kick-start Your Crowdfunding Campaign

April 14, 2015
3D Innovations

All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them. ~Walt Disney

Concept 3D PrintingSo you have an idea that you believe it viable and would be a crowdfunding success but are unsure where to begin. At this stage in the game you probably have thousands of questions running through your mind. What would be my crowdfunding goal? How do I find a manufacturer? Is a prototype necessary? Where do I turn for packaging design?

While setting up your crowdfunding campaign is exhilarating, it is critical that you are well prepared. Below are points to consider as you are preparing to launch your campaign.

1. Don’t Underestimate Product Costs. One major issue facing new inventors is how easy it can be to underestimate the actual cost of bringing a product to market. Crowdfunding is typically an all or nothing funding approach, so depressing the funding goal is a common error. Without a proper funding target you are creating future issues and doing a major disservice to you and your investors. A way to combat this is by having a professional analyze your designs and provide you with an estimate on the actual manufacturing costs. This proactive approach not only helps with your campaign, but it also proves to investors that you are serious and well prepared.

2. Prototype. Your product should be prototyped. This stage lets you work out any design challenges and ensures that your product is in fact viable and able to be manufactured. It also helps define product costs, create marketing material, file a patent and gain customer feedback before manufacturing begins.

3. Details, Details, Details. Really put time and effort into the information you share with potential investors. Show them your initial development timeline and prototype changes. Explain how you have overcome certain challenges and how this has prepared you for the journey that is ahead.

4. Invest in Marketing. A video on our crowdfunding page is a must-have. You don’t need to invest in a big marketing firm but you do need a quality video and product images. Check around with friends and colleagues to see if they know someone that can help or reach out to freelance marketers for assistance.

5. Patent Protection. It is always a good idea to think about some form of intellectual property protection before placing your idea on a crowdfunding website. Most potential investors want you to succeed but there are those few that may want to steal your idea. Research patent protection through the USPTO and/or take some time to chat with a licensed patent attorney.

Have additional questions about launching your crowdfunding campaign? Please feel free to send your questions our way 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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3D Printing & Injection Molding Are Compatible

April 2, 2015
3D Innovations

Design_News_LOGOMany times it seems as though 3D printing and Injection Molding are at odds with one another, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. There is a need for both types of technology in manufacturing, as was demonstrated at NPE 2015 recently.

Design News recently posted a synopsis of the event as it pertained to 3D printing, 3D Printing Partners With Injection Molding At NPE 2015. “3D printing (3DP) had its own area in the form of the first ever NPE3D pavilion of exhibits and demonstrations, as well as an NPE3D conference track with six presentations.” The event did a great job of highlighting these two technologies and their inherent compatibility. “A theme that was reflected in several ways was the use of 3D printing to assist in, or improve on, injection molding, as well as improvements in 3D printing materials and processes that are making better functional prototypes and end-use parts.”

If you were able to attend the event please let us know what you thought of the NPE3D exhibits pavilion and presentations with a comment below.

We invite you to read the entire Design News article and view the slideshow from the event.

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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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Product of the Week: Buhel SOUNDglasses

March 13, 2015
3D Innovations

These sunglasses are like nothing we have seen before! The Buhel SOUNDglasses enable hands-free communication without wires or an ear piece. At first glance you cannot even tell that they are so high-tech, but that is part of the beauty of them. SOUNDglasses “allow you to listen to music or audio from a multitude of sources thanks to the innovative Bone Conduction Technology (BCT)”. These sunglasses keep your ears free of any device, which means you are still completely aware of your surroundings. As we know, traditional earbud technology cuts down on your awareness and increases your chance for an accident.

buhel“With this amazing product you can easily make and receive phone calls via bluetooth, listen to music without earphones or earbuds, communicate with GPS systems and other electronic devices and be able to hear surroundings sounds like voices traffic, alarms etc.”

Within 48 hours on Kickstarter the $80,000 goal for the Buhel SOUNDglasses was met (we aren’t the only ones impressed with them and this technology)!

Learn more about the Buhel SOUNDglasses on Kickstarter or the official Atellani website. You can also follow the company on Facebook and Twitter.

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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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3D Printing… A Tax Credit?

February 25, 2015
3D Innovations

Is your company currently using additive manufacturing (a/k/a 3D printing) for research and experimentation? If so, you may qualify for the federal R&D tax credit.

prototype-3d-printing-innovations-100Additive Manufacturing (AM) is used throughout the entire product development lifecycle. Today the technology is used to help company’s visualize product concepts, prototype, refine designs and manufacture final products. “Through quick and cheap cycles of trial and error, manufacturers can tackle a number of situations including: printing a widget just-in-time that solves a problem at hand, producing small batches of widgets, producing tools, showing an artifact to a potential customer or investor to demonstrate a product concept, and supporting the engineering of product usability or manufacture (NIST MEP).” The experimentation needed to refine designs in order to meet the criteria for the final product takes time and costs money.

Whether you are using additive manufacturing technology in-house or working with an engineering design firm, experimentation is being completed. This product experimentation could fulfill the four part test required for the federal R&D tax credit.

Qualified research must meet the following four criteria:

  1. New or improved products, processes, or software
  2. Technological in nature
  3. Elimination of uncertainty
  4. Process of experimentation

*Eligible costs include employee wages, cost of supplies, cost of testing, contract research expenses, and costs associated with developing a patent.

By tracking the expenses related to your research, while you are actually performing the R&D, means that these expenses may qualify for the federal tax credit. Labor costs are usually one of the largest expenses, so keep time sheets for anyone doing research with notations about what research they conducted and when it was done. A professional tax expert will be able to provide you with additional information about the R&D tax credit and assess whether your research qualifies.

If you are considering additive manufacturing for your business, this tax credit might be just the incentive to help get you started.

For additional information about the R&D Tax Credit:

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

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Product of the Week: Crystal Wash 2.0

January 30, 2015
3D Innovations

“Changing the way laundry gets done.” The Crystal Wash 2.0 aims to change the way in which we tackle the chore of laundry while benefiting the environment.

crystalwash“Crystal Wash is a proven technology that lasts for at least 1000 loads of laundry.  It uses the power of Bio Ceramics from the earth, which naturally clean your clothes as effectively as laundry detergent. It is better for your skin and more gentle on your fabrics. It is also better for the environment because it reduces contaminated waste water filtered back into the water supply, saves water by lowering required rinse cycles, and effectively reduces CO2 production by requiring less energy than a traditional detergent based wash.”

As with many products today, the Crystal Wash 2.0 will be conveniently connected to your phone, through an app, and will provide recharge alerts, wash complete alters, wash cycle tracking stats, savings tracker and much more. On the Kickstarter page for Crystal Wash 2.0 you can also view a video in which they take you though the prototyping and testing process. As an engineering firm we are always interested in the full product development life cycle and can really appreciate the design and testing that has gone into making the Crystal Wash 2.0 a success.

Learn more about the Crystal Wash 2.0 on Kickstarter or the official website. You can also follow the company and their Kickstarter campaign on Twitter!

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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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Product of the Week: Modern Fuel Mechanical Pencil

January 23, 2015
3D Innovations

We know what you might be thinking, really a mechanical pencil for the Product of the Week, but with a motto like “A Mechanical Pencil That Will Last You A Lifetime” we had to stop and take notice. Many of us, especially engineers, use a mechanical pencil every day and don’t give much thought to it. When our pencil breaks we just reach in the desk drawer and pull out a new one while tossing the old one right into the trash can. The engineer behind the Modern Fuel Mechanical Pencil got to thinking about all of the plastic and waste filling up our planet because of the high turnover of mechanical pencils and he knew there had to be a better way.

modern fuel mechanical pencil“The project started when I noticed I was using packs and packs of mechanical pencils at work as disposable items. I set out to design a mechanical pencil that would reduce the waste, be a testament to U.S. manufacturing and design, and not break the bank. Having a single mechanical pencil that replaces the endless packs of plastic that end up sitting it landfills and floating in our oceans has to be a good thing.”

The Modern Fuel Mechanical Pencil is made from a single piece of metal and has been re-engineered so that there are less parts (thus reducing the chance for breaks). The design behind this pencil is spectacular; the clean lines and sleek design really make it stand out.

Learn more about the Modern Fuel Mechanical Pencil on Kickstarter, the official website and Twitter!

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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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A CES 2015 Technology Recap

January 12, 2015
3D Innovations

CES 2015 came to an end on Friday but the buzz surrounding the event lives on. We have rounded up a few of our favorite news articles from the event to share with you (with an emphasis on 3D printing technology of course)…  Enjoy!

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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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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.

Source:

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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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