New and innovative designers are popping up everywhere, thanks to new technology like 3D printing. However, 3D printed materials can only be so sturdy. Local manufacturing on the other hand can produce quality and more complex products, but the costs is what prevents many taking this route. A combination of the two called Hybrid 3D printing can be the answer for smaller companies to produce higher quality products than 3D printing does, but also have a cheaper alternative to traditional manufacturing. SYNCFAB, (Synchronized Fabrication) is a platform to bring hybrid 3D printing and connect inventors and designers with manufacturers and material specialists to bring back local manufacturing.
“SYNCFAB is a platform that matches students, garage inventors, designers, engineers, 3D printers, specialty manufacturers and material suppliers with one another via CADSYNC, which is our design manager user interface. More technically speaking, SYNCFAB is a technical hybrid 3D print and design solution platform. Mobilizing all the resources of localized 3D design, 3D printing, traditional manufacturing and input materials for individual custom creations with added benefits of supporting our local economy,” says Jeremy Goodwin, co-founder of SYNCFAB.
SYNCFAB originally started in 2013 as 3D Lab Works to research the advantages of 3D printing and compare it to traditional manufacturing and in turn also help revive the US manufacturing industry. In the end, 3D Lab Works realized 3D printing could not replace traditional manufacturing. 3D printing in general is the addition of material by layering on material on top of one another. Traditional manufacturing would subtract materials to create a product. 3D Lab Works saw possibilities of hybridization, which can be the most effective method in producing various products at various quantities. Afterwards, 3D Lab Works transformed into SYNCFAB.
3D printing has been around for the past 30 years, however patents prevented others from advancing such technology. Now, those patents have finally dissolved and allowed a new wave of innovators to take advantage of the technology. There have been talks on how 3D printing can one day take over the manufacturing industry, but in truth, that’s not going to happen anytime soon. Would you like to fly in a plane built only by 3D printing technology? I wouldn’t think so. The traditional ways of manufacturing are still key to creating some of the most complex and sturdiest products.
However, manufacturing locally is usually an expensive option, which leads a lot of projects to be outsourced to other countries like China and India. The problem is, local manufacturers do not market their products and services and causes a lot of unknown factors to develop. Another reason is the sudden surge in the popularity of 3D printing allowing it to be another option for new designers and small companies to flock towards to.
“Our goal is to provide a platform with all the tools for ideas guys and gals of all interest and skill levels to graduate from mass consumer to custom creator, while streamlining intelligent design for new and veteran business manufacturers to fund production lines, retooling, and upgrades with local product orders,” says Jeremy Goodwin. Having a platform to connect both creative and manufacturing sides together can only mean a big boost for the creative community to stay or come to Los Angeles while local manufacturing businesses grow. SYNCFAB also successfully ended their Kickstarter campaign recently by reaching over their goal of $25,000, only proving there are a few who already believe in what the SYNCFAB team is building.
Los Angeles has been the hotbed of creative innovations in recent years. With new students coming from various schools with design and engineering backgrounds, the creative community is only going to become larger and larger over the coming years. SYNCFAB provides a platform for both creative newbies and veterans to build the products they once dreamed of and making it into a reality. Los Angeles might get even more crowded in the near future thanks to the platform SYNCFAB has created.