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 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.

“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!

How are your child’s “portfolios of creative works” coming along?

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Quora, the website where questions are asked, answered, edited and organized by its community of users, recently sent a series of questions to Salman Khan, Founder of the Khan Academy, on the very important issue of education. Here is one of the questions I found the most relevant to my own situation, as I have a six year old child, where he mentions “portfolios of creative works.”

How will education change in the next 10 years?

Competency Based Credentials

Today’s high school and college diplomas are based more on how much time you spent in class rather than what you are actually capable of. This is why colleges and employers see so little information in traditional diplomas/transcripts and, instead, turn to things like standardized exams, peer assessment and portfolios of creative work.

I think that in 10 years, you will have globally recognized credentials that are independent of any individual academic institution. In order to achieve them, you need to prove skill competency, have great peer reviews, and have an impressive portfolio (I believe that you should have a portfolio regardless of what you want to do in life).

 

Building “portfolios of creative works” makes a lot of sense to me, particularly the “creative” part. I think most parents, myself included, hope their child can develop into his or her own person. There should be a strong sense of self worth and independent thinking as he or she builds some type of career. Given this, I also think 3D modeling and 3D printing could be an excellent tool to create such portfolios!

Imagine how a college or job application would stand out if a child has a portfolio of 3D printed product prototypes, which she has worked on for the last 5-10 years. Each item would have its own evolution story where the child could explain herself. The items can be from different industries – for a school application – or one specific industry – for a job application. If the job is in a service industry, the creative aspect of the portfolio can be reviewed. But ultimately and most importantly, this “portfolio of creative works” would be an excellent tool for both interviewer and interviewee to see if they are suitable for each other. Thanks Mister Khan for your excellent idea!

 

Can the Off switch be the best way to deal with rising technology?

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Over the holidays, I proposed this idea to a friend of mine who has a six year old daughter as I do, “If robots are going to take over our childrens’ jobs in the future, we should make sure our children maintain their sense of creativity to stay one step ahead. 3D printing is one great way to do that because anyone can express their creativity through the 3D models.” She replied, “When I hear you say that, my initial reaction is to turn all the machines off and revert to farming!”

Thinking Robot — Image by © Blutgruppe/Corbis

In a sense, she is correct. We’ve already seen the Open Letter on Artificial Intelligence published in early 2015 when Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk and many other leading thinkers in the tech field publicly voiced the opinion that AI could provide great benefits, but could also end the human race if used unwisely.

Fortunately, the letter resulted in the October 2016 funding and opening of the Centre for the Future of Intelligence (CFI) at Cambridge, where its researchers, including Hawking himself, will strive to this goal: “to work together to ensure that we humans make the best of the opportunities of artificial intelligence as it develops over coming decades.” Hopefully, they can set the guidelines that can help us avoid those worse case scenarios that they raised in the prior year.

Getting back to our six year old daughters, perhaps the best strategy is a little of each. Our children obviously need to get familiar with the STEAM subjects, because their livelihood could depend greatly on their grasp of these subjects. But there’s nothing wrong with just turning off the machines every once in a while to understand something as simple and important as how we get our nutrition. It’s a balance and that balancing act is one of the most important lessons we should give our children. I think even the researchers at the new CFI would totally agree.

How 3D Printing Teams Up with STEAM

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Hi Parents! Have you had a good time with your loved ones? I hope so. If not, it happens from time to time, please remember to criticize your child’s behavior and not him. It will make a huge difference on his self-esteem level when he will grow up.

Do you know the STEM acronym?

If not, here it is in full: Science Technology Engineering Mathematics. Many countries are aiming to increase these kinds of teaching to prepare students for the world we will live in very, very soon (actually, we are already one foot in it). Billions are poured in programs to make the future workforce more up to date in these fields.

I think it is a good thing. But, in my opinion, we need to add one more field to foster a better future: Art. It is not only my opinion. Many people and organizations around the world think that it is a key element to boost STEM through the roof. Many of them use the acronym STEAM instead of STEM.

What form of art and why?

Well, I think that any form of art could provide some positive benefit to STEM. Many great inventors and leaders in the past and even today were passionate with one or several forms of art. Music and painting, just to name a few, were crucial in the work and creative process of geniuses. Einstein and his violin is one of the most famous examples.

When leaders in technology and education work together

The famous Makerbot company, bought by another famous 3D printer manufacturer Stratasys (here is a really good and detailed article about this acquisition by a 3D printing world reference: Joris Peels), has set up an initiative in India to promote exactly what we are talking about: STEAM.

veltech-university

The General Manager for Makerbot Stratasys India, Mr Rajiv Bajaj, teamed up with Veltech University officials to deliver for free 3D printing three-day training sessions. Up to 800 middle and high-school teachers in India are attending these seminars over a period of four weeks (it started two weeks ago). They are learning how to integrate into their existing curriculum all the activities related to 3D printing, like design, creativity, critical thinking and problem solving. They will be taught how to use 3D modeling software and all the steps to do rapid prototyping, using a 3D printer with their students.

All these activities are STEAM related and focus towards one goal: preparing students to thrive in the jobs of tomorrow.

makerbot-and-veltech

So, while you will be focused around science, technology, engineering and mathematics, don’t forget to do many artistic activities with your children. It will be good for the mood, for the brain and will give them a competitive edge on the right track for a fulfilling life.

 

PARENTS, SIMPLE AND EFFECTIVE EXPERIENCES TO DO GOOD FOR YOUR CHILDREN’S FUTURE

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Hi parents! Do you remember the problems I have listed in my last post? I wanted to give you detailed answers to all of them one by one but I realized it would be far too long for one weekly blog post. It would require many pages to do it as good as you deserve. So I decided to make it short. If you really want to get my extensive answers to all the problems, feel free to write your comments below this post, send me an email or post your request on our social media pages. I will answer all of your questions and maybe I will create a free report for you. Thanks!

Globalization requires technical proficiency + employability skills

As a result of globalization, every country will require that both sides of the competitiveness equation be fulfilled. The 4th industrial revolution, that is giving back some power to local actors on their local market, will emphasize this requirement. Employees will need to be, at the same time, technically proficient and experts in their employability skills.

globalization

Technical proficiency is quite common nowadays (the education system is quite good at it). CEOs and HR managers agree with that. They have no problem finding applicants with technical proficiency. They have much more problem finding employability skills in the people they need to hire.

What does it mean? The education system doesn’t teach you critical thinking skills but more something like “the ONLY ANSWER is …”. Even if they don’t always say exactly that, the idea is the same. You don’t consider all the possible answers. Instead, you have to stick to the conventional solutions. So, instead of “Think outside the box” you have ”Think inside the box.”

Here are some of the most important skills CEOs are looking for (at all skills levels):

Critical thinkingchief_exec_desk

Problem solving

Time management

Self-motivation

Decision-making

Good communication and collaboration

Creativity

How to teach your children to “think outside the box”

Here are a few ideas:

Instead of teaching dogmas, ask more questions, explore other pathways to get the problem solved.

shutterstock_120611212Make a habit to do things with your children outside of their (and your) comfort zone. Do things in new way to see it and live it differently.

If your child is right-handed, encourage him to use is left hand instead. Do it with him. It is a really interesting experience.

Another great one: let your child, under your supervision for the safety (but not for the creation!), create a cake or a meal by himself. Go with him to the marketplace, give him his own budget, and let him buy the vegetables, ingredients, etc. so that he can make his own creation. After the tasting, review with him every step from the idea to the finish product. Ask questions; make him question himself about what he has done and what he could have done differently. You will be amazed by your child’s creativity and his ability to challenge himself.

Give them opportunities to do stimulating and thought-provoking activities.

Tell them to ask questions as much as they think they need to be clear about something they are seeing or thinking about.

I know, sometimes we would prefer quiet kids, who don’t ask too many questions or don’t ask any questions at all. But never forget that the few years at the start will foster the right mindset they will need to thrive when they will have grown up. And you will be proud to have done so well with your descendants.

Working in the field of 3D printing example

Imagine you are working in the field of 3D printing. In fact, I think that any field could do, but let’s stick with our beloved 3D printing field.

carbon3d_in_actionYou work in a company that has just invented a new way to print much faster and with almost no after-print processing and cleaning and your company name is Carbon3D. You think that you have a big advantage over the competitors. You even do an amazing TED talk that will have been viewed more than 2 millions times. All the people in your company have invested a lot of time and energy to get that breakthrough. Lots of money has been invested too. How long do you think your competitive advantage will last?

The answer speaks volumes about the speed of evolution in the 21st century: less than one year.

newpro3d_in_actionA competitor company, NewPro3D has invented a process to print faster than Carbon3D, with any type of resin (Carbon3D uses proprietary ones), and instead of being limited to the print bed, NewPro3D’s technology can print objects as much as 7.5 meters long.

I have another question for you:

Do you think that technical proficiency has been enough to make these two companies so innovative? Do you think that their managers will ask their team members to think inside the box, to use conformist thinking in order to go ahead faster and create new machines, materials or processes?

Of course not. Workers in these companies will use each and every skill I mentioned above in order to stay competitive. Everybody will have to collaborate if they want to stay on course and grow. Engineers will have to create something that probably doesn’t exist yet. Even the marketing service will have to be really creative and good in communication and collaboration both internally and externally (with other teams, prospects, journalists or customers).

I will finish with a few words from Richard Riley, former U.S. Secretary of Education. He summarized quite well the challenges and at the same time opportunities that lies ahead for us and, even more, for our children:

“The jobs in the greatest demand in the future don’t yet exist and will require workers to use technologies that have not yet been invented to solve problems that we don’t yet even know are problems.”

In my next blog post, I will tell you a few words about the STEAM you could put in your children engines.

 Have a great day!

Artificial Intelligence + 3D printer = ???

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What could be the offspring of a 3D printer and an Artificial Intelligence entity?

What’s your craziest dream?

I am sure that you have had a really crazy dream from time to time, whether it is when you are sleeping or daydreaming. For sure, I have had one. For those of you who know me well, you are already aware that I have many crazy ideas when we touch the technology or the human brain field. I love to push my ideas as far as possible. Try to do it. It is exceptional to maintain or reignite and boost the great creativity you already have between your ears.

Artificial-intelligence-479x250

Would you like to be able to speak to a 3D printer to ask him to print something special for you? Yeah, me too!

Here is my craziest dream related to 3D printing and WHY it will be that way:

Once upon a time, on earth, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) entity will meet a 3D printer. She will fall in love with this funny and attaching machine. Their love will be so strong that they will find a way to create together a progeny.

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What could be the offspring of an AI entity with a 3D printer?

Any idea? I give you a few seconds to think about it.

The offspring of an AI entity with a 3D printer will be a 3D printer able to reproduce itself without human intervention. That one seems obvious, right? Imagine a 3D printer that could print its own parts in order to repair itself or to create another 3D printer like it. “He is able to replicate himself, so what?” OK, I hear you. Do you want some more?

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Allow me to guide you through the next steps.

What if he could 3D print something new? Not a spare part in a new flashy color but a 3D printer more technologically advanced. For example, imagine a 3D printer able to use better materials to print an autonomous robotic entity able to use Artificial Intelligence to think by itself. Something like in the “I, Robot” movie but one-step further. (In the movie, with Will Smith as the main human character, only one robot is really thinking by itself and the others are controlled by a central artificial intelligence).

I have an entire story ready about that subject (including nanomaterials and nanoparticles and, of course, the planet Mars) but to make it short, I will jump to the scariest step of that evolution.

What if, after a few iterations, he was able to 3D print living cells? What if he was able to differentiate cells to create an entire living organism? What do you think this living organism could look like? Would it be something unknown or something like a human being? Will it replace us or enhance us? And if this super 3D printer has some humor, maybe it will upload a human mind in the thinking part of its creation.

Maybe the ultimate augmented human being could start with a not so improbable technological “love story”…

End (or beginning???) of the story.

child-ai-brain

Artificial Intelligence and 3D printing will meet one day. It’s inevitable. The obvious first step will be to add natural language processing and some AI to be able to ask what you want to be printed (personalized pieces of equipment, exclusive clothes or accessories, food, pets,…).

MAYBE IT WILL TAKE SOME TIME TO HAPPEN. BUT THINK ABOUT IT, ARE YOU NOT ALREADY INTERACTING WITH ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE WHEN YOU DO A RESEARCH ON INTERNET OR TALK TO YOUR PHONE TO ASK FOR SOMETHING?