By Liz Warren-Pederson
This year, the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship purchased a 3D printer. “The printer is a MakerBot Replicator2 and will be used by McGuire students for rapid prototyping,” said Jeff Burrows, assistant director of the program.
Robert Ryberg (Eller MBA ’13), Srinivasan Chanrasekharen (Computer Science Ph.D. ’14), Absar Kasmi (Eller MBA ’13), and Christopher Elsner (Eller MBA ’13) are not only using the 3D printer for prototyping — their venture is based on the technology.
“Moments3D provides customers with a 3D printout of their face by integrating off-the-shelf 3D image acquisition, processing software, and 3D printers,” explained Ryberg. “This proprietary process streamlines the conversion of scanned 3D information to a printable 3D model.”
Members of the team were already familiar with rendering software such as SolidWorks, Auto Desk, Reconstructme, and MeshLab. “We have developed a working understanding and ability to manipulate models by working closely with a variety of experts in 3D modeling,” Ryberg said. “Our team currently renders the 3D image in real time before printing the model.” Chanrasekharen, the doctoral student in computer science, is developing an automated process for image rending that will allow the team to save time in the printing process.
They anticipate that the first application of their process will occur in a retail setting. “Users will walk in to our kiosk, get scanned, and watch as their face is printed out before their eyes in about 30 minutes,” Ryberg said. “They can then access their scan on our website and order larger, more intricate 3D printouts.”
The team credits access to the printer as essential to forming a working venture beyond basic concept. “The only way our team was able to fully understand the market demand for our products was to physically position ourselves in populous areas with preprinted 3D models to validate and understand customer reactions,” Ryberg said. “Additionally, there has been a great learning curve in the process of acquisition, rendering, and printing models. We have gone through many iterations of failed renderings and prints in the process of streamlining our system.”
Meet the generation driving the next economy at McGuireExperience.com.