Change Is Additive—Week of 3/31/2017

CHANGE IS ADDITIVE—A 3D Printing News Series by FATHOM

BMW Uses VR & 3D Printing for Design, Wiivv Builds Out Mass Customization Footwear Concept, LLNL Develops Metal Writing Technology, Airlines Using Direct Digital Manufacturing

With so many weekly developments in a fast-changing industry like additive manufacturing, the headlines can really stack up. To cut through the clutter of 3D printing news, check out these staff picks of the week. What do you think is the most impactful development?

Wiivv Custom Fit Sandals

With the manufacturing flexibility made possible by additive technologies, more and more companies are employing a "mass customization" strategy, factoring the specific needs of end users into their products during the manufacturing phase. Wiivv aims to do just that by providing ultra-customized footwear to customers. Wiivv also says it is using a biomechanical design methodology to create unique footwear—after digitally mapping more than 200 points on each foot "to ensure that perfect fit" // Read More // Watch Video

3D Printing 'Ghost in the Shell' Robot Skeleton

In the megawatt thriller film "Ghost in the Shell," 3D printing played a key role in developing the look of the lead character. Crafted from more than 300 interconnected, 3D-printed, laser-cut, and hand-modeled components, the signature robot skeleton is "an ode to professional craftsmanship, forsaking the more commonly trodden path of CGI."

“What you’re looking at is a collection of, basically, 3D printed objects,” says a designer from Weta Workshop. “[There’s] clear resin, black resin; there are laser-cut components, model-made components, 3D printed steel joints to keep the strength, and we 3D printed nylon for some of the limbs as as well to keep the shape” // Read More // Watch Video

BMW Uses 3D Printing & Virtual Reality to Streamline Vehicle Design

Auto manufacturer BMW has announced its intention to combine additive manufacturing and virtual reality to optimize its design processes. In designing and developing a new vehicle, BMW would traditionally have to manufacture one or several prototypes for each part. With the advancement of 3D printing, however, this task was made significantly easier, as the company was able to additively manufacture one-off prototypes in a more time and cost efficient manner. By adding virtual reality into the mix, the car manufacturer is hoping to streamline its design and prototyping process even more // Read More

3D Printing BMW VR

LLNL Researchers to Develop Direct Metal Writing 3D Printing Tech

A team of researchers from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory claim to be developing a metal 3D printing method called Direct Metal Writing which could help overcome limitations that exist with current powder-based metal 3D printing techniques such as Selective Laser Melting (SLM). Direct Metal Writing, which uses a semisolid metal as its base manufacturing material, is being dubbed “a wholly new approach to metal 3D printing” // Read More

3D Printing Metal Writing LLNL

Etihad Airways Displays First 3D Printed Parts for Plane Interiors

The UAE’s second largest airline Etihad Airways, has displayed what is claimed to be the region’s first 3D printed aircraft interior parts, 3D printed plastic frames used to house monitors installed in the back of passenger seats. Replacements for such parts would typically be held in a warehouse and subject to a mass production order. By switching to 3D printing, the airline eliminates the need for physical storage of the parts, and they can be made on demand at a fraction of the cost and time // Read More

3D Printing Airlines

3D Printed Italian Volt 'Lacama' Motorcycle Goes from 0 to 62 MPH in 4.2 Seconds

Milan-based motorcycle company Italian Volt has developed a customizable electric motorcycle with 3D printed bodywork, frame, and swing arm. The Lacama goes from zero to 62 mph in 4.2 seconds, uses Brembo brakes and Ohlins suspension, and can be charged in just 40 minutes // Read More

3D Printing Motorcycle


Lattice Cube 3D Printer Test

Use this design to test overhangs, temperatures, cooling, and retraction // Download

3D Printing Lattice Cube

What is FATHOM working on in the day-to-day? Follow our social media pages to keep up with our latest projects // Facebook // Twitter // LinkedIn // Instagram // YouTube

To start a conversation about a project or discuss a quote for 3D printing, CNC machining, urethane casting, rapid tooling, injection molding, or R&D contract services, send us a request for quote. FATHOM is also an authorized partner of Stratasys.

Imagery and News Sources:,,, Stratasys, LLNL, Wiivv, Eithad Airways, Strata Manufacturing, Siemens, HTC, BMW, Paramount, Italian Volt, Thingiverse, Lazerlord