|From: richardred||12/4/2012 7:49:55 AM|
|Merger Creates World's Largest 3-D Print Company By Daniel Ferry | More Articles | Save For Later |
December 3, 2012 | Comments (2)
Two of the world's three largest 3-D printing companies, Stratasys and Objet, have completed their merger, and today the combined entity began trading as Stratasys (Nasdaq: SSYS ) . The new company is valued at about $3 billion, inculding $277 in revenue in 2011. That eclipses the former industry leader, 3D Systems (NYSE: DDD ) , which weighs in at a $2.4 billion market cap and 2011 sales of $230 million.
The young industry, which centers on the rapid production of models and parts by printing successive layers of material into a three-dimensional object, is now dominated by these two large companies. The new Stratasys now boasts the widest range of print materials, with its products able to manufacture objects out of more than 120 different materials. 3D Systems, however, maintains the broadest portfolio of 3-D printers.
The merged company will keep Objet's headquarters in Rehovot, Israel, which is expected to save $3 million to $4 million in taxes annually. For Stratasys, which realized $21 million in 2011 net income, this change of headquarters is significant but not game-changing. The company also expects to generate $7 million to $8 million in annual net cost savings by mid-2014.
The biggest opportunity created is the potential for the new company to cross-sell products into the additional sales channels the merger provided. While initially customers will continue to do business with either Objet or Stratasys representatives, eventually sales will be streamlined into a single point of contact, giving customers easy access to the full range of Stratasys products, services, and solutions.
Stratasys and Objet initially expected to complete the merger in the third quarter of 2012 but had to delay after the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment expressed concern that the deal could present national security concerns. These worries were successfully addressed, and the committee gave final approval to the plan only last week.
While the new company kept the Stratasys name, the leadership team tilts decidedly toward Objet. Stratasys CEO and co-founder Scott Crump will give up the CEO role and instead will preside over the board of directors as a full-time executive chairman. Objet CEO David Reis will take the reins as CEO of the new Stratasys. Erez Simha was both the chief operations officer and chief financial officer at Objet and will continue to occupy both positions at the merged company. Elchanon Jaglom will transition from being the chairman of the board at Objet to chairman of the executive committee.
Under the terms of the deal, which was technically structured as a merger of Stratasys, with a subsidiary of Objet, former Stratasys shareholders control 55% of the company, with Objet shareholders controlling the remaining 45%.
The merger creates new opportunities as well as new risks. On the plus side, the joint entity will now have a more streamlined and efficient marketing and sales team, an important factor for an industry that struggles with customer awareness and appreciation of the technology. The new company will also be able to afford a higher research and development spending, equally important for an emerging technology.
On the other hand, the new management team will be overseeing the integration of more than 1,000 employees, most of whom are largely unknown to the Objet-focused executive board, split between headquarters in Israel and Minnesota, and attempting to keep customers satisfied during the transition. A rough acquisition could distract management, alienate customers, or simply fail to produce the cost synergies expected. One sign to watch for in an acquisition gone wrong is a company that issues several consecutive quarters of "one-time" charges related to restructuring.
Stratasys can be sure that 3D Systems will be waiting to pounce on any weakness. Its rival will be keen to regain its position as top dog in the 3D print industry, and 3D Systems' strategy of pursuing a larger number of small tuck-in acquisitions leaves it less liable to suffer from a bad integration. This also leaves 3D Systems more flexible to pursue new opportunities.
Both companies, however, are likely to benefit from industry consolidation. The largest revenue driver for each company is print services, essentially leasing out 3-D printers to create prototypes and models on-demand, giving customers access to 3-D print solutions without the need to invest in printers. While popular, this business produces lower margins than selling printers or print materials, principally because of a more competitive landscape. When the Big Two of 3-D printing splash out on acquisitions, it limits the number of print service providers operating and helps to enforce price discipline.
That short-term boost, along with the dramatic long-term potential of this innovative technology, may make Monday's news an excellent time to buy into the industry. With only two major operators now, it's very easy to hedge your bets and buy both, but investors may want a closer look at the oldest 3-D print company in the industry, 3D Systems.
3D Systems is at the leading edge of a disruptive technological revolution, with the broadest portfolio of 3-D printers in the industry. However, despite years of earnings growth, 3D Systems' share price has risen even faster, and today the company sports a dizzying valuation. To help investors decide whether the future of additive manufacturing is bright enough to justify the lofty price tag on the company's shares, The Motley Fool has compiled a premium research report on whether 3D Systems is a buy right now. In our report, we take a close look at 3D Systems' opportunities, risks, and critical factors for growth. You'll also find reasons to buy or sell, and receive a full year of analyst updates with the report. To start reading, simply click here now for instant access.
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|From: FUBHO||12/6/2012 9:49:50 PM|
|3-D printers for medical use ahead says researcher|
Rick Merritt12/6/2012 9:07 PM EST
SAN JOSE, Calif. – Medical device companies could someday use 3-D printers to quickly make an array of products from custom implants to valves and ultra fine micro-needle arrays for drug delivery. But the technology is not quite ready for prime time, said an expert in the field.
A handful of current 3-D printing techniques all hold promise and pitfalls. The systems are typically much faster and simpler than conventional manufacturing techniques, but they are still relatively imprecise, expensive and lack bio-compatibility, said Roger Narayan, professor of biomedical engineering at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
“There’s a lot of interest in honing these techniques for medical apps,” said Narayan in a talk at the BioMeDevices Forum here. “We are getting to the point where surgical implants can be made with rapid prototyping—some dentists are already using it for temporary crowns,” he said.
In the near term, some forms of 3-D printers could be used to create molds or casts for a wide variety of small implants, valves and disposable devices. They could also be an alternative for making micro-needle arrays where traditional processes are seen as a bottleneck, Narayan said.
“It’s really about lower cost systems, wider choice of input materials and improved bio-compatibility” for these applications, he said.
Long term, 3-D printing holds promise to make combination devices that mix living cells with other materials to create implants that are less frequently rejected by the human body. But that will require a generation of more cell-friendly 3-D printers.
Narayan has conducted 3-D printing experiments using an argon fluoride excimer laser, one of many approaches that can use cells as an input media. But currently, “the scaling is not there, throughput is too low,” he said.
Meanwhile, some stereo lithography systems using liquids are creating features that range from 75 to 10 microns. A relatively new two-photon polymerization approach has created features measuring as little as 100 nm. “So you can get to truly small scale structures nowadays,” he said.
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|From: i-node||12/18/2012 2:15:35 PM|
|SAN DIEGO, Dec. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Organovo Holdings, Inc. (ONVO) ("Organovo"), a creator and manufacturer of functional, three-dimensional human tissues for medical research and therapeutic applications, is working together with researchers at Autodesk, Inc., the leader in cloud-based design and engineering software, to create the first 3D design software for bioprinting.|
The software, which will be used to control Organovo's NovoGen MMX bioprinter, will represent a major step forward in usability and functionality for designing three-dimensional human tissues, and has the potential to open up bioprinting to a broader group of users.
"Autodesk is an excellent partner for Organovo in developing new software for 3D bioprinters," said Keith Murphy, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Organovo. "This relationship will lead to advances in bioprinting, including both greater flexibility and throughput internally, and the potential long-term ability for customers to design their own 3D tissues for production by Organovo."
"Bioprinting has the potential to change the world," said Jeff Kowalski, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Autodesk. "It's a blend of engineering, biology and 3D printing, which makes it a natural for Autodesk. I think working with Organovo to explore and evolve this emerging field will yield some fascinating and radical advances in medical research."
Organovo's 3D bioprinting technology is used to create living human tissues that are three-dimensional, architecturally correct, and made entirely of living human cells. The resulting structures can function like native human tissues, and represent an opportunity for advancement in medical research, drug discovery and development, and in the future, surgical therapies and transplantation.
The Autodesk Research group is dedicated to innovation and discovery ranging from methods to help users learn powerful digital prototyping tools to visualization and simulation techniques that enable designers to achieve new levels of performance. Advancing the state of the art in human-computer interaction, computer graphics and digital design technology, Autodesk Research collaborates openly with researchers at leading universities around the world. The bio/nano/programmable matter group within Autodesk Research is extending this expertise by developing software for the design and simulation of molecular systems and living systems.
About Organovo Holdings, Inc.
Organovo designs and creates functional, three-dimensional human tissues for medical research and therapeutic applications. The company is working in collaboration with pharmaceutical and academic partners to develop human biological disease models in three dimensions that enable therapeutic drug discovery and development. Organovo's technology can also be applied to create surgical tissues for direct therapy. Their three-dimensional bioprinting technology was selected as one of the "Best Inventions of 2010" by TIME Magazine. Organovo leads the way in solving complex medical research problems and building the future of medicine. Visit www.organovo.com.
Safe Harbor Statement
Any statements contained in this press release that do not describe historical facts may constitute forward-looking statements as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Any forward-looking statements contained herein are based on current expectations, but are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties. The factors that could cause actual future results to differ materially from current expectations include, but are not limited to, risks and uncertainties relating to the Company's ability to develop, market and sell products based on its technology; the expected benefits and efficacy of the Company's products and technology; the availability of substantial additional funding for the Company to continue its operations and to conduct research and development, clinical studies and future product commercialization; the anticipated benefits of the contract with Autodesk; and the Company's business, research, product development, regulatory approval, marketing and distribution plans and strategies. These and other factors are identified and described in more detail in our filings with the SEC, including our current report on Form 8-K/A filed on May 11, 2012. We do not undertake to update these forward-looking statements made by us.
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|From: JakeStraw||1/3/2013 9:28:11 AM|
|3D Systems to Acquire Geomagic|
Geomagic, Inc., a leading global provider of 3D authoring solutions including design, sculpt and scan software tools that are used to create 3D content and inspect products throughout the entire design and manufacturing process.
The combination of Geomagic's powerful sculpting, modeling, scanning and inspecting software tools with 3D Systems' portfolio strengthens its 3D authoring platform and positions the company for accelerated growth in the fast-growing, 3D content-to-print space. The transaction adds complementary products and technology, increases the company's reseller coverage globally and is expected to be accretive to its non-GAAP earnings in the first full year following the completion of transaction.
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|From: Glenn Petersen||1/6/2013 11:20:44 AM|
|A major piece from Spiegel:|
Technology May Bring New Industrial Revolution
By Marcel Rosenbach and Christian Schüle
01/04/2013 06:05 PM
3-D printing technology, used industrially for the last few decades, is poised to break into the mass market. Its endless and swiftly developing possibilities -- from entrepreneurial manufacturing to the potential sculpting of human organs -- could become the next industrial revolution.
When the TV series Star Trek first brought the starship Enterprise into German living rooms, the concept of a replicator was pure science fiction, a fantastical utopian vision we might experience one day centuries in the future. Replicators, something of a mixture between computer and miniature factory, were capable of creating food and replacement parts from next to nothing. They were highly practical devices, since Captain Kirk couldn't exactly take along a lot of supplies for his journeys through outer space. That futuristic vision, though, has receded far into the past -- overtaken by the present.
The real-world replicator-like technology poised to revolutionize the world is known as 3-D printing, though that term is misleading, since the process has little to do with printing. Three-dimensional printers can be as small as a suitcase or as large as a telephone booth, depending on the object they are meant to faithfully replicate from a 3-D computer blueprint. Inside the machine, the product is assembled by stacking extremely thin layers of material on top of one another, sort of like reassembling an apple that has been cut into super-fine slices.
Many different technological routes can be taken to reach the same goal. In one variation, nozzles spray liquid material into layers. Another method, which produces even better results, aims laser beams at finely powdered material, causing the grains to fuse together at precisely the spot where the beam hits. All 3-D printing techniques, however, follow the same principle: The object grows layer by layer, each one just a few hundredths of a millimeter thick, until it acquires the desired shape. This technique can be applied to steel, plastic, titanium, aluminum and many other metals.
Assembling, screwing together, adhering, welding -- all these processes are rendered obsolete when even the most complex shapes can be produced by a single machine using this casting technique. The end result can be an artificial hip, a hearing aid, a cell phone case, customized footwear or even the Urbee, a prototype car that has been making a splash.
Engineers at the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS) have used this technique to print out an entire bicycle that only needs added tires and a chain to be fully functional. British researchers, meanwhile, have printed a maneuverable drone with a rear-engine drive. Printed components are also used in Formula 1 racing and at NASA. Dental laboratories use 3-D printers to produce crowns, while doctors experiment with artificial heart tissue. Filmmakers also print animation models and automotive parts suppliers create replacement parts.
A Slow Process
The printing of electronic components is even in the works. American corporation Xerox, for example, has developed a silver ink that functions as an electrical conductor and can be printed directly onto plastic or other materials, making it possible to integrate simple circuits into printed objects.
Given the potentially vast global impact of this new technology, it's surprising that so far only around two dozen companies dominate the market. Along with US giants 3-D Systems and Stratasys, about 10 German companies provide this technology, some of them market leaders in their respective segments, for example Eos and Concept Laser, both in the southern state of Bavaria.
Some of these German 3-D printing specialists are growing at a rate that has some industry experts hoping this nascent digital industrial age will finally see the emergence of new innovation drivers "made in Germany." German companies are seen as leaders, especially when it comes to 3-D printing of metals.
The possibilities in this field are theoretically unlimited, since in principle almost any object can be printed as long as precise digital data for it exist. Most of these printers are turned to industrial uses, massive machines that can cost €1 million or more, but there is also a growing amateur scene of hobbyists who print toy figurines, spare parts for their coffee machines or even individually designed coffee cups, working out of their basements and using printers they assemble themselves for €500 ($650).
The only limits are set by the selection of materials, the space needed for each individual printed object and one other very important factor: time. Three-dimensional printing as currently practiced is a long, slow process.
This technology is in its infancy, but the parallels to the emerging computer industry of the 1970s are hard to miss. Then, too, the first machines were clunky and their operation complicated, but their evolution happened quickly and in giant leaps.
An expert panel under US President Barack Obama sees 3-D printing as a "megatrend of the future" and the US government is putting hundreds of millions of dollars toward developing the new technology. Industrial giants including Boeing, Siemens, General Electric (GE), Samsung, Canon and Daimler are all experimenting with the related production methods.
Among the leaders in such developments is German manufacturer Eos, located in an industrial park in Krailling, a town of 8,000 near Munich. In the foyer of the company's headquarters stands a life-sized statue of the Greek goddess of victory Nike. The statue is an exact reproduction of an ancient original, down to the cracks and weathering in the material, and was produced in an Eos printer from a scan of the original museum piece.
A printed violin is also displayed in a case in the entrance area. This object's mechanical birth was about a day's work for a 3-D printer. The only extra steps necessary were to mount a few small components and strings. Music experts can hear the difference when the instrument is played. But a layperson just hears a violin.
This Bavarian high-tech company specializes in 3-D printers for industrial use, large machines that resemble oversized refrigerators or industrial ovens. Depending on their size, equipment and capabilities, these printers can cost anywhere from €150,000 to over €1 million.
The three-dimensional printing process Eos uses is known as laser sintering. Companies have been using this technique for 25 years, especially for quickly and cheaply developing prototypes and design studies, which is how Eos CEO Hans Langer first encountered the technology. A physicist who wrote his doctoral dissertation on laser technology, Langer founded Eos in 1989 and constructed his first 3-D printer for automobile manufacturer BMW, which used it to produce new car model prototypes from synthetic resin.
Other auto manufacturers, including those producing Formula 1 cars, now use the technology as well. "It's safe to assume that every auto racing team works with components from our printers," Langer says.
Eos is now the global market leader in its field. The company's sales have doubled over the last three years, reaching €105 million ($138 million). At the moment the total sales volume of this market remains fairly modest at $1.3 billion, but if the trend continues, it will multiply rapidly. Wohlers Associates, a 3-D printing industry consulting firm, expects that number to triple by 2015, and to reach $6.5 billion by 2019.
"I absolutely believe this will come to be very important," says Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of global conglomerate GE. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who made his own fortune in new technologies, calls 3-D printing "an exciting new industry with virtually unlimited potential" and one that "could completely revolutionize manufacturing." Assuming that 3-D printing technology continues to develop at the same rapid pace, it could indeed be revolutionary for a number of reasons:
Considerably fewer production steps, fewer tools needed and lower materials costs all spell enormous cost savings. With products no longer needing to be cut from the materials from which they are made, some 3-D printers require just 10 percent the amount of plastic or metal that conventional methods such as milling do.
Companies will no longer be tied to the economies of scale that make mass production necessary for reducing costs. Even small production batches can be profitable.
More innovative products can be brought onto the market, since this method makes it easy to try out new ideas cheaply.
Changing a product's design no longer means the entire assembly line must be reworked as well. This shortens product cycles considerably and makes it possible to introduce improvements more quickly.
Sustainability a Major Motivator
One area in which 3-D printers show a promising future, and are already being put to use, is in the construction of replacement parts. One BMW manager couldn't find an original spare part for his old motorcycle -- so he simply had the item's design reconstructed on a computer, then printed it using an Eos device.
Another considerable advantage to applying this new technology to industrial uses is that the hollow spaces and internal struts in printed objects make them both more stable and lighter than the same products when manufactured conventionally -- a combination that is generally difficult to achieve.
"An artificial hip manufactured the traditional way is much heavier than a printed one, which weights just 200 grams (seven ounces)," says Eos head Langer.
This same factor is what makes 3-D printing so appealing for airplane manufacturers such as EADS, with its subsidiary Airbus. Langer is proud to display the design for a hinge that will weigh 60 percent less than those currently in use -- and less weight means less fuel consumption. "Sustainability is a major driver in our industry," Langer says. When designing new components on the computer, he often draws on ideas found in nature. "Birds' bones are incredibly light and incredibly stabile," he points out.
Another far more difficult application of 3-D printing currently being tested is the creation of complete fuel injector nozzles for airplane turbines, produced in a single printing process. Langer calculates that such printed nozzles would allow jet planes to fly up to 2 percent more efficiently, saving millions of euros over the lifecycle of each plane. So far, printed components have only been used inside the cabins of airplanes.
Significant progress has also been made in the materials that can be used in 3-D printing, with even objects made from organic matter now possible. Scientists are working on assembling human cells in 3-D printers, composed from materials that the human body uses, such as sugar. Biologists have also been able to print veins and working heart tissue. Eventually the production of entire organs may be possible.
Pharmaceutical researchers are also experimenting with printing individually tailored medications. A computer provides the formula and the printer composes the pill from individual ingredients according to the patient's particular needs. This technique has already proven successful for simple formulations such as the painkiller ibuprofen.
The technology has long since proven its benefits when it comes to low-priced customized production in the medical field. It is significantly faster and easier, for example, to print dental prostheses than to have a dental technician shape them by hand. And these prostheses can be printed using whichever materiel the patient desires. For example, one team of surgeons printed an artificial lower jaw for a patient from titanium.
Similar progress is also occurring in the 3-D printing of movable parts. In one example, scientists at American university MIT have printed a functional clock. And Mark Little, director of global research at GE, confidently declares, "One day, we will be able to print an engine."
Staying Ahead of Asia
Some even see 3-D printing technology as an opportunity for Europe and the US to reclaim at least certain areas of industrial manufacturing from Asia. These miniature factories require both less material and fewer employees to run them, which makes the production process cheaper. One or two skilled workers are enough to run a professional-grade printer.
Financial hurdles for entrepreneurs looking to enter the market will also be much lower, since it's no longer necessary to construct entire assembly lines before production can begin. Instead, it's possible to first test innovations on a smaller scale, then increase production of those products that prove successful.
The new technology offers great opportunities for any manufacturer, but it also poses serious risks. The 3-D printing process makes it easier for inventors to enter the market, but it makes things easier for copycats as well.
What will the implications be for a German mechanical engineering company when its clients in Mexico or Vietnam no longer need to import replacement parts from Stuttgart, but instead can acquire the digital 3-D blueprint and print their own parts? What will the implications be when a computer file is all that's needed to copy WMF silverware or Gucci sunglasses? One American company has already patented a copy protection mechanism for 3-D printing, and the mass market is likely to follow.
Devices for home use have long since joined professional 3-D printers on the market. American manufacturer MakerBot opened its first store in Manhattan a few months ago, where it sells beginners' models for around $2,000. These machines, which are about the size of a crate of beer and print objects from the same plastic from which Legos are made, are certainly not nearly as highly developed or precise as the industrial devices manufactured by Eos, but they are enough to allow a hobbyist to design and produce anything from chess pieces to jewelry.
From Personalalized Products to Space
Certainly the same concerns causing sleepless nights for intellectual property experts are also giving others cause for celebration -- and allowing new business models to emerge. "This is the democratization of production," says Peter Weijmarshausen, CEO of Shapeways, the leader in 3-D printing for personalized manufacturing. "Anyone can produce their own dream product." Shapeways, which began as a project of Dutch company Philips, allows its customers either to upload their own designs to the company website or to select from various templates, and the company then manufactures the desired product using 3-D printers.
Shapeways produced 1.5 million objects for its customers this past year, including self-designed jewelry, iPhone cases, lampshades and vases. In the coming year, the company expects that number to reach 6 or 7 million, with its products made from around 30 different materials. This autumn Shapeways opened a new production facility in the New York City borough of Queens, with long rows of 3-D printers of many different types. Many of the printers are indeed "made in Germany," manufactured by Eos in Krailling.
The next big step, Weijmarshausen hopes, will be clothing produced by 3-D printers, tailored exactly to fit each customer's individual figure. "And of course shoes, custom-made for each pair of feet," he adds. Still, such consumer-designed products are likely to remain a smaller operation compared to all the technology's potential industrial applications.
Researchers in California, meanwhile, are testing out printing concrete components to be used in house construction. And NASA, the US space agency, is drawing ever closer to Captain Kirk's Star Trek utopia, using this technology to print engine components for its new Space Launch System. NASA, too, is relying on 3-D laser printing technology made in Bavaria -- the project uses systems manufactured by Concept Laser in Lichtenfels.
Translated from the German by Ella Ornstein
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|To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (69)||1/6/2013 12:13:41 PM|
|Boeing has been in the 3D prototyping using SL space since at least 1986. It and Ford were at least 2 of America's earliest industrial SL machine purchasers back in 3D printing's early days. |
Thank you Glenn for your efforts to surface this topic and keep it refreshed here on SI. I appreciate it.
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|To: IngotWeTrust who wrote (70)||1/10/2013 5:58:30 PM|
|From: Glenn Petersen|
|I have to admit that it took some time for me to wrap my head round the concept of "3D Printing." "Additive manufacturing" worked better for me. |
The ExOne Company has filed a registration statement:
We are a global provider of three-dimensional (“3D”) printing machines and printed products to industrial customers. Our business primarily consists of manufacturing and selling 3D printing machines and printing products to specification for our customers using our in-house 3D printing machines. We offer pre-production collaboration and print products for customers through our Production Service Centers (“PSCs”), which are located in the United States, Germany and Japan. We build 3D printing machines at our facilities in the United States and Germany. We also supply the associated products, including consumables and replacement parts, and services, including training and technical support, necessary for purchasers of our machines to print products. We believe that our ability to print in a variety of industrial materials, as well as our industry-leading printing capacity (as measured by build box size and printhead speed), uniquely position us to serve the needs of industrial customers.
Our 3D printing machines use our technology, powdered materials, chemical binding agents and integrated software to print 3D products directly from computer models by repeatedly depositing very thin layers of powdered materials and selectively placing chemical binding agents to form the finished product. One of our key industry advantages is that our machines are able to print products in materials that are desired by industrial customers. Currently, our 3D printing machines are able to manufacture casting molds and cores from specialty silica sand and ceramics, which are the traditional materials for these casting products. We are capable of printing in silica sand, ceramics, stainless steel, bronze and glass, and we are in varying stages of qualifying additional industrial materials for printing, such as titanium, tungsten carbide, aluminum and magnesium.
We believe that we are a leader in providing 3D printing machines, 3D printed products and related services to industrial customers in the aerospace, automotive, heavy equipment, energy/oil/gas and other industries. Our customers in the aerospace industry include Magellan Aerospace Corporation, Boeing and Mitchell Aerospace Inc. Our customers in the automotive industry include Ford Motor Company, Bavarian Motor Works (“BMW”) and Tesla Motors, Inc. Our customers in the heavy equipment industry include Caterpillar, Inc., Deere & Company, and Bosch Rexroth and our customers in the energy/oil/gas industry include ITT Corp. and the KSB Group.
Our business began as the advanced manufacturing business of Extrude Hone Corp., which manufactured its first 3D printing machine in 2003 using licensed technology developed by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (“MIT”). In 2007, we were acquired by S. Kent Rockwell through his wholly-owned company Rockwell Forest Products, Inc. (“RFP”). Since 2007, when he purchased our company for approximately $7.2 million, Mr. Rockwell (through RFP and affiliated entities) and our other owners have funded our company and related entities, through December 15, 2012, with $40.7 million in either equity or debt. The primary goals of these investments were to: increase the scale, speed and efficiency of our 3D printing machines; expand the range of qualified materials in which our machines can print; and position us to compete in the rapidly evolving 3D printing market. As a result, we have significantly reduced our unit cost of production over time, thereby expanding the potential market for our machines and products.
Our revenues for the year ended December 31, 2011 were $15.3 million, as compared to $13.4 million for the prior year period, and for the first nine months of 2012 were $15.9 million, as compared to $12.6 million for the same period in 2011. Our EBITDA was ($8.9) million for the first nine months of 2012, as compared to ($2.3) million for the same period in 2011. Our EBITDA for the nine months ended September 30, 2012 includes a non-cash equity based compensation expense of $7.7 million.
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|From: Glenn Petersen||1/18/2013 10:32:11 AM|
|Nokia Releases 3D Print Files For Lumia 820 Smartphone. Got A 3D Printer? Custom Print Your Own Removable Shell |
January 18, 2013
Now this is cool: mobile maker Nokia has released 3D print files for one of its smartphones so owners of 3D printers can custom print their own removable shell. Nokia already sells different colour shells for the handset in question, the Lumia 820 — which has a removable backplate — along with shells that add wireless charging to the device or offer a bit more protection to standard plastic shells. But the company has decided to spice things up further by releasing a 3D template so people can print their own custom designs.
It’s calling this a 3DK for short — see what they did there? Writing in a blog post on Nokia Conversations, Nokia says: “We are going to release 3D templates, case specs, recommended materials and best practices — everything someone versed in 3D printing needs to print their own custom Lumia 820 case. We refer to these files and documents collectively as a 3D-printing Development Kit, or 3DK for short.”
The mechanical drawings for the shell are available for download here, here and here. Nokia claims it’s the first “major phone company” to release 3D templates for hardware. It’s certainly a bold move for a big corporate company to allow users to remix its design without any checks and balances on what they produce. But it’s also a savvy one — which recognises that building a community of engaged users necessitates giving up some control by giving people opportunities to get more involved in the creation process.
R&D is already something that, increasingly, does not just take place behind the closed, locked doors of corporate research labs. Witness the success of the online crowdfunding model — via sites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo — where many projects take soundings from backers and incorporate their views into the final product.
Nokia’s mechanical drawings add to a growing pool of 3D templates up for grabs — from sites like 3D printer maker MakerBot‘s Thingiverse — where custom designs for all sorts of smartphone cases and docks can be found, often licensed for use under Creative Commons.
Nokia says it uses 3D printers internally for rapid prototyping of devices but envisages 3D printing having a much larger role to play in smartphone design in future. “In the future, I envision wildly more modular and customizable phones,” writes John Kneeland, a Nokia Community & Developer Marketing Manager, on the blog.
Kneeland speculates that Nokia could sell a printable phone template in future — allowing entrepreneurs to “build a local business on building phones precisely tailored to the needs of his or her local community”. ”You want a waterproof, glow-in-the-dark phone with a bottle-opener and a solar charger? Someone can build it for you — or you can print it yourself!”
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