How CEO Vicki Holt Aims to Take Proto Labs to $1B In Sales

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By Karen Field, Industry Week

“The only thing slowing down Proto Labs’ bid to become a $1B technology company just may be the time it takes for its customers to catch up. Since its inception in 1999, the provider of rapid manufacturing (and inspection services now) of low-volume 3-D printed, CNC-machined and injection-molded custom parts for prototyping and short-run production, has leveraged the power of digital information.”

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Pops! Diabetes Care Teams With Children’s Minnesota

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By Joe Carlson, Star Tribune

“Your smartphone can help you peek through a home security camera while you’re at work, and it can show you a real-time map filled with cars ready to give you a lift on a moment’s notice.

But when it comes to displaying blood-sugar levels for diabetics, the promise of an accurate and simple smartphone app still seems like a far-off goal. This week Twin Cities device maker Pops! Diabetes Care enrolled its first patient in a clinical study it is sponsoring to see whether a device it calls the “Pops! one” can finally fill that long-sought niche.”

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Stratasys Ready For Takeoff In Aviation Industry

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By Dee DePass, Star Tribune

“Get ready Jetsons. The armrest on your next airplane ride might have be made by a 3-D printer.

In June, Stratasys Ltd. introduced a new 3-D printer at the Paris Air Show that makes the Federal Aviation Administration and European Aviation Safety Agency approval process easier for aviation parts makers, said the company with dual headquarters in Eden Prairie and Israel.”

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St. Paul-Based Lab651 & Keystone Automation Form Joint IoT Venture

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Two St. Paul firms, Lab651 and Keystone  Automation, have joined forces on the co-creation of a new industrial internet of things (IIoT) signaling device for small and midsize facilities to measure change.

Called Praeco, it provides ongoing monitoring and real-time updates for various types of machinery and equipment sensors within the environment, configured to generate a simple text message or email alert whenever a certain state or threshold changes.

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UMN Researchers Pursuing 3D Printed HCI Pressure Sensors

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Via NBC News

“Wearable technology may soon be at your fingertips — literally. Researchers have developed a pressure sensor that can be 3-D printed directly on your hand. The device, sensitive enough to feel a beating pulse, is made from soft, stretchy silicone that conforms to the curves of your fingertip.

It’s a step toward a more seamless integration of human and machine, said Michael McAlpine, a materials scientist at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. His team didn’t print the device on a real hand yet — just an artificial one. “But,” he said, “it sets the stage for future work in 3-D printing electronic devices directly on the body.”

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Vibrant Technologies Acquires TechWorks

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Via News Release

“MINNEAPOLIS — Vibrant Technologies, Inc. (Vibrant) today announced the acquisition of TechWorks, LLC (TechWorks). TechWorks, LLC, a leading networking remarketer, specializes in Cisco and HP networking equipment. This acquisition represents Vibrant’s increasing commitment to remarketing of networking equipment. Jon Maring, TechWorks Founder, will join Vibrant Technologies beginning immediately and will lead Vibrant’s newly established Networking Division. “

TechWorks brings category expertise and industry leadership to Vibrant in refurbished and off-lease Cisco Networking switches and routers, Juniper equipment, HP ProCurve Networking, Dell PowerConnect Switches, and additional brands of new and used network hardware. TechWorks will be integrated into the existing Vibrant team.

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Investors Sue Duluth Startup GeaCom

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By Brooks Johnson, Duluth News Tribune

“Investors are suing Duluth’s GeaCom Inc. for millions of dollars, alleging the medical device maker fraudulently led them to buy stakes in the company, according to court filings.

Five minority shareholders, who together invested more than $3.5 million into GeaCom, want to “recover the investment induced by … false statement regarding pending sales,” according to court documents filed in February.”

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Sentera Soaring To Next Level With Farm Drones

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By Neal St. Anthony, Star Tribune

“Richfield-based Sentera, one of several emerging makers of drones, sensors and software for America’s farmers, is gaining altitude. CEO, Eric Taipale, an engineer who started working on drones a generation ago for defense contractor Lockheed, said relationships with distributors such as huge farm-equipment manufacturer John Deere have been critical.”

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