3D printing has long made a showing at the annual CES in Las Vegas, with announcements ahead of the show serving to get visitors and watchers-from-afar eager to learn more about what will come to the most crowded show floor of the consumer-oriented tech year. While much 3D printing technology itself has been straying farther from the realm of the consumer with more firm footholds in the industrial sector, additive manufacturing is used frequently in the conception and creation of consumer goods, and maintains a strong showing at CES.
In part one of our from-the-ground experience at CES 2018, we shared looks into the booths of HP, Formlabs, LulzBot, CRP Group, and XYZprinting; in part two, we’re back to look into more booths that were packed with announcements, demonstrations, and visitors.
Markforged Shows Strength, Breaking Good
Markforged introduced its Metal X 3D printer at CES 2017, adding to its high-strength portfolio with its first metal offering. In the year since, the company has been keeping a strong focus on metal while also adding to its product line, moving into a new Watertown facility, and seeing increases in investment and employees. At CES 2018, Markforged is showcasing the strength of metal additive manufacturing with daily demonstrations — unmissable for those in the area of the 3D Printing Marketplace in the LVCC, the company is breaking 3D printing steel beams on an Instron machine, as seen in this time-lapse provided by Markforged:
Vice President of Product Jon Reilly and Chief Revenue Officer Jason Eubanks pointed out the ceramic release layer in the supports for metal 3D printed parts that allow for easy sintering off of supports. To demonstrate how easily the supports are removed, they showed parts that hadn’t been post-processed; the break lines were quite clean where the supports had been removed. Tight tolerances from the Metal X can also be seen with 3D printed threaded parts — down to an M3 thread — without post-processing. Also on show are parts and machines from across the portfolio, with plenty of high-strength parts showcasing tooling and other applications. The company had plenty to share, and we’ll be sharing an interview soon.
Markforged is in the North Hall at booth #8100.
Dassault Systèmes Houses Startups, Featuring Rize, Syos
During the first day of CES, Dassault Systèmes announced its new Global Entrepreneur Progam, set to accelerate innovation with the large company’s expertise put to use for startups, entrepreneurs, and makers. In addition to a ‘Genius Bar’ type setup to offer advice and field inquiries from potential future participants, Dassault Systèmes hosted some of the organizations it is already working with, including Rize and Syos.
Rize’s recently-appointed CEO, Andy Kalambi, is on-hand at CES to showcase the strength possible with the Rize One 3D printer. The Woburn-based company, located relatively near the North American headquarters of Dassault Systèmes, is focusing on an inclusive approach to innovation, with sustainability at its heart. Rize’s 3D printer offers builds with impressive strength and minimal post-processing. Kalambi is an enthusiastic addition to the team, and as we talked he noted that he has, since joining Rize, personally spoken with each of the company’s customers as he and Rize actively work to understand how best to meet users’ needs and expectations as the young company continues to grow.
A musical addition to the Dassault Systèmes booth is Paris-based Syos — Shape Your Own Sound. The company, headed by personable CEO Dr. Pauline Eveno, creates customized saxophone mouthpieces. With an Ultimaker 3D printer creating new mouthpieces as we talked, Dr. Eveno noted that 3D printing allows for geometries not otherwise possible, including internal ridges. Customers in 20 countries have been turning to Syos’ technology, including musician Eddie Rich, who was playing live throughout the show. When I asked how the 3D printed Syos mouthpiece compared to his traditional mouthpieces, he simply said that it was better, noting attributes like durability and a lighter weight in addition to playing better.
Dassault Systèmes, Rize, and Syos can be seen in the LVCC North Hall at booth #8300.
Techniplas, Nexa3D, and DWS Demonstrate Collaborative Commitments
At the Techniplas booth, I met again with 3D printing industry mainstay Avi Reichental, having recently seen him and several partner companies at formnext. With a full interview to come soon, we spoke about the breadth of activities Reichental is engaged in across several companies, many involved through the Techniplas Open Innovation Program. Techniplas, with great experience in manufacturing and engineering, is a Tier One supplier to the automotive industry and is showcasing a customized car at CES complete with several generatively designed and 3D printed components. Use cases aren’t limited at the booth to automotive by any stretch, as I also met Rock and Roll Hall of Fame musician Kenny Lee Lewis, of the Steve Miller Band; 3DPrint.com heard Lewis play a 3D printed guitar at CES 2015.
Nexa3D is also stationed at the Techniplas booth, where Chief Product Officer Izhar Medalsy showed me that they are printing four mini engine blocks every five minutes on their high-speed 3D printer during the show. The company, Medalsy noted, is gaining traction and growing quickly.
Over at the DWS booth, I spoke with Reichental and DWS General Manager Maurizio Costabeber about that company’s latest offerings. With decades of experience — the first personal SLA 3D printer was introduced in 1997 — Costabeber and his team “make everything from the laser to the material to the software” and offer significant expertise across a variety of verticals. Especially interesting are the new XCELL Tilted Stereolithography (TSLA) system with automated curing and washing, as well as the cartridge-based DFAB fully automated dental 3D printer designed to operate with minimal human intervention or learning curve.
Techniplas and Nexa3D can be found in the North Hall at booth #9100, while DWS is nearby at booth #8108.
T3D Close to Mass Production for Smartphone 3D Printer, New Material Developments
Away from the 3D Printing Marketplace, T3D can be found over in the Sands in the Taiwan pavilion, where I met again with company founder Jeng-Ywan Jeng, PhD. Though it had been less than two months since I last saw Jeng and his team at formnext, there were plenty of updates to share. The T3D smartphone 3D printer has already been delivered, in the form of functional prototypes, to about 20 backers from the original Kickstarter campaign — as the company had promised delivery by Christmas, they wanted to be sure to deliver on that (“We’re not ONO,” Jeng emphasized, noting that T3D follows through on promises and timelines). The first deliveries are yielding helpful feedback for the T3D team, which is nearing mass production set for this spring.
T3D is also introducing a new CEO at CES, with Ben Huang joining the team recently to lead efforts. Also new are materials developments Jeng is leading. Since formnext, Jeng has been hard at work with flexible TPU and with nylon, similar to that used in HP’s MJF 3D printing process. As Taiwan has a healthy shoe industry, this is a major area of R&D focus, and Jeng’s team has developed a powder type TPU that he says is very good for shoes; he is also working with a resin TPU.
Jeng shows off the flexibility of the new materials:
T3D can be found in the Sands, Hall G at booth #52748.
Kodak Officially Launches 3D Printing Ecosystem, Full-Body 3D Scanner
We’ve been anticipating the full launch of the Portrait 3D printer and line of 3D printing materials available from Kodak, as the company looked forward to a full launch at CES 2018 following initial announcement in October. At the large Kodak booth, I had the opportunity to see the fully enclosed desktop 3D printer and learn more about its development from COO of Kodak 3D Printing Demian Gawianski in an exclusive interview. With global licensing partner Smart International, Kodak is bringing a new solution to the market targeted toward professional and educational users.
Also at the Kodak booth is the new full-body 3D scanner just introduced with partner Twindom. The large booth has been drawing a crowd throughout CES, with visitors eager to learn more about these new offerings.
Kodak has a large booth, #20162, in the South Hall of the LVCC.
UNIZ Introduces New 3D Printing Technology, New 3D Printers, with Focus on Speed and Accuracy
Speed is in focus for San Diego-based UNIZ Technology. Two years after the introduction of its first-generation high-speed SLA 3D printer, the company is back this year with more — more speed, more accuracy, and more 3D printers. As the company told me in an exclusive interview, the reception to their first introduction had such a strong reception that their customers began inquiring after additional capabilities. Only too happy to deliver, UNIZ set its sights on ambitiously developing and delivering more.
Uni-Directional Peeling (UDP) technology allows for 3D printing at speeds “over 700x faster than conventional FDM and laser-SLA technologies,” company CEO Dr. Houmin Li explained. The high-speed capability is put to use in five new 3D printers from the company, as well as being available as an update to users of the original SLASH 3D printer. During our talk, I had the opportunity to watch UDP technology at work in a new SLASH OL 3D printer:
The new line of 3D printers includes desktop and industrial SLA solutions geared toward a variety of applications including footwear, dentistry, jewelry, automotive, and more.
UNIZ can be found in the 3D Printing Marketplace in the North Hall of the LVCC at booth #9110.
Also at CES
Olli, the 3D printed automomous vehicle developed from Local Motors, has been drawing crowds.
CONTEXT hosted its second annual 3D printing breakfast this year, with Vice President of Global Analysis Chris Connery delivering updates on the state of 3D printing, including an extended differentiation among technologies. As 3D printing today is so broad, only “industrial/professional” and “personal/desktop” designations are no longer appropriate, and CONTEXT is now delving into four classes: industrial (>$100K), design ($20K – $100K), professional ($2,500 – $20K), and personal (<$2,500). More details from this informative update, including trends to watch in 2018 and market standings from 2017, will be coming soon.
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