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Ewloe, United Kingdom
Writing, tweeting, debating and occasionally getting a little over-excited about 3D Printing. But always aiming to keep it real!

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Timely Update!

Oh, the joys of technology — NOT.

So, my excuse for not posting recently ....... complete and utter frustration at my inability to comprehend the inner workings of my computer and software. The blogging software I use boggles my mind, to the point where I gave up for a while. A little help later, and I think it is on it's way to being sorted.

We shall see. I am much calmer now though, and it is time to play catch up.

Things were pretty quiet for a couple of weeks in the additive manufacturing (AM) world, a few snippets here and there, but they seem to be hotting up again now.

The Stratasys/HP partnership that was announced at the beginning of the year has followed through quite quickly on its promise, with the first Designjet 3D machines released today. Serious distribution through Germany, France, the UK, Italy and Spain is set for next month. This is great news, and as I said at the time of the original announcement, will likely see 3D printers penetrating deeper and wider into industrial markets. 


Shapeways is 3D printing with glass! A major breakthrough on a material level — this will find a host of applications that were previously closed to 3D printing. I suspect the majority will be on the 'arty' side of things, but this is a growing application area that is driving some of the new capabilities of 3DP and should never be dismissed. 


Continued development of the RapMan 3D printer has just seen the launch of the new BfB 3000 fully assembled, fully capable 3D printer — retailing below £2000. This is massive. This is precisely what everyone has been saying that they are waiting for. I really want to see how the news of this spreads — hopefully as far and as fast as possible. Essentially, as far as I can see, this machine bridges the gap between the "hobbyists" (still don't like that terminology) and the commercial machines. For a good (alphabetical) list of the two, see the Fabaloo post on 17th April!!! Excellent position to take at this point, I fully concur. 


Terry Wohlers has also recently posted an excellent piece of writing on his Wohlers Talk blog. It addresses the decades old recurring issue of terminology in this sector. (Full post here: http://wohlersassociates.com/blog/2010/04/changing-a-name/). Terry offers a compelling argument, and I mostly agree with what he says. I am yet to be convinced that it will stand the test of time, but I will go with it for now in the interests of community and growth. My own instincts still lean towards a split — AM and 3DP. 


A very brief round-up, but my computer and sanity permitting, I'll be back with more commentary very soon. 















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