The ongoing turf war over OLED technology between the Korean electronics giants LG and Samsung looks set to continue unabated with the announcement that LG are set to display a prototype flexible and “unbreakable” 5 inch OLED screen.
Early in 2013 traditional corporate rivals Samsung and LG Electronics revealed they were in talks to resolve the numerous outstanding patent disputes and legal actions which were the culmination of the compas increasingly bitter battle for control of the Asian OLED display market. Many months later, many of those antipathies, it seems, have been reignited. Some of this may be due to overwhelmingly positive responses LG received when they released their brand new curving 55 inch OLED TV, which quickly reignited their rival’s competitive streak.
Now LG are set to shake things up again by announcing that they will put a flexible prototype 5 inch OLED screen on display at a demonstration at the SID 2013 in Vancouver. LG claims that the screen will be “almost unbreakable”, and will have numerous potential applications for smart devices. If the much anticipated demonstration is successful, the heat could be turned up on Samsung yet again.
Potomac Photonics, Inc. is known for their industrial, consumer and manufacturing applications. So to serve as the official 3D printing service for the Bits to Its 3D Printing art show in Rockland, Maine was a departure from business as usual. But one entry they 3D printed actually drew more from mathematical equations than from art.
Henry Segerman’s entry, Round Mobius Strip, is an outgrowth of his research in 3-dimensional geometry and topology at Melbourne University in Australia where is he a research fellow. With a PhD from Stanford University, Dr. Segerman’s art is a literal interpretation of the Bits to Its concept. He uses 3D Printing to bring concepts that are abstract to the physical world.
The Bits to Its show organizers chose digital fabrication experts Potomac Photonics to complete all the 3D Printing needed by artists who did not have their own 3D Printers based upon the 3D Printing service provider’s experience and excellent 3D Printer choices. Bits to Its cited in particular the 3D Systems ProJet 3000 Plus high resolution 3D Printer that can lay down a 16 micron layer for a very smooth finish. Potomac Photonics President and CEO Mike Adelstein commented: “For this job a very smooth surface was required. So we ran the 3D Printer in our highest resolution mode and the result speaks for 3D Systems great quality.” The 3D systems production grade 3D Printer also had a build area large enough to accommodate some of the more substantial designs.
Potomac’s experience was also a deciding factor. CAD files are key to all forms of digital fabrication, from making a 3D printed rapid prototype to long production runs using laser micromachining and everything in between. 3D Printers also have different design for manufacturing requirements that have to be considered. Mr. Adelstein adds, “printing Dr. Segerman’s entry was easy because Henry’s file was perfect.” Such is not always the case in 3D-printing, and several artists mentioned how helpful the Potomac staff was in getting their digital files ready for the 3D printers.
Whether using 3D printers, laser micromachining, or CNC machining, digital fabrication involves a digital file telling a machine what to do to make a part. This is especially good in making a rapid prototype since the designer can quickly make improvements as the parts are tested. A rapid prototype made by 3D Printing also allows for any changes without going back to the beginning of the design cycle.
The Lanham, Maryland company will rapid prototype through to production runs for a variety of industries. This includes medical device manufacturing, sensors, microelectronics, and consumer goods to name just a few.
Dr. Segerman says, “3D printing lets you hold in your hands ideas that would be very difficult to physically realize otherwise.” And it was 3D Printing service Potomac Photonics that made that happen for the Math artist entry into the Bits to Its art show.