Ultimaker, a leader in professional 3D printing, today launched its inaugural Innovators List: a celebration of the most unexpected, game-changing and inspirational uses of 3D printing across business and education this year. While 2020 turned out to be a year of disrupted supply chains and lifestyles, working from home drove unexpected digital collaboration and strengthened creativity and innovation. The 2020 Innovators List includes more than 25 visionaries using 3D printing to transform the way people work, think, and live, from the development of face masks, the production of bionic prosthetics, motorcycle parts and bespoke lingerie. For further information see the IDTechEx report on 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing 2020-2030: COVID Edition.
These visionaries are the ones who maintain their original sense of child-like wonder and curiosity when it comes to new technologies. "The Innovators List reminds us to maintain our natural sense of wonder for this technology and the curiosity that goes with it," said Nuno Campos, CMO at Ultimaker. "The best innovations don't emerge from boardrooms; instead they come from creative individuals who can apply new technologies in different ways."
One of the innovators on the inaugural list is Jeremy Robinson, Motocross Racing Technologist at Kawasaki Motors Corp., USA. His team often have an urgent need for different custom parts for the Kawasaki KX™450 motorcycle to fit their riders' specific needs. "In our sport we sometimes only have 24 to 72 hours to solve complex issues that might arise from the previous race event before heading to the next one. 3D printing in-house gives us the opportunity to create solutions to problems in a short timeframe and a competitive advantage."
Lidewij van Twillert uses the technology for a very different reason. She is an innovator who decided to use 3D printing to create a custom, patented breast support element called the Curvearis, which precisely follows body curves and is based on a personal 3D body scan.
On a larger scale, L'Oréal was able to use its industrial 3D printer network to develop and provide COVID-19 Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for collaborators and frontline services. Matthew Forrester, Additive Manufacturing Manager at L'Oréal says the company launched two 3D printed perfume designs onto the market. "We are benefiting 3D printing in the rapid prototyping of new packaging designs every day."
Material choice is one of the key considerations for an engineer when it comes to product development. Niklas Eutebach, Development Engineer for Additive Manufacturing at the German company igus GmbH notes: "We won't rest until every conceivable material can be 3D printed - plastics, metals, ceramics, composites, fibers, concrete, organic tissue, meat and moon dust. Our latest development is 'motion plastics'. These materials are superior in wear resistance compared to other plastics used in 3D printing. They are used as functional parts in moving applications, and can often replace metal components, reducing weight and the need for additional lubrication."
At the German chemical company BASF, Tobias Rödlmeier is working on metal fused filament fabrication (FFF) projects. The team rethinks design and creates tools that bring about unique, previously impossible results. "The most sustainable success and benefits for customers are achieved when interdisciplinary and cross-company teams work together," Rödlmeier said.
About the 2020 Innovators List
The 2020 Ultimaker Innovators List is the first in what is planned to become a yearly celebration of desktop 3D printing technology and the innovative results than can be achieved through its use. The 2020 Innovators List was compiled through nominations from Ultimaker's Community and Content Marketing teams. The full list is available at https://ultimaker.com/innovators.
Since 2011, Ultimaker has built an open and easy-to-use solution of 3D printers, software, and materials that enable professional designers and engineers to transform the way they manufacture. Over 400 employees work together to accelerate the world's transition to digital manufacturing.