Click here to close now.


News Feed Item

Stratasys 3D Printers Help Energize Developing Regions Around the World

Additive manufacturing using 3D printing technology has the potential to compress supply chains, minimize materials and energy use, and reduce waste, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. But beyond streamlining production processes, companies are also using 3D printers to bring innovative, low-cost energy solutions to the market itself – including portable solar arrays and bicycle-powered generators.

Peppermint Energy headquartered in Sioux Falls, S.D. produces portable, plug-and-play solar generato ...

Peppermint Energy headquartered in Sioux Falls, S.D. produces portable, plug-and-play solar generators. (Photo: Stratasys)

This press release has an accompanying Smart Marketing Page providing further details about the organization, products and services introduced below. You can access the Smart Marketing Page via the following link:

Organizations such as Peppermint Energy and Designs For Hope have used 3D printing technology from 3D printer manufacturer Stratasys (NASDAQ: SSYS) to help individuals spur economic development, participate in emerging industries, and access educational opportunities in areas of the world that don’t have reliable access to electricity.

Worldwide, 1.3 billion people lack access to electricity, according to the International Energy Agency. South Dakota-based Peppermint Energy is determined to change that with its flagship product called the FORTY2. Like a solar plant in a suitcase, the FORTY2 is a portable array that draws enough energy from the sun to provide light, refrigerate medicine or food, or power a laptop. A battery connected to the array stores power for use when the sun is down.

For real-world design testing of the FORTY2, Peppermint Energy’s development team used Stratasys 3D printing technology to 3D print functional prototypes. At three feet wide and roughly 60 pounds, the FORTY2 required a robust housing strong enough to hold all of its components. The first full-scale prototype, built in a Stratasys Fortus® 3D Production System, revealed some of the design considerations that led to the FORTY2’s simple operation.

In response to the devastating Haiti earthquake in 2010, the FORTY2 was developed to bring emergency power to the area, and is being used in the rebuilding efforts, as shown in this video.

“It’s only when you see it in physical form that you realize the form and function should be the same,” said Peppermint Energy co-founder Brian Gramm. Using Stratasys FDM 3D printing technology, the team was able to quickly make modifications, allowing for fast improvements and saving an estimated $250,000 in tooling costs. For example, a power switch is unnecessary; just opening the FORTY2 turns it on. The Peppermint team also decided to make the whole device even smaller than intended after carrying the first prototype proved awkward.

Another company, Designs For Hope in Alabama, has developed an inexpensive, durable device that enables rotational energy to be harvested and stored from one of the simplest and most readily available forms of transportation in developing regions worldwide, a bicycle. The device holds a generator on a bike, harvests its power and conditions the electricity for storage in a battery.

The development team began making prototypes on a Dimension 3D Printer from Stratasys, but the initial design had some flaws. After the team 3D printed out its first idea and held it next to a bicycle, they realized it wouldn’t work, said Chris Bond, founder of Designs for Hope. After many design iterations and prototypes, made possible using the Dimension 3D Printer, the team finalized the device, and has since worked with missionary networks to place units in the field.

One recipient is a Uganda orphanage whose only power comes from a small solar-panel system. Orphanage workers commute seven to ten kilometers daily by bike. Once at work, they charge their cell phones from the solar panels, gobbling up limited power. Bond hopes his device alleviates this problem.

“The beautiful thing is, they’re using their bikes anyway,” says Bond. “It’s free energy.”


Stratasys, Ltd. (Nasdaq: SSYS), headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn. and Rehovot, Israel, manufactures 3D printers and materials for prototyping and production. The company’s patented FDM® and PolyJetTM 3D Printing technologies produce prototypes and manufactured goods directly from 3D CAD files or other 3D content. Systems include 3D printers for idea development, prototyping and direct digital manufacturing. Stratasys subsidiaries include MakerBot and Solidscape, and the company operates the RedEye digital-manufacturing service. Stratasys has more than 1700 employees, holds over 500 granted or pending additive manufacturing patents globally, and has received more than 20 awards for its technology and leadership. Online at: or

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Statements regarding Stratasys’ beliefs, intentions and expectations, including without limitation statements regarding the development and performance of our products and the potential growth of our industry and market, are forward-looking statements (within the meaning of the United States federal securities laws). The statements involve risks and uncertainties, both known and unknown, that may cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Actual results may differ materially due to a number of factors, including the risk and uncertainty relating to Stratasys’ ability to penetrate the 3D printing market; its ability to achieve the growth rates experienced in preceding quarters; its ability to introduce, produce and market both existing and new consumable materials, and the market acceptance of these materials; the impact of competitive products and pricing; its timely development of new products and materials and market acceptance of those products and materials; the success of Stratasys’ recent R&D initiative to expand the DDM capabilities of its core FDM technology; and the success of Stratasys’ RedEye On DemandTM and other paid parts services. This list is intended to identify only certain of the principal factors that could cause actual results to differ. These and other applicable factors are discussed in this presentation and in Stratasys’ Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2012, as well as other filings that Stratasys, Inc. has made with the SEC and that Stratasys Ltd. has made and will make with the SEC in the future. Any forward-looking statements included in this presentation are as of the date they are given, and Stratasys is not obligated to update them if its views later change, or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as may be required by law. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing Stratasys’ views as of any date subsequent to the date they are given.

FDM, Stratasys, Objet and Fortus are registered trademarks, and Fused Deposition Modeling, PolyJet and Dimension are trademarks of Stratasys Ltd. and or its subsidiaries or affiliates.

Attention Editors, if you publish reader-contact information, please use:

  • USA 1-877-489-9449
  • Europe/Middle East/Africa +49-7229-7772-0
  • Asia Pacific +852 39448888

More Stories By Business Wire

Copyright © 2009 Business Wire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Business Wire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Business Wire. Business Wire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, rich desktop and tuned mobile experiences can now be created with a single codebase – without compromising functionality, performance or usability. In his session at DevOps Su...
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningf...
Most of the IoT Gateway scenarios involve collecting data from machines/processing and pushing data upstream to cloud for further analytics. The gateway hardware varies from Raspberry Pi to Industrial PCs. The document states the process of allowing deploying polyglot data pipelining software with the clear notion of supporting immutability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Shashank Jain, a development architect for SAP Labs, discussed the objective, which is to automate the IoT deployment proces...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
The buzz continues for cloud, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) and their collective impact across all industries. But a new conversation is emerging - how do companies use industry disruption and technology enablers to lead in markets undergoing change, uncertainty and ambiguity? Organizations of all sizes need to evolve and transform, often under massive pressure, as industry lines blur and merge and traditional business models are assaulted and turned upside down. In this new da...
Countless business models have spawned from the IaaS industry – resell Web hosting, blogs, public cloud, and on and on. With the overwhelming amount of tools available to us, it's sometimes easy to overlook that many of them are just new skins of resources we've had for a long time. In his general session at 17th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, an IBM Company, broke down what we have to work with, discussed the benefits and pitfalls and how we can best use them ...
In recent years, at least 40% of companies using cloud applications have experienced data loss. One of the best prevention against cloud data loss is backing up your cloud data. In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Sam McIntyre, Partner Enablement Specialist at eFolder, presented how organizations can use eFolder Cloudfinder to automate backups of cloud application data. He also demonstrated how easy it is to search and restore cloud application data using Cloudfinder.
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, exploreed the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and t...
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessi...
With all the incredible momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, it is easy to forget that not a single CEO wakes up and wonders if “my IoT is broken.” What they wonder is if they are making the right decisions to do all they can to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve customer experience – effectively the same challenges they have always had in growing their business. The exciting thing about the IoT industry is now these decisions can be better, faster, and smarter. Now ...
The cloud. Like a comic book superhero, there seems to be no problem it can’t fix or cost it can’t slash. Yet making the transition is not always easy and production environments are still largely on premise. Taking some practical and sensible steps to reduce risk can also help provide a basis for a successful cloud transition. A plethora of surveys from the likes of IDG and Gartner show that more than 70 percent of enterprises have deployed at least one or more cloud application or workload. Y...
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true ...
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem"...