ICT universalization has indeed enriched our world. Also, new technologies, shared information and electronic communications have bred new challenges. In most of the industries, the overall product complexity is increasing, bringing certain kinds of obstacles to the fabrication that big companies are not the best suited to be overcoming and resolving accurately.
Manufacturers must now attend highly customizable product configurations and their customers will often be demanding production in such small quantities that will be requiring the complete optimization of the process. A better planning and a flexible interaction between processes are required and collaborative manufacturing is providing a solution for such needs.

By analyzing the product mix to understand its impact on the overall production, companies can optimize fabrication, reduce costs and provide a better experience for their customers. The 3D printing technology is enabling this way of manufacturing. It is allowing much better logistics by distributing the production centers smartly and by incorporating the applications that facilitate the establishment of direct contact with the customers, printing exactly what they need, close to their location. This enables the creation of a “more sustainable world, where there is less waste and less things that are produced for no reason” –following the vision expressed by Jeremie Brabet, from Pzartech.

3D printing digital services and solutions are providing added value to a wide range of businesses, from retailers to the health sector. They are giving back to the people the means of production and providing them with the tools they need to get their products finalized, starting with a draft design and ending with the assembly and even the resources to commercialize it. As Max Gubbins, from 3D Kumo puts it, 3D printing is democratizing a way of production that was typically very expensive. “Especially in our industry, we’re working with clients that would have never dreamt of getting into manufacturing” –explains Gubbins– “now, with the advent of 3D printing and the rapid drop in prices that we have seen in the last five years, suddenly this is an achievable and realistic dream: to produce and sell products and more importantly, to make profit from it”.

These technologies have moved from a first stage where the main use was to help the fast creation of product prototypes. Now, it’s entirely possible to complete the whole manufacturing process using 3D printing. FABulous is easing the development of digital solutions and applications for this new “mass customization” era. It encourages the creation of innovative networked collaborative manufacturing services powered by FIWARE, and the provision of direct 3D printing services to consumers and industry that take advantage of the Open Source platform capabilities.

“3D printing is nowadays an enabling technology that is very promising” –says Francisco Bujan, from the FABulous accelerator–“the European, Asian and American markets are ready to receive it. A platform like FIWARE is ready to create value and to push this new way of manufacturing in the future”.
FABulous has successfully empowered the development of this new market by providing coaching, mentoring, direct funding and investment opportunities to SMEs and entrepreneurs. 90 startups were selected through the two previous open calls and are already supported by the accelerator, working on services and products for the consumer and industrial markets.
Now, a new open call is on until the end of June 2016! So, if you are interested in joining the 3D printing and collaborative manufacturing business innovation activities, this could be your chance!

To learn more about FABulous, about collaborative manufacturing and 3D printing powered by FIWARE, watch the video and check out now the whole story.

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