In the course of my diligent efforts to keep you good people up to date on the state of additive manufacturing (AM), I’ve come across many interesting news items. I’ll gather them up every so often and present them in a Rapid Ready Roundup (like this one). You can find the last Roundup here.
First up, we’ll start with the announcement that Formlabs and 3D Systems have settled their long-running dispute out of court. For those unaware of the dispute, 3DS had accused Formlabs of violating one or more its patents. While no details are available on the form of the settlement, it seems likely Formlabs got the short end of the stick. Regardless, Formlabs says it is ready to put the lawsuit in the past, and concentrate on the future.
Moving on, Autodesk‘s future plans for AM revolve around its Spark platform. One of the centerpieces of that platform is the company’s desktop stereolithography AM system, which will be used to provide proof of concept for Autodesk’s plans. The system now has a name and a price tag.
Called Ember, the system is available online for sale to “Explorers” for $5995. Units are expected to begin shipping in early 2015. What makes an Explorer? According to Autodesk the answer is:
“At this time we are looking for hardware, software, material and industry innovators who can take advantage of our open platform approach and contribute to the overall Spark ecosystem.”
Next, every year the White House puts on a gorgeous display of holiday cheer in the form of the multiple Christmas trees that decorate 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. This year the tradition gained some technological support in the form of a 3D printed ornament contest. Five winning designs receive the honor of adding to the joy of the season. The ornaments will also become part of history, joining other White House memorabilia at the Smithsonian.
Last up for today, President Obama has become the first president to have his likeness memorialized in a 3D printed bust. Günter Waibel, director of the Smithsonian’s digitization program office, says he was inspired to complete this high-resolution, and therefore incredibly lifelike, bust of the president as the result of studying the life mask of a past president. Where Abraham Lincoln’s likeness required he allowed his face to be covered in plaster, President Obama’s experience will be far more comfortable. Below you’ll find a video about the project.
Sources: White House, Boston Business Journal, Autodesk