Today, we’re going to talk about what I think is the mantra so far for the year, applied 3D printing, applications of 3D printing, applied technology. I feel like we’re at that stage in 3D printing where that has to be happening. The use studies, cases that are working. We’re shifting out of it being theoretical into being applied. I think especially with what we saw at CES this year with Titan Robotics. To me, what they have been researching and doing with Autodesk over the last year or so with Project Escher is a great example of that, of applied 3D printing. Here was a concept of, can we make a 3D printer to make very, very large parts through FFF 3D printing with multiple independently operating extruders on a common big build plate. Yes, they have done it, they have achieved it. It’s no longer theoretical. They were demonstrating it at CES.
Now, what are you going to do with it? That’s what we’re looking at. I think there are many great applications with what to do with that in a large scale. But now, let’s bring that back down to smaller desktop 3D printing. We then have today’s guest who’s talking about a lot of other applications for that. We have a recurring guest. He’s been on before. Brandon Davis, he is the founder and CEO of Blue Dragon. I think this is an interesting twist on it because Brandon has been so much in sales and customer support in his history. That’s how we met him. He used to work for Leapfrog. He has always been really closely tied with the customers and what they’re doing with the printers and how they’re servicing the printers. He’s really providing a higher level of customer service than a lot of other sales forces that I’ve come across.
I think that has helped him really understand what they need. Now, he’s built a company that’s making a printer with the applications in mind that is customer’s need and making it flexible enough to be adjusted for that. Now, instead of starting with the printer, we’re starting with the customer first and what they need to print and how they need to print it. That’s fantastic. Let’s go to the interview with Brandon and we’ll talk more about it on the other side.
Listen to the podcast here:
Applied 3D Printing, with Brandon Davis
Brandon, so glad to talk to you again. It’s been a while.
We’ve been pretty nose down here at Blue Dragon, working on the next thing. The next 3D printer hopefully that will make everyone happy and productive.
Let’s talk about what that next thing is towards the end here, but I really want to get into the fact that you have been exposed to a lot of prosumers doing some really advanced applications and new strategies for 3D printing that aren’t just your basic old, “Oh, let’s buy a 3D printer so we can save money prototyping.
The thing is, the printers, they’ve permeated this market place and they’ve trickled down to some of these more and more creative people. Strategies on how to use 3D printing to go direct to market, they’re popping up all time. We constantly get calls here from people that are trying to do new things or they have an idea or concept on how to use the printer to go direct to market. It’s something that we’re constantly dealing with. Even during the process of designing and prototyping our printer, we’ve made changes because of it.
That’s what you have to do when you are making a product. But for prosumers, there are a lot a need products that can be produced. Just yesterday we had a video conference with a number of our clients and future clients come to this too to get a feel for the printer and to learn about us. In the process of doing that, we get this tremendous feedback. It’s like every week we basically are running market testing. The benefit of that is the tremendous feedback. Every once in a while someone buys a printer from us too.
The other day, a gentleman named Redfoo, who is part of the band LMFAO. You might know who that is or you might not. But this guy, he’s a musical recording artist and he has continued his career working on projects on his own. He’s a creative person, and that’s the meat of 3D printers. A bunch of creative people. Basically his concept is he wants to do merchandise. A lot of these recording artists nowadays with the internet, how you can make money selling song, it’s basically live performances and merchandise.
Fan base. You’ve got raving fans.
They want stuff. The thing is, you have to produce that stuff. You two know what it costs to produce a product, to merchandise it and to sell it and basically the massive cost and the gamble and the quantities you have to order. A guy like Redfoo, who has obviously a loyal albeit, not small, but just a loyal niche following. He wants to be able to give those fans merchandise and profit from that, and quality. That’s really hard to do unless you’re buying 10,000 or something at a time to resell it. 3D printing breaks that barrier down. For him, this is amazing, he literally bought like two basic printers now. I’ve listened to the show all the time. I know your philosophy on the smaller printer and to jump in slow, and this is what this guy did. He did that and for 30 days, guess what happened after 30 days? They weren’t enough.
30 days and this guy is like, “I need a bigger printer. I need a better printer. I need more printers.” He got in touch with me and with Blue Dragon. Basically he’s making a commercial for some pizza company. If you guys, if anyone listening to show Google’s Redfoo, just Google it and you’re going to see a man with a giant white afro and big glasses and everything. He’s made a chain, a pizza chain that says pizza party, and it’s all in gold. He started to learn how to post-process the prints and apply paints and different things to the prints. This is a person who’s totally taken what we coach people to do with 3D printing. Start small, get an idea, build on it and then grow it.
Figure out what you want to make.
Like I said, I listen to your guy’s show all the time. I feel like this guy is like a poster child because he knew nothing. He was talking to me about design programs. He’s already talking about buying Autodesk Fusion 360, Meshmixer.
That’s not a small investment. He’s got to have some skill levels. We know that a lot of musicians, we know a quite a few of them, a lot of musicians and other things, they’re very adept to the editing softwares and other things. Their idea of being able to adapt software is not that difficult. To be able to think in 3D, that just means he has a really good grasp and a great mind for that, which not everybody does.
They have to sit in in front of ProTools when they are making their audio tracks for hours and hours. They get the obsession. But definitely thinking in 3D. He was literally asking for advice. He’s like, “Man, there’s so many 3D design programs out there. What do I do?” This is the common issue. For a person who’s a prosumer, who’s trying to do rapid production with a 3D printer, I’d say the biggest pushback to a one man show trying to get off the ground is the design part.
It definitely is. That’s actually an area we are focusing on for 2017, is how we can help people learn principles of design for 3D printing purposes. It’s a whole other thing.
Where are you guys sending people? For me, there’s so many options. Usually I have to tell people, “Check out these six things.” It’s not a straightforward path.
There isn’t a straightforward path and that’s why we realized that WTFFF, that we are in a good position to really offer something to help people learn how to design. Specifically to design, not specific to a CAD program or a 3D printer. Obviously you’re focus more on the 3D printer to meet their needs and then these people are looking for what CAD program will meet my needs the most. There’s no right or wrong answer for that. What we think here, and this goes along with the discussion that we are having here, Brandon. It’s what you want to make. When Red figured out what he wanted to make, he knew his printer wasn’t capable. It didn’t do what he wanted it to do. You get to that point at which you realize that, “Oh, now that I’ve defined my what …” Starting with the design process side of things, get your thinking on that. Then it helps define the criteria by which you choose the right software, you choose the right printer, you choose whatever right filaments or materials you need as well. It helps you to define that. That’s why we are looking at how can we help facilitate that side of it here, because that is one of the things that keeps people from getting off the couch or getting out of from behind their desk and to start 3D printing.
There’s a lot of free options out there and that’s always a good place to start. But at the same time, you want to send people on the right path. That’s something at Blue Dragon we’re still trying to figure out. I think it does involve a level of education, like some get started course. But in the end, the choices, I think it really just comes down to the individual. We were talking about more expensive programs with Red. The other thing that he made were these earrings. These earrings are crazy. I’m not going to describe them because I couldn’t, but they’re crazy. He says he made them then he gave them to someone or someone started wearing them and the next thing he knows he’s got 20, 25 people that want them. It’s crazy how lightning strikes for a person like him who’s done a bunch of interesting stuff in his career. Now, he’s added 3D printing and now there’s all of a sudden these new avenues that have opened up. You start to see how someone can become more than what they already are with the 3D printer.
We have other customers. We have Rachel Nhan. She’s a fashion designer out of New York City and she makes dresses. She designs dresses and clothes and she does jackets and different things. Basically she has created entire dresses that are 3D printed. Her dresses, you don’t see where the printed and the fabric begin or end. It looks like a fully printed dress and it’s tight to your body. You look like a superhero in her dresses. That’s the coolest thing about her dresses.
But Brandon, how does she do that? Can you help explain for our listeners?
That’s the interesting part because this is a person who didn’t do a conventional path with the 3D printer. She really went off the reservation. She basically takes her build plate, every printer has got one, that flat metal part where the print prints. What she does is she takes a nylon mesh and she wraps that around the build plate and she clips it down with your common thick paper clips. She pins it down and then she has her designs for the dress all planned out in sections and she actually prints, she extrudes directly to the nylon mesh stretched across the print bed. The surface textures and the designs that she can do, the three dimensional stereolithic designs that can come out of this very flat dress type form are amazing. The trick is it’s really hard from the stand point of if you’re using a tiny build volume, you’ve got to plan that out. It’s like a quilt and you have to put all those squares together. This is the same way that she’s done this. It takes a lot of time for her to complete a dress.
But that’s worth it. Oh my goodness. That’s really an interesting idea, Brandon, that you get in with a printer at a certain level and you start to need that flexibility, so you upgrade to your next printer from you starter, lower cost one. You upgrade and then you start to really find your application for it. We have been talking about this with others. That at this stage, when you say, “I really am on to something and now I want to go direct to market and in full production on something.” Now is the time to actually build a custom printer to do what you want. But you’ve learned that through the process.
We have been talking about the idea that you might need a printer that has a really long bed or really tall. LYou have all these different needs and there’s no reason not to at some point say, “I’m going to go into production using printers. Let’s build one that really just does what we want it to do extremely well.” But you’ve got to start with the flexible adaptive printer and I think that that’s what you guys have been building really here. You’ve been really thinking about these advanced applications and the kinds of prosumer, really experimenters. You’ve built that into some of your printers there. Can we talk a little bit about that?
I think modular is the keyword. In the end, especially for rapid production, you’re going to have people that want to go very insane directions with the printer. You’re not going to have a bunch of people that want to do exactly the same thing. I guess a great example is shoes. Everyone wants to print shoes and that’s great. I love shoes and I love 3D printed shoes even more. But what we we’re seeing happen now is less straightforward approaches to a final product using 3D printing. That’s because people are getting creative. The virus has infected enough people at this point that we’re finally breaking hay with these more alternative ideas. What that’s forcing us with our product is, A, make it modular, like our carriage. Our carriage is designed for people to design add-ons for it. We have a gentleman in Sweden right now who is making just an amazing basically for full flex filament, the stuff that is like cooked pasta.
Really loosey-goosey stuff. It’s hard to push through an extruder.
It’s pretty much impossible. Even the ones that are designed for it, it’s hit or miss. What he’s done is his extruder is actually two hobbed bolts. Those are the wheels that grab and create friction on the filament to push it down the channel into your nozzle. He’s created two and they’re interlinked by a gearing. Basically you’re using two hobs to push the filament down and they’re basically locked together with gears. It’s amazing. No grinding. No slippage. None of the bad stuff that we’re all used to seeing happen is occurring at all with that. He’s designed this, that’s an add-on that he designed for our printer. We shared the carriage CAD with him. That’s an add-on that we’re bringing in for the build plate.
We were talking about Rachel and what she’s doing. When we saw that and what she was able to do, we’re immediately like, “Look if you had a build volume that was two or three times larger than what you’re using now, how fast could you finish a dress?” She’s like, “Just way faster.” Because it’s so much work to piece. Her dresses where involving ten different pieces put together. With our printer, she can probably do it half those pieces. She can go quicker. She’s actually working on a jacket, an actual men’s coat to match up with the dresses and some of the other lines that she’s producing. Basically we started designing our build plate to have these clips and this situation to handle fabric.
This developments, they’re everyday occurring. But more than anything, it’s about making the platform modular for creative people, for these prosumers that are out there that have taken the next step, they’ve made the investment and now they really want to produce effectively and they want to be able to go to in different directions. We think we’re facilitating that.
I think that’s really interesting. We just talked to someone recently and did an episode on it where it came across that there’s a lot of support, customer support on the printer side. But it’s not always on the application on what you are going to make. That’s lacking in the market place. I talked about this, that when I was early in my career, I worked on a textile 3D CAD system where we simulated textiles and we printed them out on printers on fabric. I remember having a really high level of support from the printer manufacturer and the CAD manufacturer who were working together on helping us print exactly what we wanted to print. It wasn’t really about how to run the machine. We had all that training and everything. But we were pushing the envelope on what the printer could do and design experimenting because it was early days. Having someone there to support your what is so critically important. That’s how we met. You’re always helping to support that for whatever company you are working with. I think that’s really unique that you built that into your business model here.
This is a new industry and it’s under developed in my opinion at this point. Every day is an advance forward in 3D printing. But you’ve got to talk to people and you’ve got to listen to what they’re telling you. It is the seminal thing at me. We’ve made giant course changes in what we’re doing just based on what we’ve heard. We go to trade shows all the time and that’s a good place to get it. We started doing these video conferences with our prospective customers as well as our current customers. That’s been tremendously helpful.
I just think a lot of 3D printing companies are really busy at perfecting that reference design. I think that that’s really important that we have those super stable machines out there. What I think it’s turning into is the 3D printer is going to morph a lot in the next couple of years because it’s going to morph to match some of these niches that it’s found its way into. The more the niche markets accept it, the more it’s going to morph. It’s going to get better and better. Those are the people that are, like you were saying, pushing it to the limit. People that are in those niche industries, they’re doing something, they’re pushing it to the limit. Then they meet the 3D printer that helps them go past those limits. It helps them do more. That’s definitely key to us at Blue Dragon.
One other customer that I think is really worth talking about, there’s a company, it’s called JumpStartCSR. The CEO is a guy by the name of George. They make these footbeds. It’s the foot again. We know the foot is big in 3D printing. But what he’s done, 3D printing wasn’t part of his original intention and footbeds aren’t even part of earliest intention. What he is all about is data about the human body. The thing is, the foot happens to be a facilitator. He collects 84 data points from the foot. Everyone’s wearing these feet FitBits, these wrist bands that do stuff and you could see if you’ve got an email. But does anyone really like wearing them? I think people buy them and then they don’t necessarily continue to wear them. Or some people stick with it because they paid so much money for it. But technology is not supposed to be so visible. What this guy has done, he created a footbed that’s 3D printed, custom for you, but then it’s covered in a biomesh that him and his company have developed. It collects 84 data points about your body continuously.
Your doctor can have an application on the cellphone, the apps, I think you can download it right now. Basically, this app will let you share all your vitals and ten times more data with your doctor actively. You can share it with your personal trainer. It basically analyzes your entire skeletal structure. In fact, it can predict injury ahead of time. It can predict repetitive stress injuries ahead of time. This is an example of somebody who’s found a problem, gone after it and then found a way to then integrate 3D printing to make his delivery process better. Basically it’s easier to manufacture, it’s cheaper to manufacture. On top of that, it fits the client better and it serves up the technology it is selling even better.
You’re going to see more and more people doing that. Hopefully with more radical things in the foot. If people think that 3D printer is not mainstream, they are totally mistaken because I meet people every day that are doing direct to market 3D printing projects and businesses on a regular basis. I could go on and on and on. This is just a few examples. Redfoo is literally from yesterday. George has been working with us for going on six months. We actually have a DOD, Department of Defense, grant that Blue Dragon is joining with George because the army, the military has two million foot injuries a year. All that marching and swamps. The foot gets injured a lot. The US army has already approved and studied George’s footbed and they’re saying, according to their studies, they’re testing, 750,000 of those two million soldiers are going to basically be saved from the foot injury that they would have.
Because it would detect it ahead of time.
It tells them, “Hey, you need to see the doc.” That’s amazing. We’re going to be named as the preferred vendor for all of those footbeds to be made. Hopefully the US Army is going to buy a lot of Blue Dragon’s 3D printers.
That would be awesome. That would be cool. I love it. A Blue Dragon farm.
Exactly. I’m the father of dragons.
There you go. I love it, Brandon.
I’m not going to stand on my print bed with it on naked.
Thank you. That’s hilarious. Anyone can join your video conferences. Prospective customers as well, right?
The best way is to email Craig. He’ll send you a personal invite and then you can join. We try to keep the groups below 15 people just for conversation’s sake. We do one a week. It’s open to anyone.
We’ll do a throw to that in the post and then make that happen. Your printer has some unique capability. You guys have developed a very different kind of nozzle and delivery system. I want you to share that again with our audience.
It’s a single output nozzle that has four inputs. Basically we have four channels of material coming down to four heat sinks that basically screw into our nozzle. Our nozzle is one piece of solid 360 brass that has been custom machined by a company called Western Tool. They’re responsible for NASA’s, now discontinued, but the space shuttle thrusters. They were integral in developing those. They also prototyped the first Microsoft mouse. We’re hoping that some of that good luck rubs off on us.
Not just good luck but high tolerance.
That is the truth, because the channels, the hard part about the nozzle is we have channels that are 0.4, 0.3 mm wide that are going through this brass. The link of those channels is quite long. The drill bits, we have to special order drill bits that are tiny and then the drill bits can’t break while they’re drilling. This is insanely fine work. This is really what makes our machine possible. That’s why other people haven’t been able to do it.
I know, again, I listen to show all the time. You guys, one of your big things is no one’s really created a dual extrusion or multi-extrusion machine that you guys really can sign off on. I’m looking forward to that. This nozzles is what makes it possible. Right now we’re able to effectively print out of four channels. Basically we have this 0.4 mm channels that come down to a 0.4 mm hole out the end of the nozzle. We like 0.4 millimeters because it’s very compatible across all materials. We’d like it to be finer. We actually have a version of a nozzle that will have removable and size changeable tips. But for now, we’re focused on just achieving a 0.4 millimeter nozzle that prints for material simultaneously. This is what eliminates all the calibration problems because you’re only calibrating that tip to the bed. It’s way more turnkey. We added an inductive sensor to that assembly, so basically you don’t have to calibrate. It senses where the bed is.
A lot of turnkey stuff. This nozzle can print four materials of varying temperatures. It can change temperature extremely fast so that you can do varying materials. Not just colors of the same material. It really lets you be creative. This is the feedback we get from people, this is the number one thing we get from people, is they want to print multiple materials, they want to be able to pick different colors. They don’t want to have to pause their print and swap materials and all the crazy stuff that you have to do to do that adhoc on your own.
This is the heart of our machine, this amazing nozzle that this is totally unique in the 3D printing industry. There’s very view things that come close to what we’ve done with the internals of this. This thing houses our temperature sensors. It has multiple temperature sensors. They can all be leveraged to monitor temp. Because that’s the one thing that we figured out, the real key or the real focus when it comes to the core of what the 3D printing is, it’s about the temperature control. Everyone thinks it’s about getting hot, but it’s not. They key is temperature control. We can heat and cool that nozzle. Cooling is so important. That’s what we’re trying to do. This first iteration is primitive compared to what we have in store. Our next gen nozzles, we have plans on the table. We’re talking about active cooling. We’re talking about running cooling rods through the nozzle so that we can change from 280 degrees C to 240 degrees C in 5 seconds or less.
A follow up to that, because one of the things we say fairly frequently about the idea of a multicolor 3D printer in some way shape or perform or a multi-material 3D printer is there’s also a software lag in terms of the software doesn’t really support it. I know you guys are working on that. What have you done on that area?
We’ve gone through four different companies. Literally with software, we have struggled to find partners that aren’t behind. You guys are hitting the nail on the head. We’ve gone through four different software partners, four development projects 9j8rlxm. That’s been difficult. Where we are now is, there’s a company in Germany called Repetier and they’re famous because they give away their software for free. It helps a lot of people for the first time when they’re printing. They have this free software. It is actually a pretty strong software. The thing is we’re working with them from a firmware position. They wrote their own firmware. We find that a giant strength since they’re tuning and authoring our firmware. We’ve started to work with them on their software. They have a whole server side software that is web based that allows you to integrate any slicer. You guys talk a lot about slicers. We think that people need to be able to choose their slicer because I think different slicers do different things well. I don’t think that there’s really an all in one slicer that I’ve met yet.
That’s probably true.
Repetier lets you integrate any slicer you want.
That’s nice because then it also something you don’t have to relearn when you’ve moved from printer to printer.
Exactly. Some people do like Cura. I’m a big fan of Slic3r. To be completely honest, it’s done some of the best work on tough prints that I’ve had. There’s so many out there. The web based ones I think are the coolest ones. There are some web based slicers that have come out that are doing I think a better job on interface, on use, on making you understand the nuance settings. I think that’s where it’s going to go, but I don’t necessarily believe in a static piece of software that has a static slicer that you’re tied into. Because just like the printer itself, the hardware, it’s changing so fast. It’s comforting to be tied to one slicer but I think it can also be counterproductive because they’re developing so fast.
I think that for you audience and for your client base, it makes a lot of sense because we’re talking about this direct market 3D print or these advanced applications that you’re going into. Having the ability to have the most flexibility to do what you need to be done is really critically important. We are a big fan of the built in, you don’t even know the slicer is there, when you’re first starting out. Because that’s the last thing you need, to be thinking about all these advanced settings that you don’t even know what they’re going to do for you yet. It’s just over complicates it. I agree with you, I think for you applications and your client base, this makes a lot of sense.
Totally agree. An example that I might point out for some people out there that might have trouble, I’ve had slicers that completely missed the mark on the print. Then I used a different slicer with no changes in simple mode and then all of a sudden the printer prints great. You have to really respect the slicer from the standpoint of it can make or break your print. A different slicers will do a different job almost. It is a good idea once you graduate from that basic, I just want to turn the key and I want the card to start type 3D printing mentality, to try a different slicers because a print you’ve been printing forever could come out ten times better with a different slicer. It’s not because that slicer’s better than the other slicer. It’s just better on that print. That’s something that you start to understand as you go forward. The web based ones are offering close to very simple turnkey type slicing and I think that their interface might have been easier than anything traditional that we’re all used to using.
Can you just quickly name two or three of those web based slicers that you are talking about?
Thingiverse has one built-in. I think it’s called KiriMoto. It’s the MakerBot Thingiverse. Have you seen KiriMoto?
No, I have to go check that out.
You should because it’s really good and it’s good not just for 3D printing. It’s good for laser and CNC. You can use this across multiple devices. We have a lot of maker spaces out there and lots of fab labs and places. They have lots of different equipment, not just 3D printers. This is a slicer, a cloud based slicer too. You get the power of the cloud. You’re slicing goes ten times faster. That’s the other advantage the web based slicers have, is you can harness processing power that you can’t have on your local machine so that 20-30 minutes slice now takes three minutes.
KiriMoto is built-in to Thingiverse but you can actually just go to their site too and just run it. That’s one I would definitely recommend people check out.
Great. Thank you. Brandon, this has just been enlightening as always, and we loved chatting with you. It’s fun to catch up and get to know what’s going on in the industry from a different perspective. We really appreciate you joining us and we look forward to reviewing the printer.
That’s why I listen to you guys, so I can stay informed too.
Thanks you so much, Brandon. We appreciate it.
Thank you guys. Have a great day.
Applied 3D Printing, with Brandon Davis – Final Thoughts
I can’t wait to get my hands on one of these Blue Dragon 3D printers because here, this is what we said in 2017, this is one of the things we were predicting we’re going to have some real printers that are very, very capable of doing more than one material or multicolor 3D printing and certainly here’s a printer high on my list to check out. As we talked about in the episode, we’re bringing in some of the people that are trying out these machines or ordering these machines so that they can use them for a very specialized application. We have that coming up as well. We are looking forward to that one as a follow up and you can hear straight from the users themselves. That will actually be in one week with Jumpstart CSR. Stay tuned for that episode.
The practical application of 3D printing is of great interest. We seem to be having more and more episodes about the practical applications of desktop 3D printing, FFF 3D printing. Not just as a prototype process but as an end use product manufacturing process. It’s very exciting to see more and more companies finding that it’s not just one way to do it but it’s actually the way they need to do it. To me, that’s very exciting. I think it’s really an interesting idea that what’s happening is that we started in an industry where people where hacking machines. They’re hacking machines to get them to function better and to streamline them, do more of what they want it to do. But now we’re pushing back to make the machines better.
To me, that really is the future of all different kinds of additive manufacturing. It’s not going to be one machine that’s meant to be all things to all people. It’s going to be very narrowly focused machines that are made to make specific kinds or parts that do that job incredibly well. I think that’s very specific in the business to business world, like additive manufacturing side of things. I think we want to be really careful that the consumer side of it may not be the same way. I think, having a printer that’s very versatile, that has the ability to put multiple materials into it through one nozzle for simplification. I want to remind our listeners that we’ve been reviewing different slicing softwares lately. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed some of those episodes.
Remember what Brandon was saying about their journey through the process of developing the FirePrint, this new Blue Dragon 3D printer, they’ve been developing this for more than a year now and they’ve been actually building and testing and doing a lot of work. They tried many different slicing softwares. It’s interesting on that path. Trying everything and they’ve come back to, I think Brandon was saying that really Cura they found to work quite well for them. You could still use a number of different slicing softwares with it. For whatever reason for their particular hardware, Cura seems to be what they have settled on as the best one at least right now.
As we go into looking at more of these applications of 3D printing, which one does the best for you? We’ve always approached it here at WTFFF. That’s why we start from the what first. People are always asking us, “Which printer should I buy?” What do you want to make? You start from that position. Which slicing software should I use? What are you using for a machine and what do you want to make? What do you want to make and how many? Is it one material, is it two materials, is it one or two colors? There’s so many different variables and it’s not an easy quick answer for sure. We’ve seen it with some of these other companies we’ve interviewed like Lucy Beard from Feetz and that they’re printer agnostic. They’re willing to change it up, hack it, make it work for them. I think that’s the right way to go because right now not all the technology can keep up with where you need to go from a business side.
I think we’ve done a little follow up yet on Vocademy, actually at time that we’re recording this, I just visited Vocademy yesterday and got the full tour. There’s a whole other big subject, but I just want to mention right now is their actual 3D printers that they are using, the 3D printer lab that they have where people are learning, they’ve evolved what printers are in there overtime. Right now, even the printers that they’re using are hardware hacked. They’re not just the standard printer out of the box. They found, for the types of curriculum they have and what they’re teaching people and how they’re teaching people to use 3D printing, they had to beef up these desktop 3D printers they use and have a stronger filament feed motor and have a different hot end and some of these things so that it would take the wear and tear that is the reality of their educational environment.
That’s really where I think Brandon’s company and what he’s doing with Blue Dragon is really smart, that he’s really being that collaborator with his clients. Kudos to him and we’re really anxious to see it. I hope to see it soon. He says he’s going to get us one and we’ll be able to do a full review. That would be pretty exciting. Not just a new 3D printer but from a new manufacturer. But people that have a lot of history, like with Leapfrog. The Europeans and Netherlands honestly have been some of the earliest entrants in desktop 3D printing and done a lot of the early work on it. Now, Brandon’s taken that knowledge and moved on to do this new thing. Good for him.
We’d love to hear from you if you have some really great application of 3D printing stories. Facebook and Pinterest if you’ve got pictures, @3DStartPoint. We look forward to hearing from you about that and other subjects you’d like to hear more of in 2017 on WTFFF. Thanks so much for listening everybody. We’ll talk to you next time. This has been Tom and Tracy. On WTFFF 3D Printing Podcast.
- Blue Dragon
- Rachel Nhan
- Titan Robotics
- Project Escher
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