3D, Rapid Prototyping Industry, RP, Technology

Additional Organizations

There are additional companies that produced 3D printing systems. Formlabs, PP3DP Company (China), Ultimaking Ltd. (Netherlands), and Solidoodle just to name a few. Formlabs, based in Massachusetts, was founded in 2011 was well known for raising close to $3 million in a Kickstarter campaign, and for also creating the Form 1 and Form 2 3D printers.

Formlabs and PP3DP Company

Formlabs was founded by Maxin Lobovsky, Natan Linder, and David Cranor. The three students met while students at MIT, in the Media Lab. They used their experiences at MIT, as well as Lobovsky using his experience with the Fab@Home project at Cornell University to create FormLabs. FormLabs was developed to create an easy-to-use and affordable desktop stereolithography 3D printer, while receiving early investing from Mitch Kapor, Joi Ito, and Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavor. FormLabs had been featured in a documentary, titled Print the Legend, which documented the stories of several leading companies in the 3D desktop industry. FormLabs was a leader in the 3D printing world.

PP3DP Company (China), also known as Personal Portable 3D Printer, was founded in 2003, by Beijing Tiertime Technology Co., Ltd (Tiertime). Being one of the leading innovators and biggest 3D printing solutions, PP3DP is a major provider to the global 3D printing industry.

The Ultimaking Ltd Company

Ultimaking Ltd, was a Dutch 3D printing company, founded in 2011, by Martijn Elserman, Erik de Bruijn, and Siert Wijnia. Ultimaker first began to sell their printers in May 2011. The foundation of Ultimaking was first laid down by Siert Wijnia at ProtoSpace Utrecht. Siert organized workshops to build the RepRap 3D printer, with Elserman and de Bruin assisting in the workshops. Being unable to build the RepRap design, they all were inspired to create their own 3D design. The first prototype of their design was named the Ultimaker protobox, with newer models named Ultimaker.

The software to make the Ultimaker was ran under a Replicator-G modified version but later changed it to run under the Cura software because more users were able to use and understand the software more easily than the Replicator-G software. Although the Ultimaker was originally supposed to mimic the RepRap, the Ultimaker was not focused on self-replication. The Ultimaker was designed to make high quality prints. With the Ultimaker 3D printer being changed and remodeled, there had been several models of the Ultimaker 3D printer placed into service. The latest model being the Ultimaker 2 Go was released in April 2015. This printer was a compact and portable design that came with a travel case for easy transportation.

3D printers from Solidoodle

Solidoodle, a 3D company headquartered in Brooklyn, New York was founded in September 2011 by Sam Cervantes. Solidoodle 3D printers used digital files supplied by the user to create physical parts. The Solidoodle, unlike the RepRap that favor self-construction, was already pre-assembled. The Solidoodle printers had protective steel shells, were assembled, and were priced under $1000. There were four models of the Solidoodle printer. The last model, the Solidoodle 4, was launched November 22, 2103. It improved on the Solidoodle 3 by adding a protective outer shell. The Solidoodle printer strived to enhance the functionality of the printer while performing just as well as more expensive printers.

The Solidoodle Company decided to remove themselves out of the 3D printer market in March 2016, closing operations and laying off all 70 employees. Issues with the quality of their last 3D printer, the Solidoodle Press was the start of the company’s issues, as well as with the 3D printing market shrinking.

The Rise of 3D Printing for Users All Over the World

The 3D printer market requires manufacturing firms to be flexible and constantly looking for ways to expand user technologies to remain competitive. In order to keep up with changing times and with technology constantly changing, the 3D printer had to be ever changing. 3D printing had evolved from the very first printer up until the current times. Eventually the 3D printers would not need as much equipment as they do now and should be able to complete jobs without any user help. 3D printing will become more accessible and affordable to users all over the world and will become easier to use for those needing the technology. 3D printing will continue to change the printing world.