Formlabs has teamed up with collective of manufacturing partners to build a real-time pop-up micro-factory that will be making fully-functional social networking wearables for attendees of the second annual Solid Conference.
The conference, which takes place at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco on June 23-25, will feature a live 3D printing production line that will produce 500 unique, computationally-generated wristband enclosures as part of a limited product run.
“A real-time micro-factory of this scale has never been attempted before at a conference like Solid,” David Cranor, Associate Chair of O’Reilly’s Solid Conference, commented. “We are proud to partner with Formlabs in this unprecedented endeavour to demonstrate 3D printing’s vital role in the new world of agile global manufacturing where hardware, software, and the Internet of Things intersect.”
Along a real manufacturing line and wall of Formlabs 3D printers, the first of its scale micro-factory will turn raw components and 3D printing resin into social networking wearables/wristbands called Alike Bands. Designed by computational artist and designer Marcelo Coelho, the Alike Band signals the common interests of people through sensors and LEDs in the band. Attendees can grab one hot off the line when they get to Solid, use it as a smart networking icebreaker to meet other members of the hardware and IoT community, and see how social wearables can change the way they interact.
Will Walker of Formlabs, added: “This exhibit illustrates the real power of 3D printing. We’re manufacturing 500 one-of-a-kind electronics for conference attendees to wear. This level of customisation is really difficult through normal mass manufacturing. We’re really excited to push the boundaries of how we think about making things and Solid is the perfect place to showcase this idea.”
Ian Ferguson, lead engineer at Formlabs, will lead a talk on product development for hardware startups entitled “Around the block again: Tricks and tools learned in the trenches building a follow-on product” during the conference on June 25th.