For nearly a decade, Maker Faire has served as the premier meeting point for hobbyists, engineers, tinkerers, tech enthusiasts, students, teachers, and creators of all ages. With Maker Faires popping up all around the world to take part in the “greatest show (and tell) on earth”, it is clear to see that the spirit of the maker movement is strong and it’s only getting stronger. 2014’s “World Maker Faire” will be held on September 20th and 21st at the New York Hall of Science in Queens. Attendees can expect to see a wide range of different makers including those who work with robotics, rockets, drones, food, gadgets, bicycles, and of course 3D printing!

As we approach this exciting weekend, we are proud to share that 3D Systems will have a diverse presence at the 2014 World Maker Faire. In addition to representing ourselves at the XPrize Booth (Zone 3, Booth #340), we will be showcasing our technology at a number of other stands throughout the show. For those unfamiliar, XPrize is a STEM-based competition (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) that promotes the incubation and realization of ideas and technologies to will help solve humanity’s greatest challenges. 3D Systems will be hosting live 3D scanning demonstrations using the Sense and iSense scanners, as well as 3D printing models of Baymax, the new robot character from Disney’s upcoming film Big Hero 6, on the new Cube and CubePro 3D printers.

You will also be able to find 3DS with customizable toy company MakieLab Makies, Urban Hubs (Booth #38369) and maker John Abella in the 3D Printing Village (Zone 2). Though each of these exhibitors use 3D printing to enable their ideas, the concepts and efforts behind their work are our inspiration as a company to keep enhancing and developing our technology for their empowerment. Whether for children’s fun and self-expression, global initiatives made local, or the creativity smiles are made of, we are proud to share in and strengthen these endeavors. For more detail on precise locations during Maker Faire, make sure to follow us on Twitter for live updates (@3dsystemscorp).

In the words of famous inventor and maker Thomas Edison: “What you are will show in what you do.” If you’re in the NYC area this weekend, come discover 3D Systems and be amazed by the innovation of 2014.  

Today Microsoft released an updated version of its 3D Builder Windows Store app, now enhanced with more features, a better user experience, and expanded 3D printing capability via a new partnership with 3DS and our Cubify cloud printing services. By integrating with our Cubify cloud printing service, Microsoft’s 3D Builder R5 gives you access to expanded material options beyond what is typically offered by consumer 3D printers. Materials range from opaque and frosted plastics, to metallic and mixed plastics, to full-color “Colorstone” and even ceramics. From the designing process, users are directly and seamlessly linked to Cubify where they can order their design to be shipped to their doorstep within 2 weeks.

Beyond the added ease and access of cloud printing, 3D Builder R5 has totally overhauled and optimized its main control, expanded its edit mode and added a new selection control that lets you easily manage the selection state of multiple parts on the virtual build platform. The new design cleanly incorporates the many features that have been added to the app during its last several releases and has additionally made moving, scaling and rotating models more precise and intuitive.

In this version of the app, 3D Builder’s built-in library of parts has also gained a new category of trophy 3D models that can be customized and personalized using multiple parts to be scaled up or down depending on their intended application.

The new Buy Print button in 3D Builder R5 is integrated with 3D Systems’ Cubify service

You can get more information and install 3D Builder R5 by visiting the official 3D Builder app store page.

For animation fans and those of active and hungry imagination, mark your calendar for September 26th and the release of Boxtrolls by Laika Studios. This fanciful, fun and endearing stop-motion film opens up a magical world of curiosity, creativity, friendship and courage, and it does so with the help of 3D printing!

Although stop-motion is a rigorously manual animation process requiring many man hours of patient and detail-oriented work, artists at Laika have begun to take advantage of the precision and design fidelity of 3D printing to breathe that much more life into their characters. Using a full-color ProJet 660Pro 3D printer (formerly the ZPrinter 650), Laika takes advantage of incorporating their character’s paint jobs into the printing process itself to make faceplates of consistent artistry and increased variety. This means they can create a wider array of subtle expressions without jarring discrepancies, which allows for a more seamless and life-like result.

To get in on the fun, Laika has also made available a suite of 3D printable files for fans to print their own Boxtrolls at home, or through Cubify’s cloud printing service. The files are free to download and available in the soon-to-be favorite characters: Shoe, Oil Can, Fragile and Fish. Download yours today and dare to be square!

For more on Laika’s animation process, check out this trailer:

Buying a house is a big milestone. It’s also an involved process with many plans and documents to scrutinize and a variety of factors to weigh and consider. And though the favorable terms and conditions of a mortgage often play an important role in the client’s decision to buy, they don’t necessarily add to the overall excitement of the experience.

With this in mind, the Swiss bank Zürcher Kantonalbank decided to make the mortgage signing experience more memorable through 3D printing. In partnership with 3D-MODEL AG, Zürcher Kantonalbank is the first bank ever to present its clients with a 3D print of their future home while reviewing the mortgage confirmation.

"Fulfilling the lifelong dream of owning a home is a very emotional moment,” says initiator Atahan Tosun, Head of Segment Management at Zürcher Kantonalbank's Private Banking. “As our motto is ‘Close to You,’ sharing in the excitement of such a moment with our clients is particularly important to us, especially with the surprise and joy of the concept.”

Indeed, the response from clients has been overwhelmingly positive and the new homeowners delight in the customized personal touch given to an otherwise routine and impersonal process. “Now that I have a library of my own, I look forward to displaying my home model there,” said one client. “I find it both fascinating and beautiful, and am rather proud to have it. I’m also impressed with the creativity of the idea and how perfectly it was designed and realized.”

Given the success of Zürcher Kantonalbank’s first implementation of 3D printing, they are now working with 3D-MODEL AG to explore new ways to engage the flexible, custom nature of the technology. Future applications may include 3D models of local building projects to further demonstrate and establish the bank’s ties to the community. Regardless of the direction they take, Zürcher Kantonalbank has laid a solid foundation in the hearts and minds of its clientele.



"Literacy is a key lever of change and a practical tool of empowerment on each of the three main pillars of sustainable development: economic development, social development and environmental protection." 

-- Former UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan

Forty-eight years ago, the United Nations designated September 8 as the International Day of Literacy. According to The New York Times, 44% of the global population was determined functionally illiterate in 1966, the pilot year of this worldwide advocacy. Since then, the rate of traditional illiteracy has dropped to 16%, but parallel developments have simultaneously broadened our understanding of literacy itself. Today, we define literacy not only as it pertains to reading and writing but as a comprehensive educational competency in the issues and skills that pertain to our times. The 21st century calls for a new “digital literacy” and 3D printing is the cornerstone of this new digital language.

Through our work with forward-thinking educational programs worldwide, such as City X Project, FIRST Robotics and Level Up Villages, 3DS has already begun to build confidence and competencies in children in digital skills. We have seen firsthand through our initiatives and sponsorships how receptive young minds can be when introduced to emerging technologies early. We have seen how 3D printing can inspire children as young as 5 to ideate, iterate and collaborate to solve challenges, and we are working with educators, schools and governments to ensure that these technologies become no more novel to classrooms than computers. From 3D design programs that unlock our children’s imaginations, to 3D printers that bring those ideas into the physical realm, our vision is to equip future generations with the skills and language necessary for the manufacturing jobs of tomorrow—and for our shared digital future.

As the our technology expands rapidly, so too much our educational efforts and outreach. In this light, 3DS is proud to announce some exciting updates to our MAKE.DIGITAL education platform, connecting schools and community centers with the tools and resources they need to spread digital literacy in the Digital Age. First, we’ve created new Class and Lab Kits with special educator discounts for classrooms and schools of all sizes and varying skill levels. Second, we’ve revamped our curriculum zone and made it easier for teachers to find the right curriculum and training programs for their needs. Finally, we’ve launched a new learning tool called “3DU” which gives educators and administrators access to step-by-step lessons and activities to make 3D printing come to life in a classroom or after school program.

We are also hosting an education booth at the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago throughout this week (Sept. 8-13, Booth C-840). We will be showcasing what a 3D curriculum looks like—from high school advanced manufacturing labs to K-8 maker labs—and demonstrating how these innovative learning platforms can enhance traditional STEAM education programs. If you’re in the Chicago area, we encourage you to stop by and see how we transform our commitment into action.

We’ll be adding new resources regularly to MAKE.DIGITAL and would love to hear feedback from educators and students at You can also sign up for our edcuation newsletter to be first to hear new offers and specials as well as stories and case studies from our partners.

Part of 3D Systems’ contribution to its larger community includes equipping students with 21st century design and manufacturing tools and encouraging project-based learning that can be applied to real-world problems. The MAKE.DIGITAL Initiative represents part of this ongoing effort towards growing a new digital literacy. To further highlight the initiative, 3DS is excited to be part of the Smartforce Student Summit being held at the International Manufacturing Technology Show 2014 (IMTS), September 8-13 at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL (Booth C-840).

The Smartforce Student Summit at IMTS introduces educators, students and parents to exciting new innovations in manufacturing technology. The Student Summit allows young people to interact with today’s manufacturing industry, helping them translate their STEM education into real-world solutions with high-tech and high-value careers.

3DS will have a booth at the Student Summit showcasing part of its MAKE.DIGITAL platform, M.Lab21. The recently launched 21st Century Manufacturing Lab focuses on modernizing high school industrial arts, career, and technical education through providing hardware, software, and dedicated curriculum related to 3D printing. 3DS’ booth with include a wide range of 3D design and printing tools, such as the Sense 3D scanner, Touch haptic stylus, and new Cube and CubePro 3D printers. The booth will also provide interactive demonstrations for designing, scanning, and 3D printing to engage students.

3DS invites teachers, educators, non-profits and organizations passionate about youth education to join the MAKE.DIGITAL initiative and provide students with tomorrow’s skills today. Education inquiries can be made directly to

Learn more about 3DS’ MAKE.DIGITAL initiative to catalyze innovation and technology learning here.

By ScanMaster Flash, Special Correspondent

With the discovery of the world’s largest dinosaur occurring nine years ago and murmurings only now hitting mainstream media, it seems even news about paleontology travels at geologic speeds! Nevertheless, it’s always fun to hear news about dinosaurs, which always seem to capture our imagination.

Now, I may be a public-facing scanning enthusiast, but I am also an avid consumer of all things dinosaurian. That’s not why I’m writing this post, though. No, this post is to highlight one of the emerging trends in paleontology and archaeology that I find particularly interesting. That’s right: 3D scanning. The case of the new largest dinosaur (currently named Dreadnoughtus) is not the first time 3D scanning and preservation has been used on a dig, but it is a fairly well-publicized one. What’s more: the team involved in excavation and research has been more than happy to share the 3D images with the world.

Before we get into scanning details, here’s a little background. Dreadnoughtus was a sauropod (long-neck, for those of you that are less familiar) from a particularly large group of sauropods called titanosaurs (because they were so titanic). These were the largest animals to ever walk the earth (although not the largest to swim the seas – that title belongs to blue whales). The Dreadnoughtus currently trending in the news was a teenager found in Patagonia and weighed around 130,000 pounds (that’s more than half the weight of a Boeing 747).

Contrary to what you might see in natural history museums, it is almost impossible to find a complete dinosaur skeleton from a single individual. The bones you see in the museum are casts of the originals (real bones are too fragile and valuable) and made from pieces of many different individuals. So when paleontologists found 70% of the rear half of Dreadnoughtus (see picture), they were pretty psyched. With that quantity of physical remains, they could easily estimate physiological quantities like age and weight, as well as assert the potential size of a full-grown adult. Though the found specimen was an adolescent, titanosaurs could live well into their 60s, if not longer. Continuing to grow for much of their adult life (unlike humans, who mostly shrink), adult Dreadnoughtuses could very well match the weight of a Boeing 747, or potentially grow even larger.

The pieces of Dreadnoughtus that were found, and where they fit together

Ok, paleontology lesson over. The long and short of it is that this is a BIG dinosaur. Returning to the earlier-mentioned concept that the bones in museums are casts, for a long time if you wanted to copy a dinosaur bone, you had to break out the plaster-of-Paris and get your hands dirty. No more. Now we have 3D scanning to help replicate these rare and valuable finds.

I haven’t looked at the available articles closely enough to find out which scanner was used, but I was able to determine which program was used to help put the pieces together. The scans were processed in software developed by my good friend Ping Fu from Geomagic (now Geomagic Solutions, a division of 3D Systems), specifically Geomagic Studio, a pretty powerful, professional tool for working with scans, STLs and a bunch of other 3D data.

What’s even cooler, the 3D images of all the bones are available for free download here. I say ‘3D images’ because the files are 3D PDFs, which are really neat if you’ve never seen one before, but not in a format you can 3D print (which I know so many of you love doing). There may be a place to get printable models and build your own dinosaur, but I haven’t found it yet. You’ll have to do some “digging” of your own.

It’s exciting to see we’re entering a new age of paleontology, where fossils can be shared with the click of a mouse and examined in hundreds of labs at once. As fun as 3D scanning people’s heads is, the technology has even more profound applications in research and history. It’s never been easier to get to the site of a dig, whether in person or virtually, and we have 3D scanning to thank, in part, for that. And hey, even the Sense has been used on an archaeological dig or two!

For more info on Dreadnoughtus, check out these links:


In one week, orchid growers in the Netherlands deliver approximately 1.5 million mature flowers to customers across Europe. This number accounts for ninety percent of all of Europe’s orchids, and contextualizes Art of Life, the Dutch association for orchid growers that celebrated this year’s International Day of the Orchid (September 4, 2014) with a vibrant tribute to their distinctive and elegant harvest.

Teaming together with Pantone, Art of Life asked 3DS Creative Director Janne Kyttanen to infuse this year’s project with 3D printing and create a display that would both complement and accent the impressive variety of orchids nurtured within the greenhouses of the Netherlands. In response, Janne delivered the 3D Orchid Cloud, a multi-faceted and mesmerizing mirrored structure comprised of 150 3D printed plant pots for 150 different orchid varieties.

Floral artist Pim van der Akker styled the blooms within the reflective cloud to create a spectacular landscape featuring Pantone’s 2014 Color of the Year, Radiant Orchid. The mirrored surfaces of the Orchid Cloud multiply and project the wide spectrum of colors and forms of the orchids for a bright and lively viewing experience.

The 3D Orchid Cloud is on display at Felix & Foam in Amsterdam until Sunday, September 7th.

Of the numerous benefits of 3D printing, reducing or eliminating inventory is perhaps the most appealing to those strapped for space. Due to the implications this feature has for security and military applications, the US Marine Corps is now exploring how 3D scanning, CAD and 3D printing and inspection tools can improve its combat readiness. With the help of 3DS, Marines personnel learned last week how they can create, reproduce and correct a set of broken parts in a quick and streamlined process.

3d scaning-to-print at Marines ExLog gamesAt the Marine Expeditionary Logistics (ExLog) games in Quantico, VA, Marines discovered how to digitize objects within minutes using the Capture 3D scanner, which they could then solidify in a CAD program. From there, spare parts for broken equipment can be printed in a matter of hours on deployable 3D printers for same-day replacements. This “digital thread” represents a closed loop that brings objects from the physical space to the digital realm for regeneration back to the physical world.

The seamlessness of this process is invaluable for entities like the military, though such integration is applicable and appealing in other circles as well. If you need rapid parts delivery, maybe the Engineering Digital Thread is the missing link for your business.

As we reach new levels in technological capability, we likewise heighten our expectations for what’s to come. The demand for new and improved devices regenerates seemingly daily, and as core devices evolve, so too must their accessories. For their part, high-end headphone manufacturer Fujikon, is constantly exploring better noise-cancelling functionality, wireless connectivity and sound quality, as well as innovating more attractive products, all with faster time-to-market.

To accelerate their innovation, Fujikon’s R&D team decided to try their hand with 3D printing, and settled on the ProJet® 7000 after testing and evaluating all the leading 3D technologies. A workhorse in the world of Stereolithography, the ProJet 7000 offers Fujikon the sizeable build platform they need, along with the precision, surface finish and material properties required to assemble, drill and screw printed pieces without breaking. Because it uses two lasers of different sizes, the ProJet 7000 enables Fujikon to rapidly create parts while ensuring feature accuracy and allowing choice in layer thickness. This allows Fujikon to test and create samples with complex geometries that they wouldn’t have considered before.

Fujikon reports that 3D printing has made them 62% faster, allowing them to evaluate designs, verify parts and assemblies, and perform acoustic testing for a sharper competitive edge. For more on their experience and details on their transition to 3D printing, read the full case study.


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