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COM | Issue 5 | October 2015


The Perfect Luxury Engine?


Power to the people


Unlocking the
true potential
of AM

DISRUPTIVEMAGAZINE.COM | Issue 4 | September 2015 | 3




Welcome to issue 5 of Disruptive Magazine - feel free to relax

and enjoy the most indulgent offerings that 3D printing can

First up, Kerry Stevenson posits the idea that 3D printing may be the single most apt technology we have for the creation of luxury items. Providing a number of perspectives on
just what a luxury item is, and a balanced argument for why
additive technologies can use all of their inherent strengths
for the production of such items, he certainly makes a compelling case.

In this month's company profile, I explore how Cooksongold is working in partnership with EOS to bring jewellery
production into the 21st century. When visiting this jewellery
company I was able to get a handle on this powerful end-to-end solution for the production
of world-class creative jewellery pieces and where it fits within the landscape of the jewellery sector.

In my own feature article, I also explore how the emergence and subsequent
growth of multi-material 3D printing points to a future where additive technologies will
create complex, multi-faceted functional items. Providing a historical perspective and a
look toward the future, I've highlighted some of the key players in the development of this
sub-sector of the 3D printing and additive manufacturing industry.

Elsewhere in this issue, our resident desktop specialist, Richard Horne tackles
the thorny issue of Open Source, bringing a calm, guiding hand and an elucidating air of
clarity to a topic which can be a minefield of legal, social and community dangers for the
impassioned, but under-informed user.

To round off this edition of Disruptive Magazine, Faith Robinson examines the
contemporary art scene, exploring the current attitudes toward 3D printed artworks and
the resulting challenges that digital artists face, whilst Dave Marks explores the fascinating artwork of the unconventional boundary pusher Shane Hope.

Rachel Park
Editor | Disruptive Magazine
Twitter @DisruptiveMag | @RPES12
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LinkedIn Disruptive Magazine

DISRUPTIVEMAGAZINE.COM | Issue 5 | October 2015 | 5

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3D Printing The
Perfect Luxury Engine?
By Kerry Stevenson

By Rachel Park

Driven by Open Source
By Richard Horne

A Paradigm Shift:
Multi-Material Additive
By Rachel Park


Additive Manufacture
for a Contemporary
Art Market
By Faith Robinson

Shane Hope
By Dave Marks

A commentary round-up of
the latest news from across
the 3D printing ecosystem.

6 | Feature Article | Industry Insider | Kerry Stevenson

DISRUPTIVEMAGAZINE.COM | Issue 5 | October 2015 | 7


Kerry Stevenson

Additive technologies continue their slow and steady march into retail both
in behind-the-scenes development and in some cases, 3D printing for direct
manufacture. Kerry Stevenson explores the luxury retail market, asking: How do we
define luxury and how viable is 3D printing in creating goods for this sector?
Its time to talk about luxury items and 3D printing. Id like to investigate how these two concepts fit
together - or dont.
But first, lets look at a few definitions of luxury.
A material object, service, etc, conducive to sumptuous living, usually a delicacy, elegance, or refinement
of living rather than a necessity.
An indulgence, something thats elegant, something
thats very expensive and brings great ease and
comfort. Sumptuous living. Something rare and difficult to obtain.

In economics, a luxury good is a good for which
demand increases more than proportionally as
income rises, and is a contrast to a necessity good,
for which demand increases proportionally less than
I think youll agree that after reading those definitions, there could indeed be a relationship between
3D printing and the concept of luxury items. Lets
take a closer look: The Wikipedia definition relates to
the price of an object, suggesting that higher priced
items might be considered a luxury beyond the reach
of most people. I think that while we might not agree
on the exact definition, price is certainly a major
factor in determining if an item is a luxury.

8 | Feature Article | Industry Insider | Kerry Stevenson

In the past, Ive been involved in the analysis of

product pricing methodologies that may shed further
light on this question: When a product is produced, a
manufacturer has to set a price for it. But how does
one do so? There are several approaches that could
be considered:
Price by Demand
The price of the item could be set by customer
demand; raise the price progressively until the
demand matches the capacity for manufacturing it.
The manufacturer gets the most revenue possible
from operating the factory. This doesnt sound like
a luxury item, as there will be plenty available, even
though they might carry a higher-than-average price.
Price by Competition
The price of the item is set by comparing it to competing items from other manufacturers, typically at
a slightly lower price to ensure theres demand for it
from discerning shoppers. This definitely does not
sound like a luxury item, as this approach almost
guarantees a race to the bottom scenario, turning
the item into a commodity-like product.

DISRUPTIVEMAGAZINE.COM | Issue 5 | October 2015 | 9

Price by Convenience
The price of the item is set by comparing it to the
cost the customer would incur when producing it
for themselves. In other words, this is a convenience
price, which provides the product for somewhat less
than the customer could make it for him / herself. This
is definitely not a luxury item approach, because its
applicable only to items that can reasonably be made
by most customers, like mowing a lawn, or fixing a
broken doorknob - its a commodity pricing method.
The Price Sets The Price
What? Yes, the price itself sets the price. Imagine the
following scenario: an item of at least reasonable or
even high quality is produced, but the price is set very
high - unreasonably high. So high, that almost no one
can afford to purchase it.

The world is a very, very large place however
and some people for whom money is not an issue will
buy the item in spite of the high price. Why do they
do that? The reason is quite simple: its because they
are almost guaranteed that no one else they encounter will also have one of these items. This is especially
true in fashion, where the goal is to be unique.

The price itself sets the price. The high price ensures
that the item is rare. This is an EXCLUSIVE, luxury
pricing approach.

In some cases, luxury products are conjured
from almost nothing by vendors, the best example
being airlines who make their standard product so
horrible that the decent service becomes a luxury
item by default.

Keep making the folks sitting in the back suffer,
and at least a few of them will buy the more expensive
seats in the front. The airlines further make the front
experience as exclusive as possible, with special club
memberships, and minor benefits that actually cost
very little for them to produce.

So, my theory is that a high-priced item is a
luxury, not so much because of the price, but rather
because of the exclusivity of ownership created by the
high price.

Now lets consider this theory against the
technology of 3D printing. As Ive written many
times before, 3D printing has a number of severe constraints, most often causing issues with typical manufacturing situations, but in the case of luxury items,
they may actually turn into positives.
Id say the relevant constraints of 3D printing
technology are:
High Costs of Production
The cost of 3D printed objects is quite high, mainly
due to the cost of the underlying print material, but if
youre producing a luxury object, this factor is irrelevant. You can easily price the final object far higher
than the actual cost of producing it using 3D printing
Long Print Durations
The time required to produce a 3D printed object
is often quite long. In fact, it usually takes hours to
3D print almost anything, particularly when fine
detail is required, which would likely be a necessity
for luxury items. While a very expensive production 3D printer could crank out perhaps a few thousand identical fist-sized objects per week, a typical
mass-production facility using injection molding, for
example, could produce literally millions of units in
the same time period. In other words, 3D printing has
a limited capacity to produce objects - but in the case

" theory is that a highpriced item is a luxury, not

so much because of the
price, but rather because of
the exclusivity of ownership
created by the high price."

of a luxury item, that is NOT a constraint because you

dont have to produce so many units. In fact, you want
to produce FEW units!

We must also consider the advantages of 3D
printing as well. In the case of the mass-manufacturing example above, each item would be identical, at
least batch-by-batch. On the other hand, the few thousand items produced by the production 3D printer
could easily be a series of entirely unique items. They
could even be personalised to a specific customers
needs or identity - this capability definitely falls in the
luxury zone.

Lets talk a bit more about the customisation
angle. If you happened to 3D print an object for a
specific person (as I have quite often done) there is a
particular magic that occurs. Its that moment when
they first see a physical object made exclusively for
them; they are always completely amazed and flattered. Be it a 3D print of their face, body, a ring that
fits perfectly, a pendant with their dog on it, or even a
plain old box with their name on it, it doesnt matter,
because all of those items are personal.
They are exclusive. They are luxury.
Even if produced on a basic 3D printer in a rather
crappy manner, the same reaction always occurs. Its
an item of great value to the person, and only to that
person (would you want to own a plain old box with
someone elses name on it? I didnt think so!) The
ability to customise the object is vital to producing a
luxury item.

10 | Feature Article | Industry Insider | Kerry Stevenson

DISRUPTIVEMAGAZINE.COM | Issue 5 | October 2015 | 11

Blablabla par Eric Van Straaten

(Top) 3D Printed Earrings in Geometric Clusters made of Stainless Steel: Formoddity

(Bottom) Fractal 3D printed model by nic022

...And that is precisely what 3D printers were designed

to do.

Imagine designing an attractive item that
includes a customisable feature, perhaps the size,
shape, fit or an identity can be adapted into it.
Imagine then 3D printing it in fine detail on the most
expensive 3D printer available, incurring the inevitable horrific high cost of the 3D print materials used to
produce it.

Could you sell this item? Certainly, to the
person targeted for customisation. Theyd pay a price
for this item far, far higher than you would consider,
simply because it is for them, and only for them. Not
for you!

The price can be set far higher than the cost of
production, so each sale can be potentially profitable.
The number of units produced does not have to be
large, because sufficient profit can be made on each
unit, unlike the mass production approach.

Remember, there are only two ways to make money:

1. Make a little from each of a huge number of sales
2. Make a lot from a small number of sales.
Luxury items clearly fall in the latter category, and
that is precisely what the 3D printers of today can do.
One manufacturer, 3D Systems, has explicitly
attempted to link their 3D printer, the Cube, to a
luxury fashion brand, EKOCYCLE. Here, you can see
a display of the printer and its accessories at Harrods
flagship store in London. While the printer may not
truly be a luxury item itself, the idea is that it can
PRODUCE luxury items. Thats true, but only if you
have an appropriate 3D design.

Certainly the design of the item is of critical
importance in this scenario. You must have an object
that is ultimately desirable beyond the fact that it is
customised and personalised. A luxury item is not
going to be a mere box with your name on it, unless

12 | Feature Article | Industry Insider | Kerry Stevenson

it is made of a very unique material like Moon Dust

or something similar, and Im not aware of any 3D
printer vendor offering those types of materials, at
least recently, anyway.

However, it is quite possible to design very
beautiful items using todays 3D CAD software tools,
which are as powerful as they have ever been in
history. The capabilities of 3D design software, particularly with automatic and programmatic generation
of 3D features, are ready for a designer to tackle the
creative problem of developing luxury designs. All it
takes is imagination to transform an idea for an object
into a design, and from there its a simple matter of 3D
printing the result.

The idea of a luxury item is, in my opinion,
directly compatible with the technology of 3D printing and the production of luxury items fits quite
neatly into the envelope of 3D printings constraints
and capabilities, making it what I might call, the
Perfect luxury engine.

Kerry Stevenson
A key focus for Kerry is the previously
impossible idea of replicating physical
objects directly from digital data. In 2007
Kerry created Fabbaloo now one of the
internet's oldest blogs exclusively dedicated
3D printing, which follows developments
and implications of replication
technology. @fabbaloo

You are in safe hands.

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Production systems. The team at Laser Lines has amassed over 100 years of experience selling and
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From Entry Level to Production Systems,

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Tel: 01295 672500
Website: + Coca Cola = The Ekocycle 3D printer

14 | Feature Article | Cooksongold: Business Profile | Rachel Park

DISRUPTIVEMAGAZINE.COM | Issue 5 | October 2015 | 15

Gold: Handle with care.


Rachel Park

Disruptives Rachel Park visited internationally renowned jewellery company

Cooksongold to discover how additive technologies are bolstering tradition, and in some
cases providing an entirely new method for the creation of precious things

Ill be honest, trips to Birmingham (Englands second

largest city) do not often get me excited. Usually, the
battle I have to do with the M6 and spaghetti junction
actually fill me with dread. However, if you do find
yourself in Birmingham, the jewellery quarter is, in
my opinion, the best part of the city to visit. History
and all manner of jewellery outlets make it so.

In the heart of Birminghams jewellery sector
lies the production centre of Cooksongold. Part of
a much larger group of companies, the Heimerle +
Meule Group, (itself part of the POSSEHL group),
Cooksongold has evolved over its 100+ year history
into a dominant force within the global jewellery
sector, with a UK presence in both Birmingham and
Hatton Garden in London.

The central premise for all of Cooksongolds
activities is the full spectrum of precious metals,
which sees the company produce and supply precious
metal products in every conceivable shape and size,
together with equipment and services. I confess, while
I understood Cookson had a significant presence in
the jewellery sector prior to getting involved with 3D
printing, I had no real idea of the scope, capacity and
sheer scale of their operations.

My visit, therefore, was extremely valuable
and contributed to a much greater understanding
of the long history of the company and the context
that saw it enter the 3D printing industry some four
years ago.

Hosted by David Fletcher and Jill Murray, I was able

to garner insight into the breadth and depth of this
impressive company and its not every day that an
excess of 1million worth of precious metals pass
through your hands! It was an honour to be granted
access to their vault and to handle a wide range of
materials in different forms (sheet, wire, tubular) as
we toured the facility.

I passed through numerous departments
housing a variety of casting, stamping, die, CNC and
atomization machines run by almost 200 staff on-site,
many of whom took the time to speak with me about
their work and the processes they were executing.

Their machines ranged from new and old
the latter performing, according to David, as well as
they did 40/50/60 years ago. Thats the thing about
the jewellery sector its as old as the hills. Some of
the machines looked like they were too, but as David
said, when they do the job theyre meant to do, are
well serviced and safe to operate, why change them?
These were a stark contrast to the main focus of my
visit the Precious M 080, an additive manufacturing machine that is truly a product of the 21st Century.

Cooksongolds partnership with EOS (the
German manufacturer of plastic and metal laser
sintering machines for many different industrial
applications) was initiated four years ago. At this
time, EOS was experiencing significant growth (that
continues today) and was looking to partner with an

16 | Feature Article | Cooksongold: Business Profile | Rachel Park

DISRUPTIVEMAGAZINE.COM | Issue 5 | October 2015 | 17

3D Printed ring by Lionel T Dean

organisation that offered specific metallurgy skills

and was able to supply precious metals.

The starting point of this contractual relationship was with EOS existing direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) process in the form of the M280 system.
The goal was always to produce in precious metals,
but it became clear early on that this machine needed
some serious adaptation to function effectively and
economically with precious metals.

One of the primary issues identified was
accountability of the materials. The M280 DMLS
system was losing too much material, a factor that
can possibly be overlooked with alumide or steel,
depending on the application, but not with refined
gold, due to the economics involved. It was apparent
that a tailor-made system that wholly addressed this
issue would be required and the R&D process began.

The result is the Precious M 080 machine. This
system was first introduced to the market a couple of
years back, however, after some delays, (fairly typical
for standard machines in this industry, let alone the
specifications of the M 080), the commercial release
took place earlier this year.

This commercial release took place at Basel
World in Switzerland in March, where a working
machine was available for viewing on the show floor.

The fully working machine, which has a price tag of

220,000 / 160,000 has since returned to Switzerland
(where all the biggest jewellery shows take place, it
seems) for the EPHJ event in Geneva (with a specific focus on watchmaking) and since then travelled
further afield to Hong Kong for the provinces huge
jewellery and gem fair.

The response, according to David, has been
phenomenal. He reported a higher-than-expected
number of serious enquiries from the Swiss shows
alone, with some big names among them, (which are,
of course, completely off the record) and these are
currently going through sample test phases. A couple
of M 080s have also been purchased outright and are
already producing 18 carat gold parts in situ.

The first client to take delivery of an M 080
(wishing to remain anonymous) is based in Turkey,
while the first machine in the UK outside of Cooksongold itself is at Knights Fine Jewellery, a company
based in Stratford-upon-Avon, that specialises in
bespoke jewellery design & manufacture to create
original one-off pieces for clients.

The significant improvement in material
accountability on this platform is not the only feature
that makes it stand out, however. Two other key areas
where the M 080 differentiates itself as a metal addi-

tive manufacturing machine are the surface finish

and the minimal post processing now required.

The dramatically improved surface finish
capabilities are courtesy of the material development
that Cooksongold has executed, which has resulted
in a super-fine powdered material that is subjected to
continuous and stringent quality procedures, together
with a smaller spot laser. All of the powdered material
is produced in-house in Birmingham.

The operating software has also been refined
for the M 080, which, combined with the platform
and the materials development, allows David to
genuinely state that Cooksongold is not selling a
machine rather, we are selling a jewellery solution
that includes the machine, the process and the materials. It can be adopted with minimum fuss, because
we sell a parameter that just works.

However David was not reticent in talking
about barriers to adoption that still exist, one of
the most notable being design for process. David
cited receiving digital designs, submitted by potential clients for the M 080 that have obviously been
designed to be cast. This misses the point completely, he said, because, if it can be cast, then
cast it!

The primary benefit of AM for jewellery is the complexity it offers, but even here its not all straightforward, because some complex parts cannot be finished, or even polished if the geometry is unforgiving.
Furthermore, just because you can print a part in one
piece, it doesnt necessarily mean that you should.
David cited the example of optional settings for a ring
shaft. Any supports used on the M 080 have to be in
18 carat gold, so, while the support structure material
can be scrapped and refined, it adds significant overall
costs to the process to do so. Having seen firsthand
what is involved in the scrap process (and the resulting bullion bar!) its not something to be taken lightly!

Thus, Cooksongold is currently working on
extensive Design Guidelines for producing parts on
the M 080 platform. This is largely about educating
clients to enable them to maximise the potential of the
M 080, and to create parts that cannot be produced
in any other way. For this endeavour, the company
has engaged the talents of renowned designer Joseph

Another application where the M 080 shines
is sophisticated watch housings. Traditionally, watch
frames have been CNCd - so for a gold watch, this
would be from a block of gold bullion. Thus about

3D printed Jewellery by Lionel T Dean

18 | Feature Article | Cooksongold: Business Profile | Rachel Park

20-30% of the block would be used for the final

product, and the greater proportion of the bullion
would be scrapped. With the M 080, the economics
for gold watch production are far superior (<1% of
the gold powder is lost per build) and furthermore,
it offers new solutions in terms of internal lattices for
strength, while reducing weight. These present exciting new options to watch manufacturers. Time is also
a benefit on the M 080, production of a watch frame
averages 4-5 hours, while traditional methods require
somewhere in the region of 30 hours.

Cooksongold currently offers three gold alloy
options with the M 080, namely 18 carat in yellow, red
and white. 18 carat gold is the most commonly used
grade across Europe. However, I was fascinated to
learn that other colours of gold could be possible in
the future. Within its inventory, Cooksongold holds
blue, green and purple gold - all hues of the precious
metal that cannot be processed into jewellery using
traditional production processes without serious
flaws. But, as David, told me, AM could make this

That is a mid-term goal, however. The next
material released for the M 080 will be platinum.
The first machine trials are about to commence with
anticipated launch in 2016. After that, expect Silver R&D with silver is well advanced, specifically the 925
standard silver alloy.

All of these developments point to a future
where additive technologies will sit side-by-side with
traditional methods, allowing jewellers to leverage
the strengths of all the available technologies to
produce beautiful, personal, precious jewellery for
their customers.

Rachel Park
Rachel is a passionate advocate
of 3D printing technologies and the
industry that has sprung up around
it. However, as the hype and hyperbole
has gathered momentum, her aim is
always to offer a reasoned voice in
the midst of inflated expectations
and to cutthrough the noise in order
to provide a realistic outlook
of how things are.

"Two other key

areas where the M 080
differentiates itself
as a metal additive
manufacturing machine
are the surface finish
and the minimal
post processing
now required."
The Cooksongold EOS M 080

20 | Feature Article | On the Desktop | Richard Horne

DISRUPTIVEMAGAZINE.COM | Issue 5 | October 2015 | 21



In this feature, I will look in greater depth at some of the OpenSource hardware, technologies and software that continue to
fuel the expanding desktop 3D printing sector... and before you
make a snap decision that its not for you, I would encourage
reading further - I'm also going to explain Open-Source licensing
terms so that youll know exactly what you can and can't do
with the great wealth of models, designs and even 3D printing
systems being shared globally by thousands of users.
The Open-Source hardware
association logo

If youre not familiar with Open-Source, or youre unclear as to what you can
or can't do with a model you have downloaded (or even a 3D printer you want
to build and sell!), this should provide plenty of background information and
will help to build your confidence in what can be a slightly daunting field.

Richard Horne

Open-Source hardware and software has driven both the development and success
of the desktop 3D printing market in recent years. Along with a desire for making,
investigation, education and development, the entire Open-Source ecosystem supports
an ever-expanding skill set that people can use as a springboard for Open-Innovation.

I'm going to focus more on the electronics, hardware and physical design aspects of Open-Source,
while using the history of our more-established
Open-Source software as a reference guide, to aid

The Open-Source Hardware Association
( has recently begun the process of
establishing a formal Open-Source Hardware certification process. This certification will help to define
those products and companies that are contributing
to Open-Source hardware innovation. In the current
scene, some clarity is definitely required (as you may
have discovered if youve previously explored OpenSource culture).

The Internet and 3D printing have helped to
make hardware more like software. Physical designs
and objects can be changed electronically, uploaded
and distributed all around the world as easily as a
software update. It may take a little longer to print
out a design and upgrade your device, 3D printer, or
appliance, but it's possible, its already happening and
the lines are become more blurred as time goes on.

In simple terms, just because something is
Open-Source or being shared willingly and often
without payment, it is still almost always not being
provided as 'free for any use you wish'. This is a vital
distinction to make with Open-Source designs and
projects. Almost all files, designs, models and information will be provided with a license. This license

will define what you (the user) can and can't do with
the information you have downloaded.

Whenever you create or design anything, you
are automatically protected by copyright. Whether
it's a photographic image, electronics design, artistic work or anything else, copyright usually has you
covered. You don't even need to display a Copyright
Logo to be protected, but doing so normally indicates that you wish to specifically highlight this

Unfortunately, there isnt a universal international copyright law. Although copyright is now
more commonly understood and globally respected,
it's not something that will definitely stop someone
from taking your idea or product and just making
something similar. Determining whether something breaks / infringes copyright is still an issue for
lawyers to battle out, so while it's not always possible to protect yourself from misuse, you can apply a
license to better explain how you want to share the
design, idea or body of work.

Of course, if you want to keep the idea or design
for yourself, a patent can provide some extra protection. Only certain things can be patented, and I would
personally only recommend going down that route if
you have the funds to defend a patent infringement
(which usually costs several million dollars), so do
make sure you actually have something worth patenting in the first place.

22 | Feature Article | On the Desktop | Richard Horne

Lego is a fine product example, a patented invention that had a good 20+ years to exploit and build a
global empire. Theyre now the biggest toy company
in the world and yet anyone can make compatible
Lego bricks. They just can't call them Lego. The
Lego company is confident enough in it's own brand
identity to survive and thrive even without the (now
expired) original patents.

3D printing however is at an interesting point.
It too has had 20+ years of patented 3D printing
methods. One could argue that due to the explosion
of Open-Source innovation (which happened in 3D
printing directly after those early patents expired) it
was nowhere near as well exploited as it could have

Nevertheless, some very large and well-established companies like Stratasys and 3DSystems
managed to grow, selling more than enough products to industrial customers to make businesses
all around the world curious about this wonderful
technology. It seems that they just managed to keep
it well enough under-the-radar to maximise margins
and continue expanding their vast patent portfolios,
while not attracting the attentions of significantly
larger companies that could have gobbled it up all for
themselves. It'll be interesting to see where giants like
HP, with their MultiJet Fusion, will take the industrial 3D Printing sector and indeed which companies
will survive for the next 20+ years, with or without

Other well-established companies looking to
3D printing are starting to see the benefits of collaborating with a community in an open way. In recent
years, Autodesk has been promoting the Spark software platform and Ember (a hardware reference 3D
printing platform) to help develop the next generation
of stereo lithography. Although Autodesk is a software company, this is a very clever approach - by promoting a standard reference printing platform, they
can refine and develop more effective 3D printing
software tools for users. For those of you who fancy
peeking under the hood, Ember has been released as
Open-Source under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license.

The Autodesk Ember 3D printer - Open-Source

hardware reference platform for Spark

DISRUPTIVEMAGAZINE.COM | Issue 5 | October 2015 | 23

"It'll be interesting
to see where giants
like HP, with their
MultiJet Fusion, will
take the industrial
3D Printing sector."

A recent hardware patent by Autodesk detailing a multi-channel

extruder design for FDM based 3D printing technology

Autodesk have continued to patent ideas and 3D

Printing hardware - most recently filing a patent for a
many-channel multi-material mixing extruder design
for FDM based desktop machines. It's unclear what
Autodesk will do with these sorts of patents - they
could be opened up to the development communities
as another reference platform like Ember, or kept by
Autodesk as IP to call upon in the future. Ember is
currently like a Trojan Horse for Autodesk made
available to further promote and develop the Spark
software platform, but who knows, maybe like Google
and many others, at some point in the future they
could become a hardware company too...

In the hardware world, it's becoming easier
to design and develop hardware devices, for both
individuals and small teams and so in one way or
another, Open-Source hardware will continue to lead
an alternative way forward, as it has for Open-Source
software in recent years.

Electronic component manufacturers have
seen how assisting with Open-Source can lead to
a boom in sales (and the volume of parts being
shipped), while becoming the standard for people
to use in years to come. Open-Source resources can
be accessed to build anything from a flying drone or
mobile phone to a 3D printer and soon. electric cars.

The Open-Source Linux-based Raspberry Pi

computer platform is another great example of a
self-supporting and flourishing Open-Hardware
control system used by millions around the world.
The low-cost Raspberry Pi is often combined with a
great Open-Source software package, OctoPrint - a
program created and supported by Gina Huge.
OctoPrint ( can be used as a hub
for connecting 3D printers across a network or via the
internet and allows remote control / monitoring of
3D printers, along with a variety of other useful functions many of which originated as suggestions from
the 3D printing community.

The highly popular and Open-Source 3D Printing web interface,

OctoPrint by Gina Huge. (

Licensing 101
Lets look deeper into how licenses are applied and
used for hardware projects and physical designs:

The RepRap Project (

Originally created by Dr Adrian Bowyer at the University of Bath in the UK, the RepRap project kicked
off a new wave of desktop 3D printing. Born from

24 | Feature Article | On the Desktop | Richard Horne

now-expired early FDM Patents, the project was

conceived from the very start to self-replicate. It was
acknowledged early on that controlling, protecting
or restricting the source of the design files would be
counter-productive if the experiment of an evolving
personal fabrication machine was to succeed.

The core of the RepRap project was originally
released under the Gnu General Public License.
On the whole, this means that the files are free and
anyone can use them, so long as they too release the
source for any changes / improvements they make /
adapt for others to also reuse under the same license.

The Gnu Public License was designed around
Open-Source software, and although it can be used
for hardware projects, it's not ideal. This is because
hardware projects have a physical presence that can
be shown out of context from the original project
or re-used without obvious acknowledgement to the
original author.

GNU General Public License V3 -

What is still a very new concept to many is the use of

a license agreement for physical models, designs and
products. Almost everyone has at some point clicked
Yes, I accept the license terms. for a downloaded
software package or new operating system, but that
sort of license is usually defining the terms of use,
not the terms of re-use, manipulation, adaptation, or

DISRUPTIVEMAGAZINE.COM | Issue 5 | October 2015 | 25

Youll probably run into Creative Commons License

options if you share a file or download a 3D design
from a model-sharing site. It's well worth understanding what these different licenses allow, so that you can
make an informed decision, knowing how you or your
company is allowed to use a printed object or design

Levels of control
The most selfless way to release anything you design,
make, or invent into the world is by releasing the
work as Public Domain (PD). This effectively waives
all your rights to copyright ownership, attribution as
the author or originator and allows anyone to use the
work for anything they wish without any connection
to you.

As you can imagine, not everything put up on
the Internet is given so freely. We can see projects,
software, books or artworks enter into the Public
Domain classification when copyright expires, which
can be 70 years after the author dies. More often, we
see educational material, old software, games and
designs submitted as Public Domain, usually when
there is little further commercial gain to be had from
them. There are a number of Public Domain icons
that you can use, and Creative Commons also provides a way to show that you intend the work to have
no rights reserved.

Creative Commons Public Domain logo

Creative commons
Many people now choose to use the Creative
Commons License. This can cover many aspects of
both hardware and software projects and also extends
to creative works. Full details about the licenses can
be found at
General Public Domain logo

Creative Commons logo -

Other Public Domain logos are used to illustrate that

something has no known copyright - although these
tend to be very old works.

Public Domain license with no known copyright logo

Most people are going to select a license with some

level of rights reserved, rather than PD. Creative
Commons has six main licenses: they are easy to visually understand once youre familiar with the terms,
and their aim is to make identification easy for both
the author and user, doing away with the needs for
lots of small print.

Many creative people like to have a starting
point or reference - it's the reason why Open-Source
works so well. Broadly speaking, you will not find a
large collection of people all working on the same
single project. More often, a project is released early
or as a basic framework - usually just about working
but not perfected.

People will then take that idea and fork it off.
The term forking is normally used with software,
but it's just as applicable to models or hardware projects. In recent years, the terms derivative or remix
are now generally used. If the new project and subsequent changes are also shared, the cycle can continue, improving or evolving the idea or design, often
spawning many more projects along similar lines.

The chain back to the original author is
very important though, and that's why all Creative
Commons Licenses have an attribution requirement.
Ensuring that your work is displayed or passed on
with the correct attribution is the reason that many
people choose a license over just releasing as PD. If
you take one thing away from this article, please let it
be the importance of attribution.

The most accommodating and open license
Creative Commons offers is the CC-BY. This allows
anyone to distribute, remix or build upon your work,
even commercially, in any way. The only requirement
is that they credit you for the original creation 'BY' attribution. This license provides the best chance for
getting your work into the hands of users all around
the world, making it the most likely to start a new
project 'standard' or go viral on the internet due to it's
low limits of restriction.

Even when you print out a 3D printed object and put it on display,
you must display attribution for the model, and if that work has an NC
(non commercial) license, you cannot display it for any sort of promotion
or activity that may be considered commercial without permission
from the original author.

The most open CC license after PD is the - CC-BY

26 | Feature Article | On the Desktop | Richard Horne

The one downside to this license is that people can

release remixed work under a more restrictive license,
and the original author may not like that their work is
being built on, but then limited in subsequent release.
For this reason, one of the most popular Creative
Commons licenses is the CC-BY-SA.

CC-BY-SA License

CC-BY-SA still requires attribution to the original

author, but it also requests that any remixed work
based on the work is shared under the same license. It
can still be used for commercial purposes. Wikipedia
uses this license to share all it's content.

Share and Share Alike

Imagine if you will, a 3D printer manufacturer who
sells machines and also provides upgrades of part
designs (e.g. the extruder) to the community. A proportion of users (a significantly higher proportion in
communities like desktop 3D printing, drones, Raspberry Pi and other tech markets) will almost always
take these products and model upgrades to resolve
flaws or issues they find when using the machines.
They will then propose updates, redesign and release
them for everyone else to benefit.

Years ago this became established as the norm
with Open-Source software packages, where the
community was helping to build the better software
package they wanted from a baseline of what they
already had. Now, as Open-Source hardware and 3D
printing allows the adaptation of physical things, the
same is true. If the 3D printer manufacturer spotted
these design changes and started shipping upgrades
to all their customers, that would be fine, creating a
good symbiotic relationship: Open-Source files have
been provided by the manufacturer, adapted by the
community and the upgrades have been released
back out, still being Open-Source.

However, if that manufacturer decided to take
those modifications (or even a completely different
but compatible design) from the community and
either attempted to patent the idea, or incorporate

DISRUPTIVEMAGAZINE.COM | Issue 5 | October 2015 | 27

it into their product without releasing the design as

Open-Source, then the entire circle-of-trust breaks
down and the community will most likely no longer
buy from, promote, or support that manufacturer.
The license terms and Open-Source intellectual property aspect is more important than the actual idea or
design. This is not just about personal principles, it's a
fundamental aspect of Open-Source.

This is really the point where you need to
decide if you are going to be happy sharing designs
and ideas. If not, just keep them to yourself. Often the
argument occurs when the original designer wants to
sell the object, and so they don't want people making
copies. In that case, you can use a Non Commercial
(NC) license. Allowing derivatives designs to be
made and shared by your own users can greatly build
your brand value and the community of people who
actively want to engage with you and even help you
to improve your own products. That's a win-win situation and hopefully many people will start to see that
they can even drop the Non Commercial aspect of the

Community support for a product, supplier
or manufacturer can create such a strong bond that
even when a lower cost alternative, copy or clone is
released, enough people will continue to appreciate
the original source of innovation. You just need to
stay on top of your relationships and work with the
community that you have built and who respect you.
After all, if someone is going to copy you, they only
need to change a few minor things and they can get
around your NC aspect.

If however you improve on those designs, release

them or submit your own designs back into the community then, congratulations are in order - you have
probably started on a collaborative effort with your
users and the greater Open-Innovation community.
Bear in mind it's not all black and white either - more
like fifty shades of grey, as many companies start-up
by selling a 'standard' Open-Source design (if the
license allows) to earn some initial capital to invest
back into better designs or expanding the business.
People get that - just be sure to give back if you are
feeding from a community in any way, either with
products or knowledge. No one likes to feel used.

CC-BY-ND License

No Derivatives is the most restricting of any license,

making the object or design useless for anyone who
wants to improve or build on the idea. In fairness, the
No Derivative license is often ideal for artists, sculptural modellers or anyone who is doing work that they
want to be recognised for and is pleasing enough for
people to enjoy or use.

An elegant vase or complicated sculpture can
still be shared with the world, but by using the No
Derivative license, the creator can ensure that the
design is not modified or altered and then re-uploaded
as a derivative work. You can think of this as the artist
having the ultimate say - they allow it to be shared
for people to enjoy and in the case of 3D printing, for
personal use, but they want the object to remain as
they designed it.

CC-BY-NC License

On that note, another aspect of Open-Source is to

improve or give back to the open community. If you
(or your company) are only interested in taking OpenSource designs as-is, selling them on to make a profit
from an individual or an entire communitys work,
don't be surprised if that doesnt go down too well
with the very users you hope to connect with.

When I see the No Derivative license being used for a

machine upgrade, 3D printing extruder, or any other
usable 3D printable model, I sometimes fail to understand what the designer had in mind when selecting
that option. They are basically saying that this design
is perfect and no one should change it. Or in other
words, the design is already obsolete.

I say this, because someone will take the same
idea, design their own variant, release it under a less
restrictive license and that design will become the
more popular and talked-about version for people
around the world to build on. I have seen inventors and
designers get very upset about this, where someone
else gets the 'credit' for distributing something they
had already released under a No Derivative license.
The benefit of allowing derivatives of your idea or
design is that it grows, evolves and can even become
the standard everyone uses, rather than ignores.

The CC-BY-NC-ND License is the most restrictive. Work published under

this license is really for general reference, as you can't do all that much
else with it aside from completely personal use.

The CC-BY-NC-SA License is often used by companies to release

work, not really wanting competitors to clone their designs. It does
still allow derivatives, as long as you Share-Alike.

The greyer aspects of competitive business and OpenSource include decisions like: When to release the
source? Many companies choose to design behind
closed doors, going dark for a while before releasing a
product and then at some point after initial sales have
been made, they release the hardware source files,
usually around the time the design starts to become
'standard' for the community.

It's not always an ideal situation, but it can
work, and allows users to eventually upgrade parts,
improve the design or just see how things are put
together. Its worth bearing in mind Open Source
is not necessarily about every user wanting to view or
change the source files, but more about the fact that
theyre available for the community to work on. A user
may not have the skills to improve the design themselves, but will have significant confidence in the fact
that a groundswell of several thousand more people
may improve on it for them, and they can benefit.

28 | Feature Article | On the Desktop | Richard Horne

That starts to be a key decision point for users when

deciding which products (3D printers for example)
they wish to buy. As we can see, community support
becomes a powerful sales tool and in many fast-evolving technical industries, a significant reason to choose
one product over another.

Some companies release their source right at
the start, even during the development of the new
product and even more engage with their customers
and the wider community during the development.
An ultimate extension to this is Open-Innovation
with and for the very community they support. This
doesnt have to be for free either Open-Source companies pay for innovation, design work and advice
just like any other. The benefit is a customer base who
actively sticks with and supports that manufacturer
or designer because they believe in the product and
the benefit it brings them.

Lulzbot and RepRap Pro Ltd. are two highly
Open-Source 3D Printing companies who release
everything during the design stages. You can often
find ideas and source files up on GitHub or development sections of their websites before the product has
been finished, tested or released.

support becomes a
powerful sales tool
and in many fastevolving technical
industries, a
significant reason to
choose one product
over another."

DISRUPTIVEMAGAZINE.COM | Issue 5 | October 2015 | 29

Arduino control electronics are the most well known

and used in the electronics world.

The very heart of almost all desktop and RepRap 3D
printers use an Arduino electronics control board.
These fantastic modular control electronics are used
for all sorts of hobby and educational projects - they
even get used for industrial applications around the
world. Arduino controllers are released as OpenSource hardware and software, licensed for use
with the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike
license. This allows for both personal and commercial use, but you must share the files in the same
way Arduino does and also give credit attribution to
Arduino with your designs or changes.

The Arduino brand has a registered trademark.
This does not offer any significant protection for the
product IP. Instead, it's a very good way to identify
and build a brand for the original work or products.
Arduino controllers do get cloned, and that's allowed
within the terms of the license, even for commercial
use. But the one thing a cloned board can't do is call
itself an Arduino or display the same marks on the
electronics printed circuit board. They can however
claim to be Arduino Compatible and run the same
Arduino software.

Since 2005, Arduino has been the world's
most popular electronics control board. It's always
been produced as Open-Source Hardware and has
a thriving community that supports the project and
its creators. When the Arduino LLC company was set
up, the development team continued to produce new
hardware designs, while an agreement with a manufacturing company called Smart Projects resulted in
the production of the different Arduino controllers.

Smart Projects would pay a royalty for each
control board sold so that the Arduino LLC team could
provide support via and run the
design company, while also continuing development

of new hardware for Smart Projects to build. This

relationship worked perfectly for over ten years and
the Arduino name has become globally renowned.

Unfortunately, the last few years have seen the
original founders fall out with Smart Projects because
they had secretly registered the Arduino trade mark in
Italy without the knowledge of the Arduino company.
Furthermore, Smart Projects changed their name to
Arduino SRL and have produced a new website www., promoting themselves as the original

They still manufacture in Italy, while the
Arduino LLC company, led by the co-founder
Massimo Banzi now uses Seedstudio based in China
to manufacture for markets outside of the USA and
Adafruit to manufacture for the US. It's all a bit of a

The Open-Source Smoothie control board for 3D Printers and CNC machinery

mess, splitting users who can buy the same or similar

Arduino branded products from two different (but
original) sources. How this will impact the world of
Open-Source Hardware has been a topic of heated
debate recently.

Desktop 3D Printers continue to use basic
low-powered 8bit Arduino-based control electronics,
but they are now finally being superseded by much
more powerful 32bit ARM-based platforms, capable
of faster and smoother control of the more advanced
3D printing systems heading to the market. One of
the most significant of these new Open Source ARMbased control systems has been the Smoothieboard
hardware platform and Smoothieware software
designed by Arthur Wolf, Triffid_Hunter, Eneiou
Logxen and many others in the RepRap community.

30 | Feature Article | On the Desktop | Richard Horne

DISRUPTIVEMAGAZINE.COM | Issue 5 | October 2015 | 31

One such alternative platform choice for 3D printer manufacturers is by Create it REAL www. This is another next generation ARM-based 3D printing control system, but it's
designed to be integrated and configured by Create it REAL for the specific 3D printing manufacturers who wish to use it. The hardware, firmware and desktop software application are all proprietary IP that's not shared as Open-Source. A small level of customisation with re-skinning the look
of the user interface can be done by the end manufacturer, but that's as far as Create it REAL go
down the Open-Source route.

The Open-Source Smoothie control board for 3D Printers and CNC machinery

Caption for this image to appaer here

The Smoothie platform is highly capable of providing enough performance for even the most
demanding 3D Printers and CNC machining systems. Although it's often difficult to see what will
become the next default platform, Smoothie is looking like the premier contender in the OpenSource arena for developers and manufacturers looking for machine and capability upgrades.

Smoothieware encourages you to use, adapt and even sell both hardware and control systems
to allow this platform to grow and to encourage worldwide adoption. If you make a significant
upgrade or remix of the hardware design or software platform, will even evaluate manufacturing it for you. It now has significantly higher chances of success than many of the
competing Closed-Source platforms.
The CreateitREAL electronics platform for 3D Printing

32 | Feature Article | On the Desktop | Richard Horne

Create it REAL are promoting a powerful platform standard,

and wish to become the control system supplier of choice for
desktop 3D Printers. It is a single-sourced option - support and
control of the platform and future development is only going to
happen via the Create it REAL team. This has some risks, but
also has numerous benefits for any manufacturer that does not
want to support the hardware running their 3D printer. Create
it REAL have picked up various customers for their platform,
and continue to show that there is room in the market for an
alternative 3D printing hardware control system.

Time will tell if closed platforms (without the freedom to
self-support and expand the platform via the established OpenSource 3D Printing community) become the next worldwide
standard, or if Open-Source Hardware projects like Smoothie
can take over from the Arduino-based controllers that power
almost all of the desktop 3D Printers in use today. This will
probably depend on just how mainstream desktop 3D printing
becomes, and also on how much the competition for features
between 3D printing manufacturers heats up in the coming

It's still early days for Open-Source hardware, as everyone is trying to work out how best to build up companies, communities, standards and foster a healthy level of innovation and
adoption with users and industry. Cash flow, growing pains and
the rapid changes in electronics both help and hinder the competitive landscape of companies that choose an Open-Source
business model.

Many will find their own path, making decisions that
some will be happy with and others not. Having an open nature
and a circle-of-trust relationship with (and for) the community
are the more important aspects of a well-intentioned OpenSource business model. Indeed, its probably more important
than how much you charge for your products and services.
If you bring value, people will respond to that and in turn,
innovate with you and for you, openly, and with passion and
great gusto.

Richard Horne
Richard Horne is well known in the 3D
printing community as RichRap. Rich is a
highly passionate advocate of 3D printing
for all uses in industry, education and the
desktop. Since joining the open-source
maker movement and then the RepRap
project in 2009, Rich has been blogging,
developing and sharing ideas for the greater
global interest in 3D printing.



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34 | Feature Article | A Paradigm Shift | Rachel Park

A prosthetic arm concept made specially for the exhibition by Richard

Hague, Director of Research, with students Mary Amos, Matt Cardell-Williams
and Scott Wimhurst at the Additive Manufacturing & 3D Printing Research
Group, The University of Nottingham. Image credit: Science Museum


Rachel Park
Many experts assert that the materials we print with hold the key to unlocking
the immense potential of additive technologies. Exploring one of the greatest leaps
that has occurred in this ecosystem, Rachel Park charts the emergence of
Multi-material printing and looks toward its exciting future...

DISRUPTIVEMAGAZINE.COM | Issue 5 | October 2015 | 35

Materials have long been identified as one of the
primary limitations of additive manufacturing (AM).
From the very outset, when only very specific photopolymers could be printed, right up to the present,
this complaint still stands. Today, the range of AM
processes (and the spectrum of materials that each
can process) provide far more options than could
have been imagined by the first inventors of additive
technologies. However, compare that choice against
the material pallet that can be used with injection
moulding and it still seems very limited indeed.

One of the more recent (and exciting) developments on the materials front for AM is the emergence of multi-material processes, which involve
using more than one material to print a part during
a single build. Its worth noting - multi-material 3D
printing is often misconstrued as a generic process
that can utilise any materials in any combination.
This is far from the current state of play, wherein the
number and types of materials that can be utilised for
multi-material 3D printing is still very restricted.

Indeed, very few of the established 3D printing / additive manufacturing processes can produce
multi-material parts. Only the jetting-type processes
and, arguably, the filament deposition processes
are capable of utilising multiple (i.e. more than one)

materials. There is of course a great deal of research

underway that points to future developments, but
these options are still far from commercialisation.

Within currently available technologies, its
important to differentiate between the multi-material
/ multi-colour 3D printing achieved through deposition processes and the functionality achieved when
combining different materials during the jetting
process, as first developed by Objet (now Stratasys).

Multi-material deposition can be achieved by
fitting additional extruders to a desktop filament 3D
printer. Although its a simple yet effective way of
combining different materials within a single print,
it does not mix the materials, which is an important differentiator. Utilising inkjet technology, the
jetting process mixes liquid resins during the printing process to produce multiple materials within the
spectrum of the base materials.

Historical Perspective
The first emergence of multi-material 3D printing
came in 2007 when Objet, (then independent of Stratasys), introduced its Connex technology, together with
the concept of Digital Materials. The Connex platform utilises the companys PolyJet process, which is
based on inkjet techniques. This was key to the unique
offering of the Connex500 back in 2007, specifically

The CSAIL Multifab - a platform created using low-cost components that

promises game-changing capabilities, including the ability to embed
components and hardware self-calibration.

36 | Feature Article | A Paradigm Shift | Rachel Park

that the platform was able to jet two of its proprietary

base materials at the same time and mix them on the
fly to compose up to 14 different composite materials
with a range of properties and characteristics all
within one 3D printed part.

Thus, it became possible to jet a rigid and rubber-like material together to produce a part composed
of different materials with variable properties. This
new premise offered unprecedented flexibility that
allowed the production of prototypes with the look,
feel and function of the end products (even complex
assembled products) with a single process. The
primary aim was to offer a serious and competitive
alternative to the overmolding process, where two
or more materials are seamlessly combined within a
single part via an expensive and lengthy multi-step

Since the original Connex platform was
launched in 2007, and post Objets merger with
Stratasys in 2013, the company has afforded a great
deal of research and development in this area. Today,
improved Connex platforms and software (that can
print from three base materials) accommodate in
excess of 100 digital materials, which include opaque,
clear transparent, biocompatible, rubber-like and
ABS-like materials.

It should also be noted that Stratasys is not the
only company that offers this process today. Since
2013, 3D Systems also offers a MultiJet Printing
(MJP) platform that fuses together flexible and rigid
material composites.

Without doubt, these jetting options for
3D printing are extraordinary and have extended
the applications of the technology tremendously.
However, the range of materials still falls short of
what is achievable with other prototyping and manufacturing methods.

The Voxel8 Multi-Material 3D Printer

DISRUPTIVEMAGAZINE.COM | Issue 5 | October 2015 | 37

On the Horizon

Further Down the Line

There is a great deal of research and development

taking place today to further the discipline of 3D
printing multiple materials. The visibility on these
developments is hazy, to say the least, but some of the
most notable are coming from both academic institutions and new commercial operations and are starting
to lift the lid on what will be possible.

There is a great deal of funded research taking place

around the world regarding multi-materials for AM.
In the UK, the Additive Manufacturing and 3D
Printing Research Group at Nottingham University,
led by Professor Richard Hague has a strong team of
researchers focused on new materials. This group,
both standalone and in collaborative efforts with
other institutions, is certainly making headway in
this area with a number of live projects that seek to
prove, and indeed improve, multi-material jetting
techniques with engineering and functional materials
by way of reactive inks for in-situ polymerization.

There is also a great deal going on with
research into metallic inks in the UK, specifically
investigating how to optimise them in terms of
conductivity and printability for electronics. The
research of Dr Kate Black at the University of Liverpool places a notable emphasis on inkjet printing
R&D, where she is working with Reactive Organometallic (ROM) inks and producing results that point to
a future where printed electronics will extend beyond
circuits and two dimensions. Similarly, Wayne Hayes
(University of Reading) is leading a research project
that is considering self-assembling hybrid jetting inks
for regenerative medicine.

Also of note is the work of James Dowden
(University of Nottingham) and Ezra Feilden-Irving
(Imperial College London), focused on smart photoreactive materials for AM. Having identified a common
problem with automated deposition (which requires
ink particles to be fluid for printing, but also have
the ability to stick in order to retain printed shape
through processing) the proposal of this research is to
develop ink particle coatings that are initially repulsive (charged) but become adherent upon photolysis.
I.e: to create smart photoreactive inks.

Moving away from the UK and inks, to
Germany, another hotbed of AM research, the Collaborative Research Centre 814 Additive manufacturing (SFB 814) at FAU is exploring multi-material additive manufacturing with powdered materials. The
project, which was initiated back in 2011, has recently
just been granted a further 10 million Euros from
the German Research Foundation (DFG) to continue
this research until 2019. The FAU research group is
led by Prof. Dr. Dietmar Drummer, Chair of Polymer
Technology, heading up a 35-strong team drawn from

Just a few weeks ago, researchers from MITs Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory
(CSAIL) unveiled a new experimental 3D printer,
which, they claim, can print with 10 different materials at the same time. Dubbed MultiFab the premise
of this platform is the development of a more accurate, economic and user-friendly multi-material
machine with significantly more material options
than commercially available platforms.

According to the CSAIL team, they built
the MultiFab platform using low-cost components,
including the inkjet technology, which can print at
a resolution of 40 microns (compared with the Connexs 16 microns), with the ability to directly embed
components such as circuits and sensors during the
printing process. Another interesting proposition of
the MultiFab machine is the inclusion of 3D scanning
techniques that enable the hardware to self-calibrate
and also to detect and feed back errors for each layer
as it is laid down. To date, the team reports that the
MulitFab platform has produced some specific products, including LED lenses, but the vision is for new
applications with electronics, micro-sensing, medical
imaging and robotics.

Founded by Dr. Jennifer A. Lewis, (Wyss Professor
of Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard),
Voxel8 is a commercial operation which is a spin out
from Harvard University. At CES in January 2015, the
company introduced its multi-material electronics 3D
printer and subsequently secured funding for technology development from In-Q-Tel (IQT), a not-forprofit, strategic investment firm.

The initial Voxel8 platform, which utilises the
deposition process, purports to allow users to print
circuits and electronic devices with conductive silver
ink on a desktop machine concurrently with typical

'...the advent of inks

(specifically as the key to
unlocking multi-material
functionality) points to a
change in emphasis for
future developments...'
thermoplastic 3D printing materials. More recently,
however, the lady behind Voxel8 has revealed further
developments with her research team - namely the
production of a different kind of printhead for the
deposition process that allows for the active mixing
of materials during extrusion.

The key word here is active and is very different to the use of multiple extruders for passive
mixing during the printing process. This new development permits concentrated viscoelastic inks to be
mixed prior to deposition by virtue of a rotational
impeller that sits within the nozzle of the extruder,
where the materials are combined. The researchers
point to a wide range of new applications that would
benefit from this development, including flexible electronics, wearable devices, soft robotics, and embedded electrical circuitry.

Its important to note that this is still in the
experimental stages, but its an exciting development
and is indicative of many other research initiatives
that are considering new inks for 3D printing and
additive manufacturing.

Indeed, this year ink has emerged as a noticeable epithet within the vernacular of the research fraternity in this sector. While materials obviously still
features heavily, the advent of inks (specifically as the
key to unlocking multi-material functionality) points
to a change in emphasis for future developments.

38 | Feature Article | A Paradigm Shift | Rachel Park

a range of disciplines including mechanical engineering, materials science, chemical and biological engineering and mathematics.

Herein lies the key to successful progress with
mutli-material AM - its not just about the materials
themselves. Simultaneous developments have to take
place within hardware and software to drive the
processes. This holistic approach is neither a quick,
simple or cheap endeavour and while some people
bemoan the lengthy activities of academic research,
they are the established foundation of progress.
Furthermore, the transition from laboratory to production line will likely take years rather than months
during the prove-out.

Indeed, while developments within materials
and hardware have been heralded as bringing the
major breakthroughs to date, the limiting factor has
proved to be software. Fabbaloos Kerry Stevenson,
in particular, has made this timely observation:

Consider the case of Stratasys Connex software: to use different materials, you must - in your
monomaterial CAD software - segment your object
into several pieces. Then, in the Connex driver software you painstakingly assign a material to each
segment. While this works, its practically restricted
to relatively simple uses of multiple materials. In the
case of dual or triple plastic extruder technologies,
the options are similarly awkward.

Kerry attributes this scenario to the low
number of multi-material machines and cites lack

Rachel Park
Rachel is a passionate advocate
of 3D printing technologies and the
industry that has sprung up around
it. However, as the hype and hyperbole
has gathered momentum, her aim is
always to offer a reasoned voice in
the midst of inflated expectations
and to cutthrough the noise in order
to provide a realistic outlook
of how things are.

The 3MF format - a strong proposition that needs more adoption in order
to fulfil it's full potential.

of (commercial) motivation to develop the highly

complex modelling software required to design
multi-material objects. The solution posed is a standard file format, which remains an elusive goal. Even
despite the emergence of the new 3MF format, which
does propose options for defining materials, very
few CAD programs and even fewer 3D printers are
aligned with this format to date.

The next step

The ability to additively manufacture parts with multiple materials does exist today (thanks, in large part
to the process commercialised by Stratasys) and as
such, is providing unprecedented opportunities. The
current state of play sees an extended, but still limited
spectrum of plastics and metals available for AM platforms, with ceramics just starting to make a breakthrough. In many cases, these material options still
need to be optimised, and, more critically, increased
through the ability to combine them.

Looking to the future, this is just a baby step
towards what will be possible. We are just starting to
glimpse embryonic evidence that points to the true
potential of additively manufacturing multiple materials. As ever, ideas (as well as many opinions) come
well ahead of real research and development and in
turn, commercial reality.

Be in no doubt though, it is happening, and as
with any nascent technology it does not happen overnight, no matter how much we wish it would.

Disruptive Offer: Order your Pro 1 now and get 2 spools of filament for free

Go to to order now

Professional 3D printing, easier than ever

40 | Feature Article | 3D Printing & The Creative Industries | Faith Robinson

DISRUPTIVEMAGAZINE.COM | Issue 5 | October 2015 | 41


Faith Robinson

The White Rabbit by Danny van Ryswyk: 3D Printed art that retains
strong elements of traditional sculpture. But what value are we placing
on contemporary digital creations?

Artefacts and art objects retain value through a number of different traits from cutural and emotional, right through to socio-political. Contemporary
sculpture in particular offers a platform for 3D printing, but how are art audiences
receiving and perceiving works produced via additive manufacturing?

As a term, Digital Art should be used with caution.

While its true that categorisation within contemporary Art History (as well as the Art Market, to some
extent) is notoriously difficult, it is useful to set some
kind of definition before taking a closer look at any
digital works tendencies.

With this in mind, I am proposing Digital Art
as work that fundamentally uses computers as part of
the creative process. It is a suggestion broad enough
to encompass the Internet and data revolution that
disrupted contemporary art making a few decades
ago, while also critically allowing for the 3D CAD
dependent work of present-day artists who are boldly
developing their practice via 3D printing.

It is immediately evident just how complicated
discourse within this area can be. Although many
people attribute such confusion to the modern technologies at play within Digital Art practice, there is a
great deal of history behind the aesthetic drive of new
media artists.

The 1960s hosted an important moment in
the development of contemporary sculpture, during
which work began to restructure itself via a kind of

dematerialised approach to what the art object was.

This meant that for the first time, artists turned to
industrial manufacturing techniques to produce their
work, a move dismissed by much of the arts community as radical. Although their motives differed from
the contemporary artists Ill go on to mention, the
employment of modern technology to create (Digital)
art remains as a shared methodology of the artists,
then and now.

Thus, I believe that contemporary artists
should be recognised for continuing a tradition by
utilising additive manufacturing - a tradition that has
come to retain extremely high levels of (both cultural
and monetary) value in the ever-maturing collections
of art dealers and museum acquisitions departments
around the world.

But despite this, what is the status of 3D
printed work within a contemporary art space today,
and can these re-printable works ever attain the art
market respect that they arguably deserve?

Objects hold use, and in some cases, the use of
an object prescribes value. While the idea of using a
piece of art seems a little strange, it is true that even

42 | Feature Article | 3D Printing & The Creative Industries | Faith Robinson

a sculpture has a purpose and that purpose differs

from a designed object like a gun, for instance. Such
is the difference between an artwork and an artefact,
yet despite such dissimilarity, both kinds of object can
be held together in cultural collections worldwide.

The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), the
worlds oldest museum of design, holds pride of place
in the heart of Londons cultural district. Back in 2013,
the institution made headlines by acquiring three
3D printed prototype Liberator guns (and the CAD
files): a model, which was developed and successfully
fired by Texan law student Cody Wilson earlier that
year. The documented acquisition and exhibition
experience of this piece from the V&As Curator of
Digital Design, Louise Shannon, illustrates not only
the difficult nature of the object itself, but also the
cultural significance that it retains:

The complex process of our acquisition of the
gun has transcended the design of the gun itself, and to
me has proven the Liberator to be a transformational
moment in the recent history of manufacturing and
design. (3D Printing an Empty Space in the Law,
Louise Shannon, 2014)

From import licensing issues through to the
conflicting definitions of a firearm between governments, the challenges involved in displaying The
Liberator at the V&A only served to develop the
fascinating narrative already held by this 3D printed
object from conception to application. It is not simply
about the design of this weapon; what heightens the
object is the value that its history represents and
new work exploring this history is already being produced through contemporary sculpture like Addie
Wagenknechts Liberator Rounds.

Pieces of art can also grow to develop important positions within cultural histories, but generally, they carry (in addition) a very different kind of
meaning. Its a value that is somehow able to transcend
the everyday world of items and objects by accessing a
higher realm of spiritual / emotional / special cause
and this drives people not only to develop a personal
connection with that piece of art, but also to part with
a lot of money to own it.

The British art market alone is a multi-billion
pound industry, and despite the traditional stereotype
of the refined art dealer and the old-fashioned auction
house, Modern & Contemporary Art sales generate
strong numbers in support of this high-spend area

of business. Broadly speaking, works that are older

retain more history, which makes them a much
more expensive purchase. Even so, younger pieces of
digital / new media art are slowly gaining recognition
by wise collectors as worthy investments, and recent
events to support digital art sales have further developed dialogues in this area of the arts world.

Taking place physically in New York (2013) and
London (2014), Paddles ON! is an inspiring collective
of individuals, institutions and companies who are
supporting the sale of contemporary work, including
a small number of 3D printed pieces:

PADDLES ON! is an exhibition and auction
that brings together artists who are using digital technologies to establish the next generation of contemporary art. Curated by Lindsay Howard and presented
in collaboration with Tumblr, this [London edition]
collection is the second digital art auction at Phillips,
in recognition of the increasing viability of this work in
the contemporary art marketplace. (About Us Paddles
ON! Tumblr page, 2013)

Such a series of (hopefully on-going) events
is proving that digital art is not just about the internet; its about producing something that manages to
develop the artists practice in an exhibition context,
which is also desirable enough for a collector to
purchase. It's critically important for auction houses
to embrace technology and understand the impact
of what is, essentially, the digital transformation of
the art world, writes Megan Newcome, Director of
Digital Strategy and Paddles ON! Auction Organiser
at Phillips. Traditional, commercial art world modes
of exchange are now being challenged by the global
networks - decentralized distribution, new forms of
ownership, even new currencies and this, alongside
new tech, is allowing the creation of elegant new
manifestations of the digital object in an art world
context. The twenty-three available lots at Londons
Paddles ON! auction included digital paintings, inkjet
and silkscreen prints, and moving image - alongside
3D printed pieces by two artists: Sophie Kahn and
Yuri Pattison.

A small collection of silver, stainless steel
and titanium 3D prints comprises Chelyabinsk eBay
extrusions, 2013 by Pattison. The work represents
sculptural pieces of the fabled Chelyabnisk Meteor,
which have been reverse-engineered and 3D printed
by sourcing online images of the found fragments

DISRUPTIVEMAGAZINE.COM | Issue 5 | October 2015 | 43

Chelyabinsk eBay extrusions (2013)

3D printed .925 silver, 316L stainless steel, titanium.
Dimensions variable.
Courtesy of Yuri Pattison & Mother's Tankstation, Dublin.

available on eBay, collected by the artist, who stated:

I was interested in the displays of authenticity within
these eBay listings as the ultimate ridiculous example of
traditional culture fetishising the 'original' object.

Sophie Kahns Priode des Attitudes Passionelles, 2014 extends her artistic practice by alluding
to The impossibility of ever capturing more than a trace
of the past, or of a living, breathing body, despite our
grandest efforts to fix it in place. This, her stunningly
sculptural self-portrait, employs 3D scanning and 3D
printing to contrast digital and analogue through an
insightful, fragmented aesthetic. Its clear that despite
sharing a medium for production, these works explore
very different themes.

Despite the beauty of both pieces, these works
face a number of fascinating challenges in particular, the issue of how easily 3D printed sculptures can
be reprinted. To a buyer, this is an exceedingly critical
point: if the original of the work exists immaterially
as an Stl file, the value of the 3D printed sculpture is
immediately compromised.

Priode des Attitudes Passionelles: 3D print from laser scan on

aluminium base. (1 of 5) Dimensions variable - Figure: 39 x 31 x 13 cm;
overall: 46 x 31 x 17 cm. Courtesy of Sophie Kahn.

44 | Feature Article | 3D Printing & The Creative Industries | Faith Robinson

Experience is
now thoroughly
influenced by digital
technologies... digital
art serves as a true
reflection of this
contemporary age.
To learn more about this process, I returned to the
practice of Nick Ervink: a Belgian artist whose successful use of additively manufactured sculptural
pieces has given him a global reputation as a leader
in the field.

Heleen Sabbe, the Managing Assistant at
Studio Nick Ervinck enlightened me with some details
of print editions, which I was not surprised to hear
are very limited. Of a particular work, between three
and eight prints are produced after which (under no
circumstances) can more be made. Due to cost, large
sculptures are not all made at one time, which means
that interestingly, first editions often sell at a cheaper
price than later 3D print editions of the same artwork.

Finally, 3D prints are worked on further in the
studio post print: We paint them by hand or apply a
lacquer to make them really glossy; this makes the sculptures different from a print directly from the machine.

Together, all of these details legitimise the
purchase power of the artwork. However, until the
processes involved in 3D printing a sculpture are
more commonly understood, it may be difficult for
collectors to see past the idea of a simple Press print
approach which, in this context, threatens the appeal
(and market value) of additively manufactured art.

Regardless of the era in which art is made, it
is rare for a piece of work to explore the material or
process through which it is produced. Artists make
their art to express an ongoing theme in their practice and although there is work that is concerned with
the particular way in which it is made, there are few
artists using 3D printing who specifically make art
about 3D printing.

Work by Kahn, Pattison and Ervinck all explore

extremely different ideas, and each uses additive
manufacturing as an extension of their Digital Art
practice. In her supporting essay, Paddles ON! curator
Lindsay Howard summarises the collection of the
auctions contributing artworks in a few beautifully
succinct phrases. Experience is now thoroughly
influenced by digital technologies she writes, going
on to claim that digital art serves as a true reflection
of this contemporary age.

The interpretation of culture by artists is recognised not only in the subject matter of their work,
but also in the process that brings it to be. Many
sectors within the 3D printing industry recognise
that there is still a long way to go for artists and buyers
alike to fully understand the long-term implications
of 3D printed collectibles.

Maintenance of the materials used is just
one of many potential factors that could affect the
investment potential of a piece of art, and for such a
young technology, there may be all manner of (as yet)
unforeseen difficulties facing the future of this niche

As additive manufacture continues to develop,
disrupt and become relevant to more and more businesses worldwide, it is almost certain that its effect
within the arts industry will be felt as well. My hope is
that well be seeing 3D printed artworks within more
private and public art collections in the years to come
perhaps in sync with an international growth in the
adoption of the technology.


Stand out from the pack with us

today and become one of our
European Airwolf 3D resellers!

Faith Robinson
With an academic background in History
of Art, Faith Robinson is the Conference
Manager at 3D Printshow. She loves
aesthetics, and alongside writing, Faith
maintains a long-term dedication to the
creative industries and the aspects of
digital humanities involved.

01924 869 610
Hawk 3D Proto is part of Cutwel Limited, a leading
UK supplier of engineering cutting tools, work holding
systems, metrology and much more!

46 | Feature Article | Artist Profile | Dave Marks

DISRUPTIVEMAGAZINE.COM | Issue 5 | October 2015 | 47


Dave Marks

Threading science, art, and technology, Shane Hope uses open-source nanomolecular
design software to create and manipulate molecular models, which he assembles
by the thousands into painterly 3-D prints. Equal parts scientific and fantastical,
organic and digital, Hopes holographic creations hint at the infinite possibilities
of genetics and molecular physics, as well as the notion of hacking matter. As he
has said: The ability to assemble things from-the-molecule-up could give rise to
borderline costless systems for controlling the structure of matter itself.

Public Panopticon Powder (2014)

3D-printed PLA molecular models and paint on plexiglass
24 x 24
Category: species-tool-beings
Nano-nonobjective-ontographic scribblin on scriptable-scalable species-tool-beings quacker-castin computroniumclouds of kilo-IQd collablobject-oriented co-op-corporeal commons-clusters playborin with post-scarcity perceptpus and prescient-peek-a-boo public-panopticon-powdered plunderware-portraiture of plans for playborground
ball pits of pure operationality all about atomic admin access-privs picturesque grey-gooplexus-thunkuppetrees
qubit-built-quiltin algorithmicracked-out junk-DNAnarch-keys to un-nanoblockonomic-lock fine-joules-bots that
gots-lots-o-watts spinformation-supportin scenariopolist rapturama-root abundance-heck-tech-wreckonomical
enzymin-rhymin chmodder-fodder for smartdustormin mass-mod-mood-meds runnin on you runnin on

48 | Feature Article | Artist Profile | Dave Marks

DISRUPTIVEMAGAZINE.COM | Issue 5 | October 2015 | 49

Untitled (Species-Tool-Being No. 4)

Bandwidth of Built-Beings

Protocol-onization of Commons-Clusters

Computronium-Cloud Copyllution
Nano-Nonobjective Noo-Zoos (2014)
3D-printed PLA molecular models & paint on plexiglass
24 x 24
Category: species-tool-beings

hyper-necker-deathcubes quture-sporecastin syncthetic smartificially-exprisoned empathologically-infacteous

connectivitis-cognitariats called upon to camouflage the protocol-onization of everythingyness upwhen on a
lifefile::path towards a mass2sapient-ratiocracy gettin smartfaced and uploaded addin add-ons off your overclocker
rocker pervd POV-vapor Xmit rights to far edge soylent green tea party uploadside your headers of bequestorbot
blobjecthoodlumist bucky-luck-lock logicages-gates computtin uh handicrafted e-cap in your app-portential meatsplaced-out smartmatter of nanofacturally date-stampeded data-debased nDiagrammatic copyllution-commodity
cross sections of compound cutaway exploded view shish ka-bombs higher-ordermensionally hackin-hockin
chem-phlegm loogie-loggin one man bandwidthd biochippin off the old-bad-blocks-bunchallianced punchin the

overclockin cached-advanced chronoughty cognitive haze phraseologies pharmosomally flocusin femtofacturedfluidentifried-fleshionistas fee-willin click-fraud false-flag-phishin for masstaken-iPlentities so omega-pointless
slashdot-to-dot-subthreaded by buy/cellutility-swarms of soul-splinterferin speculativernaculareerin sumplace
skiddie snarfin sporgery zombie noo-zoos transubstrationally timeshearin-taggin envirornamentally-challenged
infomorphiliac-biorouters backscatterin bloodstream-slummin-it up hick-hackinstantial thought barrier robber
barons sapient-sopper see-source-serum sci-fi-lustratin morph-feral-foglet-fabbed fertilizer for fornicode for
misalignment-matter mogul mashmobsters manipulatin malfoamational anti-monay-yay markets for metacompetitive
metabolisms of things-executin-things

51 | News Round-Up | Rachel Park

Filaments to trust

DISRUPTIVEMAGAZINE.COM | Issue 5 | October 2015 | 51

By the Editor
The last month has seen a major new player step up to the plate, acquisitions that will
strengthen adoption in industrial 3D printing, the launch of a new 3D printing service from
Stratasys and a serious investment in the future of accessible, affordable metal 3D printing. Exciting times..

Print giant Canon

officially enters the
3D Printing Market
Canon have started releasing details of their new
3D printer, giving this teaser ahead of the Canon
Expo in Paris.

Although details are still fairly fuzzy, Canon
states that With the highest level of precision in
the industry weve reduced the need for time-consuming post-processing. Plus, higher modelling
speeds and faster setting times mean youll spend
more time innovating and less time waiting.

So theyre promising better results in a
shorter time kind of the holy grail of additive processing. All eyes will be on Canon over the coming
year to see how their new machine measures up.

Premium 3D printing filaments manufactured to very tight tolerances

Made from the highest quality materials to ensure consistent feeding
and stable prints
ABS / PLA in a range of vibrant colours

Autodesk has signed a definitive agreement to

acquire netfabb, the Germany-based developer of
software solutions for industrial additive design
and manufacturing. Autodesk will also make a
strategic investment in FIT Technology Group,
the parent company of netfabb and provider of
AM software and services. The two companies
will collaborate to increase adoption of technology
for industrial AM. Autodesk plans to support and
expand this community by continuing to develop,
sell and support netfabb software as well as integrate netfabb technology into Autodesks solutions
for product design and AM, including Autodesk
Fusion 360 the Spark 3D printing platform.

PRIMALLOY flexible, rubber material

with outstanding heat, oil and abrasion
resistance and mechanical strength

Untitled-1 1

Autodesk to drive
adoption through
netfabb acquisition

5/12/2015 12:48:09 PM

52 | News Round-Up | Rachel Park

Newly launched:
Direct Express

Ric Fulop

Tredaviam by Nick Ervink

3D printed by Stratasys

Desktop metal
printing gets $14M
Cambridge, Massachusetts startup Desktop
Metal was born of a radical notion - the creation of a desktop Metal printer: Were trying
to make a machine that you can buy, plug it in,
and use it in your office, (Ric Fulop, CEO)

They were able to generate an impressive
$14M of VC investment through a roster of names
attached to the project that include Ric Fulop
and Yet-Ming Chiang, (co-founders of the battery
company A123 Systems and veterans of the 3D
printing industry), and Chris Schuh (head of the
Department of Materials Science at MIT).

Their first round of investment saw
them partnering with the likes of NEA, Kleiner
Perkins Caufield Byers, Lux Capital and 3D
printing giant Stratasys, alongside a number
of other venture capitalists and investors.

This points to an exciting future where
the tech that currently only the likes of NASA
can afford could be accessible to all:
Metal 3D printing has been out of the reach
of most companies because its very expensive and slow. Were developing a system
thats very fast and more accessible.
(Ric Fulop, CEO)

Stratasys launch a new 3D printing platform,

offering another pathway to engage with the
brands additive manufacturing capabilities. A
platform offered predominantly to projects that
do not require processing by a product engineer,
Stratasys Direct Express delivers expertise and
expanded solutions for more advanced applications.

With a useful selection of technology and
material options, the service seems to be ideal
for those in the industry who are already accustomed to the technology but may occasionally
require additional support in terms of print and /
or advise. In addition, Stratasys Direct Express is
available through Photoshop another important cross-platform bridge that only signifies the
increasing adoption of the technology and need
for simplified pipelines. Follow this link for some
instructions straight from the Stratasys Direct
website, as well as a demo video for added support.

The partnership of Stratasys and Adobe
illustrates a joint vision to bring high-quality colour
3D printing to creatives around the world the
first step of which is to send colour files through
Stratasys Direct Express, starting immediately.