Why is my 3D printed part so expensive?

Short answer…it’s probably not expensive relative to what you’re asking for. It’s that society programs us from birth to think plastics and other physical goods are “cheap” thanks to clever design for manufacturing at scale. Here’s why… We recognize that AM parts can be “expensive” relative to other plastic parts you might have seen available off the shelf.  In this post, we’d like to walk you through one way of thinking about pricing on plastic part fabrication, both conventionally and with digital manufacturing. A common example we give is the “spork” offered at your favorite fast food restaurant.  Fast-food restaurants can give these away for free because they make them in the 10M+ / yr and therefore their $500K mold that produces them can be amortized.  It’s part of a pleasurable eating experience in the United States to have a fork + spoon combined. But to make just 1 (one) plastic spork with that manufacturing process (plastic injection molding) would

read more Why is my 3D printed part so expensive?

Online Additive Manufacturing with MIT, edX and You3Dit

When someone is asked, “who has the best undergraduate engineering program? Graduate engineering program?”, 99 times out of 100 that person will respond: MIT or Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  So when they say, “would you like to help us co-teach a program this summer at MIT” the answer is just as obvious…you say “yes”! Kicking off You3Dit’s work with MIT started with our content development and course facilitation for their online edX course called: “Additive Manufacturing for Innovative Design and Production“.  This is “An 11-week course on the fundamentals, applications, and implications of 3D printing for design and manufacturing” and as Chris puts it, “this is the most comprehensive course on Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing) that I’ve ever seen…”  Professor A. John Hart and his rockstar team of course developers and facilitators helped over 1000 online learners take their knowledge of Additive Manufacturing to the next level. If you were ever wishing there was a comprehensive, online course on Additive

read more Online Additive Manufacturing with MIT, edX and You3Dit

TechShop Bankrupt, Maker Community mourns by taking action

It’s taken us some time to process the magnitude and impact of the recent news that TechShop declared chapter 7 bankruptcy.  Many of the fabricators in our network leveraged the tools provided by the TechShop to conduct much of our clients’s fabrication work.  Those users productivity all has since stopped, delayed expected delivery dates for project work and has pushed that fabrication demand originally supplied by TechShop members onto our You3Dit independent laser, CNC machine and 3D Printer owner / operators.   We’ve scrambled a bit internally to reroute the fabrication of several jobs and are back on track for the short term  (HUGE THANKS to our You3Dit fabricators who stepped up).  We want to help others do the same. However as of this writing, TechShop is still bankrupt, closed an leaving many people stranded who need help with getting access to machines.  We have to figure out what we’re going to do next to solve the long-term issues created by

read more TechShop Bankrupt, Maker Community mourns by taking action

In order to 3D print, you need a 3D Design file…we’re here to help you!

We often get requests to “3D print” something, an image or sketch or what have you where the client asks this simply to be “fabricated”.  In our simple 3 step process: Client submits a new project New project is 3D Designed (client is provided the 3D Design files, e.g. *.STL) Project is Fabricated (e.g. 3D Printed) This request effectively translates into “please start at step #1, skip step #2, and then proceed to step #3.” As of this writing, there is no automated process that we’re familiar with that can automate step #2 and thus, it requires some human involvement to transform the client request into the 3D CAD Design file that is needed to “3D Print” or fabricate in any number of digital fabrication methods.  We are actively pursuing research to support our Design Acquisition System (DAS) but it’s not ready for prime time…yet.  But do not worry, there is still hope for your project! Our 3D Design network is

read more In order to 3D print, you need a 3D Design file…we’re here to help you!

Autodesk TechWomen 2016

Last Friday, September 16th, we had the privilege to meet and share our passion for 3D printing with approximately 100x TechWomen leaders in the Autodesk Gallery at One Market Place in San Francisco. The TechWomen program is organized by the Institute of International Education (IIE)–the same governmental group that is responsible for the Fulbright Scholarship and other programs that embrace their mission “to advance international education and access to education worldwide.” Each year Autodesk hosts these women for an entire day and provides mentorship along with exposure to design, leadership and product-oriented workshops.  Autodesk is one of their first stops during their 6 week Silicon Valley trip and these women spend the entire day learning about topics like leadership to product design. You3Dit for the second year has participated with Autodesk and works with their top-employees to help facilitate these workshops–illustrating the power and capability of 3D printing to transform manufacturing with a talk co-founder & CEO Chris McCoy gives entitled “iManufacture” (Download the PDF of the iManufacture talk from TechWomen

read more Autodesk TechWomen 2016

And we’re off…SFmototype has begun!

What did you do last Saturday?  We kicked off the first of it’s kind, 3D Design and Prototyping challenge for motorcyclists, enthusiasts and pretty much anyone who can sketch their motorcycle ideas on paper. BuildTak–a 3D printer build platform manufacturer and SFmototype Sponsor–made these beautiful custom 3D printing surfaces for our Type A Machines Series 1 Pros and Printrbot Simple Metals that are on display at SF Moto (275 8th Street, San Francisco, 10a-6pm) Last Saturday, September 10th, we had the official kickoff of our first ever SFmototype Design and Prototyping challenge–where for 45 days, err, 40 days now–people have the opportunity to sketch out on paper, napkin, envelope, whatever…a concept related to motorcycles and submit it to our SFmototype competition.  If their concept considered to be the best by a panel of expert judges, they can win a number of prizes: A motorcycle 3D printers CAD training Shop Training and much much more… We had an amazing set of panelists

read more And we’re off…SFmototype has begun!

Create a Design on You3Dit: Win a 3D Printer or CAD Education Package!

You3Dit and SF Moto are hosting a design & prototyping challenge called “SFmototype” where people will enter an idea to be turned into a 3D printed motorcycle prototype for a chance to win prizes!  CAD designers are a vital part in this sketch-to-solid process and will also have a chance to win prizes specifically allocated to the “BEST DESIGN” category. How to Enter as a Designer: Registered You3Dit Designers who submit designs for SFMototype projects, will be automatically entered to win prizes such as: Type A Machines: Series 1 Pro ($4,095) Printrbot Simple Metal: V2 ($999) Solidworks Training by Hawkridge Systems ($1000) Featured story on Autodesk’s Fusion360 Blog Design Criteria: A panel of experts will choose the best design based on the following criteria: 1) Design’s ability to meet all customer requirements 2) Design’s ability to be 3D printed 3) Design’s ability to leverage power of 3D printers 4) Design’s ability to solve a relevant motorcycle problem 4) Design’s ability to optimize the build platform specifications on a Type A

read more Create a Design on You3Dit: Win a 3D Printer or CAD Education Package!

SFmototype – an all-new retail experience for motorcycle enthusiasts

It all started back in June 2016 with a “hey, what if we did this…” Now, we’re giving away motorcycles, 3D printers, CAD software licenses and more to those who enter to win and participate in what we’re calling “SF Mototype”. Why?  Because we believe everyone has untapped creativity that can be unleashed through Computer Aided Design (CAD) and 3D printing. On September 10th, we’ll kickoff this all-new retail experience where for 45 days, anyone can become their own motorcycle part / component creator.  Yes…anyone. At the end of these 45 days, panels of experts will evaluate each submission and prizes* will be awarded to concepts, designs and fabrications which really engender the spirit of this event: anyone should be able to create and build their own motorcycle parts and components…a.k.a. mototypes. You3Dit and SF Moto have teamed up with a number of industry collaborators to enable people to Make Anything, Anywhere (see partners / sponsors below). HERE’S HOW THE PROCESS WORKS: 1. You have an idea

read more SFmototype – an all-new retail experience for motorcycle enthusiasts

Pre-event Resources: BSB Rapid Innovation Challenge

In concert with Barowski School of Business and the TechShop San Francisco, You3Dit and EO Products will host PROBLEM SOLVED! 3D – a first of it’s kind 3D print-a-thon to challenge business-minded students and public to solve challenges for a thriving local business: EO Products. Over the course of 3 fast-paced days, the participants will learn how to: Use the Rapid Innovation Cycle to identify business opportunities in the context of consumer goods: Specifically Essential Oils.  The Rapid Innovation Cycle is a four-step process where teams:  1) recognize an opportunity (i.e. a problem), 2) define a solution which solves the identified problem (within the team’s constraints) and then design and construct a market test that when put before the “unforgiving marketplace”, can yield real customer data Use Computer Aided Design (CAD) tools to fabricate their market tests on a 3D printer Use a 3D Printer (Printrbot Simple Metal) in order to bring to life their physical prototypes that they’ll use as market tests Just learning how to

read more Pre-event Resources: BSB Rapid Innovation Challenge