Think2Thing and Ryerson University Bring Back Be3D Conference with Focus on Virtual and Augmented Reality


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12522985_1112330585458566_6719570100404213087_nTomorrow, 2017 will enter into its third month, and has already been to two major conferences, attending CES 2017 in January and SOLIDWORKS WORLD 2017 at the beginning of February. Next week, we’ll be on the road yet again, this time heading to Toronto for the return of the Be3Dimensional (Be3D) Conference. Not to be confused with YSoft’s Be3D printer line, the conference is being put on by Think2Thing and partner Ryerson University. The two institutions first launched the Be3D Conference, the first 3D printing conference to be held in Toronto, in 2015, and now it’s back with an expanded agenda to encompass a wider range of 3D technologies including virtual and augmented reality.

The one-day conference will be held at the TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) Bell Lightbox cinema and cultural center on March 9 with the theme “Think Forward,” and attendees are invited to do just that as multiple industries come together to discuss practical applications for 3D technology now and in the future. According to Think2Thing, particular emphasis will be placed on augmented and virtual reality and how they go beyond programming and manufacturing to encompass a broader range of industries, including art and design.


“As an artist myself, I immediately recognized the disruptive impact that 3D technology has on the art community,” says filmmaker and photographer Edward Burtynsky, who will be a featured speaker at the event. “Photography has moved from film, to digital, and now to 3D form.”

In addition to Burtynsky, the conference will feature multiple speakers from the art and design world, including:

A VIP event will immediately follow the conference, with a keynote speech entitled “What is Reality and why change it? A philosophical backdrop in a time of adventure,” being given by Charles Falzon, Dean of Ryerson University’s Faculty of Communication and Design.

download-7Nowadays, no tech conference is complete without some sort of startup competition, and Be3D will feature the Pitch2Product competition in which five Ontario-based companies will compete for a free patent application, valued at $15,000, and the opportunity to work with law firm Deeth Williams Wall to develop their patent application up to the patent pending stage. The competition is being supported by Ryerson’s Ted Rogers MBA program.

“Ryerson is committed to supporting the economic development of both the GTA and Canada though research and innovation,” said Usha George, Interim Vice-President, Research and Innovation, Ryerson University. “3D-technologies offer a number of opportunities for our region, and the Be3D 2017 Think Forward conference will allow us to explore how we can collaborate to build a robust industry cluster.”

The GTA (Greater Toronto Area) is home to the largest design workforce in Canada and the third largest in North America, after New York and Boston. Ryerson and Think2Thing took pride in bringing the first 3D printing conference to the city, and are now looking to expand upon their position as leaders in 3D technology by introducing an additional focus on augmented and virtual reality. It’s getting harder to separate VR/AR and 3D printing from each other, and we’re looking forward to attending the conference and learning more about the technology’s impact on Toronto – and how Toronto’s technology and design sector will impact the rest of the world.

16427452_1440670022624619_8405533481309179713_nJohn MacRitchie, Senior Director, Business Development and Strategic Planning at Ryerson University’s Office of the Vice President Research and Innovation, answered A Few Questions For us ahead of next week’s event to fill in a bit more detail.

Can you tell us why the host organizations are looking forward to this conference?

“Ryerson and Think2Thing are excited for this conference as it creates an opportunity for the Toronto creative and tech communities to explore potential collaborations. These collaborations will set Toronto on a path to become a wold class cluster for the application of 3d-technologies.”

What can you share with us about the state of 3D printing in Canada in general and specifically prospects in Toronto?

“The Greater Toronto Region and Southern Ontario have a unique combination of globally competitive clusters in Information and Communications Technologies (ICT), Screen-based Creative Industries, and Manufacturing. This combination creates a strong foundation on which to take advantage of the revolution brought on by 3D Technologies. These markets remain fragmented with limited connections between the companies developing these technologies and the companies working to apply them. Be3D and the Think Forward conference are working to build the connections required for a globally competitive industry cluster in Toronto.”

How do you see AR/VR interacting with and impacting 3D printing, and what do you hope to see from this year’s B3D Conference event?

“3D Technologies include; 3D-Printing, 3D Scanning, 3D visualization (Virtual and Augmented Reality) technologies and the software used to capture, manipulated and interact with multidimensional information and images. Individually each of these technologies represent new tools that can be applied in a wide range of industries and when used collectively will radically change the ways in which we interact with information, how we create new products, and how those products will be marketed, purchased and used.”

Stay tuned for details and impressions from the conference floor next week! Discuss in the Be3D forum at

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