TCT Show 2017 proved a showcase of milestone moments and announcements as the 3D printing industry continues to mature. This sense of maturation permeated many of the biggest announcements from the week, as the late-September event played host to a number of new updates and advances in hardware and software. Talking with many company executives throughout the busy three days revealed an overall theme of maturing advancement, and ZMorph CEO Przemek Jaworski proved optimistic in discussing his company’s launches and the overarching sense of growth in both industry and event.
“TCT Show has grown so much. 2014 saw a lot of RepRap style, and now we see more industry. And we’ve grown up too over our five years,” he told me.
“In general, it seems like it’s been a long journey for us, which started at our beginning in 2013. This technology has matured, it is not easy to develop.”
During the show, ZMorph launched not only its latest machine, the VX multitool 3D printer, but also an updated version of its Voxelizer software platform. Both launches are primed with updates geared toward the company’s base of professional users – itself an updated target customer focus.
Of ZMorph’s hardware offerings, Jaworski continued, “Printing must be delicate but precise, and work with CNC, with laser. Now we have a good balance with these three, it is very satisfying.”
3D printing, he noted, is the most used feature of their machine, and the technologies made possible are “something that excites us.” The desktop machine offers an all-in-one manufacturing solution, and the latest updates put into place for the newest generation provide responses to user feedback.
“We have changed motor drivers, making it more friendly, quieter, for desktop work,” Jaworski explained.
“The launch marks a milestone; we have perfected the balance between these fabrication techniques and the software. It is easier to use, with attention to the user experience. We are at a point now with a complete ecosystem of solutions.”
That ecosystem includes the machine, four interchangeable toolheads – the laser cutter, CNC mill, thick paste extruder, and material extruder – and accessories, including among them a black cover for use with the laser cutter. ZMorph has been focusing attention lately on putting out more case studies in order to highlight successful applications for the all-in-one system.
“These case studies show use for various businesses, as we have a professional target now,” he said. “This is the only way to evolve in this market, even though we grew from the maker community.”
One area of growing application is in the creation of architectural models, with several elaborate showcase pieces displayed at the ZMorph booth during TCT Show. These are made possible in all their detail thanks, Jaworski underscored, to the functionalities of Voxelizer software, which “literally makes unprintable things printable.”
“Everyone knows FDM, it has its limits – one is architectural models, because of supports,” he noted. “Voxelizer is like Photoshop in 3D. There are a lot of slicers out there, but we work with voxels, which allows more control.”
Photoshop-esque filters built into the software platform include slimming, thickening, voronoi, and smoothing. Image mapping, color blending, and microstructures are also workable through Voxelizer 2.
“For me, this is a milestone as well, not just the machine, but the software as well,” Jaworski told me as we looked over 3D printed models highlighting each Voxelizer filter.
To further laud the breadth of creation made possible via Voxelizer, ZMorph is working to broaden its applications beyond their own hardware. The company is making the software compatible with other machines, including Prusa, BCN3D, and RepRap 3D printers, with a goal to make more options available especially to those working with multi-material platforms; they are open to further compatibility as well, including developments for resin 3D printers.
“To me, this is a very special time, launching the machine and Voxelizer 2,” Jaworski said, surveying the growth visible in the ZMorph booth.
Let us know what you think about these updated offerings and other 3D printing news over at 3DPrintBoard.com or in the Facebook comments below.[All photos: Sarah Goehrke]