Amazing future for 3D printing with ESA

Here's an article we came across about 3D Printing and figured it's worth sharing...

3D printing is getting ready to revolutionise space travel. ESA is paving the way for 3D-printed metals to build high-quality, intricate shapes with massive cost savings.

ESA and the European Commission have embarked on a project to perfect the printing of space-quality metal components. The AMAZE project – Additive Manufacturing Aiming Towards Zero Waste & Efficient Production of High-Tech Metal Products – involves 28 industrial partners across Europe.

"We want to build the best quality metal products ever made," said David Jarvis, ESA's Head of New Materials and Energy Research, during a press conference at the London Science Museum yesterday.

Considered the third industrial revolution among manufacturers, 3D printing builds a solid object from a series of layers, each one printed on top of the last – also known as additive manufacturing.

Almost anything that can be designed by computer can be printed as a physical item, typically by melting powder or wire materials.

The space dimension

AMAZE aims to put the first 3D metal printer on the International Space Station allowing astronauts to produce tools and new structures on demand.

The project envisages printing entire satellites and using the technology for missions to the Moon and Mars. With no need of launching heavy payloads, manufacturing in space could save huge amounts of time and money.

To get to that future, ESA is looking at five metal additive manufacturing processes. "We are focusing on serious engineering components made of very high-tech alloys. We are using lasers, electron beams and even plasma to melt them," explains David. Some of the materials AMAZE works with only melt at 3500°C.

New materials are also a possibility. High-strength and lightweight components can be built by combining exotic – and expensive – elements such as tungsten, niobium or platinum with no waste.

Experts foresee numerous applications on the ground: aircraft wings, jet engines and automotive systems will benefit from the highest quality that AMAZE technology offers.

Additive manufacturing is green technology at its best. Aiming towards zero waste production, a kilogram of titanium would go into a kilogram of the end product, which translates into enormous cost savings and energy efficiency.

Factories of the future

A quartet of pilot factories – each one employing different metallic 3D printing methods – are being set up in Germany, Italy, Norway and the UK. In parallel, a full industrial supply chain is being established for metallic 3D printing, incorporating feedstock alloys, printing equipment, finishing techniques, metrology and control software.

Not yet a perfected technology, 3D printing is "A revolutionary process that is crying out to be standardised for industry. We want to bring it from the margins to the mainstream," says David. One of his ambitions is to be able to produce large metal parts within 24 hours.

"We need high quality, we need it to be repeatable, and we need a supply chain. AMAZE connects all the key players within Europe and develops that supply chain," adds Jon Meyer, Additive Layer Manufacturing Research Team Leader at EADS Innovation Works.

AMAZE is fit for space and the most demanding applications on Earth. As David sees it, "The future is going to be amazing."

Provided by: European Space Agency

 

3D printing is getting ready to revolutionise space travel. ESA is paving the way for 3D-printed metals to build high-quality, intricate shapes with massive cost savings.Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-10-amazing-future-3d-esa.html#jCp

 

10 More Retail Display Designs We Love From Around The World

As we told you in our previous post 10 Retail Display Designs We Love From Around The Globe, the Middleton Group team is a bit obsessed with retail merchandising design. When we are not busy working for Canada’s top companies, we spend our spare time drawing inspiration from the best of the best in retail displays and signage around the world.

Here are 10 more of our favourite retail display and store designs:

Apple Flagship Stores

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Apple lovers will concur - Apple knows great design. An inspiring product should be sold in an inspiring store. Apple’s flagship stores across the globe support the brand’s reputation as a trendsetter in design. Just take a look at the sleek appeal of the San Francisco, Fifth Avenue, Boston and Shanghai storefronts.

Selfridges Jelly Bean Bull Run

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Most of us don’t need much arm-twisting to indulge in sweets. But if you were tempted to skip the candy section of Selfridges & Co’s Birmingham, England store, the giant jelly bean bull run would surely draw you in. Occupying the store’s atrium, the bull pays tribute to the Bullring shopping centre that it calls home. Selfridges also created a window display featuring men in motion made from thousands of jelly beans.

Selfridges London Rolex Boutique

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The Selfridges London store is home to a newly expanded Rolex boutique. The new, larger space features bronze, marble and walnut wood. It conveys a feeling of extravagance that’s only appropriate for this 100-year-old luxury brand of timepieces.

Buttercup Cake Shop

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Cupcake shops abound nowadays, but few of them feature decor quite like that of Buttercup Cake Shop in London, England. The store is designed to look like a Shaker-style, hand-built kitchen. Touches of whimsy come from design elements like an oversize drum light with hanging teapots.

Bergdorf Goodman’s Holiday Window

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Some of the best store window displays make their appearances at Christmastime. Nowhere is the quest for a perfect holiday window more obvious than in Manhattan. New York’s top department stores engage in a yearly competition to create the most eye-catching window displays. Bergdorf Goodman’s 2009 holiday windows drew favour with their fantastical life-size polar bears and unicorns.

Printemps Karl Lagerfeld Window Display

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Speaking of Christmas windows, Chanel came up with a rather hilarious tribute to designer Karl Lagerfeld back in 2011. The windows of Paris’s Printemps flagship store paid homage to the Chanel creative director during the holidays. Eleven windows displayed 60 puppets, a number of them being mini Lagerfelds, dressed in the designer’s distinctive look.

Topshop Monochrome Window Display

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There’s only so many ways you can display fashions on mannequins. Or is there? Topshop handles window display design with style. This monochrome display relies on visual interest rather than colour. The precariously stacked chairs capture attention with their height and slight hint of danger.

Coca-Cola Mario and Luigi Display

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Sometimes the product itself becomes the display. Check out this impressive display of Coca-Cola products. Together the carefully arranged boxes of pop create an attention-grabbing image of Mario and Luigi. We wonder how long it took them to put that display together!

Fine Wine Displays

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Wine bottles all look pretty much the same right? So how do you create a wine store that entices consumers to stay and browse for a while? These wine retailers have accomplished just that. Dutch online wine seller Grapy located its first physical store inside a bookstore. The wine shop integrates wine books and cookbooks with the wine. The wines themselves are displayed in minimalist, crate-like boxes. Simple, clear signage directs buyers to “creamy whites” and “bubbles.”

RIMOWA Retail Design

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We’re once again drawing from our own portfolio for this last bit of design inspiration. Don’t fault us, we’re just proud of what we do! Have a look at the retail display design work we recently did for RIMOWA, one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of quality luggage.

What marketing mediums do consumers trust most?

We thought this infographic from Infographics Archive was worth a second look. Find out how consumers place their trust in marketing messages depending on the medium. The infographic outlines the kinds of communications and content considered most "relevant" and "trustworthy" by consumers. Definitely worth sharing...

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10 Retail Display Designs We Love From Around The Globe

We’ve been creating retail display designs and fixtures a long time, so you’ll have to excuse the Middleton Group team for being a bit obsessed with retail merchandising design. In fact, you could say we live and breathe retail displays and signage.

We want to bring our clients the latest creative concepts and that means keeping abreast of advancements in our industry. It also means we have spotted quite a few top-notch retail designs.

Here are 10 of our favourite retail display designs and store designs:

Alice in Wonderland Window Display

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How often do you see a store window that makes you stop and take notice? It seems unlikely that anyone could pass this Alice in Wonderland window display without lingering to take a look. Part of Fortnum and Mason’s Christmas window displays in 2006, the scene has a spectacular sense of motion and mystery. Read more about Fortnum and Mason’s Christmas window tradition, which they call their “Christmas gift to the shoppers” here.


Ferrari

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Speaking of amazing window design, how about this Ferrari made from tiny toy horses? The design is part of luxury fashion retailer Harvey Nichols’s “Everyday Design” window displays, which used mundane everyday objects to create large works of art.


Radioshack Rebranding

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For overall store design, we like RadioShack’s New York City concept store. Part of RadioShack’s attempt to rebrand itself in the competitive world of Amazon and Apple, the store puts lots of techie treats on display for a fun, hands-on shopping experience. The Speaker Wall allows customers to test speakers by playing music from their own Bluetooth-enabled mobile devices.


Tiffany & Co.

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The 2013 A.R.E. Design Awards Store of the Year award went to Tiffany & Co. in SoHo. Nobody’s surprised that the new store has a high-end look, but you have to see it to believe it. The 9,000-square-foot store features embellishments from local artists and artisans. Each individual selling space features elements that reference the retailer’s history. Tiffany dragonflies appear on backlit silver-leafed glass panels, custom flooring and furniture.


Woolworths Nicolway Grocery Store, South Africa

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Another A.R.E. Design Award winner, the Woolworths Nicolway grocery store in South Africa incorporates natural and sustainable materials. Designed by R&L Architects in Cape Town, the store ensures a comfortable experience for shoppers with wide aisles and rustic wooden tables creating merchandising hot spots throughout. Judges admired the store’s crisp, clear signage.


Opening Ceremony, Tokyo

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Opening Ceremony’s flagship Tokyo store features edgy fashions on four themed floors. Check out the zoological floor, where accessories are showcased in cabinets ornamented with ostriches, llamas and horses. This kind of out-of-the-box thinking has the world looking at and admiring Tokyo’s retail style.


PepsiCo NFL Instore Display

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PepsiCo’s partnership with the NFL is one of the contributing factors that helps the popular beverage company achieve $66 billion in sales each year. Although PepsiCo teams with the NFL all year, the pinnacle of their campaign occurs during the Super Bowl. The annual campaign includes 250,000 displays in retail stores. And they are displays you just won’t miss! Check out this Pepsi/NFL display in Halifax, Nova Scotia, for example.


Imaginext Castle Dragon

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POPAI, an international trade association for the marketing at retail industry, named the Imaginext Castle Dragon one of its 2013 Gold Display-of-the-Year Award Winners. We can see why! Created by Darko, Inc., the semi-permanent display is nothing if not eye-catching. Children and their parents are sure to be drawn to this stunning display of Imaginext toys.


Diesel Kid Store display

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You have to work a little harder to impress today’s ad-savvy kids. This Diesel Kid Store display should do it. Created by Collective Paper Aesthetics for the store in Treviso, Italy, the unit displays kids clothes on crafty paper stools. It has been shortlisted for the ISG Retail Week Interiors Awards.


Thomas the Tank Engine display

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Okay, forgive us, but we can’t help tooting our own horns. Our Thomas the Tank Engine display is sure to attract a crowd of Thomas fans. Even Mom will want to stop and take a look at this colourful, fun toy display.