Posts Tagged "rapid prototyping"

Makerspace + Engineering and 3D Printing Resource

July 10, 2014

Is it just us or does it seem as though makerspaces are rapidly popping up all over the world? When you go to Google and type in ‘makerspace’, not only do you find a long list of established makerspaces, but also numerous tutorials on how to build a successful makerspace. As an engineering and product development firm we think this evolution is exciting, as it reflects a changing mindset in individuals and the business community. People have ideas and many want to turn their ideas into an actual product, not only for their own use, but to commercialize it and share it with the world. Makerspaces allow people to find the resources to do just this!

While makerspaces are wonderful on so many levels, it can be challenging for makerspaces to find dedicated experts in certain fields to be a resource for their budding entrepreneurs. Our 3D Innovations team has experience working with makerspaces on a variety of levels. We specialize in 3D engineering and specifically the entire product development life cycle (from 3D design to a fully functional 3D prototype and product) and have helped numerous entrepreneurs launch successful businesses. If your makersapce has product development questions or is simply looking for an engineering and 3D printing resource for your makers please reach out to us and we can chat!

Our e-mail is and you can visit our website here.


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

5 Tips on How to get a Product to Market

May 20, 2014

Five critical tips on how to successfully get a product to market…

  1. Define the requirements of your idea

Starting with a sketch of your idea and developing a flow chart of how you intend it to function is a good start. Don’t worry if you think your sketches are too rudimentary, we’ll fix it up for you. List all of the requirement you have including important specifications like size, weight, function, and any special functionality you want your device to have.

One important factor to consider early in the conceptual stage and something to ask yourself is: “what is the market for this product?”.  Conduct surveys, focus groups, and talk to potential end users prior to making any major commitments.  This feedback will give you a better sense of validating whether or not the product is marketable.  Crowdfunding sites such as KickStarter are a good way to validate the marketability of the idea.

  1. Generate a professional design

Once your sketch is outlined, the detailed design process can begin.  Often times the first steps in the design process will include creating Industrial Design sketches to refine the initial concept and provide a clearer design direction before any further work is completed.  This will give you a better understanding of what to expect from your 3D Design.  After selecting the sketch or sketches you like, those concepts will be developed into a working 3D design. This detailed design process will involve creating a design that is not only manufacturable, but one that includes all of the requirements and specifications that were discussed at the initial design stage.  This design is the first prototype, often referred to as a digital prototyping. This process is implemented to accelerate time to market.  Packaging of often integrated into this step.

  1. Create a prototype for testing

Once the design is finalized and approved, several iterations of prototypes are build to test the form, fit, and function of the design.  Having a physical prototype is more valuable and provides more benefit than just the digital design.  In most cases, several iterations of design and prototyping will be required to fine tune the design and function.  3D Printing or Additive Manufacturing is a quick and cost effective method to create functional prototypes.  Subtractive processes such and CNC machining are also an option.

  1. Validate the design

Test, retest, and more retesting.  Put the functional prototypes into hands of end users, potential buyer/distributors, and anyone who can give you critical non biased feedback.  This feedback should validate input provided in Step 1.

  1. Manufacturing

Production manufacturing will be one of the biggest leaps to finalize the product development process.  To produce the high quantities needed, tooling or molds will be required to manufacture the parts.  The molds are typically made from high grade Steel and are capable of producing hundreds of parts per hour with a lifetime quantity of 400,000+ parts.  The tooling will be an investment, but will allow you to cost effectively produce parts for the initial run and also for future orders.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us or if you need a quote for your next project, click here.


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

Product of the Week: TWEAK

May 16, 2014

We truly love products that make living your everyday life that much simpler and hassle free. We found the TWEAK on Kickstarter and had one of those “man that’s genius” moments, so of course we had to feature it as our Product of the Week! TWEAK is a drain cover for your kitchen or bathroom sink that allows you to dispose of the waste without touching it. How many times have you found yourself grabbing soggy food out of the kitchen sink, thinking that there has to be a better (and cleaner) way?


“TWEAK doesn’t just keep your kitchen sink draining smoothly, but solves the problem of scooping cold leftovers out of the sink with your bare fingers. There are so many products, most of them are truly original, but only a few of them are actually better. We started working on tweak as students. Our main goal was to avoid touching the waste while removing it.”

You can also find TWEAK on Facebook!

*If you would like to submit a product for consideration please e-mail us at with an image or website link and a product description.


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

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

The Top Frequently Asked Questions About 3D Printing

May 13, 2014

Below are some of the most common 3D printing questions we hear and, we wanted to make sure that we made the answers available to anyone interested in additive manufacturing for their product.

  1. How much does it cost to 3D Print something?3D Printer

The cost for a 3D Printed part is based on the amount of volume (size) of the part and the type of material being used.  These costs are generally different for each material type.

  1. What kinds of materials are available?

The materials that can be used with 3D Printers today is rapidly evolving.  The most common material used for 3D Printing is ABS, PLA, Polycarbonate, Nylon, Rubber like material, Paper, Wax, Carbon Fiber, Ceramic, Powder, and various Metals.  Each type of 3D Printing technology will utilize a different material.  Certain printers can also produce multi-materials in a single build.

  1. How long does it take to print?

Build times are based on the volume (size) of the part.  Different 3D Printing technologies have various build times.  Small parts can print as quickly as 15 minutes while larger parts can take the entire day to build.  In some cases, build times can be reduced by re-orienting the part in your printing software.

  1. How durable are the parts?

Finished parts are generally durable and can withstand normal handling.  If you are using them for functional design, FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) parts have been known to be stronger and last longer.  Resin based parts that are cured with a UV light will typically degrade faster, especially if exposed to high temperatures, humidity, and sunlight.

  1. Are colors available?

Yes, colors are available.  Most printers produce parts using a mono (single) color while others have the capability to use the full spectrum of colors to produce multi-colored parts.

If you have any additional questions, feel free to contact us or if you need a quote for your next project, click here.


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

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

Get 10% OFF Mediabistro’s Inside 3D Printing Conference in South Korea, June 12-13 at Kintex: Exhibitors Announced

May 12, 2014

Mediabistro Inc. announced that its Inside 3D Printing trade show, June12-13 at Kintex, will be South Korea’s first major 3D printing event.

Exhibitors include some of the biggest and most influential companies in 3D printing, including Stratasys, ROKIT, Materialise, Canon Korea Business Solutions Inc., ESUN, and more. Joining the Maker Pavilion will be 3D Items, Alien Technology Asia, AM Solutions, Intelli Korea, Make: Korea, Naturalise, Open Creators, and Studio MOA. Also hosting exhibits at Inside 3D Printing South Korea will be 3D Convergence Technology Center, 3Developer, AJ Networks, Artec Group, Ateam Ventures, Carima, Cybermed, Daelim Chemical Co., Ltd., Gyeonggi Convention Bureau, KITECH, K-Tech, Saehan Electronics Co., Ltd., Sundo Solutions, Vision Tech, and Wonik Cube. MBot 3D will be joining the event as a sponsor.

ROKIT and Stratasys, two leaders in 3D printing technology, will be the event’s platinum sponsors. Materialise is the Silver Sponsor.

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

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

Product of the Week: Luma Smart Lamp

May 9, 2014

At 3D Innovations we get the opportunity to develop great ideas into functioning products for passionate entrepreneurs. The dedication, vision and determination we see in many entrepreneurs is what drives us to succeed.

In an effort to promote entrepreneurship and small business we are going to start a weekly “Product of the Week” blog post. Each week we will share a product with our followers that we find exceptionally brilliant.

Our inaugural product of the week is the Luma Smart Lamp!

Luma Smart Lamp

Luma is a smart lamp for the 21st century. Charge your device, listen to music, make a call and set the mood all with this smart lamp controlled by your phone. It is perfect for your office, nursery, bedroom and home foyer.

You can learn more about the Luma Smart Lamp on Kickstarter or on its Facebook page!

*If you would like to submit a product for consideration please e-mail us at with an image or website link and a product description.


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

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

The New Face of U.S. Manufacturing

March 27, 2014

Manufacturing in the United States has gone through ebbs and flows over the years and emerging technology is now re-structuring our entire view on the future of the industry. Additive manufacturing (AM) is one of the main technologies that is changing the face of manufacturing. This technology is allowing businesses to manufacture customized products in smaller quantities, and thus providing customers with a more personalized experience. Many business leaders believe that this type of manufacturing will lead the industry in the not-too-distant future.

What do you think the manufacturing industry will look like in 10, 20 or 50 years?

Entrepreneur recently published and article, Re-Making Manufacturing in the United States, in which they interviewed business leaders in a variety of fields about the future of manufacturing and the impact of additive manufacturing. Below are three excerpts that we found very interesting…

“There are parts of the manufacturing process that will be competitive in the U.S. again, but I think it requires a redefinition of what we assume to be manufacturing. I don’t think that the kind of manufacturing we do here will be the really dirty manufacturing with the smokestacks,” said Jessica Banks, the founder of RockPaperRobot, a kinetic furniture business, headquartered in Brooklyn, N.Y. “It will be manufacturing based on a lot of prototyping, a lot of new manufacturing processes, and rapid prototyping processing. And it will really involve iteration.”

One of the reasons prototyping is becoming a more refined, sophisticated and immediate process is because of the development of 3-D printing technology.

New technologies, in addition to innovative ideas, have allowed for the increased sophistication in and acceleration of that first phase of the manufacturing process. For example, the advancement of 3-D printing technologies has allowed for constructions that were never before possible.


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

To Attract Funding, Develop a Prototype

January 23, 2014

Last week Entrepreneur posted an outstanding article regarding the importance of a prototype when you are searching for funding (To Attract Funding, Develop a Prototype). This article goes on to talk about a few main reasons that investors love seeing a prototype during a “pitch”. Gaining the attention of investors is imperative for many entrepreneurs; and what better way to do that than by having an actual product prototype to let investors see, touch and test?

Here are a few reasons why investors love prototypes:

Creates an emotional connection. Investors are more likely to put up money if they have an emotional connection to the product, and that’s most likely to happen through a prototype. The reason being is people’s attitudes about a product change when they take it into their hands and use it.

It is expected. Standards for prototypes have gone up a lot in recent years due to easy and cheap 3D printing. So in most cases a crude mockup or basic proof of principal model is not going to cut it anymore.

Know where you are in the game. While having the best possible prototype available during a pitch session is critical, not every startup will be able to create a top-of-the-line one. Refinement is expected but having a prototype helps investors understand where you are in the process.

Allows for feedback. With a physical prototype, it is much easier to respond and provide input at each stage of the product development cycle.

Exposes weak points. A prototype can more easily highlight your weaknesses, which could be a good thing, as it helps investors understand what further resources are needed.

To read the article in its entirety, please click here.


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

CES 2014 News Roundup!

January 16, 2014

Social media is still buzzing from CES 2014. We have really enjoyed reading all of the different articles about innovative technology, the future of consumer products, and (of course) 3D printing! There are so many articles now out there, and you could easily spend hours reading all of them, therefore we decided to share a few of our favorites with the 3D Innovations community and have compiled them all here so you can easily access them. Enjoy!


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

CES 2014: Where Innovation Meets Reality

January 14, 2014

CES 2014The 2014 CES was not only an impressive showcase of innovation and technology, but a great place to meet others in the industry. The breakout sessions offered an expert’s view of trending technology along with inside perspectives. This year’s topics included 3D Printing, Education, Wearable Technology, Wireless and Mobile Technology, Fitness Tech, Digital Health, and Sensor Fusion.

With over 150,000 attendees, it must have been a logistical nightmare to not only plan, but execute. From the badge pickup process to checking in for breakout sessions, the CES staff was very efficient in making sure the show was on schedule and attendees were prepared. One of the coolest places to visit upon entrance was a t-shirt kiosk dispensing machine. Located in the central hall at the main lobby, attendees flocked to receive a free CES t-shirt. All you had to do was tweet a confirmation code using the official CES hash tag and boom, a shirt dropped out from the vending machine.

Exhibitors from various industries and countries represented their products for attendees to learn about.


TechZones offered an unique firsthand experience to see newly released products. Many of these TechZones provided opportunities to talk with companies about their technology, test out their products, and get an inside view of these new technologies. The best areas of the TechZones were robotics, mobile technology, and 3D Printing. Robotics is making the transition from industrial applications to consumer level applications.

3D printed candyHowever, undoubtedly the most popular zone this year was the 3D Printing arena. There were many large and small 3D Printing companies demonstrating their technologies from new FDM machines to SLA, paper 3D Printing, and even ceramic and food 3D Printing technologies. 3D Printing is changing not only the Additive Manufacturing industry, but creating ways to wear and even eat 3D Printed parts.

New TV technology

4K and curved HDTV technologies were also unveiled. Screen size has moved from inches to feet with large displays of 80 inches now becoming the standard. Curved HDTVs are providing a better viewing angle for users and higher resolution. These large curved HDTVs are sure to be a hot item in the upcoming year.

Wearable Technology

Wearable technology was also a popular consumer item at CES. Wearable technologies offered sensors to wirelessly monitor vital statistics, motion sensors for controlling products directly from your Smartphone, and wireless fitness products. The ability to seamlessly streamline and connect sensors to smartphones really shows how technology has advanced to meet consumer demands.

From gadgets to wearable technology, Innovations Design and Engineering awards showcased the best and innovative products.

CES did a great job of showcasing the most innovative technology and impressive technological aspirations. We are excited to see what 2014 holds for the future of consumer electronics.

View more photos from CES 2014 on our Facebook page


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