Smart bracelet with iPhone connectivity.
There are a plethora of interesting ideas coming out of Solidscape at the moment with case studies in museum artefact restoration, jewellery and art. For EuroMold, perhaps one of the most intriguing topics at the Solidscape stand is the ability to connect remotely to all Solidscape systems.
Speaking with Bill Dahl V.P of Marketing at Solidscape, he revealed how the company is concentrating on closing the gap between themselves, resellers and customers in assisting and providing solutions for their machines.
“Our new machines are incredibly friendly for customers who don’t need a lot of technical expertise,” explained Bill. “However like any machine from time to time it needs adjustment and sometimes because the machines are new to non-technical customers, they maybe need help.”
Bill notes that sometimes a reseller customer base can cover quite a large radius, therefore if a user calls with a problem it can prove time consuming to physically get to their machine and diagnose the problem. More often than not, the issue can be something as simple as a new user selecting the incorrect temperature for a job which effectively could be explained without a technical expert having to have a hands on look at the machine.
By connecting remotely, resellers and customers will be able to see the condition of their machines whether they are at home or in the office.
“It really helps quite a bit,” comments Bill. “We can do some diagnostics or check if you need new parts. That can save a trip maybe 50% of the time which means a lot more down time for the customer and a lot less work for the reseller.”
With 65 resellers serving over 80 countries, Solidscape now has the benefit of a global network of machines meaning they can be accessed to run diagnostics and check for any issues. On this scale this covers over 4000 machines that can be accessed remotely.
Bill explained: “So long as they are networked we can look at them back at our headquarters in the US and drill down bigger than the buyers can. We can get down to the nitty-gritty of the entire machine. Our resellers are very excited to get it. That will be early next year.”
Another key innovation on the stand was a new disruptive process for manufacturing that is set to minimise the tooling process and as a result save customers money and time when manufacturing.
“In prototyping a lot of the time people will have to go through the tooling process to get a product done which can take many thousands and several weeks. We’re able to collapse it to between a week and a half to two weeks saving tens of thousands of pounds and time. In some cases it has eliminated the tooling process. So being able to leverage some unique moulding and casting processes in a different way, a direct moulding scenario. It’s changing the way parts are made one industry at a time.”
Also on the stand was 3D printed jewellery from Jenny Wu’s LACE collection and a smart bracelet with electronics built in that allow connection to an iPhone. This was just one example of a product produced for considerably less time and money taking the production process down to a matter of days and at a cost of just a few hundred dollars. Alongside other projects with Birmingham City University in reproducing priceless artefacts and tactile architecture experiences with Topografik, Solidscape is definitely a name to keep an eye on for diverse and exciting applications of 3D printing technology.