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IFA 2016: 3Doodler PRO rewrites 3D printing rules

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3Doodler, maker of the original 3D printing pen used this week’s IFA in Berlin to showcase its professional-grade 3D printing pen, the 3Doodler PRO. 

The sleek tool is aimed at creative professionals, like architects, engineers and artists, and is ideal for prototyping designs, concept development, and communicating their creative vision in 3D form.

Unlike other pens on the market, the PRO materials include wood, copper, bronze, nylon, and polycarbonate, complementing more than 65 compatible varieties of plastic from the 3Doodler Create range.

Maxwell Bogue, Co-Founder & CEO said: “Beyond the numerous upgrades, what really makes the PRO so unique is how the device and materials come together to answer the needs of professionals. When we started the 3Doodler journey back in 2013, we had world-leading architects telling us, ‘I want to do this’. ‘This’ was a quick wave of the pen in the air, with plastic solidifying in its wake.

“With new materials like polycarbonate, that dream is a reality. The high-performance PRO can be used for the most advanced of purposes to bring concepts to life, and become an integral part of the creative process.”

The PRO boasts new features including tactile adjustable dials for temperature and speed, an adjustable fan for user control over the cooling of the plastics, and an LCD display to show the pen’s settings. Encased in a lightweight carbon fibre shell, the pen‘s radically re-engineered drive system is designed specifically for the range of new materials. In combination with the high-speed fan, polycarbonate plastic can be used to create a solid structure in one swift gesture, making it ideal to quickly sketch out blueprints, either on a surface or in the air.

Daniel Cowen, Co-President, said: “The 3Doodler has outsold any other 3D printing device on the global market. We now have pens specifically designed for crafters, adults, children, and with this, the most advanced pen ever, professionals. Whether you’re eight or 80 years old, hobbyist or professional, the 3Doodler range of products has never been more inclusive. After being first to market, we are now pushing the boundaries of 3D creation to ever more users and use-cases.”

The pen is packaged in a premium storage case, together with accompanying accessories, including a portable battery pack, Nozzle Set, DoodlePad, and 100 strands of specialty plastic.

3Doodler PRO Specifications

●      Carbon fiber shell

●      Temperature and speed adjustment: Adjust temperature from 100°C to 250°C, speed settings between 10% and 100%; all via tactile adjustable dials

●      LCD display showing the desired temperature and indicators for each level

●      Side switch to adjust the cooling fan: Off, Low or High

●      A radically redesigned drive system for use with professional materials and filaments

●      New larger drive to keep the PRO going for longer with more intensive use

●      Plastics range: wood, copper, bronze, nylon, and polycarbonate

●      Priced from US$249

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Millennials turning 40: NOW will you stop targeting them?

It’s one of the most overused terms in youth marketing, and probably the most inaccurate, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK

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One of the most irritating buzzwords embraced by marketers in recent years is the term “millennial”. Most are clueless about its true meaning, and use it as a supposedly cool synonym for “young adults”. The flaw in this targeting – and the word “flaw” here is like calling the Grand Canyon a trench – is that it utterly ignores the meaning of the term. “Millennials” are formally defined as anyone born from 1980 to 2000, meaning they have typically come of age after the dawn of the millennium, or during the 21st century.

Think about that for a moment. Next year, the millennial will be formally defined as anyone aged from 20 to 40. So here you have an entire advertising, marketing and public relations industry hanging onto a cool definition, while in effect arguing that 40-year-olds are youths who want the same thing as newly-minted university graduates or job entrants.

When the communications industry discovers just how embarrassing its glib use of the term really is, it will no doubt pivot – millennial-speak for “changing your business model when it proves to be a disaster, but you still appear to be cool” – to the next big thing in generational theory.

That next big thing is currently Generation Z, or people born after the turn of the century. It’s very convenient to lump them all together and claim they have a different set of values and expectations to those who went before. Allegedly, they are engaged in a quest for experience, compared to millennials – the 19-year-olds and 39-olds alike – supposedly all on a quest for relevance.

In reality, all are part of Generation #, latching onto the latest hashtag trend that sweeps social media, desperate to go viral if they are producers of social content, desperate to have caught onto the trend before their peers.

The irony is that marketers’ quest for cutting edge target markets is, in reality, a hangover from the days when there was no such thing as generational theory, and marketing was all about clearly defined target markets. In the era of big data and mass personalization, that idea seems rather quaint.

Indeed, according to Grant Lapping, managing director of DataCore Media, it no longer matters who brands think their target market is.

“The reason for this is simple: with the technology and data digital marketers have access to today, we no longer need to limit our potential target audience to a set of personas or segments derived through customer research. While this type of customer segmentation was – and remains – important for engagements across traditional above-the-line engagements in mass media, digital marketing gives us the tools we need to target customers on a far more granular and personalised level.

“Where customer research gives us an indication of who the audience is, data can tell us exactly what they want and how they may behave.”

Netflix, he points out, is an example of a company that is changing its industry by avoiding audience segmentation, once the holy grail of entertainment.

In other words, it understands that 20-year-olds and 40-year-olds are very different – but so is everyone in between.

* Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram on @art2gee

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Robots coming to IFA

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Robotics is no longer about mechanical humanoids, but rather becoming an interface between man and machine. That is a key message being delivered at next month’s IFA consumer electronics expo in Berlin. An entire hall will be devoted to IFA Next, which will not only offer a look into the future, but also show what form it will take.

The concepts are as varied as the exhibitors themselves. However, there are similarities in the various products, some more human than others, in the fascinating ways in which they establish a link between fun, learning and programming. In many cases, they are aimed at children and young people.

The following will be among the exhibitors making Hall 26 a must-visit:

Leju Robotics (Stand 115) from China is featuring what we all imagine a robot to be. The bipedal Aelos 1s can walk, dance and play football. And in carrying out all these actions it responds to spoken commands. But it also challenges young researchers to apply their creativity in programming it and teaching it new actions. And conversely, it also imparts scholastic knowledge.

Cubroid (Stand 231, KIRIA) from Korea starts off by promoting an independent approach to the way it deals with tasks. Multi-functional cubes, glowing as they play music, or equipped with a tiny rotating motor, join together like Lego pieces. Configuration and programming are thus combined, providing a basic idea of what constitutes artificial intelligence.

Spain is represented by Ebotics (Stand 218). This company is presenting an entire portfolio of building components, including the “Mint” educational program. The modular system explains about modern construction, programming and the entire field of robotics.

Elematec Corporation (Stand 208) from Japan is presenting the two-armed SCARA, which is not intended to deal with any tasks, but in particular to assist people with their work.

Everybot (Stand 231, KIRIA) from Japan approaches the concept of robotics by introducing an autonomous floor-cleaning machine, similar to a robot vacuum cleaner.

And Segway (Stand 222) is using a number of products to explain the modern approach to battery-powered locomotion.

IFA will take place at the Berlin Exhibition Grounds (ExpoCenter City) from 6 to 11 September 2019. For more information, visit www.ifa-berlin.com

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