3D printing + licensing deal = ticket into a top university?

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OK this topic about licensing will likely result in quite a few blogs, so I’ll start with a series of questions to set the stage.

  1. Are children really more creative than their parents?
  2. Can we parents work with them to invent a new product using 3D printing to prototype?
  3. Would a manufacturer really accept our idea and how do we protect it?
  4. Can my child really earn his own college fund?
  5. Would a licensing deal help if and when our child applies to university?

Out of this list, I think most of you will agree that the final question is the easiest to answer. Of course a university admissions board would welcome a child who played a leading role in a product idea that has been successfully sold to a manufacturer. They might even offer the child a scholarship based on ingenuity and leadership. Universities are centers of cutting edge research and advance thinking. If your child can demonstrate creativity that’s also proven commercially viable, universities would certainly embrace him or her with open arms. It’s a natural fit.

The other questions, however, will need more time to answer. I’ll explore the world of licensing in the coming blogs and report back to you. (What I’ve seen so far seems promising!)

Before I end this blog, let me say this: 3D printing can play a big role in this process because you can design as many prototypes as you want using freely available 3D modeling software. (We just added the very powerful Fusion 360 into our Starter Kit.) If you want your design 3D printed but don’t have a printer, just search on line for the nearest 3D printing service bureau. You can send them the file and they can send you your prototype in a few days or even sooner. This is the WHOLE POINT of 3D printing; the power of creating new products is now in the hands of the people, not necessarily controlled by big corporations. More to come!

The Brand New Way to be in Fashion in Your Own Way (Round 2)

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Parents, do you agree or not that the pace of innovation and change is faster now than one year ago? Do you want a real-life example?

In October last year, I wrote an article about a French shoemaker that wanted to use 3D printers in its stores. The idea was to allow customers to personalize their shoes, more specifically the heel.

Most of these projects never reach retail stores. They are marketing material just to create a buzz. Eram, the French shoemaker, sees it differently. Eram seems to walk the talk (which is quite funny to walk the talk when your core business is the manufacture of shoes 😊 ).

 

Ladies, if you live in the lovely west part of France (or want to take some holidays there), you can go to the City of Nantes and ask to personalize your own pair of shoes. Using a tablet, you will be able to choose the shape, the color, add or remove some details and validate your own creation. Once printed, you will be able to leave the store wearing a unique pair of shoes. If a few weeks later your taste or your mood has changed, you can get a new pair of unique heels designed by you for just 10 Euro.

 

Why am I coming back to that story? I want to make it really clear that creativity, critical thinking and imagination will be the kind of skills your children will not have the luxury to live without if they want to enjoy their lives.

Do you want your son to be the guy who opens the gate where you live or work? Do you want your daughter to be the cashier where you buy your morning coffee? I am sure you want something more fulfilling for your loved ones. And you know what? These kinds of jobs will no longer exist once they will have grown up. Automation and artificial intelligence will make people at this level of competency useless. Yes, useless. I am quite confident you will continue your good parenting work and stimulate, encourage and boost your kids as much as you can. I am really extra sure that you don’t want them to get the Universal Basic Income once it will be available.

 

3D THINKING is more than ever the way to go!

 

Enjoy your day!

看3D打印技术如何改变我们的教育和经济

Chinese
近来,3D打印技术备受关注。新公司还正在开发更便宜、更高效的3D打印机,我们已经看到了未出生婴儿的面部、人和动物假肢以及无数新奇玩具由此被创造打印出来。

Continue reading

How to design your own 3D printable fidget spinner

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Sure you can download a fidget spinner design from Thingaverse, but what’s the fun of that?! It’s quite easy to design your own using, for example, an entry-level 3D modeling software like Tinkercad. Here’s how I created a very simple but very personalized spinner.

We’re going to make this fidget spinner.

1. Under Basic Shapes, grab a solid Box and give it these dimensions.

W: 75

D: 30

H: 7

In its Inspector box on the right, give it a Radius of 3.

2. Under Basic Shapes, grab a Hole Cylinder and give it these dimensions.

W: 22.1 (Spinner bearings are 22mm in diameter, so we are making the hole slightly larger, although it might need to get as much as 0.5mm depending on the 3D printer used. The bearing should fit snuggly in the hole.)

D: 22.1

H: 10

In its Inspector box on the right, give it Sides of 64 to make it smooth.

3. Use the Align tool to center the Hole with the Box.

4. Duplicate the Hole and move it 25mm to the right. Duplicate the first Hole and move it 25mm to the left. Group the three holes with the box. It should look like this when you are done.

5. Grab the Text tool, use your name and give it these dimensions.

W: 65

D: 5

H: 3

6. Rotate your name and Align it with the spinner body. Remember to align it with the center of the spinner’s height.

7. Duplicate your name and repeat it on the other side. Group everything and you are done.

8. Remove the bearings from your store bought spinner and enjoy your own customized fidget spinner!

 

(Yes making a tri-fidget spinner is also possible with Tinkercad although, it will take many more steps. Start with this easy one for now. Enjoy!)

 

 

Has Michelin just created something great using 3D printing technology?

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Today, I just want to give you an update about an industry that was quite conservative until one day the 3D printing revolution took off.

Your kids would love it if it was already available. So much funnier than the regular ones.

What is the common point between your car, your bicycle and the pair of roller your kids like so much? Yes, the wheels. And that’s the expertise area of Michelin, the tire manufacturer. Like all the big player in this industry (Michelin ranks year after year in the top three), it is doing intensive research for the future using 3D printing technology.

I already wrote an article about the Good Year project using 3D printing. Amazing concept but, in my opinion, quite far in the future to reach the market. Michelin has a less revolutionary approach but is also really creative and much more pragmatic. The idea is to commercialize a wheel with no air, designed to last as long as your car (and maybe, one day, bicycle, rollers…).

The tread of the wheel could be 3D printed when it is excessively worn out or when a different kind of tire could be required for your safety, for example in snowy conditions.

Dear dads and mums, please bear in mind that everything you see that has been unchanged for so many years could be challenged by the 3D printing revolution. Play with your children and try to imagine what all the things around you could become if you could 3D print them. Challenge them and ask them to challenge you. In the future, the only limits will be the ones our kids will have when they will have grown up. If we do a good parent’s “job”, it should be very interesting and creative.

Have a great day!

公司未来发展的主要动力就靠这些

Chinese

我们已经看到过无数的例子,其中3D打印技术可以改善企业的性能,并彻底改变其运作方式。通过近期Gartner做的一项调查,可以看出公司高管不利用这些尖端技术的全部潜力,如人工智能、数据区块链(Blockchain)受访的388位首席执行官和其他高管认为这些新技术正在被“非常低”的实施和利用在商业中,而这些技术很有可能在未来五年推动生产力的主要动力。 Continue reading

Five ways to find quality time with your children

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How is your work/life balance? Do you have difficulty finding quality time with your children? I’m far from being Elon Musk-busy, but I am involved in three separate start-up businesses, serve on three school committees, run weekly as well as weekend 3D printing workshops and have finally found time to begin learning a martial art. I work 10-11 hours a day, averaging about a dozen calls or meetings each week. So how to I find quality time for my daughter? Here are my own top five ways for your comparison.

  1. Use a calendar. I’m quite surprised when I meet people, especially some business owners, who don’t use calendars. Even if you don’t follow David Allen’s Getting Things Done (GTD) methods exactly, calendars help because you’ve unloaded that appointment onto a storage system, which frees your mind up for other things like your son’s football game.

  1. Practice the Two-Minute Rule. Also from GTD is the Two-Minute Rule, which states that if you can perform a task in two minutes or less, then you should do it immediately. It’s not going to take you off course by much and you need to do it anyways. This rule made a big difference for me, as I was surprised how many tasks don’t need more than two minutes of my work time.

 

  1. Use One-on-One meetings at work. This one is huge! Thirty-minute, One-on-One meetings, where you discuss your keys issues at work, are effective because they put you on the same page with your partners, staff and associates. You work together to solve problems, which reinforces your relationship with them and boosts efficiency. When your work runs more efficiently, it’s just more time for your child.

 

  1. Explain when you can’t make it. Of course, sometimes you run across the proverbial monkey wrench at work and your family plans go out the window. One thing that I’ve found that works is to take a deep breath and explain as much as possible the reasons why you need to cancel your plans. It will teach the children how the “working world” works and because they generally enjoy learning new things, they will understand. This in itself is a type of bonding experience.

  1. Exercise and eat right. This is another big one because children are just more energetic than adults due to their faster metabolism. When adults exercise and eating right, we accelerate our metabolism, boosting our energy so we can keep up. In our house, dad and daughter just started learning Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu together so I certainly need to keep moving!

These are my top methods for creating quality time for my daughter. What’s yours?

What if I had found the best 8 years old birthday gift ever?

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Hi parents!

My son’s birthday comes up soon but let me tell you what happened last Monday night. The scientific and business development departments of the French Embassy in China organized an event around 3D printing. Of course, I jumped on the occasion to see and learn new things.

To make a long story short, a delegation from France comprised of entrepreneurs, teachers, and researchers was there. It was really high level in industrial 3D printing and research (I will probably give you more details in another blog post). There were some Chinese speakers too. One of them was a great Architect-Artist-Entrepreneur named Lei Yu. This amazing and creative guy is a specialist in 3D printing. To work on his projects in the best conditions possible, he has created the best place I have ever seen to let creative minds like himself and his team do amazing pieces of art for his lucky customers.

Just look at the pictures. I am sure that lots of you would like to spend many hours and days there with your children to give birth to all your funny and crazy ideas. For sure, my son and I would like to do it.

More than 1,000 3D printed pieces!

Lei Yu has assembled his own big volume 3D printers. He has even designed his own model of a 3D printer head to meet the requirements of his projects. He can easily switch from one kind of printing material to another simply by changing the head. Smart idea, don’t you think? One of his creations has more than 1,000 different 3D printed pieces.

And do you know what incredible tool he uses for some of his projects? A robotic arm! In fact, he has several of them. The biggest is at least four meters long! He and his team have coded their own program to make these robotic arms 3D print huge structures. It seems that these robots are writing in the air. Impressive.

And what do you think I asked Lei Yu?

My son will have his birthday in about one month. I asked Lei Yu if it was possible to come back to see this incredible place in a few weeks with my son. He kindly agreed.

Can you imagine an 8 years old boy, with his “under construction” brain, in a workshop like this with so many 3D printers, tools and materials? He will be more than excited. And when he will see these incredible robotic arms in action, he will be amazed beyond limits.

Why do all of that?

I want that my son to see this kind of place because I would like him to have an open mind on possibilities and opportunities. Department stores and malls are sometimes useful but they do little to enhanced our loved one’s mind in a way that will be mandatory to have a great life.

I encourage all of you, parents, to shut down the TV screen and to create or find places that will ignite the brain of these future adults.

I wish you a creative day!

 

如何使孩子们在未来缩短书本与实践的距离?

Chinese

随着中国经济日新月异的不断发展,我们对外的开放程度也日益深远。“一带一路”政策的制定与执行,也使得中国经济与世界的紧密度越来越契合。种种这些都是不断要求莘莘学子的能力要更加复合和提升竞争力。那么,到底什么样的人才更能迎合和满足当下的经济环境和职场氛围呢?根据麦肯锡的一份针对中国职场人员调查的报告可以看出,具有以下素养的人就是雇主们想要得到的人才。 Continue reading

Five reasons why learning 3D printing today will help children prepare for the future

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In my earlier blogs, I covered the advice of education leaders Salman Khan, Founder of the Khan Academy, and Dr. Neil Gershenfeld, founder of the Centre for Bits & Atoms (CBA) at MIT. They both encourage discovery and creativity. Dr. Gershenfeld specifically noted the expressiveness of 3D printing. Now I want to add my own five reasons why learning 3D printing today will help children get ready for their own technology infused future.

  1. Getting a head start as the tech will “mature” about the time our children enter the workforce. 3D printers are just beginning to make usable parts. HP’s long awaited Multi-Jet Fusion technology just hit the market this year. Its thermoplastic material, which you can see in this video, is strong enough to pick up a car. In 10-15 years time, 3D printers will be far more advanced, likely linked to AI software, but still in need of the human touch. This is where and when our children will take the controls.
  2. It will be used in many different industries. Automotive, medical, electronics, toys, even food are just a few examples. Let your child design something today from any of these industries and perhaps they can find something they love for a lifetime! If you don’t try it, you’ll never know.

3D Roundhouse’s Family 3D Printing Workshops

  1. 3D designs help children think out of the box. Children are naturals at creating pictures with crayons and paper. Imagine how much more creative they can be if that design is in 3D instead. On top of this, they can realize their designs on a 3D printer.
  2. It can promote teamwork. While I really enjoy reinforcing the bond I have with my daughter whenever we corroborate on a new design, I believe she is also learning about teamwork. I have my own strengths and weaknesses and she has her own. We try different ideas until we get to the desired result. (OK I admit most of the 3D prints end up in her favorite pink color, but I think it’s just a phase!)

Elizabeth’s pink bow

  1. It helps them define their own likes and dislikes. 3D printing is all about customization. As children grow, it’s sometimes difficult to know what’s favorable to them and what’s not. Using a computer to design an actual object, children can run as many trials and errors as they want, until they find their very own sweet spot. Self-definition is a key part of growing up. As Shakespeare said, “To thine own self be true!”