3 D Printing - Dynamic, Distruptive, Divisive

For the novice, the use of 3D Printers is a relatively new technology. However, this technology has been around for almost 25 years. The new advances in materials, printing extruders and motor technology have advanced these systems to the level of the "New Age of Manufacturing." 

3D Printers are now capable of printing in plastic, metals, wood, chocolate, ceramic, glass, human tissue cells, carbon fiber and more. Where this was once the property of the hobbyist, engineering student and prototyping laboratory, 3D Printers have now become the must have new "toy" by the younger generation. 

With prices for some of the newer 3D Printers under $1,000.00, the ability for the average individual to purchase and build models and components is now a reality. 

EIC currently has one of the fifth generation MakerBot Replicator 3D Printers. This unit was just made available as of March of this year and it has proven to be an excellent printer. This unit prints in PLA plastic only ( corn based oil filament ) and has a build platform that is little over 9" square and 6" high. This will print in over 20 colors and the cost of the filaments run from $18.00 to $65.00 depending upon the type and size of the spool.

To enhance our operation, EIC is also getting ready to purchase a new 3D Systems CubeX, dual head printer that prints in both ABS and PLA plastics. In addition, the new Cube3 unit will be added come this June. This is a junior unit to the CubeX but is more portable and better able to be used in multiple locations.

In order to print on the 3D Printers one must have a 3 dimensional digital object file to install on the Firmware of the printers. This file is developed by using any number of 3D software programs and there are also a large number of items you can download from various sites on the internet.

EIC is now putting into place training programs to educate individuals how to build, design and modify any object using some the more intuitive software now available to the public. The intent is to educate students starting at the Middle School level, along with their teachers and have them develop the computer design skills that will be necessary for them to enter the new "manufacturing technology" arena.

A series of classes will be developed that are designed for the adult and business person who wants to learn a new "employable" skill and have fun doing it. Look for more information about this program on our website soon. For more information please contact us at: http://englewoodincubationcenter.org

Disruptive Technology

Innovation often comes when new technologies are applied to existing products or processes which can "disrupt" the current technology and design and morph the existing product into something new and exciting. Steve Jobs wanted to develop the iPhone years before the technology was availble to make it happen. He knew that with the speed of innovation the technologies to make the iPhone a reality would soon be available. 

It is said that technology is now doubling every two years and that products we purchase and use in the next 18 to 24 months have not even been developed yet. Sounds fantastic, but it is true. New advances in design, materials and extraordinary technologies are forever altering the way we look at product development.

Recently, EIC purchased a new 3D Digitizer and 3D Printer to help entrepreneurs and our business candidates quickly move from drawing board concept to prototyping of the product idea in less than 2 weeks, in most cases. Visualizing a product, component or object is one thing, being able to physcially hold it in your hands is another.

One of the real challenges with entering the product design and production business is the barriers to entry. Developing and making an App or software package requires someone able to write html code and a fast T1 line in their house. Two people and very little cost go into this type of product. Producing games requires a lttle more "computer power" but again this can be done from your basement or a space in the garage.

Buidling something means to have to physically "design, develop, prototype, materials selection, manufacture and distribute" your way to an end result. A lot more time consuming and certainly much, much more expensive than just producing a App for a smart phone. Perhaps this is why so many talented, young entrepreneurs look to the social media avenue and soft product ( food, clothing ) arenas rather than hard technologies as their ultimate business goals.

We recognize this challenge and it is for this reason that we have developed a program to utilize the latest "disruptive technology" tools to both simplify and minimize the developmental costs in producing a new product design. As with any new business concept, the product idea itself will not guarantee success. It also requires a great business plan that emphasises the marketing, distribution and pro forma operations to ensure that the idea, concept or new product makes sense and has some potential for success.

For those individuals who have an idea for a new product or redesign of an existing product or technology we encourage you to contact us and provide us with an outline of your business plan. We have the ability to quickly ascertain what areas of assistance are needed and what we can do to get you from concept to reality in as short a period of time as possible.

For more information pleae go to our website at: http://englewoodincubationcenter.org or contact us via email at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Job Crisis Is Really A Skills Crisis

Okay...so there are thousands of articles on why the US companies are having a hard time finding skilled labor and why should I read this one? Well, our Center is designed to work with both High School and College engineering and science students as well as businesses and entrepreneurs and we see a trend that we believe will help counter the lack of skilled workers now being faced by most companies in the U.S.

The STEM programs or, Science, Technology, Engineering, Math are being pushed in the Florida school systems and we are working directly with these educational facilities in both Sarasota and Charlotte Counites. The level of math, science and engineering programs are first rate with many students taking advanced math and doing 3-Dimensional design using Solid Works and other courses that will prepare them for the new technological economy.

In four years the U.S. school systems will produce a larger number of engineers, scientists and advanced thinkers than we have in the past 15 years. However, these students will need help along the way in convincing them that pursuing a degree in science and engineering will be much more rewarding than a general business degree, journalism or law enforcement. The High School engineering classes we work with now have a better idea of why they are taking certain courses as we now connect them with some of our candidates showing them their skills have value in the outside world today.

Mentoring of students is done by three different groups; Educators/Guidance Couselors, Parents/Relatives, Pier Groups/Social Media. Of the three groups. those with the most influence are parents and pier/social media groups. Most parents discourage their children from going into manufacturing and tell them get a college degree and get a good job. This is actually counter-intuitive. Most new manfacturing jobs are high tech, using the latest in robotics and engineering design technologies thus requireing more advanced degreed people. 

Pier groups and social media hype the world of music, social media internet programs, Apps, software, games and a less career directed structure. This group has a lot of influence especially in the Junior and Senior High School levels. Often students who excell in math and science in High School will take a different path in College ( 2 or 4 year ) if they don't see a connection between Algebra and the perceived work world. Unless there is a direction connection between Chemistry Lab and the outside world, students will often gravitate to other areas like Nursing, Education, Business and Accounting. Not that these are less valuable skills, but the need for these disciplines is slowing down while the need for engineers and scientists is growing every day.

The world is much more competitive than ever before. Countries that are moving into the technology age with the greatest amount of scientific talent will become economic power houses. ( i.e. South Korea, Japan, Netherlands, China, Australia ). It is up to all of use to push our children into those fields that will help the U.S. stay even with the new technologies that will alter our lives in the very near future.

If you would like to contact EIC you can go to our website at: http://englewoodincubationcenter.org or follow us on Twitter @EIC15. 

Why Change Is Difficult

For most people just getting used to a new car and all the new buttons and accessories is enough to cause a significant amount of anxiety for a period of time. For those individuals who are finding that the job market no longer sees their current skill sets as viable, moving into the job market as a result of layoffs or downsizing at their current employer can be teriffying. 

There are signs everywhere that the majority of companies that produce a product or process are in critical need of employees who have technical/engineering/design skills that can help the company compete in an ever changing and technically progressive global economy.

It is no longer good enough to have years of experience in general business skills with a Bachelors Degree or in many cases a Masters Degree. Companies want to hire individuals who can immediately help them get new products, technologies and processes into the market to generate revenue as quickly as possible.

The South Koreans, Chinese, Japanese and even the Russians have been working on some of the latest technologies in areas such as Nanotechnology, OLED Technology and specialy alloys. These are products and processes that will have a major impact on almost everthing we do in the next two years. In addition, the new 3-D Printers are probably one of the most distruptive technologies to hit the planet. 

EIC has been working with Middle School, High School and College students to educate them on the development of hard technologies and explaining the need to take science, engineering and math courses to ensure they will have the foundation for moving into College and beyond.

Our goal is to expose students and entrepreneurs alike to the new tools available to help creative individuals take their ideas from paper to prototype to production in as short a period of time as possible. With some of the new tools now at EIC, like our MakerBot Digitizer and 3-D Printer, we can "fast-forward" your concepts into reality.

Contact us at: http://englewoodincubationcenter.org or follow us on Twitter at EIC15 or follow us on Facebook. You can also contact us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call us at: 317-796-7617.

Contact Details

Englewood Innovation Center, Inc.
P.O. Box 465, Englewood, FL. 34295
Phone:  317-796-7617

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: www.englewoodinnovationcenter.org


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