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Enjoy this funny 3d Printing Video. For more, go to youtube.
Three trends are coming together that make American companies look
more and more at getting overseas investors: money is easier to
move internationally, there is an abundance of new wealth coming
from the third world, and there are scores of new intermediaries
saying they are connected to this wealth. These intermediaries take
the shape of brokers, investment bankers, P/E fund managers and
Opening your firm to foreign money also opens up many cans of
worms. Suddenly your firm will be dealing with issues of culture,
law, taxes and transaction costs. Before you take a single dollar (or yen, rupee, euro,
etc.) from abroad, think about these 5 Points listed here:
1. Will your other investors mind? Will your current investors care
if more funds come from country X? Does country X help or hurt them
financially, legally or psychologically? Getting your current
investors’ permission might be necessary.
2. Will your overseas investors have access to your company’s
trade secrets? Frequently, investors want to understand and
potentially copy your intellectual property. It may be impossible
to track the actual source of overseas money. Thus, some overseas
investor could be connected to a real (or future) competitor.
Investment dollars might come from a real (or future) client or
vendor. Will they be able to access your “secret sauce”
and do you mind if they do?
3. Do you understand how to deal with the investor’s culture?
We are back to the No. 1 stumbling block in international business:
the differences in culture. If your way of doing business is
completely different than what your investors are accustomed to,
then there may be potential conflict on the horizon. How will you
deal with their views on risk, profit, law, ethics and management?
How will they deal with yours? How much education and hand-holding
will be necessary? How active will your investor be in running your
4. Do you realize it may take more time to deal with an overseas
investor? The single biggest cultural difference is our perception
of time. The overseas investor may be willing to invest, but not as
quickly as your firm wishes. Investors are often known for showing
high interest initially, and then stalling. In places like Asia and
the Middle East, that syndrome is even more widespread.
5. Are there tax consequences to your company taking foreign money?
Even if you completely and fully understand the U.S. tax
ramifications, does country X’s tax practices agree with ours?
Are you suddenly filling out a tax return for country X?
Few investors are in a rush, especially when investing overseas.
While they are taking their time it’s an opportunity for your
firm to take yours and do proper due diligence.
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The industry of 3D printing is becoming one of the world’s hottest, and Forbes magazine estimated the current $3 billion global market to reach $20 billion by 2015.
It’s expected to knock down barriers in international business. Experts are comparing the innovation to the steam engine, and it’s destined to change the entire manufacturing industry. Countries with manufacturing bases are embracing it and fearing it at the same time.
Additive manufacturing, commonly known as 3-D printing, turns a blueprint into a product.
Most manufacturing techniques involve removing materials to create an object, by drilling or cutting. Additive manufacturing uses digital technology to add successive layers of a material in different shapes. The process puts layers of plastic or metal (or other compounds) to create a 3-D object, such as a cup, auto part, dental crown, toy or even a gun.
A blueprint can be found online and users can create a product with a few mouse clicks. This technology allows companies and individuals to manufacture short runs of products without much labor, shipping or manufacturing knowledge.
The world will react to this technology, and the trends are clear.
• Governments that protect labor pools will tax the technology.
Many countries adopted protectionist measures to keep citizens employed. These measures were designed to stop foreign competition from selling products in protectionist countries. Nations put tariffs on, for example, Chinese, Japanese and even American goods to keep local factories in business.
But what happens when a local Englishman can simply “print” a part for his car? No stores, import duties, quotas or government revenue. We can bet that 3-D printers will be taxed on purchase and for their use. Much like today, with television taxes in Europe, where citizens pay a government tax to have a TV set in their houses. Owners of 3-D printers might pay one as well.
• Companies that rely on expensive labor will embrace the technology.
In much of Europe, the labor laws make it difficult to fire people, painful to cut wages in hard economic times, impossible to eliminate health insurance, and unacceptable to slash or deny benefits. The social cost of doing business in Western Europe already keeps many manufacturers out of the labor pool. Strong government subsidies often are necessary to lure firms to Europe.
With 3D printing, an employer can have a machine do a person’s job. The machine doesn’t get sick. The machine doesn’t require five weeks’ vacation. The machine can run 24 hours per day and can be moved to another region or country without disrupting an employee’s family. 3D printing offers a way to manufacture close to a client’s location as well as market opportunities that aren’t hamstrung by labor costs.
3D printing is achieved using an additive process, where successive layers of material are laid down in different shapes. 3D printing is also considered distinct from traditional machining techniques, which mostly rely on the removal of material by methods such as cutting or drilling (subtractive processes).
A 3D printer is a limited type of industrial robot that is capable of carrying out an additive process under computer control.
While 3D printing technology has been around since the 1980s, it was not until the early 2010s that the printers became widely available commercially. The first working 3D printer was created in 1984 by Chuck Hull of 3D Systems Corp. Since the start of the 21st century there has been a large growth in the sales of these machines, and their price has dropped substantially. According to Wohlers Associates, a consultancy, the market for 3D printers and services was worth $2.2 billion worldwide in 2012, up 29% from 201
More can be found at 3D Printing Channel