Jun. 23, 2015

Formlabs and Solid Conference Partner to Build Unprecedented Pop-Up Factory

Real-time micro-factory to make social networking wearables for attendees at the second annual conference on hardware, software and Internet of Things

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. and SOMERVILLE, Mass., Jun. 23, 2015Formlabs, the makers of the Form 1+ SLA 3D Printer, joined forces with O’Reilly’s Solid and a handful of manufacturing partners to build a pop-up factory that will be making fully-functional social networking wearables for attendees live during the conference at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco on June 23-25.

“A real-time micro-factory of this scale has never been attempted before at a conference like Solid,” said David Cranor, Associate Chair of O’Reilly’s Solid Conference. “We are proud to partner with Formlabs in this unprecedented endeavor to demonstrate 3D printing’s vital role in the new world of agile global manufacturing where hardware, software, and the Internet of Things intersect.”

Along a real manufacturing line and wall of Formlabs 3D printers, the micro-factory will turn raw components and 3D printing resin into social networking wearables/wristbands called Alike Bands. Designed by computational artist and designer Marcelo Coelho, the Alike Band signals the common interests of people through sensors and LEDs in the band. Attendees can grab one hot off the line when they get to Solid, use it as a smart networking icebreaker to meet other members of the hardware and IoT community, and see how social wearables can change the way they interact.

“This exhibit illustrates the real power of 3D printing. We’re manufacturing 500 one-of-a-kind electronics for conference attendees to wear. This level of customization is really difficult through normal mass manufacturing,” said Will Walker of Formlabs. “We’re really excited to push the boundaries of how we think about making things and Solid is the perfect place to showcase this idea.”

As part of a special run, Formlabs will print 500 unique, computationally-generated wristband enclosures. These unconventional networking icebreakers will be available on a first come, first served basis for attendees at the pop-up factory, which will run throughout Solid on June 23-25 at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco.

On June 25, Ian Ferguson, lead engineer at Formlabs, will share insights on product development for hardware startups in his talk, “Around the block again: Tricks and tools learned in the trenches building a follow-on product.”

About Formlabs

Formlabs is expanding access to digital fabrication, so anyone can make anything. Headquartered in Somerville, Massachusetts with offices in Germany, Japan, China, Singapore, Hungary, and North Carolina, Formlabs is the professional 3D printer of choice for engineers, designers, manufacturers, and decision makers around the globe. Formlabs products include the Form 3, Form 3B and Form 3L, powered by an advanced form of stereolithography (SLA) called Low Force Stereolithography (LFS)™ 3D printing, Form 2 SLA 3D printer, Form Wash and Form Cure post-processing solutions, Fuse 1 SLS 3D printer, and Form Cell manufacturing solution. Formlabs also develops its own suite of high-performance materials that continue to push the boundaries for 3D printing, as well as best-in-class 3D printing software.

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