VoxelFab – A New 3D Printing Blog
Join me in welcoming Joris Peels, Shapeways former community manager, to the high stakes, cut throat world of 3D printer blogging. In all seriousness Joris can be one of the most insightful thinkers about the future of custom manufacturing as evidenced by his post “The Singer Problem“. VoxelFab will surely be a must read in the months to come.
What took Walt Disney and his Imagineers a lot of time and money can now be replicated with common consumer electronics and household materials. My friend, Tim Golnik, was able to replicate the effect in this video with his iPhone, a seat of Maya, and a few shards of laser cut acrylic. We are continuing down a path where there will be few technical or financial limits to our creativity and is an exciting time for creators and consumers alike.
Foursquare Makes Badges, Gets Physical
Currently, Foursquare is a fun diversion at best and a pointless fad at worst. Its real potential seems to be tying the physical and digital worlds together in more meaningful ways. They are doing that in a fun form called “Nerd Merit Badges“
Foursquare is also hinting that they may develop specialized hardware or integrate with existing point-of-sale systems to reward customer loyalty or make the check in process more automated. Once they start making physical hardware or merely integrating with it, Foursquare will go from game to new marketing channel. TechCrunch cites a Foursquare blog post:
“Foursquare hints that in the future, the service will try to tie-in Foursquare with pieces of hardware to make it more seamless to use. For example, they mention barcode scanners as one possibility. A barcode scanner with Foursquare capabilities could be useful for both users and partners, as it would definitely reduce the friction for using the service, as Foursquare puts it.”
While not as futuristic as 3D printing Foursquare represents on of the best chances for bits and atoms to merge in the immediate future.
Shapeways Gets Packages
3D Printing and custom manufacturing generally suffer from a lack of consumer polish. Manufacturers and service providers aren’t used to servicing individual consumers so there is a lot of confusion around the processes and capabilities. Shapeways has done a great job working to eliminate this problem with transparent pricing, self service options, and now professional packaging for 3D printed products.
3D Printers Recreate Egypt
Egyptologists are canny marketers and know how a model can help tell a story. In an effort to add some panache to an exhibit about King Tut exhibit designers decided to model a replica of the boy king’s mummy. They were able to model him with CAD tools and of course build the replica with a 3D printer. While every 3D printer company has a story like this they are always interesting and demonstrate the capability of these machines to help preserve our past and help up build a better future.
Tim O’Reilly Talks About The “Internet of Things”
Tim O’Reilly gives a glimpse into our interconnected future in an inspiring 30+ min talk where he effortlessly switches from the micro scale of SQL databases to a macro view of government as a platform. It is an oracle like view into the true potential of “Bit and Atoms”.