Sign & Digital Graphics

September '14

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S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S • September 2014 • 69 —the company's co-founder, executive vice president and chief technology offi- cer—is the inventor of the solid imag- ing process known as Stereolithography (SLA), the first commercial rapid proto- typing technology, and the STL file for- mat. He has created more than 60 U.S. patents as well as other patents around the world in the fields of ion optics and rapid prototyping. Today SLA printers are said to be the industry's gold standard for high-preci- sion large-scale production-grade manu- facturing in a wide variety of industries. Growing Segments Eddie Krassenstein, lead journalist and editor at in Cape Coral, Fla., a news organization dedicated to covering the 3D printing industry, says the market is continuing to grow and that the biggest trends in 3D printing he is seeing is probably the decreasing prices of 3D printers on the lower end. "There are several Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)-based machines that can be purchased for under $500," he says. "There is also an increasing popu- larity with SLA-based 3D printers. These printers use a liquid resin polymer and light projectors (or lasers) to cure the liquid." Krassenstein adds that 3D printing processes are being used more and more for rapid prototyping by large compa- nies, but units are also finding their way into homes for the creation of cool look- ing smartphone cases, jewelry and toys. Driven by Mass Customization "3D printing has been around for more than 30 years, but recent develop- ments of lower-priced and easier-to-use 3D printers has created a tremendous awareness for the additive manufactur- ing industry, and has expanded the base of potential customers and applications to include small businesses and individual hobbyists," says Gonzalo Martinez direc- tor of strategic research at Autodesk, San Rafael, Calif. "While they may not be ready for mainstream use in the home, 3 D printer offerings support many Great for window signs, plastics, in-store cooler doors, formica counters, metal surfaces • Removable & Reusable | Water resistant - cleanable • A Non Static, Non Cling & Non Adhesive Formula • White Opaque or Clear - rolls up to 60" wide for a FREE SAMPLE PEEL & PLACE MEDIA MICRO ADHESION SUCTION TECHNOLOGY – FOR ALL SOLVENT, UV AND L ATE X INKS a NE W product TM Make a Lasting Impression PLaques & PaneLs Cast & Precision Tooled · Etched & Engraved · Photo Plaques Full-color Wayfinding/ADA · Government & Military Seals 1-800-538-8377

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