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!

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!

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!

 

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!”

Hi parents! Hurry up! Tell all your friends that 3D printing will be everywhere soon!

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I am not joking. Those who realize this too late will have missed opportunities to grow businesses, or at the very least, their mind. If you know people with kids, call them! Send them social medial messages or a good old email (always very useful) to tell them that at 3D Roundhouse we teach exactly that: 3D modeling for 3D printing. It is a new way of thinking: 3D thinking. It is a very powerful exercise for your brain, and those of your kids (Science and math genius use it all the time)!

MASS PRODUCTION OF 3D PRINTED SHOES IS COMING IN 2017!

Do you find me a little bit pushy? Do you? Let me tell you what’s happening right now: mass production of 3D printed shoes. What? It is not a mistake. Your eyes have read it right: mass production of 3D printed shoes. My dear 3D Roundhouse faithful readers, you certainly remember my article about 3D printed shoes a few months ago. Only the heels could be printed to personalize ladies’ shoes in some retail stores.

A few weeks ago, I wrote another article about a company I like very much: Carbon. At that time, they had just released their first 3D printing mass production system. And you know what? Adidas is using the Carbon mass production system to 3D print the entire sole of a new sport shoe model: the Futurecraft 4D. (See accompanying photos) This running shoe was presented as a concept in 2015. It will be mass produced this very year. Thanks to the DLS (Digital Light Synthesis) technology developed by Carbon, Adidas can 3D print a very sophisticated sole in one piece. I love this technology. It plays with oxygen and light to solidify many kinds of materials (mainly polymers). It is amazingly fast, clean, strong and accurate. 5,000 pairs of shoes will be commercialized before the end of this year. And more than 100,000 pairs will be made in 2018.

3D PRINTED FABRIC WILL COME FAST TOO!

A little bit further from the consumer world (maybe not for an extended period of time), The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, just published the result of their latest 3D printed creation: space aged chain-mail. This incredible creation will have many applications. The inside can absorb heat; the outside can reflect heat and light. It could protect both space vehicles and astronauts.

If they find a way to 3D print it with a mixture of nanobots, they could create a soft fabric easily foldable and transportable that could become really stiff and take any shapes on demand. The nanobots would give this space fabric the exact shape required by the situation. If I am on a trip on Mars with my son and need to build a hard cover to protect some outside equipment from a sand storm or I am outside myself and have no time to go back to my vehicle, it could be really handy to have this kind of amazing fabric.

You could even add 3D printed solar cells on top and incorporate micro batteries on the bottom to store the energy. I could easily imagine dozens of applications.

Did you know some scientists believe that we will 3D print fabrics when we can print at the micron level (each layer being one millionth of a meter thick)? It will come fast. You will get the exact dress or jacket you have in your mind. Chances are that you will order it using voice commands. An AI (artificial intelligence) entity will take care of every step from the modeling to the delivery a few hours later (maybe a few minutes!). A drone will land right at your door or where you will need to wear this tailor-made masterpiece for the meeting or rendezvous of your life.

3D THINKING IS THE WAY TO GO!

As you can see, things are changing faster than most people think. So, hurry! Spread the word:

3D modeling for 3D printing could help your kids and friends anticipate the change in a much easier way. And there will be so many benefits from it!

Love them or fear them, we parents need to keep an eye on them robots

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My six-year-old daughter will likely join the workforce in the next 15 years or so. Of course, it’s not a good thing to over-manage neither her life nor her career, but what’s a parent to do when we see recent headlines like these about robots?

Economist magazine: Will robots displace humans as motorised vehicles ousted horses?

BBC: Robots to affect up to 30% of UK jobs, says PwC.

 

Love them or fear them, robots are here to stay and their abilities are growing exponentially. We are already seeing early versions of self-driving cars, delivery drones on land and in the air, and, yes, robotic baby sitters.

The PwC report provided some details with these statistics.

– 30% of existing jobs in the UK were potentially at a high risk of automation, compared with 38% in the US, 35% in Germany and 21% in Japan.

– Jobs at high risk from automation:

Transportation and storage – 56%

Manufacturing – 46%

Wholesale and retail trade – 44%

Administrative and support services – 37%

Financial and insurance – 32%

Professional, scientific and technical – 26%

Construction – 24%

Arts and entertainment – 22%

Agriculture, forestry and fishing – 19%

Human health and social work – 17%

Education – 9%

Source: PwC

 

Both reports and articles stressed the importance of educating the workforce to ensure future workers can find jobs. But as a parent of a six-year-old, here are some simple actions that I’m doing, for and with my daughter in the coming years:

  1. Keep an eye on the latest developments. Wherever you source your news, spend at least a few hours a week looking through the science and technology section. If you have not been doing this, you will be very surprised what you come across!
  1. Attend STEAM events with your family. Family friendly STEAM fairs are now available in cities around the world with hundreds of thousands of attendees during these multi-day events. One of the biggest is the Maker Faire, but many schools run science fairs as well. Kids love the hands-on workshops. (In fact, we at 3D Roundhouse will have another booth at the Hong Kong Maker Faire this Saturday and Sunday April 8-9, 2017!)
  1. Take some STEAM workshops with your child. Whether it’s coding, robotics or 3D printing, there is no reason why parents can’t also learn along with their children. Over the past year, 3D Roundhouse has hosted dozens of workshops where parents and their children learn 3D modeling for 3D printing together. You can learn more about our workshops here.

Personally, I believe our children will find peaceful ways to coexist with robots. But as parents, we need to ensure our children can develop the wisdom to use this new technology in a proper and responsible way. The best way to do so is to understand what robots are and how they work. Working with your children to become more knowledgeable about the STEAM fields is a really great way to do so.

C.I.C. (Curiosity, Imagination and Creativity) is the best asset for our kids

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Hi Parents!

Do you remember the good old days? When we used to print with one 3D printer at a time? It was far away in the past: in November 2016!!!

I am not kidding! It is amazing how faster and faster things are moving. And you know what? I think the acceleration of the change has accelerated 😊 a lot in a few months.

I give you one example right away. In my November 2016 article “Parents, Simple And Effective Experiences To Do Good For Your Children’s Future”, I talked about a company named Carbon. At the beginning of 2016 they presented a revolutionary 3D printer: the M1. The speed and quality of the print were amazing. A few months later, as I was writing about them, they were almost overtaken by competitors.

Since my article, only four months ago, Carbon has improved a lot its products. They just launched a revolutionary 3D printing system you can scale up at will: The Carbon Speedcell™.

START YOUR OWN 3D PRINTING FACTORY

“Stop prototyping. Start producing” is the slogan you can see on the front page on their website. The idea is to use from one to as many as you need M1 or the new M2 3D printer, add one or several Smart Part Washer (a machine able to clean up 3D printed models very fast) and you can start your own 3D printing factory anywhere you want. You can print with many different materials. Soft, hard, high temperature resistant and many, many more.

NewPro3D was the “opponent” of Carbon in my former article. What will be their answer to the Carbon Speedcell? I don’t know yet. They have an impressive ILI technology (Intelligent Liquid Interface) to play with to create amazing 3D printers but nothing appears on their website. Maybe a surprise in a few months? A few weeks? A few days? Tomorrow???

These new technologies give us new possibilities. Somebody will have to come up with new ideas. Our kids could do it.

APPLY THE C.I.C. METHOD

Things are moving so fast now. Being able to find the right information or idea at the right time AND being able to use it appropriately is a skill more and more looked after in the professional world. New problems need new solutions.

Dads and mums, keep nurturing and improving the Curiosity, Imagination and Creativity of your sons and daughters. It will allow them to make the difference with the crowd when they will face new services or products. Curiosity, Imagination and Creativity will help them to come up with new solutions when new problems, or opportunities, will stand in front of them. They will become the go-to person in their companies.

 

Parents, keep up the good job!

“3D printing can be as expressive as painting.”

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So says Dr. Neil Gershenfeld, Massachusetts Institute of Technology physics professor and founder of the Centre for Bits & Atoms (CBA) in this SCMP article.

Parents! Please take a moment to consider this extremely profound statement by one of the leading technology thinkers of our time. (The New York Times has dubbed Dr. Gershenfeld as “the intellectual godfather of the maker movement.”)

CBA

Dr. Neil Gershenfeld, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Our children spend countless hours engaged in various forms of painting – first finger, then brush, on paper, canvas, pottery, toys, etc. Why? Because painting has been an excellent and intuitive way for children to define and express themselves. In fact, this has been the case since our ancestors lived in caves!

But with 3D printing, we now have a more streamlined tool to help us move beyond 2D to “paint” in 3D. It’s a huge change! First, just by adding the third dimension, 3D printing allows our children to extend their imagination beyond the two dimensional limitations of a typical flat sheet of paper. Second, as 3D printers improve with lower costs and newer materials, children can consider material as well as color in their creations. Here, 3D printing even surpasses sculpting, which is mainly in one material. Finally, we have already witnessed 3D prints that cannot be made by traditional manufacturing methods, such as this sculpture in the photo below.

A woman stands behind the a 3D printed sculptur ‘Myrstaw’ by Belgian designer Nick Ervinck during the international fairs FabCon 3.D and Rapid.Tech in Erfurt, central Germany, Wednesday, June 10, 2015. 145 exhibitors from all over the world present their products until June 11, 2015. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)

Given this, can 3D printing be EVEN MORE expressive than painting? How can we use this new tool to help our children reach their full potential? And most importantly, how many of those paintings hanging on refrigerators can be replaced by even more intricate 3D prints? 😉 We should wholly support our children to see!