Thursday, August 28, 2014

3d printing, ikea and motorola

So how DO I buy a printer then?

A fair question to be sure. Well, here are some pointers:

  1. Educate yourself Each minute you spend learning about 3d printing and 3d printers before you commit to buying one will save you a nerve or two in the long run. Don't fall for the catchwords.

  2. Listen to the experts There's a vibrant community on Google+ about 3d printing. Lots of them to be exact. And also a lot of very good blogs. There's a good chance that when a suspicious printer appears some of the bloggers will react and warn people.

+Richard Horne , +Jeremie Francois , +Whosa whatsis , +Nicholas Seward , +nop head , +Thomas Sanladerer are some of the people you should follow. It's amazing how much good info you will get from these guys.

  1. Read the forums RepRap forums, Ultimaker forums, Printrbot forums... there's lots of places with knowledgeable people willing to help.

  2. Find reviews The best way of knowing if something is worth your money is to see the other users' experiences with it, free of all the corporate and marketing BS.

  3. Don't take news portals seriously While 3d printing news portals like or are a good source of latest info, think of them more like the celebrity pages in the papers. They will usually publish whatever info they get from manufacturers, without checking the facts or offering any critique, so not a good place to find crucial information on how to best spend your money. Every printer seems really cool and packed with features if you read about it on those sites. All in all - good to stay in the loop, but to be taken with a grain of salt.

  4. Avoid Makerbot My final piece of advice - do us all a favor and do not give Makerbot your money. They are the exact opposite of what the global 3d printing community stands for and works towards.

Now that you're done with this take a look at Jeremie Francois' excellent rundown of what you'll run into when you do buy a printer and try to do something with it.

Every year, CGSociety goes to SIGGRAPH, one of the premier conferences on innovation for the computer graphics and VFX industries in the world. In 2012, we watched as Martin Enthed, the IT Manager for the in-house communication agency of IKEA, gave a short presentation. He told us how their visualisation team had evolved from the use of traditional photography for the IKEA catalogue to a system today, where the bulk of its imagery is CG. I remember leaving the auditorium (which was packed) thinking, “Those natural-looking photographs in the IKEA catalogues are amazing. I can’t believe they're mostly CG. It’s incredible.” It was such a great presentation that we went and saw it again in 2013 when it was an official talk, and figured you guys might like to know how IKEA did it - what they had to build and innovate to get their still images to look so real. So we made a time to catch up with Martin, and asked him how and why IKEA decided to make the leap from traditional to digital.

Motorola began as Galvin Manufacturing Corporation in 1928, just before the Great Depression, founded by a 33-year-old native of Harvard, Illinois, named Paul Galvin. Its small offices stood on Chicago’s West Harrison Street, a dozen blocks from the Loop. Two years later came the company’s first big breakthrough: commercializing the first mass-market car radio by figuring out how to eliminate static interference from under the hood. But success didn’t come easily, says Paul’s grandson Chris Galvin, who ran Motorola from 1997 to 2004. Paul was a serial entrepreneur, and two previous ventures of his had flopped. “The company’s success,” Chris explains, “was born of failures.”

from Lizard's Ghost

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