The 3Doodler is a 3D printing pen developed by Peter Dilworth and Maxwell Bogue of WobbleWorks LLC. 3Doodler began funding in February 2013 on the crowd funding platform Kickstarter. It utilizes plastic thread made of either acrylonitrile butadiene styrene or polylactic acid that is melted and then cooled through a patented process while moving through the pen, which can then be used to make 3D objects by hand.
The 3Doodler has been described as a glue gun for 3D printing because of how the plastic is extruded from the tip, with one foot of the plastic thread equaling “about 11 feet of moldable material”.
WobbleWorks launched a Kickstarter campaign for the 3Doodler on February 2013 with an initial fundraising target of $30,000. The $50 reward level was the minimum needed to receive the product, with higher reward levels of $75 and $99 including more bags of plastic thread, and the highest level of $10,000 including a “membership in the company’s beta testing program for future products” and the opportunity to spend an entire day with the company’s founders, along with the backer’s 3Doodler being personally engraved.
The reward levels were expanded due to demand, with the added tiers of the product shipping in 2014 rather than in September, October, November or December 2013 for the earlier backers. The company also teamed up with several Etsy wire-artists to showcase the abilities of the 3Doodler and to create “limited edition art pieces” for the campaign.
The fundraising target was reached within a matter of hours and many of the reward levels were sold out within the first day, along with all the Etsy art pieces.By end of February, more than $1 million had been pledged.
- First 3Doodler 3D Printing Pens Ship to Kickstarter Backers (inhabitat.com)
- The $75 3Doodler is a simple, handheld 3D-printing pen (venturebeat.com)
- 3Doodler Finally Shipping to Early Backers, Retail in 2014 (news.softpedia.com)
- IFA 2013: Hands-On Alone Time With the 3Doodler 3D Printing Pen (news.softpedia.com)
- 3Doodler 3D printing pen starts shipping to Kickstarter backers, retail models arriving in early 2014 (engadget.com)
Flexible OLED displays launched in January
In January 2013 Samsung officially launched their flexible OLED displays, calling them YOUM displays. YOUM panels are bendable – but it’s likely that the first products to use those displays will actually be rigid. The display can be “curved” thought. A plastic based AMOLED will also be shatterproof, and also lighter and thinner compared to glass based OLEDs.
1st product using flexible display in October
In October 2013, Samsung announced the world’s first product to use a flexible OLED display – the Galaxy Round curved smartphone. This is an Android 4.3 smartphone similar to the Galaxy Note 3, with the major feature being the 5.7″ Full-HD curved flexible display; samsung simply refers to it as a flexible Super AMOLED, strangely they are not using the YOUM brand.
Flexible OLEDs are lightier and thinner compared to glass-based panels, and they should also be much more durable. In fact in the past they were said to be shatterproof, although Samsung did not mention this during the Galaxy Round release.
When will we see the first YOUM product?
As we said, in October 2013 Samsung finally launched the first flexible OLED product, although this was not branded as YOUM. Samsung announced they have started to mass produce flexible OLEDs – 5.7″ Full-HD panels.
Samsung currently capacity is about 8,000 5.5-Gen sheets, which is about 1-1.5 million 5″ panels a month assuming 100% yield. But they are producing larger panels, yields won’t be that high and the line is also used for R&D which means that actual production will be a few hundreds of thousands of panels a month.
As you can see, Samsung’s capacity is very limited; consider the fact that they currently make around 10 million 5″ AMOLEDs in a month for the Galaxy S4. So at first Samsung will not use these panels in a mass market phone. As we said, some reports suggest that Samsung will unveil a Galaxy Note 3 variant with a flexible OLED – this phone will be lighter, thinner and more durable than the regular Note 3.
- The Samsung Galaxy Round: Why the Curved Smartphone Display is Truly Innovative (thedroidguy.com)
- Samsung Galaxy Round with flexible display likely to debut soon (thenewstribe.com)
- What you should know about flexible displays (FAQ) (news.cnet.com)
- Flexible Displays: FAQ (business2community.com)
- Samsung Galaxy Round tipped to come this week with flexible display (androidcommunity.com)
- LG begins mass production of flexible OLED smartphone displays (androidos.in)
The PC market has been on the decline for the past year, but there are new hints that the situation is improving — if only slightly. Both Gartner (shown here) and IDC estimate that worldwide computer shipments dropped roughly eight percent year-over-year in the third quarter. While that’s not exactly comforting to vendors, it’s better than the double-digit losses of the past several months; the analyst groups even saw flat or positive growth in countries like Japan and the US. Any further declines in some regions may be relatively gentle, Gartner says.
As for who’s out in front?
Heavyweights like Lenovo, HP and Dell grew thanks to improving business sales and some advance shipments of Windows 8.1 PCs. Acer and ASUS, meanwhile, were dealt the worst blow as their netbook sales continued to suffer from the rise of mobile OS tablets. Neither Gartner nor IDC is predicting a turnaround for the industry, but they suggest that PC builders are finally figuring out their places in a world where mobile devices rule.
Not only PC, but MAC also
Another interesting piece of data we glean in the report is that Apple (AAPL) experienced a PC shipment decline of 11.2% in the third quarter. Perhaps, iPhone and iPad are cannibalizing MAC sales. It’s something to watch in the upcoming quarterly results. Smartphones and tablets have compressed the tech giant’s margins, falling Mac sales might further the problem; although management recent said margins will be higher thanks to iPhone 5S sales. Nobody actually wants the 5C as its price has been cut by many vendors already.
The way of the VHS
The PC is going the way of the VHS. Investors would be better served focusing on tablet leaders and suppliers. Even smartphone sales are beginning to moderate.
- PC shipments fall for sixth straight quarter (nbcnews.com)
- The PC Industry Shrank Another 9%, Gartner Says (AAPL, HPQ) (businessinsider.com)
- The PC Industry Shrank Another 9%, Gartner Says (AAPL, HPQ) (embargozone.com)
- IDC and Gartner: Q3 2013 PC shipments not as bad as predicted, but still bad (neowin.net)
- PC sales continue to fall as smartphones, tablets cut demand (ctvnews.ca)