3D Printing In & Beyond – It’s Direction Now And In

At this time last year, most consumers still considered 3D printers a relatively new product.  And yet in the short span of a year, the technology became known to just about everyone, whose demands were instantly nothing short of science fiction.

Although 3D printing itself has been around for decades, 2011 gave the industry more exposure than usual.  From the social media buzz regarding the National Geographic wrench, to the controversy over copyright concerns stemming from the Penrose Triangle dispute, 3D printing found itself cast into the spotlight.  The secret was out.

3D Printed Penrose Triangle

3D printing was even used as an argument for moving to a resource based economy by Zeitgeist: Moving Forward, which claims; “3D Printing now has the potential to transform virtually every field of production”.  And finally no industry would be complete without being exploited and utilized by the criminal element.

With such high expectations, it’s no surprise that the industry itself is behaving more like a mature industry, although it clearly has enormous growth ahead of it. Few could have predicted that by the end of January 2012, 3D Systems would be completing their acquisition of ZCorporation.  Even as recent as early Q4 2011, industry insiders spoke in hush tones when discussing the prospect of a 3D Systems bid on ZCorporation.  Some thought it would take several months, while others insisted it would face scrutiny.  Less than 3 months later as the acquisition comes close to completion, it’s evident that this industry moves as fast as the products it creates.

Already the ZPrinter brand has been welcomed into the 3D Systems family, being added to the Professional line of 3D Printers.  Between the ZPrinter and ProJet series, 3D Systems now boasts the most complete line of 3D Printers on the market today.

3D Systems

Certain to be a benchmark year for 3D Printing, 2012 will surely generate far more promise and excitement than it has in years past. Solid Technologies, Inc. will continue to deliver the same innovative technology offerings it has in the past with the addition of new products from our new partner 3D Systems.  ZPrinter contracts will have no interruption in their service and Solid Technologies, Inc. will work closely with 3D Systems to ensure a seamless transition for current ZPrinter and ZScanner customers.  Look for updates on our website, industry portals, Facebook, and twitter.  Also expect to see new 3D Printing resources in future newsletters. Happy New Year, and thank you for continuing to allow Solid Technologies, Inc. to be your total 3D solutions provider.

EngineeringZONE™:3D Printing for High School Students

Zcorp understands the value of education. That is why on August 30 2011, Zcorp announced their collaboration with Congressman John Tierney (D-Mass) to launch the EngineeringZONE™ program initiative. This program provides unique and valuable engineering experience for high school students. The initiative concerns Tierney as he is committed to improving New England’s local economy and persistent high unemployment.

As the only New England Member on the House Education and Workforce Committee, Tierney has a special interest in the futures of New England students. He understands that jobs focused on technology that integrate math, science and engineering are in high demand, so he wants to engage those who are interested in these fields. But he also wants to reach and inspire those who are less knowledgeable and inexperienced. Tierney believes that if all New England high school students had a leg up on the job market, they could all have better success when they enter it. “The most recent initiative ensures that local students are aware of these new and creative job opportunities,” said Tierney.

Despite the recent economic struggles the country has faced, high tech manufacturing jobs are not dwindling. From 2008 to 2018 STEM occupations are projected to grow by 17 percent. Being familiar with Additive Manufacturing (AM) technology is in great demand. Students going into engineering fields will need to learn quickly what is required to tackle problems and create solutions in manufacturing. The best way for students to embark on this learning curve would be early exposure to AM vendors like ZCorp.

Scott Harmon is Zcorp’s vice president of business development. “We’re thrilled to open our doors,” says Harmon, “this is where the magic happens.”Because of initiatives like this one, budding engineers have been using Z Corporation 3D printers, called ZPrinters, at thousands of high schools, vocational schools and universities. Through this initiative, even more students will be exposed to 3D printing, now one of the fastest-growing innovations in manufacturing. Zcorp invites students to visit one afternoon a month to not only experience 3D printing, but also CAD software and 3D laser scanning technology.

As more manufacturers adopt the process, those who have experience with it will hone their competitive edge in design, technology, and manufacturing. 3D printing brings together all of these disciplines. This combats the skill crisis well-rounded individuals. The program will allow students the unique opportunity to experience state-of-the-art hands-on training for developing 3-dimensional physical models using CAD data. With experience in 3D printing, CAD design, and Additive Manufacturing, students will have a the competitive edge needed to work for companies like Black & Decker, Cisco Consumer Business Group, New Balance, Timberland and Pixar.

Zcorp is world-renowned for creating the fastest, full color, easiest to use and most affordable 3D printers on the market. The EngineeringZONE™ initiative introduces New England high school students to the wonder of making things. Students in the EngineeringZONE™ program will try their hand at some introductory computer-aided design (CAD) software and will make their own 3D printed models. If your high school is interested, contact STI for more details.

ANSYS SpaceClaim Webinar Series for Additive Manufacturing and Rapid Prototyping

Space is limited.
This webinar has concluded

Title: ANSYS SpaceClaim for Additive Manufacturing and Rapid Prototyping

Date:  Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Time:  1:00 PM – 1:30 PM EDT

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

On June 8th ANSYS SpaceClaim will be hosting a webinar that will address  conventional opinion about additive manufacturing and rapid-prototyping.  It is a common complaint among manufacturing engineers that traditional CAD is not only difficult to operate, but that it is also time-consuming, and not at all user-friendly. ANSYS SpaceClaim 3D Modeling software changes all of that. With ANSYS SpaceClaim, users have a suite of tools at their disposal that allow them to quickly edit, repair, resize, and modify prototype designs with ease.  With ANSYS SpaceClaim it is now possible to find exact resolution for tessellation, split large parts into smaller print jobs, and solidify surface geometries. Come watch the webinar on June 8th to see how ANSYS SpaceClaim 3D modeling software is the fastest in the industry for engineering 3D prototypes.

System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server

Macintosh®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.4.11 (Tiger®) or newer

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