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Which type of 3D printing is best for your business?



A man in a lab using a 3D printing
There are five main types of 3D printing and business can benefit from them | Photo: Tom Claes

A 3D printer works by forming materials from computer designs that are fed into it. The most common 3D printers pour melted plastic from nozzles that carefully layer the material, building an object from the ground up. Other than plastic, devices can print using composite powders, resins, metals, carbon fibre and more.

But how can this new technology help your business you may be asking? Prototyping and low-volume manufacturing plays an essential role in the lives of many entrepreneurs and small business owners. As technology continues to improve, new methods of manufacturing continue to emerge as viable methods for small and mid-scale production. Among these is 3D printing, and its widespread use in manufacturing has grown in recent years.

Benefits of 3D printing for small businesses

The benefits of 3D printing for small businesses are significant across a number of aspects. These advantages are just the beginning of 3D printing’s future.

  • Using fewer resources. A 3D printer uses the exact amount of material needed to create an object. Traditional machining cuts away material to create a part, wasting material with each part manufactured.
  • Customisable products. You can create single objects to fit specific customer needs.
  • Save time and cut start-up costs. Cycles of prototyping eat up time and money. The prototypes that don’t work are useless. One of the most promising 3D printing business uses is rapidly developing models and options for testing.
  • Simplify production processes. Traditional manufacturing is often a multi-step process that uses lots of machines and devices. With 3D printing, one machine can do it all.
  • Streamline repairs. Imagine how much downtime you could eliminate if you could print spare parts when breakdowns happen.
  • Limit your outsourcing needs. The ability to use 3D printing across all of these applications makes your business more self-sufficient. When you can eliminate outsourcing business processes, your company can retain more revenue.

Which type of 3D Printing is best for my business?

There are five main types of 3D printing, and you should figure out which type your business will benefit most from.

Stereolithography, also often referred to as SLA, is the most widely used resin 3D printing technology. It is generally considered to provide the greatest accuracy and best surface finish of any prototyping or 3D printing process. SLA is an industrial 3D printing process used to create concept models, complex and intricate parts. It is a popular choice as many parts can be built in just one day.

Also known by its abbreviated term FDM, fused deposition modelling is where the part is built by selectively depositing melted material in a pre-determined path, layer-by-layer. The materials used are thermoplastic polymers and come in a filament form.

When using a SLS 3D printer, a thin layer of material powder is applied on top of the building platform, which is inside a hot chamber with the temperature just under the material’s sintering point. A powerful laser beam “draws” a 2D section of your part on the material surface then with an increase in the temperature above the sintering temperature, the laser sinters the powder particles together, and where necessary to the layer beneath too.

Coloured 3D printing (PolyJet) is one of the latest processes to hit the industrial 3D Printing and general engineering markets and is increasingly popular in the dental, medical and retail industries. PolyJet technology is continually evolving and is known for its realism as well as its sharp precision and ultra-fine detailing. It gives you the ability to create 3D colour-printed parts with the gradients, textures, transparency or opacity your components required.

Tierney is a Content Specialist based in Northamptonshire working with a variety of brands across the UK to enhance their content, branding and PR.


The Häagen-Dazs Rose Project announces 50 nominees



Kim Rihal, founder of social enterprise Equal Education, is one of the 50 women shortlisted for The Häagen-Dazs Rose Project
Kim Rihal, founder of social enterprise Equal Education, is one of the 50 women shortlisted for The Häagen-Dazs Rose Project

Earlier this year, on International Women’s Day 2023, Häagen-Dazs launched ‘The Rose Project’, a global initiative with a $100,000 (USD) bursary grant inviting nominations to recognise unsung trailblazing women in honour of the brand’s female co-founder Rose Mattus. Yesterday, 23 November, on what would have been Rose Mattus’ birthday, Häagen-Dazs announced the top 50 #WomenWhoDontHoldBack nominees being shortlisted for their achievements and its five globally accomplished Häagen-Dazs Rose Project judges.

Over 2,500 applications were received for The Häagen-Dazs Rose Project putting forward pioneering efforts and societal contributions made by women across the globe. From these, 50 talented and inspirational women have been shortlisted and will be put forward to win one of five monetary grants of $20,000 (USD), which will be announced on International Women’s Day 2024, to continue their exceptional work, unleash their potential or give to a cause they are passionate about. The top 50 shortlist includes women from 17 countries hailing from across Europe, Asia, Africa & Middle East, Australia and the Americas.

The all-female judging panel from across the world has been handpicked for the final selection stage of The Häagen-Dazs Rose Project includes. UK-based author, broadcaster and philanthropist Katie Piper, fashion entrepreneur and advocate for women’s fertility issues, Velda Tan from Singapore and Spanish entrepreneur and creative director Inés Arroyo, are amongst the judges.

“International Women’s Day 2023 marked the launch of The Häagen-Dazs Rose Project to honour the legacy of our co-founder, Rose Mattus, and create a fund platform to provide opportunities to women across all fields around the world who are truly deserving of support and recognition. We were thrilled to receive thousands of nominations across countries and our #WomenWhoDontHoldBack Top 50 shortlist is a compelling and diverse mosaic of trailblazing female narratives that moved us and serve as an inspiration to women everywhere”, says Aurélie Lory, Häagen-Dazs spokesperson.

To find out more about the story of each entrepreneur shortlisted for The Häagen-Dazs Rose Project, visit:

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47% of women feel their workplace is not combatting inequality



Katherine Maher, CEO, Web Summit, on Centre Stage during day one of Web Summit 2023 at the Altice Arena in Lisbon, Portugal
Katherine Maher, CEO, Web Summit, on Centre Stage during day one of Web Summit 2023 | Photo: Eóin Noonan/Web Summit

The proportion of women who feel that their workplace is not taking appropriate measures to combat gender inequality has nearly doubled in a year, a new survey has revealed.

Web Summit, the world’s largest technology event taking place in Lisbon this week, has released its third annual State of Gender Equity in Tech report, which is based on a survey distributed among its women in tech community.

76.1 percent of respondents feel empowered to pursue and/or hold a leadership position; fewer respondents (41.8 %) feel the need to choose between family and career when compared to 2022 (50.4 %); and there is at least one woman in a senior management position in 80.4 percent of respondents’ companies, a similar proportion to last year (81.3%).

The survey found that 70.5 percent of respondents feel pressure to prove their worth compared to male counterparts, while 77.2 percent feel they need to work harder to prove themselves because of their gender.

Over three quarters of respondents (76.1 %) feel empowered to pursue and/or hold a leadership position. And almost half of respondents think that their workplace is not taking appropriate measures to combat gender inequality, increasing from 26 percent in 2022 to 47
percent in 2023.

“While it is encouraging to see progress in some areas, such as those feeling the need to choose between their family and career, there are also some deeply concerning trends within this report. Seeing an increase in those who report having experienced sexism in the workplace in the last year is disheartening in 2023. We hope that this kind of research can breed some positives, and that it will push workplaces – and women within these workplaces – to broach these topics and make progress in these areas,” said Carolyn Quinlan, VP of community at Web Summit.

Last year, 42 percent of attendees at Web Summit were women and 33 percent of speakers were women. In 2023 these numbers have slightly improved with 43 percent of attendees and 38 percent of speakers on stage being women this year.

The women in tech programme at this year’s Web Summit is at capacity, and the women in tech programme at Web Summit Rio 2023 reached capacity in record time.

The WebSummit 2023 is running from November 13th to 16th in Lisbon, Portugal.

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Krispy Kreme to give away free donuts on World Kindness Day



A box of Krispy Kreme donuts opened and with donuts inside
The company, founded in 1937, is giving away 60,000 free doughnuts around the world today | Photo: Clément Proust

American multinational doughnut company and coffeehouse chain, Krispy Kreme, is celebrating “World Kindness Day” today by distributing free donuts in the US and the UK.

The chain is giving away a box of a dozen glazed donuts for free with no purchase necessary. But only the first 500 guests that visit each participating Krispy Kreme US stores on “World Kindness Day”, Monday November 13th, will be able to get a free box of donuts.

Krispy Kreme often gives away free or discounted donuts to generate buzz on special occasions. The company, founded in 1937, traditionally gives out free donuts to customers on National Donut Day, celebrated on the first Friday of June of each year. And in July, a dozen of glazed donuts were sold for 86 cents to celebrate its 86th birthday.

Thousands of free donuts are also expected to be given away today across Krispy Kreme stores in the United Kingdom, with customers being encouraged to ask for the World Kindness Day offer. No purchase necessary.

The company, which operates in over 30 countries around the world, said it wants the brand associated with World Kindness Day to make “meaningful connections” with customers.

“World Kindness Day is an opportunity to make a positive difference by being generous,” Dave Skena, Krispy Kreme’s global chief brand officer, said in a release. “Simple gestures of caring and thanks, including sharing a sweet treat, is a great way to do that.”

Krispy Kreme said that it’s considering expanding a limited partnership it has with McDonald’s to sell more of its donuts at the latter’s location.

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