Welcome to World of CAD, Scan2CAD’s monthly look-back at the latest developments in the CAD industry.
This month, we’ve seen a host of new product launches. We kick off by examining the benefits of Graebert’s new “Trinity of CAD”. On the industry side of things, meanwhile, we’ll revisit some of GE‘s latest deals and acquisitions.
Graebert introduces its “Trinity of CAD”
While Autodesk have seemed a little reluctant to update their own DWG file format, other companies have embraced it. One such company is German CAD giant Graebert, whose core products have adopted DWG as their own native format.
At its annual meeting in Berlin, Graebert brought these core products closer together than ever by introducing its “Trinity of CAD” strategy. This “trinity” involves CAD software covering three platforms:
- The desktop-based ARES Commander, for offline use on Windows, MacOS and Linux computers
- ARES Touch, which can be used on smartphones or tablets running iOS or Android
- The company’s newest software: the cloud-based ARES Kudo
With the November update to ARES Commander, the three products will now feature a harmonized look and feel, creating a consistent user experience. The company sees “desktop, mobile and cloud coexisting” in the coming years, and have correspondingly introduced a licensing system that incorporates all three products. This gives users full flexibility regarding when, where, and how they choose to work. For full information about all three products, head to Graebert’s website.
The open source, 4’×8′ CNC machine that costs under $500
More and more of the most exciting innovations in CAD and CNC start life as projects on Kickstarter. That was the case for the CNC/3D printer hybrid BoXZY, as well as innovative waterjet cutter Wazer, both of which have featured on our blog in recent months. Now, we’re pleased to announce that a new machine is joining their ranks: Maslow.
With Maslow, users can create designs using CAD software, then cut them out from a 4×’8′ sheet of plywood. So far, so typical. So, what’s new? For starters, the cost: Maslow costs just $350 per kit. The accompanying code, meanwhile, is open source, and is available for free on Maslow’s website. In addition, Maslow promises ease-of-assembly, and won’t take up much space in your garage or workshop.
Maslow’s creators have launched the machine with a strong focus on helping makers create new products. As such, they’ve encouraged Maslow users to release their own designs on a share-alike basis. Want to learn more? Start by watching the video below, or if you’d like to support the project, check out their Kickstarter.
GE’s bid for SLM fails; increased offer for Arcam; Concept Laser bid successful
Last month, we discussed GE‘s purchase of two of the key players in metal 3D printing: Arcam and SLM Solutions. This past month, however, has seen a number of dramatic developments in this story.
Activist investor Elliott Management Corp., which owns 20% of SLM, made the decision to block GE’s takeover of SLM, claiming that GE had undervalued the business. GE refused to raise its offer, which had stood at $762m, and instead abandoned its bid for the company. Meanwhile, the company raised its bid for Arcam from 285 SEK to 300 SEK per share, valuing the company at 6.2bn SEK, or $696m.
Whilst its existing deals were on the rocks, GE busied itself launching a new offer—this time for German 3D printing firm Concept Laser. With no investors to contend with, GE reached an agreement to purchase 75% of Concept Laser for a total of $599m, with a view to full ownership of the company in the future. Like Arcam and SLM, Concept Laser specialize in 3D printing using metals. The company primarily focuses on the aerospace, medical, and dental industries, and will bolster GE’s 3D printing strategy.
Reebok introduces Liquid Factory
Recent advances in 3D printing have brought innovations to a huge range of different industries. This month, we’ve seen the beginnings of a revolution in shoemaking, courtesy of Reebok.
On October 24, the sportswear giant unveiled Liquid Factory: a new type of shoe design that involves “drawing shoes in three dimensions”. Using a custom-made, proprietary liquid material from BASF, these shoes eschew the traditional molds. Instead, layers of the material are printed to form the sole and sides of the shoe.
The benefits are numerous: the custom material helps to provide dramatically higher energy return than a traditional rubber sole, and the new printing technique allows for a shoe that “molds around the foot, providing a three-dimensional fit”. Not only that, but it also means that shoe manufacturing has, in one small way, returned to the United States. The Reebok Liquid Speed is the first shoe created using this new technology, but the company is planning to build on this early success by opening a Liquid Factory manufacturing lab early in 2017. To see the process in action, check out the video below.
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