The Best of Ideas

“When the time is ripe for certain things, these things appear in different places in the manner of violets coming to light in early spring.”
Farkus Bolyai

New ideas are often followed by a wave of enthusiasm starting, of course, with the inventors and then followed by the enthusiasts, the copiers and the improvers. The truth is, for the invention process, to progress, this process is always required and it is just this which ensures a product is propagated and survives. This inevitable invention progression is perhaps somewhat frustrating for the inventors but can only be described as a good thing for the consumer. Perhaps interestingly, one thing is certain throughout history, sometimes inventions are just a natural progression and, at times, an extraordinary kind of telepathy without the supernatural. Termed as ‘the multiple discovery’, this has been a recurrent theme in history. Amazing situations such as that of the discovery of calculus in two different countries at the same time (by Isacc Newton and Gottfried Leibniz) have left historians in awe. Thankfully for industry today, such multiple inventions are but a handful and as this article is about 3D printing it is perhaps important to say that this particular invention was the born from the genius of just one person.
3D printing, of course has faced this all too important natural progression which has been driven by enthusiasts, copiers and improvers over the past 20 years and has catalysed it into becoming something unique and viable to the general public. It is now changing the manufacturing process and has become the answer to the future.

Recently the word “blockchain” has been teetering into the general public’s vocabulary and with it we are understanding just how this particular technology could be used by a panoply of industries. It is therefore not surprising that several 3D companies are developing innovative ways to use it to improve the 3D printing and modelling industry. Productivist is one of these and its ICO is in full swing. For those currently interested in investing, time is of the essence as this ICO is programmed to come its close in October. The arguments for becoming part of this project are certainly persuasive. Amongst all the ICOs currently on the market, it is a solid project which will answer real needs. It is designed to bring the manufacturer and the 3D printing and modelling experts together, providing “a meeting point” to provide a seamless service to the manufacturer by means of its ever-growing community of 10,000 printers.

There are 3 buzzwords to this project which make it a certain winner of the future because it addresses three highly profitable and proven areas of business today : the community marketplace (spearheaded by companies such as Air BnB and Uber), 3D manufacturing and of course Blockchain technology.

Pioneers in their field they may be, but they are of course not completely alone. Importantly though this magic combination certainly is. If you peruse the internet you will certainly come across companies such as Politronica technologies, Cappasity and Link3D who are already using or who are developing blockchain their field. All their internet sites are certainly persuasive and some of their leaders are definitely confident that they and they alone hold vital keys to the future. However, I am sure that Karl Benz, was also similarly confident when he put claim to the invention of the car in 1886. He was certainly proved wrong when only a few months later Daimler introduced his own similar invention to the market. Soon after, variations of this technology appeared and were developed propelling the car where it is today: essential to our lives. Over time its prowess has been improved, embellished and metamorphosed. Today we cannot do without it.

The variations in industry are indeed the beauty and reason behind its progression. Investors doing their homework at length for Productivist, Politronica, Cappasity and Link3D will themselves quickly see the differences in these projects and I am certainly sure they will see the importance that all four continue to develop because all have something to offer either for their offer or simply as a means to ensure competitivity. For the investor, however, backing the right horse from the beginning is the surer way to make a good return.

Cappasity 3D, based in Santa Clara, USA, has concentrated its use of blockchain on IP They have already an impressive portfolio which include top 500 Fortune companies. Their client focus is a service which centres itself around the “big fish” and is certainly not based on the ethos of a “Community marketplace” as proposed by Productivist . Its purpose is also indeed different. Its blockchain technology infrastructure will be used to store and manage 3D digital assets and copyrights. It will keep track of copyrights on digital content preventing identity theft and all the complexities which this in turn incurs.

Link3D’s vision is different from Cappasity’s. In terms of experience in the 3D world, it cannot be compared when put alongside the genius of Cappasity neither in concept or company size. This company is currently based in New York City and they are just experiencing their beginnings. Their project launch came just after that of Productivist. Although you will find it similar to that of Productivist as a fail safe, secure option to providing 3D printing to its client, one important difference is its network size. On visiting its website, however, you will note that its network remains small with just 1000 polymer and metal printers and 200+ unique materials. Although not insurmountable the project is young and in this respect is one which will require time to be developed.

Productivist, on the other hand, is “long in the tooth”. As already mentioned they have over 10,000 printers across several countries of all types. This certainly makes it highly attractive to current investors and it has won them over because of their proven track record which has been built up by the same team who developed . Indeed its network and the quality of its service has been a pointing factor to its high potential for success. Productivist’s founder has been quoted saying with regard to Freelabster “We owe our success to our highly skilled network and we make it our business to know them. Our team knows their capabilities and such knowledge is precious and one which is certainly only achieved over time”…. On looking closer, one can only admit that their network is indeed impressive as is their multi-cultural, multi-lingual team. All in all, along with their prior experience of running an extensive network, they can only be described as having a recipe for success.

Similar to link3D, the up and coming Politronica Technologies has recently made its entrance. A start-up based in Turin, this company is one still very much in its incubator with only 200 printers with the ambition of developing a network of 3000 by 2019. It certainly has potential but some may say it comes with a large question mark. For at the moment its network of printers are based in Italy and its team are not commercial. Developed by the university, it could be described as an academic project filled with promise. Certainly it will have the technological know-how but this is just one aspect which will carve out its success.

So here we have it; a 3D technology market place whose implementation of blockchain technology is making its early exciting steps : a clear mixture of clear inspired genius and multiple discovery. However, the future, the fortune teller’s “glass ball” for the moment could be described as undefined. However logic tells us that out of the many competitors there will always one winner: one market leader who continually inspires as its technology develops. The race is, therefore certainly on as such companies joust for first position. While assessing the probable winner may be a difficult one could sately conclude that certain are better equipped than others and have already proved that they have what it takes to go first over the line.