Sol Lipman’s Journey

Sol Lipman is now AOL's Senior Director of Mobile. Brian Solis photo.

The outline for Sol Lipman’s talk at Thursday night’s TechRaising meetup would read like a standard-issue business-inspirational presentation: Your startup is a journey; it isn’t about the money; don’t be afraid to fail; My Five Rules for Startups. But this was not a standard-issue presentation.

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Santa Cruz’s Crush on Tech

Is there any chance Jon Kvitky doesn't want more high tech biz in Santa Cruz?

Welcome to Silicon Beach. Or at least that’s what we should be calling Santa Cruz, according to a recent survey by the online polling and policy outfit Civinomics. The six-question poll, taken at the Chamber of Commerce Business Fair at Cocoanut Grove on March 14 by a Civinomics team (which included the author, a Civinomics co-founder), found that the industry in which Santa Cruz businesspeople have the most confidence is technology. In fact, 40 percent of those surveyed stated that if they could invest $10,000 in any local industry, technology would be their first choice, followed closely by tourism at 35 percent. Retail and agriculture finished substantially behind, with 18 percent and 16 percent respectively (some respondents picked two industries). Forever 21 might want to take notice of these results.

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How 3-D Printing Works

The PP3DP plastic extrusion printer at MakersFactory gets the job done. Photo by Chip Scheuer.

When describing the actual 3D printing process, a good analogy to use is that of an inkjet printer, which takes information and prints it onto paper, in two dimensions, line by line, from the top down. In a similar fashion, 3D printers take information and print it, in three dimensions, layer by layer, from the bottom up.

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Why 3-D Printing Matters

Chris Yonge and Dave Britton of MakersFactory in Santa Cruz. Photo by Chip Scheuer.

On Star Trek: The Next Generation, crew members use a machine known as the replicator to make replacement parts for the ship, prepare food and fix Captain Picard’s usual: “Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.” Creating something out of nothing, the replicator is, sadly, pure science fiction. But using a newly emerging technology, we can design a wrench, a toy, a bike or a flying monkey, and with a click of the mouse, create it. This replicator is a printer, but what it makes is not a two-dimensional image of the design; not a paper model that folds into a 3-D one. This printer creates, quite literally, the object. Three-dimensional printing is here.

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