Attendees of the Inside 3D Printing New York Conference & Expo (I3DP) were in for quite a surprise this week, as winter storm Stella wreaked havoc with travel plans. The organizers of Inside 3D Printing were forced to move the conference back by a day, less than 14 hours before the show start, on Tuesday. Most of Tuesday’s schedule was shifted to Thursday, while Wednesday’s schedule incorporated the Frontier Tech Showdown, originally slated for Tuesday. It was a bit of a logistical nightmare, and some speakers and vendors had to pull out at the last minute due to the storm. Still, despite these setbacks, the show went on. And for the intrepid souls that braved the blustery chilled winds, there was still some intriguing 3D printing tech to be seen.
The South Korean 3D printer company A-Team Ventures was showing off their new Creatable D3 delta printer. We reported on their Creatable D2 delta printer at Inside 3D Printing Seoul 2015. The Creatable D3 eschews the enclosed build chamber of the D2, but provides easy access to the build plate. It features magnetic joints, an easy belt tension system and easily swappable nozzles. Its 250mm diameter x 200mm H build volume is a little more generous than its predecessor. The printer comes with Cura Creatable Edition software for model slicing. The D3 has max temp of heated bed temp of 125°C and max nozzle temp of 260°C, enabling it to print in a wide variety of materials: PLA, ABS, PETG, conductive, magnetic and other exotic filaments. While the D2 was built in South Korea, the D3 is manufactured in China. A-Team Ventures was also displaying their standalone wireless controller and camera system, Waggle. Waggle is billed as a “social remote controller for 3D printers.” The Waggle device incorporated a video camera and adds Wi-Fi connectivity to many different 3D printer brands and is controlled through a smart phone via the Waggle app. A-Team Ventures is currently looking for resellers to sell the D3 and Waggle in the US.
WASP (World Advanced Saving Project), the Italian company known for their large-scale delta style 3D printers and commitment to sustainability, introduced some new extruders at I3DP. Their towering 3-meter-high 3D printer, the Delta WASP 3MT already supported 3 different tool heads: the pellet extruder, a fluid-dense extruder for concrete and geopolymers for sustainable architecture, and a milling toolhead for CNC work. The new Big Clay Extruder allows the 3MT to print in different clay mixtures including porcelain and earthenware. WASP also introduced their new Spitfire extruder, which doubles the printing speed for large prints, while maintaining accuracy. The Spitfire is available for the 3MT as well as other large deltas like the Delta 40 70 (which seem quite diminutive next to the massive 3MT). Spitfire brings filament extrusion to the 3MT, which previously could only print plastics with a pellet extruder. The Spitfire has a 1.2mm steel nozzle and has a max nozzle temp of 280°C, allowing printing of high-temp materials.
FlashForge USA exhibited 3 printers that were so new that their representatives had no specification available for them. The printers aren’t even listed on their website yet. The FlashForge Inventor appears to be an update to the FlashForge Dreamer, while the FlashForge Inventor II bears an uncanny resemblance to the FlashForge Finder. FlashForge also had its first SLA printer on display, which like its other offerings featured a color touchscreen display that shows an image of the model being printed. We will be following up with FlashForge to get more details on these new machines.
i.materialise, the 3D printing service bureau, introduced their newest material, 3D printed rhodium-plated brass. While i.materialise already offers more than 100 different materials and finishes, this one is going to be of particular interest to jewelry designers. The new material features a smooth, glossy surface and high level of detail. Though rhodium is one of the most expensive metals, at almost twice the price of platinum, i.materialise states that rhodium-plated brass is an affordable alternative to printing in precious metals like silver. The trick behind the new material is that the rhodium is just a razor-thin electroplated coating over brass 3D prints. Not only does this bring a premium look to 3D printed jewelry for less, but since platinum group metals are very durable, the rhodium finish will hold up better than softer precious metals. It’s also hypoallergenic.
Recreus had a wide range of filaments at their booth, including their new FilaFlex Ultra Soft. FilaFlex flexible filament is already known for having a nice soft finish, but FilaFlex Ultra Soft takes it a step further. It is very smooth to the touch and can be printed directly onto fabric, making it a very interesting material for fashion designers. According to Recreus, FilaFlex Ultra Soft can not only be successfully printed on fabric, but it can go in the wash and will hold up as well or better than traditional t-shirt graphics. Recreus also introduced their new flexible filament extruders, which print flexible and rigid filaments equally well and can be used to upgrade 3D printers to print flexible filament.
Filament manufacturer Titan 3D exhibited their new reusable filament spool. The clear spool can be taken apart and reassembled using 4 screws. Replacement filament for the spool can be bought from Titan 3D for less than their current affordable filament. This seems like a good step in reducing 3D printing waste. Chem Cubed specializes in creating custom polymers for 3D printing and were showing their optical resins and nano composite emulsions. Techni Inc’s Techni Print high-speed liquid support cleaner, which we’ve previously covered, not only removes support material quickly from prints, but its ECO-Reclaim Agent is able to extract the support material from spent solution, leaving behind solid material for possible recycling. The remaining clarified solution has a pH of less than 9 that may be disposed of down the drain, depending on local regulations.
The Inside 3D Printing New York Conference & Expo may have taken a hit from Stella, it may have been smaller than years past, but it was definitely worth the visit. With new 3D printer and 3D printing material releases, there was a lot to see. I’ll be following up with more details on some of these new products in the near future.[All Photos: Michael A. Parker for 3DPrint.com]