A Short Introduction to the Revolutionary 3D Printing Technology

One of the most remarkable technologies to have been developed in recent years has to be that of 3D printing. This technology enables you to use a specialized printer to create the things you design on a computer with the help of certain materials. If you are planning to use this technology, it helps to know a bit about it like the working of the technology, salient features, scanners and 3D modelling applications, how to print etc.

How Does This Technology Work?

In order to 3D print something, you need to create the concept art of the object first. A virtual design has to be created in the form of a specialized file such as CAD. CAD files can be created with the help of a 3D scanner if you are planning on cloning a specific object. A 3D modeling application will also suffice if you want to create the design on your computer.

3D Scanners: These specialized scanners can make use of various technologies in order to create a 3D model. Some examples include volumetric sacking and structured light among others. 3D scanners are an important part of 3D printing technology but they can be rather expensive but cheap DIY kits are also available.

3D Modeling Applications: Like scanners, you can find a range of these applications. Professional grade applications are quite costly. On the other hand, free or cheap applications are also available for beginners to create concept art with. Some applications even come with tutorials to help you get started.

Printing the Model

Once you have readied the model, you need to work on it further to get it ready for 3D printing. In order to prepare the model, a process known as slicing is used. In it, the model is sliced into numerous horizontal layers. In order to do so, you need a specialized software. Some modeling applications have this function built into them. In some cases, you may have to use a specific slicing tool that is compatible with the 3D printer. Once completed, the actual printing process can be started. The time required for the printing to be completed depends on the printer you are using, the materials you are working with and the complexity of the structure.

3D printing technology has certainly progressed far. However, it still has a long way to go till it becomes a part of homes like regular 2D printers.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9487454

Tips on Making Distributed Agile Teams Successful

Tips on Making Distributed Agile Successful

Purists and Scrum hipsters will argue that dispersed teams are a taboo in Agile communities of practice. However, in reality there are many instances where an organization has to outsource due to lack of local skill set or other reasons. Being prepared for what to expect and how to approach and prepare for the facilitation of distributed teams can go a long way in ensuring the success of the Agile initiative.

1. Decide on how to distribute

  • Teams work differently in their remote locations, but the whole team officially syncs up at least once a day, but also ad-hoc as situations call for it;
  • ach team in each location has all the necessary skills to execute on the committed sprint backlog;
  • Individuals in different cities must be encouraged to work as one team as opposed to one team in country A and another in country B;

2. Create stickiness or coherence

  • We want teams that will stick together which requires a clear vision;
  • We therefore acknowledge that cultures in our team differ – we should encourage collaboration and relationship nurturing early on in the project for sub-cultures to form;
  • Work actively to strengthen tactical as well as team structures;
  • Build trust through early communication of progress

3. You’re going to have to change how you communicate

  • In the Cinderella Project (a perfect project) a team would come together from their disparate locations to meet, socialize and form cohesion;
  • We encourage teams to stay together for at least an iteration;
  • Learn the lay of the land
  • Become familiar with the ‘flavour of Agile’ being used (e.g. all teams estimate, collaborate, execute and communicate differently – get to know these traits – it’s going to make or break your Agile initiative!)
  • Organize quarterly visits for either the whole team or have people cross pollinate through travelling between locations
  • Invest in the concept of having team ambassadors, people that ensure good working relationships
  • A Wiki culture, or information sharing philosophy is going to be very important, more so than with co-located teams
  • You are going to need more meat on that product backlog to physical counter the absence of key people
  • Horizontal communication must be encouraged and drive
  • Distance isn’t such a problem, time zones are!

When transitioning to a distributed team, err on the side of over-communicating.

4. Additions you’d need to accommodate in the framework you are using:

  • Meetings will require slack time, people are going to catch up (and rightfully so) whether you like it or not;
  • Share news as it happens about the project, good and bad
  • Honour basic meeting etiquette:
  • One conversation at a time
  • Everyone must know who is speaking
  • Keep to the time-boxes
  • Facilitator to set up technology, conference bridge etc. in advance of meeting, and test the connections
  • Ensures everyone has the right dial-in information

5. Technology

  • You’ll have to ensure your technology supports your dispersed nature
  • Use Agile Lifecycle Management tools like Jira, VersionOne etc
  • Use proper high quality video and voice tools to video-conference successfully and to bridge the distance gap
  • Online whiteboards for design sessions will aid collaboration
  • An online Retrospective tool that will ensure the opportunity to improve isn’t lost
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9479201

Getting The Perfect Drone For Your Child

Drones make very popular gifts for children and with so many models available for kids, you will find one that your child will love flying. Drones are generally safe for children and you therefore have nothing to worry about. You can actually improve your family time when you get a drone for your kids complete with a camera to capture those moments in the park or around the house or garden.

Consider the minimum flying age

The truth is that drones are not suitable for kids of any given age. Drone manufacturers do give age recommendations when it comes to the mini drones with eight years being the cut for most. You can however also use child maturity to determine what age is perfect for them to own and fly a drone. Whereas age of 10 may look suitable enough, children who are familiar with robotics and such may be able to fly the drones at younger ages. The age should also guide to the drone features that are relevant. For instance, kids over age of 12 will most likely find action camera drones more appealing than those without.

Check speed and size

These are the two elements that play a role in drone accidents. When choosing drones for kids, it is safer that you go for the model made of ABS plastic that is lightweight and durable. This kind of a drone eliminates the damage that could be caused by a much heavier or larger drone, especially when a child is just learning to fly. Small toy drones are basically harmless. Lower yaw rate are also best for kids. Propeller rotating speeds should be selected accordingly to minimize dangers when children are learning to fly. Slow flying drones are safer for kids, but you can always upgrade the size and speed according to the age and skill achieved.

Think about flying environment

You can either get an indoor or an outdoor drone for your child or one that can be flown in both environments. Indoor drones have stable hovers and very responsive commands whereas outdoor drones should at least be wind resistant and feature motor power to keep hover stable. Before buying, ensure that you have enough space to fly it, whether indoors or outdoors. The last thing you want is to have your kids fly the drones in your neighbor’s space which can be privacy invasion.

Drones for kids can keep them busy and excited as long as you choose a safe and secure model. Find out all about the drone before buying so you are sure it is the best for the child.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9509404

Appointment Scheduling Software – The Benefits And Choosing The Best

Appointment scheduling software helps in managing appointments. This is very important for businesses, including those that are in the service industry because customers and clients are always looking for convenience and do not like waiting in line. With proper appointment scheduling, you are able to see customers and attend to their needs without wasting their time and having large numbers waiting to be served giving you a hard time managing everyone easily.

Scheduling software makes it possible for the clients to book appointments online from wherever they are. Some of the platforms are very good in that they make it possible for you as a business to process prepayments and deposits online. With such an important tool, you are able to handle and serve customers satisfactorily and everyone is happy at the end of the day. With such software, you do not need to get a person to answer calls and schedule appointments.

Some of the businesses that can benefit most from the appointment scheduling software include gyms, medical offices, spas and salons. Professional consultants and photographers will also find such a system helpful in tracking appointments.

The benefits

· Manages wait lists so there is better customer handling

· Offers customers flexibility of booking appointments online without a need to call or visit for the same

· Sends automated mobile notifications to serve as reminders for the scheduled appointment

· Supports online payments offering lots of convenience for business and customers

· Integrates calendars and important business systems that matter

· Reduces costs because no person will be needed to attend to calls and schedule the appointments

· Saves time for both business and the customers

· Customers can easily schedule appointments at any given time; the system remains accessible round the clock

Getting the best

With so many benefits, you definitely will want to consider appointment software. To have the best experience as a business and to give the best to your customers too, there are things you must consider in the system.

Ease of use – Software you choose should be user friendly. Even a customer with no computer skills should have an easy time booking the appointment using the system. Try it out before settling for it.

Customization – Is it possible for you to customize the system? A system that gives you this ability is best because then you can make it work in the manner you want. You should be able to change layout to meet your brand, integrate it with business and also control access. The more control you have, the better the system will be.

Size and price – Scheduling appointment software that grows with business is most beneficial. You should be able to only pay for the size you need for the business, then you can upgrade as the demand for more space and functionalities grows.

Date security – The system should have measures to ensure that client data remains secure to meet professional standards of the industry you are in. You also deserve to get technical support at any given time for the system that you settle for in the end.

When you have an appointment scheduling software, customer handling is made easy and convenient. Choose a system that meets with every business need you have to get best value.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9521099