Picture to Product: 3D Print Makes It Possible

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3D Printing opens new markets, new growth  

Innovation trend continues for 124 year-old print + Light Manufacturing company with investment to serve rapid prototyping

Turning concept drawings into finished products can be one of the most expensive and time-consuming steps in the development process.

Not any more for clients of FetterGroup, long a leader in digital print solutions and change-management software platforms.

FetterGroup now offers breakthrough technology that takes a product concept from CAD design to a physical piece in a matter of minutes.  The firm has been using this technology for some time in its own light manufacturing of three-dimensional surface decorated products for users globally.

FetterGroup is now ready to share this technology and expertise in a turn-key experience that includes CAD design services, rapid prototyping, material procurement, distribution and manufacturing consultation.

“We have a deep understanding of the entire rapid-prototyping process from concept to full scale production to international distribution and we want to help other companies grow and innovate in similar ways” said Terry Gill, FetterGroup President and CEO.

The goal, said Gill, is for client companies to dramatically reduce the time and cost that previously hampered innovation.

“We recognize the significant hurdles for start-up and early stage product companies in prototyping their ideas to move forward with investors, regulatory approval, or establishing

large scale production partners,” Gill said. “We want to help reduce or eliminate those barriers of time and cost and help companies go from picture to product with the speed the market now demands”

FetterGroup already has major successes with the new technology in its own product-development and light manufacturing.

“We recently created a new part for an in-home heart monitoring device,” Gill said. “It would have taken months to test new parts and find the right fit using the old process.  We were able to test and provide a solution within a week and our customer is able to move to full-scale production immediately.”

Using standard CAD software in the front end of the process makes it easy for FetterGroup clients to get started using a common file.  FetterGroup also offers design services if CAD software is not readily available to customers.

“What makes us unique is our breadth of experience across the spectrum of design, brand management, print, distribution and full scale manufacturing.  We have state of the art equipment in the hands of experts and the results are amazing”, says Gill.

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About FetterGroup:  FetterGroup, of Louisville, KY, serves regulated industries like paint and coatings, medical devices, specialty consumer products, and healthcare organizations with innovative packaging solutions and software platforms to manage change.  The company creates, manages, and distributes a wide variety of customized sales, marketing, and communications resources regionally, across the US and across the globe.

Learn how Fetter is transforming digital workflows and creating packaging innovations at fettergroup.com.  Follow them on Twitter @fettergroup, or read their unique perspective on the consumer package goods industry on their blog at fettergroup.com.

Your Design Sucks: How great design improves user adoption and makes the mundane exciting

Behold: The Dyson Animal – Haute Couture Vacuum

Raise your hand if you LOVE to vacuum.  Anyone?  Buehler?  My thoughts exactly.  No one jumps up and gets excited to vacuum.  Until you have a Dyson under the roof.  My Hoover died a tragic death recently and I cheered it’s demise.  It was a hideous beast I hid in the hall closet.  Despite the inconvenience of having it croak on me a few days before welcoming guests, I was pumped.  I got to upgrade!!

I bought a Dyson.

For the first time in my life I want to brag about my vacuum.  My VACUUM.  I love this thing so much I want to park it in my living room.  Just leave it out there so people can enjoy it’s beauty.  Great design does that.  It makes you want to park it in your living room, wear it on your sleeve, shout it from the rooftops, use it all day and gaze longing at it as much as possible without freaking your friends out.  If great design has that effect on the most mundane and obnoxious activity, like vacuuming, imagine what it can do for other mundane and obnoxious activities –  like anything that has to do with business automation tools, CRM, EHR or any other multi-lettered acronym.

“We submit that usability is one of the major factors—possibly the most important factor—hindering widespread adoption of EMRs.(Electronic Medical Records)”  This is the conclusion of the HIMSS Usability Task Force that was charged with investigating lower than expected adoption rates of EMR systems in the United States.  When great design is at the forefront of a product or service people want to use it.  Better still, they will adopt it quickly and integrate it into their everyday.  For extra credit, they may shout from the rooftops how much they love using the new automation tool and how brilliant their manager is for implementing such a transformational application into their world.

And all of you application vendors, code slingers, project managers out there, wouldn’t it be great to have your customers and users Tweet their passion for your product because they simply couldn’t contain their excitement?  What compels someone to shout from the rooftops about something mundane?  Put a Dyson in their palm and step back.

Contributed by Dayna Neumann – VP Marketing + Strategy @FetterGroup

Follow Dayna on Twitter @daynaneumann

The Startup Bandwagon

Contributed by Hannah Beasley

I’m convinced this niche in history will one day be referred to as the era of startups. Tech startup companies are small, flexible, and more than anything, they have a can-do attitude that drives them to work 120 hours in a week in order to get a product out the door before it’s too late. These budding entrepreneurs see opportunities when larger companies are spending six months planning a strategy to build a solution – the startups just build it in six weeks. Sure, many startups don’t have the capital to get off the ground, and plenty of them that do still fail to produce any ROI.

But the important lesson to learn from this uprising is that a culture of constant change has become our reality. These tech startups are finding success because the world as we know it is changing every single day. These companies are smaller, deliberately structured to be flexible, and they are filled with creative minds. They are thriving in the midst of change. They are capitalizing on change as an opportunity – not viewing it as a threat to the current business model.

We have seen it repeatedly in history: companies who fail to capitalize on change will lose. Kodak feared cannibalizing their film business so much that they didn’t capitalize on their invention of the digital camera in the 50s. Had they instead chosen to become a pioneer in digital photography and dominate the market as a leader, they might not have filed for bankruptcy a week ago with a shattered business model and fragmented market share.

And then we see companies that have turned change into an incredible opportunity.

In the late 90s, record labels saw rampant music piracy as a huge threat to their profitability. They were constantly looking to fight against it through laws, petitions, and an arsenal of wealthy recording artists. In 2000, Steve Jobs saw it as an opportunity. Despite a great deal of resistance from the record companies, Jobs negotiated contracts and designed an entirely new revenue model for artists, recording labels, writers, and most importantly, Apple. This tech startup born in Steve’s garage in the 70s was no longer in just the computer business. Apple changed the way we think about music and the way we make purchases online. Yes, the iTunes store had a drastic impact on physical CD sales, and many music-only stores have been forced to close their doors.

But the revenue didn’t disappear – it was just reallocated. Don’t you want to be the place where people are reallocating their funds?

Don’t you want to be the electric car that Americans choose when they finally trade in their gas guzzlers? When consumers make changes to their health providers due to healthcare reform, don’t you want to be the company they choose? When 50% of households cancel their cable and begin utilizing the internet to stream and record live sporting events, don’t you want them to be subscribed to your service?

We all want to grow and become more profitable, so in this era of change, you need to be constantly be asking yourself…

How can I incorporate the healthy and successful innovative culture of a startup into my business? How can I ally myself with change-oriented partners to be sure that my own planning and good intentions don’t keep me from my future success?