Detroit’s Little Caesars Arena Owes its Early Success to 3D Printing | Architectural Digest

When Tom Wilson, president, and CEO of Olympia Entertainment, was first trying to sell suites in Detroit’s soon-to-open Little Caesars Arena and leases in the surrounding buildings, it wasn’t always an easy deal. “We’re coming out of a tremendous period of upheaval in Detroit,” he says. “We’ve just come out of bankruptcy a few years ago; there wasn’t total confidence.” Wilson estimated it would take the better part of a year to sell out the stadium suites. Yet within 40 days of sales being open, his team had sold them all. Their unexpected aid? A 3D-printed model.

For its first time working with 3D modeling, Olympia had turned to Zoyes Creative Group, who used the state-of-the-art Stratasys Fortus 450mc 3D Printer to create a breathtakingly intricate model of the arena and the surrounding downtown district, all being developed by Olympia. Founder Dean Zoyes has been using 3D-printing technology since 2011, after years cutting his teeth hand-modeling buildings for architects and designers. Though Wilson may have been pleasantly surprised by the impact of the models, Zoyes wasn’t. “In terms of pre construction marketing, there’s no better tool than a physical model,” he attests. “This type of additive modeling has really changed the industry overnight.” Chuckling, he adds, “My developers and architects try not to make that a true statement—they use all other models, be it visual or verbal, but when it comes down to it, there’s really nothing like being able to see for yourself a physical display model on a table, and especially one this intricate. The type of quality you get from a physical display, the value is inherent in that. There becomes this visceral attachment to a physical piece.”

Stratasys’s Jim Vurpillat and Olympia Entertainment CEO Tom Wilson inspect an early version of the model.

Photo: Courtesy of Stratasys

The model in question was no standard project: Zoyes calls it “if not the biggest or the best we’ve ever done, the closest to it.” Stratasys project lead Jim Vurpillat explains, “Olympia wanted to, in a sense, bring this project to light because it was broader than just a new arena; there was a much bigger scope. They very quickly realized the only way to really bring this to life in the time they had was to use 3D-printing.”

The model features a nearly unparalleled standard of detail for 3D models. Each building, street, and signpost is rendered in exact scale, allowing both developers and potential purchasers to get a virtual sense of the space, which was, at sale time, little more than a giant construction lot. “Potential developers could see on a real scale what things are going to look like and how they’re going to work,” Wilson says. “It makes everything so much easier. They could see, ‘Oh, there will be a mass of people outside my building coming from the arena every night—that makes for good business.'”

The completed model of the Little Caesars Arena.

Speaking of masses of people, what’s an arena without fans? Not much, according to Zoyes’s team, who made the last-minute decision to fill the model stadium with tiny fans. “We wanted to add some excitement to the inside of the bowl,” recalls Zoyes. “So I said, could we 3D-print fans with their hands in the air? So we did that, and our client thought it was just the coolest thing, so we ended up printing several groupings of people and then hand-placing them in rows. That probably took a good week. Someone’s job was to categorize the groups and put them in, all by hand.”

As development has continued, that model has become an evolving structure. “Once we had the stadium, the ballpark, the Fox Theatre, Fillmore, all built perfectly to scale with all of the features that you recognize, we could start painting the picture of what this arena is going to do and mean,” explains Watson. “And as they assembled it, the story became very real and became a great scene-setter for the next phase. We would look at something and say, ‘No, that’s a bit off, we’ll have to move that,” and kind of develop the project that way.”

A video showing the progress of the 3D model project.

As a result, the project is far from slowing down. “They will continue to use this,” says Wilson of his sales team. “We’ll continue to tell these stories for all the leases for the smaller buildings; that will be going on for probably the next five years. Every time you come in, there will be another little building, and it creates a sense of urgency.”

For Wilson, Zoyes, and Vurpillat, all Detroit natives, the project has become far more than a standard development. It’s part of a larger story about revitalizing their beloved city. Says Vurpillat, “I’m from Detroit for 28 years; it’s very exciting to see this growth happening in your hometown.”

Buyers thought so, too: “Once everyone saw the arena, with the video and the whole presentation, almost everyone who bought a suite said part of the reason was that they really believed it would be a transformational change for the city,” Wilson recalls. “And they wanted to have a part of the city’s comeback.”

Adds Zoyes, “One of the things I don’t usually get to say is that I feel very lucky to be invited in on these projects. I’m the person that’s seen the inside of this arena before anyone else has. I can envision the spaces way faster with the advent of 3D printing, and we can help others visualize it as quickly as we do. It’s a real joy to be involved in Detroit. It’s on the move. Everyone calls it a revitalization, but it’s always been there. It’s just now coming to life.”

Source: Detroit’s Little Caesars Arena Owes its Early Success to 3D Printing | Architectural Digest


Nobody in Hong Kong wants a Tesla(NASDAQ: TSLA)anymore — Quartz

The government is eliminating a generous tax waiver for electric vehicles, giving Tesla cars little or no price advantage over a Mercedes.

Hong Kong has long been one of Tesla’s biggest markets, but it may not be for much longer—not a single newly purchased Tesla model was registered in April, according to data from Hong Kong’s transport department.

The plunge in interest in Tesla cars came after the government eliminated tax breaks for electric-vehicle (EV) owners, a policy that went into effect on April 1 and is expected to last until March next year. Now, the city has capped the tax waiver at HK$97,500 ($12,500) on private EVs, and is only applicable to first-time owners. There were 2,939 first-time Tesla registrations in March just before the new tax rules kicked in, around five times that of the number in February.

As a result, it now costs HK$925, 500 ($118,400) for a Tesla Model S 60, compared to HK$570,000 ($72,900) before the new tax policy—giving it little or no price advantage over a Mercedes-Benz.

Source: Nobody in Hong Kong wants a Tesla(NASDAQ: TSLA)anymore — Quartz

Were your dentures, crowns made in China? Law would require disclosure

denturesYou know where your clothes are made. The country name is stitched on the tag. But do you know where the crowns, bridges and dentures in your mouth come from?

The Erie County Legislature thinks maybe you should.

Legislators are weighing a proposed local law that would require local dentists to disclose where the prosthetics they are cementing into your mouth were originally made.

Andy Jakson, owner of the Evolution Dental Science lab in Cheektowaga, has pushed the law after his firsthand experience working with a lab in China that purported to make crowns and other permanent dental fixtures for patients out of FDA-approved materials. In reality, the company was selling the FDA-approved materials on the black market and shipping back dental products made with inferior products.

“It’s silly that we’ve got to know where shoes are made because they’re going to be touching your skin, but something that is permanently placed in your mouth has no disclosure at all,” said Jakson, whose lab annually makes dental prosthetics worth $3 million. “It’s a medical device. I can’t even fathom why it’s not a law yet.”

The Food and Drug Administration requires that dental prosthetics like crowns and bridges last seven years. But many of these dental fixtures last patients 20 years or more. And if those fixtures aren’t being made to the proper health and safety standard, critics say, the possibility exists that they could absorb bacteria or leech contaminants into a person’s body.

Groups like the American Dental Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have not found sufficient evidence that the general public is at much risk by having dental work made by overseas companies. But an investigative report from 2008 tested multiple crowns made in China and found they had unacceptable levels of lead.

Legislature Majority Leader Joseph Lorigo, who has an appointment to receive his first dental crown later this month, said patients have the right to know where their dental work is made. Area labs may partner with overseas companies to produce dental prosthetics that reduce costs, but rarely is that information voluntarily passed to patients.

Lorigo said he was shocked to learn that federal law requires the textile industry to list the fiber content, country of origin and care instructions for their fabrics, but the health community has no requirement to inform patients where medical devices implanted in their bodies are made.

He submitted a proposed law on Monday that likely will be sent to the Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee for discussion on Monday. He said he anticipates it will receive bipartisan support, though he remains interested in receiving feedback on the proposal.

“The law, in my opinion, is a perfect example of the legislative process working the exact way it’s supposed to,” said Lorigo, C-West Seneca. “I’m going to hope we can have it passed in the fall.”

His broader hope is that the legislation gains steam at higher levels of government.

Jakson brought the issue to the Legislature’s attention several months ago, recounting how his dental lab had partnered with a lab in China about a decade ago. To ensure the lab met FDA requirements, Jakson said he spent three weeks in Shenzhen, China, touring five different dental labs to assess their ability to meet U.S. standards. He picked one of the pricier labs that seemed trustworthy.

To ensure the lab used FDA-grade materials, he said, his company shipped U.S. materials to the Chinese lab. But the quality of the products he was getting in return made him suspicious, he said, so he ceased shipping one particularly popular shade of dental-grade porcelain.

That didn’t stop the overseas lab from continuing to ship back finished products supposedly made with the porcelain that Jakson was no longer sending. So he had the products tested by the U.S. manufacturer that made the raw materials. That company confirmed the dental products shipped back to Jakson were not made from the same materials Jakson sent over.

The Chinese company gave dishonest explanations for what happened, he said, and a liaison later informed him the materials he sent over had been sold on the black market. In addition, he said, one box of finished prosthetics that had been held up at the border finally arrived with mold growing on the dental models, suggesting the use of unclean water.

He also pointed out that overseas labs in places like China typically can’t be sued, leaving U.S. labs, dentists and patients with little recourse if a dental prosthetic turns out to be made under false pretenses.

The law under consideration by the Legislature would require two types of disclosure regarding the origin of the custom crowns, bridges, dentures and veneers: Dental labs must disclose the origin of their prosthetics to dentists, and dentists must disclose the origin of their prosthetics to patients.

Failure to do so would result in fines starting at $1,000 and increasing to $5,000 and misdemeanor charges for repeat offenders.

In response to the possibility that the proposed law may be imposing unwanted regulations on businesses or narrow profit margins, Jakson said, “This is not about increasing or decreasing somebody’s business. This is about the safety of the patient.”

Original news link

By  | Published 7:00 a.m. July 11, 2017 | Updated 11:17 a.m. July 11, 2017