P2P Foundation Conducts First Survey of 3D Printing Community

Peerproduction.net, a P2P Foundation website, has spiked the interest of Advanced Design Concepts by conducting the first survey of the 3D Printing community. The survey itself, which can be found here, took a sample of 358 participants in total.  They surveyors asked each of the volunteers multiple questions to find out exactly where they fit in the community, to  understand what they used 3D Printers for, and to learn what types of hardware and programs they had used.

One interesting question from the survey that spiked our interest asked participants which year they first used a 3D Printer:

Bar graph showing when participants first used a 3D Printer.
Credit: Journal of Peer Production

The data shows that the spike in 3D Printing started in 2005, and hit its peak in 2011. Using this data, we at ADC can call ourselves early adopters of rapid prototyping, as we first started 3D Printing in 2007.

Another interesting section of the study asks the volunteers which brand of printers they had used:

Pie Chart showing what brand of 3d printer each volunteer had used
Credit: Journal of Peer Production

The data shows that the top three manufacturers of 3D Printing – for this survey sample – was RapRap project, MakerBot, and Objet respectively. At ADC, we use 3D Systems, which has acquired ZCorp. If you take this into account, it can be said that 3D Systems is the third most popular maker of printers in this survey.

But enough about our take. If you’d like to get a more rounded idea of the data that doesn’t take up too much of your time, check out this video that Stephen Murphey made of the survey results:

If you’d like to learn more about the 3D Printing services that we provide, or about the 3D Systems printers that we sell, please feel free to visit the 3D Printing page of our website here. If you have any questions, please feel free to comment on this post, or contact us at ADC.

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3D Printed Running Shoes to Improve Olympic Athlete Performance

Olympic athletes are constantly trying to better themselves. Weightlifters want to be stronger, high jumpers want to get more elevation, and gymnasts want to improve their balance. Even Usain Bolt, the fastest man in the world, is constantly looking to maximize his own speed – especially after his recent loss to Yohan Blake.

Luckily for the Jamaican with two world records, 3D Printing could prove to help Bolt – among other runners – to increase his own potential. Luc Fusaro, a French engineer and designer is working to develop a 3D Printed running shoe specifically designed for elite Olympic athletes.

Luc Fusaro’s “Designed To Win” running shoe prototype

The shoes, which are called “Designed To Win” feature spikes to improve traction, a flashy gold color, and most importantly a lightweight, custom-fit design. Fusaro begins his production process with a scan of the athlete’s foot. He then uses that scan to build the shoe itself using an additive manufacturing process called Selective Laser Sintering (SLS). The final result is a shoe that not only gives its owner a competitive advantage on the track, but also a sprint shoe with a unique fit.

For all of us at Advanced Design Concepts, it’s exciting to see how innovative 3D Printing technologies can be. Whether its something as simple as a model of a cupcake, or as ground-breaking as Fusaro’s “Designed To Win” shoes, rapid prototyping consistently shows that it always has something new to bring to the table.

Advanced Design Concepts Expands Injection Molding Services

When our viewers look at our blog, it’s easy to pick out the service that we post the most about. Without a doubt it’s Advanced Design Concepts’ 3D Printing capabilities. However, 3D Printing isn’t our only method of producing physical prototypes. One of the other services that ADC provides is injection molding and machining. Just like rapid prototyping, injection molding can help to reduce the time spent in the product development cycle. ADC’s model makers implement this process by combining in-house scanning, Pro/ENGINEER™ and SolidWorks modeling, Raindrop Geomagic surfacing and 3 and 4-axis CNC machines. In more simple terms, through injection molding, we help our clients take their preliminary designs and produce sophisticated electronic models and physical prototypes in a shorter amount of time.

We at ADC have a number of different tools at our disposal for injection molding projects, including the Hurco VM2 High Speed Vertical Machining Center – (40 x 18 x 18), Viper High Speed 3-axis Vertical Machining Center, Tree 1060 Vertical Machining Center with full 4th axis – (40 x 24 x 25) travel, HAAS CNC Lathe, Printex Pad Printing Machine, Branson Ultrasonic Welder, and a few other tools that you can find at the injection molding page on our website. We have also served an extremely diverse customer base through developing medical devices, power tools, toys, lawn and garden equipment, and parts for INDY racers, motorcycles and automobiles.

Through both our wide array of tools and quality service to our various customers, we at ADC are continually enhancing our manufacturing capabilities. This is why we are proud to announce that we have expanded our injection molding arsenal to include a new weapon, the JSW 200 Ton Servo-Electric Injection Molding Machine.

ADC’s new JSW 200 Ton Servo-Electric Injection Molding Machine!

Another angle of the new JSW 200 Ton Servo-Electric Injection Molding Machine

With this new piece of equipment in our machine shop, ADC will have the capacity to handle a larger volume of projects. We hope that through our expansion we can better help our clients to reduce production time, and to quickly prepare products to be market ready. If you would like to know more about our engineering capabilities, feel free to visit our website. Any questions about injection molding or any of ADC’s other services can be posted in the comments section, and we will answer it as best as we can. If you would like a more specific answer, or have a project you think we can help with, feel free to contact one of us.