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, 2015 – Formlabs, 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.”
Formlabs designs and manufactures powerful and accessible 3D printing systems. Headquartered in Boston with offices in Germany, Japan, and China, the company was founded in 2011 by a team of engineers and designers from the MIT Media Lab and Center for Bits and Atoms. Formlabs is establishing the industry benchmark for professional 3D printing for engineers, designers, and manufacturers around the globe, and accelerating innovation in a variety of industries, including education, dentistry, healthcare, jewelry, and research. Formlabs products include the Form 2 SLA 3D printer, Fuse 1 SLS 3D printer, Form Cell manufacturing solution, and Pinshape marketplace of 3D designs. Formlabs also develops its own suite of high-performance materials for 3D printing, as well as best-in-class 3D printing software.