Posts Tagged "rapid prototyping"

Q&A with Rob Saito of Herbavore

We recently had the chance to talk with Rob Saito, Founder of Herbavore, along with Collin Kobayashi, 3D Innovations President and Chief 3D Officer, about the product development process and what it takes to design, protect and commercialize a product.

Product development with HerbavoreHerbavore is a recent graduate of the XLR8UH startup accelerator. XLR8UH is one of the first university investment programs in the nation, and is a nationally recognized program that educates, mentors, and invests in Hawaii’s top talent. Herbavore’s team was able to leverage the mentorship and industry expertise provided at the accelerator to design and refine their innovative horticultural hand tools.

Like most great startups, Herbavore grew out of a need—in this case, the need for better and less cumbersome gardening tools. Specifically, tools that would be comfortable for different hand sizes and that could accommodate both left and right-handed individuals. Herbavore’s patent pending tools aim to reshape the garden tool industry.

How did you initially approach the product design process?

(RS): Herbavore’s first prototype (homemade) was a great starting point in the design process. It was used as a baseline. This rough prototype was used as a building block for further iterations.

Prior to working with 3D Innovations we didn’t know about the manufacturing aspect of designing. We thought our designs were “ready to go”, but after consulting with Collin, we realized the designs needed to be modified further to meet manufacturing requirements, especially related to injection molding.  While working with 3D Innovations we learned more in-depth about the manufacturing process such as over-molding, which types of molds to use for cost effectiveness, and material capabilities.

(CK): Using Design for Manufacturing (DFM) early in the process creates a much more streamlined design and eliminates the need to rework or change the design to conform to the manufacturing method being planned.  It also allows the client to understand the limits of what can be designed versus what features are critical to the function of the parts. Discussing these options and designing for DFM early in the process allows all team members to be aware of what is necessary to accomplish a functional and manufacturable design.

The patent filing process can be challenging, how have you prepared for this step?

(RS): The initial drawings for our first two provisional patents were made using AutoCAD software. Our team’s strengths are not in mechanical engineering, so we did the best we could. However, we felt these initial drawings did not do our invention justice. We are currently in the process of filing a non-provisional patent, and the line drawings that 3D Innovations has made are top notch. They not only accurately depict our invention in a professional manner, but also will make obtaining a patent easier as these professionally made drawings are sure to impress the patent examiner.

(CK): Most patent applications contain “line drawings” that depict the claims of the patent.  Using professional drawings as opposed to ones that are hand drawn or created using other methods may cause issues when the application is reviewed by the patent office because particular features may not be present or not depicted correctly. Using drawings from the actual designs provide many benefits which include creating section views to show internal features, having all views created to the same scale, and having drawing views automatically update when changes to the design are made. Great control of the output of drawings can be managed when the patent drawings are created professionally.

How have you familiarized yourself with the entire patent process?

(RS): I learned a lot of things about the patent process consulting with IP attorneys, reading, and conducting a patent search of over 300 patents.

(CK): The patent application is very involved and requires a tremendous amount of research of prior art and adjusting the claims of the invention so that the design is unique.

Launching a startup is a team process, how has your team assisted in the development of Herbavore’s product design?

(RS): Input was received from team members throughout the design process. Based on our team members’ experiences and feedback coupled with customer discovery, decisions were then made. Collaboration between team members greatly aided this process.

(CK): It is critical to have all team members be active in the design process. Having everyone on board and in agreement with the design direction will make for a more efficient design process and reduces the amount of rework and wait time, getting to the prototype and manufacturing stages faster. Collaboration among all team members is paramount to ensure the product gets to market in the shortest amount of time possible.

What is one piece of advice you would give entrepreneurs just starting the product development process?

(RS): One piece of advice I would give to entrepreneurs just starting the product development process would be, “to enjoy it with others.” From the beginning to the end.  The importance of achieving an end goal or final product is very important, but more importantly is all the knowledge and networks that were created along the way. Product development, especially hardware, can have a long pipeline, so if you aren’t passionate about what you are doing it will take a toll.  Yes, it is a lot of work and at times can be a headache, but so personally fulfilling at the same time. You are creating something never seen before or a better mousetrap that will improve people’s lives. Enjoy the product development process with your team, customers, and investors.

(CK): Start by making sure team members have capabilities required for the company to succeed.  Fill in gaps by seeking external expertise when needed. Develop partnerships with companies that can add value to your company and/or internal skill sets.

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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 Printing is Shaking Up the Manufacturing Industry

August 7, 2015
3D Innovations

prototype-3d-printing-innovations-1003D printing is a technology that has been around for some time, but, within the last few years, its popularity has picked up steam and is now completely revolutionizing the way business is conducted. The technology itself has advanced, and with this advancement, the financial barrier to entry has dropped considerably; making it possible for businesses and even individuals to harness the benefits of 3D printing production. While 3D printing continues to be the playground for the maker community, it’s also branching into industrial manufacturing.

3D production of functional end-use parts is already one of the fastest growing areas in the manufacturing sector. In 2014, a PWC survey found that 11% of manufacturing companies had already switched to volume production of 3D printed parts or products. It is no secret that 3D printing is shaking up global manufacturing; below are seven ways the technology is asserting its influence…

  1. True Rapid Prototyping. The product development cycle has been shortened from months or weeks to mere days. Multiple design updates no longer hinder the development timeline, but instead can be accommodated for in a short period of time, thus delivering the final product to market faster.
  2. Rapid Design Iteration (A/B testing of physical products). 3D printing has gone beyond prototyping and into first-run production, allowing for market testing and rapid design iteration. Engineers are able to explore and test a variety of designs before finalizing for manufacturing.
  3. Low volume production. Companies are no longer burdened with high costs when they are producing small amounts of a product. For production runs of less than 1,000, many companies are considering 3D production as a cost-effective alternative.
  4. Mass Customization. Customers want customization and 3D printing can provide it. The days of “one-size-fits-all” is quickly fading away, and making room for personal product customization.
  5. Virtual Inventory. With 3D printing production, a company only makes what it needs at a given time, thus eliminating warehousing and other costs associated with storing large product quantities. Virtual inventory improves the efficiency of every business that uses anything manufactured. Inventories around the world will soon shrink dramatically as virtual inventory goes mainstream.
  6. The Long Tail of Parts. 3D printing is changing the way designers and engineers plan for the end of a product’s life cycle. With 3D production, you now have the long tail of parts. Hold on to the digital design files, and you can print any part for as long as it is needed.
  7. Product Innovation Renaissance. 3D printing’s lower barriers to entry and ability to produce radically more complex objects is changing the way we think and design products. The door of innovation is wide open. Harvard Business Review recently published a piece, 3D Printing Is Changing the Way We Think, and we could not agree more. A new realm of design possibilities is going to eventually make companies rethink the design of nearly all of their products.

3D printing technology is revolutionizing business and we are just skimming the surface of the sweeping changes to come.

Have questions about 3D printing? Please feel free to e-mail us at info@3d-innovations.com

Referenced Source: 7 Ways 3D Printing Is Already Disrupting Global Manufacturing, Forbes

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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: FOVE Virtual Reality Headset

June 19, 2015
3D Innovations

foveVirtual reality headsets once seemed like a thing of fiction, however the technology for them is quickly advancing and they are now part of today’s reality. The FOVE Virtual Reality Headset on Kickstarter has made quite a splash and was funded in a mere 72 hours! FOVE is the first eye tracking virtual reality headset, which means that it tracks a user’s gaze and calculates where in 3D space a user is looking. This enables the graphics engine to adjust focus and allocate rendering resources accordingly.

With FOVE you can…

  • Aim With Your Eyes. Simply target, aim and shoot with true line-of-sight targeting.
  • Make Eye Contact. Look, laugh and communicate with virtual characters just like in the real world.
  • Focus Your Vision. View realistic scenery that blurs and sharpens, reacting to where you are focusing.
  • Move Naturally. Tilt your head to reduce simulation sickness by reducing the need for unnatural head movements.

“FOVE enables eye-tracking by incorporating custom small form-factor infrared sensors inside the headset. These sensors bounce light off the retina to register how the eyes are angled. Our unique algorithms can calculate the parallax between the eyes to track and measure depth-of-field focus.” The technology behind this virtual reality headset make is great for gaming but the technology goes far beyond that as well… “Eye Play the Piano is a collaborative project between the University of Tsukuba’s Special Needs Education School for the Physically Challenged and FOVE. FOVE recognizes eye movement and blinks to trigger the selected chord, which is then conveyed to the piano.” (You can view a video of the children in action playing the piano on the FOVE Kickstarter page.)

Virtual reality is the future of storytelling and this technology has far reaching capabilities. If you are interested in learning more about the technology behind FOVE, check out the Kickstarter page; It is full of videos, renderings and fascinating VR technology information. You can also visit the official company 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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Product of the Week: The Orbit1 Tabletop Electroplater

June 12, 2015
3D Innovations

Do you find yourself wanting to take your 3D prints to the next level? The Orbit1 is an efficient, easy-to-use electroplating device that coats your 3D print in metal. Not only does your print automatically look polished but the coating adds strength as well. The brilliance behind the Orbit1 is both in its ability to coat your product and its true ease of use; In just three simple steps you can be on your way to a truly one-of-a-kind product. This tabletop electroplater has made a once (very) complicated process easy. “Using Orbit1, you can coat your works in metal, even gold, in three steps. First, clean and polish your object, next spray the conductive paint, then click start. Orbit1 will metallize your design, empowering you with the Midas touch from your tabletop. Orbit1 is a step forward in the 3D printing world.”

orbit1The affordability of the Orbit1 makes it ideal for consumer 3D printing. “Makers, jewelers, engineers, designers, scientists, tinkerers, and artists have all been longing for a simple way to refine their 3D printed objects. Here comes the smart and speedy solution. Applicable to jewelry design, industrial design, rapid prototyping, mechanical parts, specialty electrical parts, molding/casting kits, and more.” Also, with the the Oribit1 app on your phone you can directly monitor the coating process and receive real time reminders. It is evident that the Orbit1 was designed to be truly innovative and user-friendly.

Learn more about the Orbit1 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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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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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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A Manufacturing Success Story

November 26, 2014
3D Innovations

NIST MEPWe are extremely excited and honored to be considered a “success story” in Hawaii by the national Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP). There are over 940 state success stories shared on the MEP website and 12 of those are from Hawaii.

What is the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP)? “MEP is a part of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a U.S. Department of Commerce agency. MEP been committed to strengthening U.S. manufacturing, continually evolving to meet the changing needs of manufacturers since 1988. Through its services and partnerships it has had a profound impact on the growth of well-paying jobs, the development of dynamic manufacturing communities, and the enhancement of American innovation and global competitiveness.” (Learn more about MEP on the official website.)

The small business community in Hawaii is continuously growing and thriving; we feel extremely fortunate to be surrounded by such dedicated entrepreneurs. We would also like to thank our local MEP center, INNOVATE Hawaii, for the continued guidance, assistance and access to both local and national resources that have helped 3D Innovations succeed.

Please click here to read the 3D Innovations MEP Success Story.

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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 Innovations – Developing Ideas from Concept to Product

October 1, 2014
3d-innovations.com

We have just released a new company video and are excited to share it with all of our followers. Please take a moment to view it and feel free to share any feedback you may have with us!

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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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What’s next in 3D printing (TED talk video)

September 25, 2014
3d-innovations.com

There is a TED video circulating the internet, What’s next in 3D printing, by Avi Reichental. If you have not yet had a chance to watch it, we highly recommend it! We are sharing it on our blog so that our friends all get a chance to see the powerful video about 3D printing and what the future holds for the technology.

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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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Gartner’s Hype Cycle For 3D Printing Predicts Continued Prototyping Acceleration

August 20, 2014
3d-innovations.com

Gartner’s Hype Cycle for 3D Printing provides a keen insight into the current state of additive manufacturing and what the future may look like for the technology. According to the research collected and analyzed by Gartner, 3D printing for prototyping will continue to accelerate through all industries over the next two years. It is also predicting that the next major adoption of the technology will be in enterprise and medical applications over the next two to five years (we are already seeing the technology ramp up in both sectors).

hc-3d-printing

From Gartner’s report:

3D printing and its uses continue to evolve rapidly in response to hype, greater visibility and, more importantly, demand. Naturally, some technologies are maturing faster than others and will be widely available in just a few years. In fact, some are already in general use. An example is 3D printing for prototyping, which has been the mainstay of the 3D printing industry since its inception.

 
“3D prototyping enables organizations to reduce or mitigate the risks associated with the design, form and functionality of products in research and development programs. It may also be used to support new manufacturing processes, and can reduce new product development schedules,” said Mr. Basiliere.

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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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