On Tuesday 25th September Sue and I went up to the TCT at the NEC a trade show around 3D printing, although we had an early start and a late return it was a very interesting show although there was an absence of lower end cheaper printers, which was a shame. Despite this there were plenty of filament producers at the show and with some nice innovations in filaments.
It was great to meet up with some guys I have known for a few years on forums and worked with but have not actually met in person, Anders Olson developed the Olson block for the ultimaker and the Ruby Nozzle, for which I was a tester, also Gauthier from Filaments Directory in Belgium. As well as some others, although unfortunately Tim for 3Dfilaprint was there the day after us.
As well as filament printers there have been improvements in resin printers especially the post printing washing and curing of the model, the improved equipment making the cleaning off easier and reducing the risk of touching the resin: as the resin is UV cured to produce the model, if it touches your skin and is not fully cleaned off it will cure and as its UV it will give you a UV burn to the area it touches over a few hours. Despite this the DLP and SLA printers produce some fantastic intricate pieces with fine detail like jewellery. The Formlabs Form 2 I have been watching for a few years with interest and Sue was very impressed with the results and wants one.
Another nice little printer was the PrimaCreator P120 v3.1 – Blue which is a solidly built printer but has a fixed layer height of 0.1mm (100um). At the other end of the scale, Sue liked this printer and is pictured with the Tractus3D a large scale printer with it printing a new wineglass! There was also a display of Ultimaker Printers and we had had a great chat with the guys from Zmorph, and later were sitting and chatting with Przemek Jaworski who is CEO and founder of Zmorph.
In the PLA filament area there has been a nice addition of graphene, producing a great rival to carbon fibre but without the nozzle wear, we look forward to testing some in the future. Filamentum had a nice selection of filaments and colours, and ColorFabb were showing off their new range where they can colour match to pantone or RAL colours to order, although it’s a 3kg minimum order. Polymaker had a interesting stand and had a good display of objects from a fashion jewellery designer printed in PolySmooth and PLA PolyWood for a nice wood effect necklace
Another machine of interest was a CNC router from ooznest, to 2D or 3D cut various sheet materials. They had an enclosure for demonstrating at the show which they are thinking about providing in a kit form as an accessory.
We are looking forward to the next 3dprint show which will be towards the end of January and should be more of the home/hobby/small business type of printers where we can look at possible printers and equipment for expansion.