3DP Gets Down To Business: The “Inside 3D Printing Conference & Expo” In NYC

3D Systems Corporation demo of Cubify Sculpt with haptic interface at the company's booth---"Inside 3D Printing Conference & Expo," Javits Center, NYC, 23 April 2013

In All Revolutions, Pitchforks & Torches Have Been For Sale: In Our 3DP Uprising, We’re Printing Them DIY…

The “Inside 3D Printing Conference & Expo” here in New York (Javits Center) on 22 and 23 April was a debut occasion. It was the first national B2B event to focus on the business—and the business opportunities—within the revolutionary commerce of Additive Manufacturing.

Peter Weijmarshausen (left), CEO & Co-Founder, Shapeways, preparing to Keynote, & Conference MC Hod Lipson, Associate Professor, Cornell University---"Inside 3D Printing Conference & Expo," Javits Center, NYC, 23 April 2013

Peter Weijmarshausen (left), CEO & Co-Founder, Shapeways, preparing to Keynote, & Conference MC Hod Lipson, Associate Professor, Cornell University—”Inside 3D Printing Conference & Expo,” Javits Center, NYC, 23 April 2013

At “Inside 3D Printing,” the emphasis was less on geewhiz and more on get monetized. The event atmosphere—as in the PC or Internet Revolutions—was tinctured with intoxicating scent of importuning opportunity. Many at the show—especially the new-comers to the industry—had the eye-gleam of the inebriated.

Some VCs, Wall Streeters and consultants led small coteries or individual clients around sessions and show stands. Or, better said, parentally hand-held present or prospective patrons who—like sweetly ignorant and exuberant small children—seemed intent on running to clutch every bright, shiny thing.

And, there WERE so many of those on display—at the conference keynotes and sessions (25 presentations) and on the small expo floor (17 exhibitors). Think the toy emporium FAO Schwarz re-positionsed and re-initialed 3DP Schwarz—for adults and their novel playthings (and the beribboned expectations of boundless business opportunities).

Avi Reichental (center), President & CEO, 3D Systems Corporation, at informal Q&A in front of his company's booth---"Inside 3D Printing Conference & Expo," Javits Center, NYC, 23 April 2013

Avi Reichental (center), President & CEO, 3D Systems Corporation, at informal Q&A in front of his company’s booth—”Inside 3D Printing Conference & Expo,” Javits Center, NYC, 23 April 2013

On the one hand, our 3DP Revolution may be more rational than the other tech-engined upheavals we’ve experienced. It’s been gathering steam for twenty years or more. This current, frenzied iteration of the 3DP industry has mutated from the relatively staid rapid-prototyping niche in manufacturing, architecture and industrial design.

On the other hand, a kind of Moore’s Law of exponential 3DP advance now seems to be driving us all up the Additive-Manufactured shaft of the hockey-stick curve—laser-sintered of powder-bed titanium, of course…

3D Systems Corporation 3DP'd samples at the company's booth---"Inside 3D Printing Conference & Expo," Javits Center, NYC, 23 April 2013

3D Systems Corporation 3DP’d samples at the company’s booth—”Inside 3D Printing Conference & Expo,” Javits Center, NYC, 23 April 2013

3D Printing As Commercial Prospect: Incipient Bonanza or Inherent Bubble?

Anyone with the correct answer to this headlined query could 3DP their own gold-bullion bars.

Actually, there isn’t just one answer. Start with the journalist’s W-H Formula: Who, What, Where, When, Why & How (How-To and How-Much). And, keep the Q&A going ad infinitum to success…

(Want more resources to study for 3DP understanding and commercial possibilities, see my 15 March post—sub-titled “…Resource Guide W/Links“)

That said, the real-world, real-time and real-solid results of current 3DP tech was to be seen all over the small show-floor at “Inside 3D Printing.” Yep, the knowledgable skeptic can see lots of holes in the various printed matrices—literally on display or in the over-arching prospects of the industry. But—damn—the demo’d professional-level systems had a brassy veracity about them that rung true. Real solutions of real problems for real clients.

"The Big Picture on 3D Printing," Presentation Summation Visual, by Zack Schildhorn, VP & Director of Operations, Lux Capital---"Inside 3D Printing Conference & Expo," Javits Center, NYC, 23 April 2013

“The Big Picture on 3D Printing,” Presentation Summation Visual, by Zack Schildhorn, VP & Director of Operations, Lux Capital—”Inside 3D Printing Conference & Expo,” Javits Center, NYC, 23 April 2013

3D Systems Corporation At Center Stage: One Of The Oldest Buys Young Ideas

3D Systems came to play and “Coach” Avi Reichental seems to be ubiquitous at 3DP “commercial game” of every kind—leading both his company and the industry in their parallel advances. Proving—yet again—that the eye of the (3DP) master fattens the (Additive Manufacturing) horse.

Most would probably consider 3D Systems to be the leading player in the 3DP industry. (Certainly, the stock market thought so in 2012: the stock value appreciated some 250%, if memory serves. And, I think market cap of the company tops all its competition.) 3D Systems has been a player since nearly the start of the Additive Manufacturing business. Yet, it’s still innovating (e.g., Cube, a low, low-end “home” 3D printer) and acquiring the new ideas and talent not grown in-house (e.g., the recently concluded purchase of geomagic).

Avi Reichental (center), President & CEO, 3D Systems Corporation, discussing international distribution at his company's booth---"Inside 3D Printing Conference & Expo," Javits Center, NYC, 23 April 2013

Avi Reichental (center), President & CEO, 3D Systems Corporation, discussing international distribution at his company’s booth—”Inside 3D Printing Conference & Expo,” Javits Center, NYC, 23 April 2013

Avi Reichental, President & CEO of 3D Systems, was opening Keynoter at ”Inside 3D Printing” on Day One. His company was the sole Platinum Sponsor of the event and the “anchor tenant” of the Expo’s exhibit area. 3D Systems 20-foot square booth presented the most interesting and sophisticated demos—especially if you were interested in the professional and industrial end of 3DP. The largest team of company players on the floor staffed the 3D Systems stand. (The 3D Systems folks even sported the most stylish corporate garb: their team-shirt’s “breast-pocket” 3D Systems logo looked like it was 3D printed—and embedded in the fabric. Very cool!)

Two 3D Systems Booth-Demos Illustrate Industry Directions

As blogging videographer, I was delighted to capture two booth demonstrations at the 3D Systems’ stand.

My first video is number one of two. The topic is Cubify Sculpt. This is a system—acquired with the geomagic/sensable purchase—that uses voxel display (volumetric or 3D pixels) and haptic interface (tactile feedback from virtual objects) technologies. Cubify Sculpt can address a wide spectrum of 3DP needs and uses: from tech-driven artists to precision industries. In the first case, you will see jewelry in the making and its “interaction” (how necklace elements “lay and look” on neckline topography) with a virtual mannequin. In the latter, you will see med/sci healthcare at the cutting edge in the (titanium) form of patient-specific skull implants.

3D Systems Corporation demo of Cubify Sculpt with haptic interface at the company's booth---"Inside 3D Printing Conference & Expo," Javits Center, NYC, 23 April 2013

3D Systems Corporation demo of Cubify Sculpt with haptic interface at the company’s booth—”Inside 3D Printing Conference & Expo,” Javits Center, NYC, 23 April 2013

My second video at 3D Systems’ stand presents its XOR Software. This is a reverse-engineering and inspection system developed by the newly acquired 3D Systems’ Rapidform subsidiary. (3D Systems purchased the Seoul, South Korea company in October 2012—demonstrating a worldwide grasp of industry dynamics.) You will see how an in-the-field, hand-held laser scan of an automobile hubcap can quickly initiate the XOR reverse-engineering creation of an highly accurate 3DP file representation. This could include any XOR-supported changes, evolutions or fixes required to the image—and thus the new 3D printed “copy”—of the original. This XOR-produced file provides the 3DP data for precision 3D printing of a new, reverse-engineered “original” from an existing part—a part that might have been perfect or damaged or incomplete or just in need of upgrade from the previous rev.

3D Systems Corporation demo of XLR Software for Reverse-Engineering at the company's booth---"Inside 3D Printing Conference & Expo," Javits Center, NYC, 23 April 2013

3D Systems Corporation demo of Rapidform XOR Software for Reverse-Engineering at the company’s booth—”Inside 3D Printing Conference & Expo,” Javits Center, NYC, 23 April 2013

“Inside 3D Printing” (Additive) Manufactured A Fully Dimensioned Take On The 3DP Industry

I came away from my day at this debut show with new knowledge, new ideas, new relationships and many new answers to questions I hadn’t conceived until I arrived at the Javits—and was exposed to the latest in this brave new 3DP’d world.

As several of the presenters at the Conference & Expo stated—in one way or another—we’re all just at the 3DP beginning…

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LAND

 

 

The (Internet) Shadow Knows: What Does YOUR Online Commercial Silhouette State

Land Grant, Founder & CEOLand ! Grant : Tech Empowerment

Commercial Privacy Is A Business Mistake. AND, It’s Impossible Anyway…

Don’t have a Web presence? For whatever reason: no site! So—for better or worse—you have no online profile, right?

Wrong.

If you’ve failed to create your own carefully sculpted identity on line: surprise! The Internet has done it for you. (Hey, it may NOT be a very good likeness—shadows usually aren’t—but you can’t blame the online system if you didn’t sit still. Or, refused to pose at all.)

 Unintentional “Content” Marketing = Your Distorted Internet Shadow

If you leave your online Content creation to the vagaries of the Internet, the image you present your Web audiences will end up as distorted as the shadows created by our young sand-castler here...

If you leave your online Content creation to the vagaries of the Internet, the image you present your Web audiences will end up as distorted as the shadows created by our young sand-castler here…

Your small business HAS an Internet “shadow”—regardless of how small or inconsequential you believe you are. The “content” in your unintentional Content Marketing—even if you’re not scripting it or even know what Content Marketing means—is speaking volumes about you and your business.  At the same time, other people, organizations and systems are providing plenty of context to twist your content into a commercial pattern—it’s just THAT “pattern” may NOT be to your style, substance and/or satisfaction level.

Let’s say you’re a small retailer in ultra-urban New York City. Never got around to that Webe site building. Never could see why it matter. Never have been sure your customers even use the Internet.

Amateurs & Algorithms

Well, plenty of tech-empowered amateurs are providing content about your business to the bottomless server farms of the Internet.

They’re talking about you on Social Media on the “Book” or via the “Tweet.” They’re “checking in” to your shop via Foursquare’s mobile App. They’re Instagram’ing your front window and putting the curated pic up online. People are searching locally—yes, that’s YOUR “locally”—for what you offer. You’re popping up on Yelp reviews or in your Google+ Local presence (you already have and may not have even “claimed”). More than one electronic yellow pages—like Yext—has acquired your contact info and listed it—maybe incorrectly.

Then, there are all those search bots, canvassing e-spiders and crawling algorithmic engines mindlessly collecting bits and bytes of “you” online. And, your Content accrues…BUT real minds are finding that Unintended Content…call it ContraContent…

All these Content means and modes create your Internet Shadow—without your intent or desire or knowledge. Amateurs and algorithms are building your Content online—for free and misfortune. Few love their hands-free corporate Internet story. That’s why Reputation.com is in business…as in damage control.

Your Internet Shadow should be carefully constructed as possible---by you and for you. Hand shadows are intentional storytellers: so should your Internet Shadow...

Your Internet Shadow should be carefully constructed as possible—by you and for you. Hand shadows are intentional storytellers: so should your Internet Shadow…

Video & Virality = What Happened?!? (…In The Vortex of Non-Volition)

Then, you inadvertently offend a customer—and never know it. BUT. that angry and tech-armed individual—on the spot—creates a clandestine 6-second video. S/he has Twitter’s new Vine app on their smartphone. Before s/he is out the door of your establishment, the video is posted to his/her online community—and probably a local one at that.

The 6-second video is snarky and irresponsible—but clever and funny. It goes viral  on the Internet. More people learn about your business in the next few hours than you’ll welcome through your store’s front door in your lifetime…or, your children’s lifetime.  You may never even understand what hit you. You’ll see your sales numbers drop and not know why.

Until someone walks in and laughingly asks if you’re the famous location for THAT Web-wide “diss.” Then she whips out her smartphone and shows you the Vine clip. Your jaw drops and you die of embarrassment—as you watch your shop’s reputation besmirched with casual malice in 6-seconds of endlessly looping video…over and over and over.

 Online Content: DIY or IDTY!

That is—as you can see from the above—as in “Do It Yourself” or “It’s Done To You.”

What follows is a Q&A-driven blog post that Michael Schein ran yesterday—a kind of hybrid guest post in which I was pleased to participate as the guest. Mr. Schein graciously allowed me to run this piece for my readers as well.

Mike asked some beautifully provocative questions. It’s great fun to stretch the synapses in response to intelligent and intriguing queries. As I told Michael when I’d first received his questions: I was looking forward to learning how I was going to answer them myself!

Mike Schein of Schein Communications: Guru of Copywriting, Marketing Communications & Commercial Storytelling.

Mike Schein of Schein Communications: Guru of Copywriting, Marketing Communications & Commercial Storytelling.

Mike is an expert copywriter, marketing consultant and a man deep into Marketing Communications. Among other things, he’s a copywriting fixer: “I work with executives and business owners who are struggling with marketing campaigns that aren’t getting them the results they want…I find the words to get decision makers to buy what my clients are selling. More importantly, I equip companies with tools and processes to ensure their people will be able to do the same for years to come.

On his site, Michael loves to educate his audience(s) about better ways to connect and communicate in today’s tech-driven world. The world in which ALL is in flux and the grammar of content creation is still being written.

Mike Schein believes—as I do—in the business uses of storytelling. You’ll find our dialog deals with commercially useful content, Content Marketing, storytelling as emotional-hook and—yes—my take on the Internet shadow

See Mike’s stream of expertise HERE and sign-up for his emailed blog “pushes” to your email address. Good stuff. Highly recommended.

Now, on to my Schein Communications guest post…

C’mon Back!

LAND

Land Grant, Founder & CEOLand ! Grant : Tech Empowerment

Land Grant, Founder & CEO
Land ! Grant : Tech Empowerment

 

The Secret Internet “Shadow” You Need to Know About

I met Land Grant at a New York Technology Council event a few months ago. (Yes, that’s his real name. He tells me his parents had an interesting sense of humor).

We hit it off immediately.

As you’ll find out in this interview, Land is someone who believes strongly in “doing well by doing good.”

In other words, he’s always lived his life by the principle that if he helps his community, financial rewards will soon follow.

A few phone calls and a delicious Lower Manhattan breakfast later, I realized I had to let you take a peek into some of the fascinating stuff he’s doing.

Here’s what he had to say…

 

Michael: You’ve been preaching about the power of content marketing to a subset of business owners not usually associated with it…Can you tell us a little bit more?

Land: Yes, you COULD call me a “preacher” of sorts.

I’m missionary-passionate about tech empowerment for micro-commerce in ultra-urban neighborhoods. And, that “powering-up” certainly includes “content marketing”—even if you’re a local Mom & Pop.

Content Marketing is one of the newer terms of art in our rapidly evolving, tech-driven promotion world. Think Social Media’s digital impact… Think this blog and why a “reader” comes back here expecting enlightenment…

However—to extend your metaphor—my target “flocks” are comprised of underserved New York City small-business owners—the Internet “unchurched”. (“Unchurched?” Fifty-five percent of City micro-enterprises have no Web site. That’s certainly NOT keeping faith with the dominant commercial “religion” of our day…)

These very small companies can mostly “convert” to real tech-power usage via an online presence.

That said, almost ALL micro-enterprises HAVE a Web presence—whether they know it or not! That’s the company’s “Internet shadow.”

For instance, storefront small retailers—the vast majority of Gotham’s 195,000 businesses—are already “on” Yelp and Google+ Local. That’s without action or intent or proactive showcasing by the micro-enterprise itself!

Small businesses are automatically illuminated by online systems and cast long algorithmic shadows—without opting into the spotlighting. Or, in some cases, even knowing they’re in it!

Michael: What’s your strategy for empowering small community business owners to use technology to market themselves and compete effectively? What are some possible lessons for our readers that they can take away from your approach to use in their own businesses?

My advice to clients: create your “Content Marketing” from your “story.” Every business has a tale to tell. Real stories hook real emotions…and can lead to real commercial actions.

All we humans are hardwired to listen and respond to stories.

Consider the story-centric result of ten thousand generations around the cave fire-pit. Early humans huddled together, absorbing family, clan or tribe success-knowledge of the game-gifting hunter and the bounty-gathering forager. The triumphant hunter chanted the details of the kill. As did the  a natural high-adventure or heroic story form. The story key: it’s memorable. Listen and learn or snooze and starve.

I find the term Content Marketing rather tongue-tied.

This buzz-phrase doesn’t tell a compelling story on its own behalf! In the case of micro-enterprises, I think their stories should actually be crafted to foster relationships. Every small biz needs to forge an emotional bond with its customers. So, the term I now use to describe commercial storytelling is “Relationship Marketing”—NOT Content Marketing.

Ironically—for the tech empowerment point of view—relations CAN be fostered WITHOUT technology. Of course, successful small retailers are effectively delivering products and services everyday—without tech-intermediation. They live—or die—by their person-to-person relationships.

It’s just a LOT harder to scale and scope person-to-person marketing impact—and it burns a lot more resources—without a tech multiplier. Like a company blog, Facebook Page, Twitter presence, Pinterest boards, etcetera, etcetera.

Relationship Marketing today benefits most from tech empowerment. Get online, small biz! AND—that’s best done via your own Web site. The platform for your in-bound brand building…

Michael: You’ve been an entrepreneur for a while now. What have you seen as the main changes in marketing over the years…both online and off?

Land: I go back in business before the “public” Internet emerged around 1995. So, pure Internet marketing—what now looks rude and crude—was the first big online disruptor. Followed by eCommerce online marketing and actual sales—and search-related marketing. Then, social media marketing impinged on everything else. Now, mobile platforms and massive app ecosystems are beginning to dominate marketing.

And, mobile and its offshoots are of great consequence to my micro-retailer marketplace.

Offline marketing? I can’t think of any offline marketing vector in the last 20 years that has as much importance—socially, politically, economically—as what has been happening online. But—in a dollars-spent sense—offline marketing is still a major, major player. Television-based (broadcast and cable) marketing continues to prosper in a continuing semi-monopoly/megabuck mode. Still, from my POV, TV has little current application. Thus, it has little importance—for ultra-urban, very small businesses.

Mobile and multi-screen tech will likely change that commercial equation.

Michael: Where do you see marketing headed in the future?

Land: To whatever digital mode works best on multiple screens. Eyeglass to wrist to pocket to projected to pad to superlight lap to TV-PCs to home-theater flat-screens. Multiple screen modalities will include multi-processing crossovers. Think of the Social TV hybrid. This phenom already has smartphones and flat-screen TVs in a real-time duet played by a solo user on the couch—while VERY marketing-wired and socially integrated, wirelessly!

Michael: What kind of people would you like to meet and how can they reach you?

Land: My typical target community is two-fold. One—the distinct and differentiated small-business communities of each City “Nabes.” And—two—the individual Economic Development Organization—or EDO—co-located and co-aligned in that same Nabes.

The best-known New York EDO example is a BID, or Business Improvement District. (There are now 67 BIDs in NYC.) The typical EDO’s mission is to support and advance the business-success of the mostly micro-retailer population of their commercial geography.

I believe I can do the most good—doing well by doing good (hey, I’m a Social Entrepreneur!)—by partnering with local New York City EDOs. I can help these hyperlocal, hyper-connected non-profits leverage appropriate small-business technology for themselves AND their constituents—our mutual micro-enterprise clients.

EDOs seeking my innovative brand of tech knowledge—and tech empowerment—should visit my own site (http://landgrant.co) and sign-up for my eNewsletter. Then, they should email me at Land@landgrant.co to begin a discussion about how I might help them achieve their individual EDO mission.

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Carlo Scissura, New President of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, hangs out in the Nabes...

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