Stratasys announced an eight-month, 3D road trip that will showcase their tech across the USA.
“3DRV” is a bus loaded to the hilt with 3D printing technologies that travels to multiple locations in the USA during the summer and fall of 2014. The idea is to show local manufacturers the substantial benefits of using 3D printing tech in their operations.
Surprisingly, most manufacturers still don’t use 3D printing. Certainly they may not ever use it for large-scale mass manufacturing, but almost every manufacturer can use 3D printing for prototypes or creating custom jigs, mounts and molds. The manufacturers we’ve encountered who’ve made the transition to the new technologies view it as a revelation. Frequently their development processes are radically changed - sped up so much they are much more easily able to create new products.
The trouble is, many manufacturers have yet to take the plunge. That’s what Stratasys is trying to overcome with 3DRV: showing is better than saying.
Having commenced the long journey in California, the 3DRV bus (shown above) has yet to hit these cities: Minneapolis, Chicago, Plymouth IN, Dearborn, Detroit, Toledo, Cleveland, Mentor OH, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Rochester, Needham MA, Boston, Providence, Newport, New Haven, Fairfield CT, Wilton CT, New York City, West Orange NJ, Philadelphia, New Castle DE, Towson MD, Baltimore, Washington, Hampton VA, Charlottesville VA, Blacksburg VA, Lerona WV, Greensboro, Raleigh, Charlotte, Columbia, Savannah, Jacksonville, Lake Mary FL, Oldsmar FL, Tuskegee AL, Huntsville, Oak Ridge TN, Nashville, Memphis, Jackson MS, New Orleans, Houston, Austin, OKC, Lawrence KS, Denver, Fort Collins CO, Moab UT, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and many smaller stops along the way. Check out their progress on the interactive route map on their site.
While some of the stops are clearly photo ops, many are coincident with conference events or are a visit to a specific manufacturer or makerspace.
It’s an ambitious journey that will take many months on lonely roads. But this approach is a good way to reach people who otherwise might not be able to easily learn about 3D printing. The “cross-country tour” was previously successfully completed by 3D Systems, so perhaps other 3D printing companies should order themselves a colorful bus.