Free D

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On November 15, 2018, Free D commented on Adidas’s Race to be #1 in 3D Printing :

Wouldn’t it be cool if your sneakers could be on a subscription model!? They put sensors in your shoes and analyze the performance for a year. Every year, Adidas sends you a new pair with all the improvements you need based on your last pair of customized shoes. That’s the future of online retail! Customization, curation, personalization, convenience, etc. All with predictive demand!

On November 15, 2018, Free D commented on Adidas’s Race to be #1 in 3D Printing :

Shoe production contains two main components: the midsole (which I focus on here) and the upper. To date, the Speedfactories have primarily focused on the uppers of the shoes, using new machine knitting technology, but with a strong focus on speed and variation. To be honest, I’m not convinced that 3D printing will ever be at a lower cost than traditional manufacturing, where materials are molded into the desired shapes are very large volumes. Also, remember that Carbon needs to make money on every 3D printed shoe as well.

As implied in the article, the real question is demand. If the shoe is materially better at being a shoe, are consumers willing to pay? Historically, Nike and Adidas have done a great job of creating demand… where’s the limit?

On November 15, 2018, Free D commented on Volkswagen Hits the Road with the Adoption of 3D Printing :

Wow, very interesting that they are investing so heavily into AM. I see that current consumer parts are more gimmicky personalized components. Do you think that someday, large portions of a car could be 3D printed? I would love to be able to buy a car that’s unique to my personal tastes without paying Ferrari or Lamborgini prices. Moreover, has AM been applied to aftermarket parts? I feel like inventory costs for replacement parts must be very expensive due to their unpredictable nature. Could we print those someday? It’d be amazing if someone could just print me a new bumper everytime I get into a car accident haha.

On November 15, 2018, Free D commented on 3-D printing our way to space? :

Very interesting application of AM, but I’m a bit disappointed by its incremental approach. In your last paragraph, you describe the failure of a single O-ring and its catastrophic implications. Would the vision someday to have 3D printers in the space station so that they could just print a new O-ring? Obviously given the current nascent state of AM, we would just send a thoroughly test O-ring from Earth. But if we go deeper into space with transport times becoming ever longer and resources becoming more scarce, could 3D printers allow us to be more resourceful further out in space?

On November 15, 2018, Free D commented on Open Innovation at NASA: Impact in Culture :

I think open innovation and NASA are a perfect match. As many others have commented here, I love the idea of space and space exploration. I think there is something very universally human about space and its unknown. Therefore, I think innovation around space exploration should be as democratic and inclusive as possible. Someone had brought up a concern of national security. The more NASA can position itself as a non-partisan, global organization, the more innovative it will be. To end on an inspirational quote: “one small step for man, one large step for MANKIND”.

On November 15, 2018, Free D commented on WeWork: Machine Learning meets Real Estate :

Wow, really interesting seeing what’s behind WeWork’s growing business. I 100% agree that WeWork is firstly and lastly a real estate company. My struggle is still with how its real estate business compares to other real estate business, chain restaurants for example. I know a number of companies are using machine learning to assist in real estate decisions, is WeWork much better here? Moreover, I agree that as a real estate company that seems to have found success, they should move beyond shared office space and use their ‘secret sauce’ in other areas such as gyms and schools. But is there a possibility of licensing? Why go through the trouble of operating gyms, hospitals, and schools? Would someone pay for Wework to pick real estate locations on their behalf?

Very interesting space. I agree wholeheartedly that using machine learning to suggest more cost-effective targets makes a lot of sense given how expensive it is to develop a genomic drug. My concerns are 1) around what Deep Genomic’s patents cover and 2) their business model. While I think the application of machine learning and the market is ripe with opportunity, I know that in Biotech, the R&D cycles are extremely long. When will we know if Deep Genomics is actually good at its core competency and deliver on its customer promise? Secondly, I’m curious to know more about its business model. How do they get paid? How do their incentives align with their promise of value creation?

To me, it feels like SIA’s crowdsourcing is a bit of marketing ploy. As you mentioned in your article, idea generation may not be enough to give SIA an edge in the very competitive world of airlines. I believe that a big reason why SIA’s business has declined in recent years, despite great service, is because of competition. Furthermore, I know that segmentation is key for airlines: business vs leisure travelers, with each segment having very different demands. What are the pros and cons of open innovation as they apply to different travelers? Are these in one particular segment? That’s interesting that cargo shipments gave SIA a nice boost, another segment I had previously not considered.

On November 14, 2018, Free D commented on Adidas’s Race to be #1 in 3D Printing :

Traditionally, one of the bottlenecks for developing new products is the tooling required to make a new pair of shoes. The molds required are both expensive and time-consuming. With 3D printing, a new pair could be made in the morning, tested in the afternoon, and reprinted with adjustments the following day. Currently, this is impossible. But once again, I think data collection is critical. Wouldn’t it be cool if you could show up to an Adidas store and they already know what your next pair should be based on data collected from your previous shoes?

On November 14, 2018, Free D commented on Adidas’s Race to be #1 in 3D Printing :

I hadn’t thought of the military application. I know many big innovations have come through military development and adoption. I wholeheartedly agree that the military should test out 3D printed boots for soldiers that are on their feet all day. Obviously, questions of durability and reliability come to mind. But getting a military contract would add further credibility.

On November 13, 2018, Free D commented on Adidas’s Race to be #1 in 3D Printing :

Well it looks like Carbon’s technology is pretty advanced. So I’m not sure which other companies are directly competing against Carbon’s production speed and material flexibility. It has to do with a permeable window that let’s oxygen through and slows down curing at the bottom of the tank. This allows for both UV and Thermal curing. Plus with that $420 million war chest and the luxury of gaining so much experiential knowledge, I think they are in a healthy lead here.