manufacturing tags

Bull Session

3D Printing Metal and the Future of Manufacturing

November 2, 2017          

Episode Summary

For our podcast topic this week, we chat about new developments in additive fabrication / 3D printing and the implications for the future of manufacturing. In the past, additive fabrication systems have used powered metal materials, which are both dangerous to inhale and have a risk of exploding. However new 3D printing machines from Markforged and Desktop Metal are impressive on many fronts — faster, safer and much less expensive than previous technologies. These 3D printers use plastic-encapsulated powders and extrusion systems, which can produce parts at 1/10th of the cost. They can currently handle copper and steel. Soon even aluminum and titanium will be coming. Designers need to pay attention to the overlap of digital and physical design advanced by these technologies. Join us as we discuss.

Desktop Metal

Bull Session

3D Printing and The New Product Lifecycle

April 27, 2017          

Episode Summary

On The Digital Life this week we look at how additive fabrication / 3D printing is increasingly being used for production applications in manufacturing. We may be on the verge of a new kind of product lifecycle, as we imagine a future with greater digital / physical integration,
where we can print more products locally than we ship from a warehouse far away, where we can create new things that can’t be manufactured in a traditional way, and where everything can be customized.

According to the Financial Times, 60% of the $6.1B of additive manufacturing product and services is now related to production applications. This includes industries including aerospace, healthcare, consumer goods and others, for products ranging from sneakers to dental retainers to jet engines. For example, the McLaren Racing team is using 3D printers from Stratasys to create and modify parts on its Formula 1 race car. Reducing the time it takes to replace parts is a key competitive advantage since Formula 1 race cars need to be constantly maintained.

Of course, additive fabrication is still limited by the speed of 3D printing and the types of materials you can use for various applications. But, as quality and speed improve, there may come a time soon where this new product lifecycle is truly possible, if not probable.

A Formula 1 team is 3D printing race car parts

Bull Session

Robot World

March 1, 2016          

Episode Summary

This week on The Digital Life, we discuss a world filled with robots and what this could mean for humanity as we adjust to another type of “being” in our midst. It’s coming sooner than we might think.

For instance, last week, Boston Dynamics, a Google company, released a video of their next generation Atlas robot, that shows it walking through the snowy woods, recovering from slips, and picking up a 10-pound box.

To demonstrate the robot’s resilience, a Boston Dynamics employee wielding a hockey stick pushes the robot backwards, knocks a box out of its hands, and even shoves it to the ground. The robot is able to recover each time and go back to work, but the unease of watching a near humanoid manage these abusive trials is palpable. The phenomenon, known as the Uncanny Valley, has long-term implications for collaborative robotics.

5 Questions, It's News To Me

Digital and UX News: What a Rising China Means for Product Design

October 30, 2014          

Episode Summary

China is on the rise, not just in the manufacturing and production of physical goods, but also in the digital realm. If Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s Q&A session with students at Tsinghua University in Beijing in Mandarin wasn’t a sign of the times, then certainly the largest tech IPO in history, with Chinese tech giant Alibaba raking in billions of dollars to further fuel the growth of the company, is indicative of the fact that that the digital is China’s fastest developing frontier. In this episode of The Digital Life, we discuss the rise of China, and the unexpected opportunities it may represent for product designers in the West.