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.