2016 Year in Review

 In Customer Stories

2016 was another great year for 3D printing. While industry numbers for 2016 are not yet finalized, analysts are projecting worldwide shipments of 3D printers to double compared to 2015! However, the growth and impact of 3D printing extends far beyond raw industry figures.

Simplify3D - 3D printed 2016

At Simplify3D, we have witnessed first-hand how 3D printing has become a global phenomenon. We hear stories of innovation taking place around the world and continue to be impressed with the passion and ingenuity of our community. Here are some of our top stories as we look back at 2016.

Customer Stories from 2016

One of our favorite stories in 2016 was from Vicky Somma, of Virginia. Using a unique feature in Simplify3D, Vicky was able to produce stunning multi-color prints using only a single extruder printer. She offered her beautiful 3D-printed aviary at trade shows and through her Etsy shop. Her innovations provided an incredible way to use 3D printing technology to capture nature realistically and memorably.

In another story, we showcased Simplify3D user Brett Turnage and his RC homage to the legendary Formula One racer Aryton Senna. Brett’s design allowed OpenR/C F1 owners “the option to retrofit their cars with a completely tunable professional RC suspension featuring adjustable ride height, camber settings and a full live axle with adjustable Panhard bar and damper.” Using Simplify3D’s retraction settings and  support structures, Brett  eliminated retraction blobs and improved his printer’s quality and speed. He continues to push the boundaries of working models that are achieved through 3D printing, and we can’t wait to see what he develops in 2017.

But easily our most popular story of the year was that of Peyton Andry and Luke Dennison. Both young men were born with symbrachydactyl, a condition that causes fingers to be shorter than normal. Earlier in 2015, Luke’s father Gregg 3D printed Luke’s first prosthetic hand, which opened the doors to many new opportunities for father and son! Gregg is a regular volunteer for e-NABLE, an organization that uses 3D printing to help people overcome challenges, and Luke has attended trade shows and local events to explain his new 3D printed hand and how it has affected his life.

The team at Simplify3D orchestrated a meeting between Luke and Peyton.  The boys quickly bonded, with Luke showing off the “super-powers” of his new hand. Peyton’s inquisitive nature moved into hyper-drive and he was ready to be fitted for a hand of his own! With approximately 30 individual parts needing to be precisely printed, Simplify3D helped guarantee dimensional accuracy with quality controls and best in class support structures. After a month of preparations, Simplify3D and a team of volunteers (led by Luke and his father Gregg) presented Peyton with his new hand and magic happened, not only for Peyton but for everyone involved.

Simplify3D Highlights From 2016

Simplify3D - multilingual support

Over the last year at Simplify3D, we continued to expand our industry-leading compatibility with over 100 new 3D printers added in 2016 alone! We are committed to supporting the next generation of 3D printing technology, giving our users confidence that they can continue using Simplify3D with any machine they choose to purchase in the future.

This year included several new software updates along with our 25th release since the product was first launched in 2013. Some of the top 2016 features include an improved slicing engine, expanded support structure tools, enhanced USB communication, support for several new file formats, and new additions to the user interface. With users in over 120 countries around the world, we are also proud to offer the software in five new languages including Japanese, Spanish, German, French and Italian.

The Simplify3D User Forum continues to be a constant source of inspiration with over 10,000 posts over the year. The community is constantly sharing printing tips, ideas for new features, and finding innovative ways to push the boundaries of 3D printing.  Our team constantly compiles and reviews this feedback to make sure your voice is heard and that we can continue to bring you the best software for your 3D printer.

We are already busy working on our next major software release for the coming year, which plans to deliver many of our most requested features. 2017 promises to be another big year for 3D printing and we can’t wait to see what you accomplish next!

If you know a project that we should spotlight here in 2017, please email us at stories@simplify.com

Simplify3D - 3D printed Darth Vader bustSimplify3D - assembled 3D printed robot