California-based Solid Concepts has been providing additive manufacturing solutions since 1991. The company was created to provide rapid prototyping and production solutions for customers. Therefore, it also offers many different forms of custom manufacturing techniques for customers to choose the best method for their needs. For instance, it offers QuantomCast, its flagship urethane product, which creates strong and stable pre-production and short-run production components. This method enables customers to quickly manufacture durable and rigid short-run components. Furthermore, Solid Concepts offers a CNC milling service. Its 5-axis milling machines have blades that can cut on the X, Y, and Z axis, as well as an A and B axis.
Texas-based Harvest Technologies was created with the vision to provide the best products in the fastest lead times at competitive prices. Its 40,000-sq-ft facility houses all types of different state-of-the-art equipment, which includes laser sintering, direct metal laser sintering, stereolithography, and fused deposition modeling machines. In addition, it also offers casting and molding processes, machining services, and post process/finishing services.
Stratasys CEO David Reis said in a press release that the acquisitions will significantly expand Stratasys' offerings, help it target new applications, and build its customer base. The two new companies will be combined with RedEye, the company's printing service that sells 3D parts directly to customers. The transaction is expected to be finalized by the third quarter of 2014.
Smart move to offer expanded rapid fabrication services to customers. As general 3D printing becomes more of a mainstream commodity technology, acquisitions like this offer customers the one-stop solutions needed for all of their rapid prototyping needs (instead of just 3D printing alone).
What should be the perception of a product’s real-world performance with regard to the published spec sheet? While it is easy to assume that the product will operate according to spec, what variables should be considered, and is that a designer obligation or a customer responsibility? Or both?
Biomimicry has already found its way into the development of robots and new materials, with researchers studying animals and nature to come up with new innovations. Now thanks to researchers in Boston, biomimicry could even inform the future of electrical networks for next-generation displays.
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