IKEA Uses 3D Printing

For all of us at Advanced Design Concepts, it’s very exciting to see large companies using 3D Printing to streamline the manufacturing process. Needless to say, we were thrilled to see that IKEA uses a 3D Printer to make some of its plastic eating utensils. The original video, which we found from a blog post on a website called “3D Printing is the Future”, illustrates the process of rapid prototyping very well. Taken straight from YouTube, the video that was included in the blog post is a five-part clip from a National Geographic program. The program takes you behind the scenes of IKEA factories, showing exactly how they produce their products.

The most awesome part of the YouTube clip that we found illustrates how IKEA engineers use 3D Printers to make plastic knives, forks and spoons. Unfortunately the clip is a bit long, and the portion of the video that shows the rapid prototyping process is only around a minute and thirty seconds. This is why we have taken the initiative to cut the clip from the original YouTube video and produce a video of our own. Check it out on our new Vimeo account!

Screenshot of the video on ADC's Vimeo account

3D Printed Pictures

At Advanced Design Concepts, we normally talk about how the line of 3D Printing machines that we have in our offices can help to offer a fast and efficient solution for manufacturers and industrial designers looking to reduce the amount of time it takes to develop and produce a product. However, 3D Printing technologies can be used for more than just making a prototype of an engine part. In one of our earlier blog posts, we showed how photographs (specifically our own Holiday Card) can be reproduced by 3D Printers in three-dimensional detail.

Just to give a quick refresher on how the 3D Printing process works, we took our holiday card picture outside of our offices

Original photo for ADC's Holiday Card

Next, we used Geomagic Studio Software to take a negative of the original photo, embossed it on a Polygon Surface.

Negative of original image.

After that,  we made a picture frame in Pro-Engineer and combined the two to create the final product. The final design was then taken from Geomagic Studio and loaded onto the 3D Printer.

Final Geomagic Studio file

Finally, the design was printed on our 3D Systems ProJet 3000 Printer. This is what the final product looked like. When held up to the light, you can see the picture in three dimensions!

3D Printed Holiday Card

While this story was published back in January, we have a new sample of a 3D Printed picture.

This is a picture of Elle Schaefer, the daughter of our Marketing and Communications director Debbie Schaefer. We used the same Geomagic Software to take a negative of this photo, and loaded onto the 3D Printer. The final 3D Printed product looked like this:

3D Printed picture of Elle

As you can see, this picture shows the accurate detail of the reproduction when held up to the light. It’s amazing what 3D Printers can do!