Archive for the ‘Resources’ Category

Converge 2017 Event Report

Posted by Editor On September - 23 - 2017

Altair’s award presentation and gallery celebrates the nexus of technology + design

By Gregory van Zuyen

Converge 2017 Event Report

Christine Outram of Veritas Prep speaking at Converge 2017 on five trends to watch

We will start with the name of the guy you want to know most. His name is Chad Zamler. Why? Becaue he’s the guy that will give you a pass to Converge 2018. If you are lucky, he may still get you passes to Converge 2017 in other cities.

Converge? What’s that? you ask. Why, it’s the only thing in the world more brain-blowing, more creativeley inspiring, more idea-intoxicating than TED talks on steroids. It all happened here at the Skirball Center in Los Angeles on Sept. 13. If you were anywhere close to Southern California that day, it was the place to be.

Converge 2017 Event Report

Stuart Fingerhut of The Visionary Group photographs the Airbus Lightrider, a 3D-printed electric motorcycle displayed at Converge 2017

The accomplishments and innovations of the people that spoke at Converge is astounding. Through the Converge award program — presented by Altair‘s entertaining CMO Jeff Brennan — we are introduced to the thinkers and artists that give us license to think more imaginatively and more expansively than we thought possible. These are the brilliant and inspired genii of our generation, worthy of world respect.

Converge 2017 awarded nine people for their contributions to the nexus of design and technology. The awards do not go lightly. The value of thought that the award winners provide our planet are so worthy of contribution, the very small 3D-printed statuette they receive is all that more precious a symbol of meaning. How ever much the cinematic world considers the Oscar, that’s how much more the techno-design world will consider the award of the Converge Chair of Accomplishment.

Converge 2017 Event Report

Tim Prestero’s Firefly incubators for third-world countries has saved babies’ lives already

The Converge 2017 presentation began with Tim Prestero of Design That Matters. It’s hard to condense the feels of his talk into a paragrpah, because he dealt with the construction of infant incubators for third-world countries. He went blow-by-blow through the process he had to go to through to design and create a device that would drastically reduce the greatest cause of infant mortality; lack of warmth combined with the common onset of jaundice.

Prestero explained his search for a solution that solved all the issues coming from doctors, nurses, patients, hospital administrators and repair personnel. His years-long odyssey resulted in the Firefly, a portable basinet that provided life-saving UV rays from both above and below the baby. It’s not an exaggeration to say that this man is personnally responsible for the preservation of thousands of lives.

It gets better from there. Christina Outram of Veritas Prep brought unimaginable insight into the future with her analysis of trends to watch; the tracking of recycled electronics, the death of websites through speech-driven apps, customizing the user experience for keener levels of market share, and more. Again, you wish you were there.

When it comes to industrial design, few hold the authority of Tim Morton. The contribution he and Newell Brands have done for Rubbermaid alone earns him a lifetime achievement award. In his talk he introduced concepts like “plaid,” a mixing of the verticals and horizontals of an industry for conceptualizing better product design.

Architect Doris Sung of DOSU Studio Architecture was next, speaking about her development of smart materials for an application to architecture. A professor at University of Southern California, Sung turned an academic investigaton into bimetal composition into a solution into autonomously heating and cooling buildings through the natural process of turning otherwise flat, combined pieces of metal into a curled, ventilating, basketweaved surface by the action of solar heat.

Columbia University Professor of Engineering and Data Science Hod Lipson came on stage next and blew our minds with self-learning robots that seek the rewards of self-duplicating. Like humans, only with robots. He even tore the arm off one of the robots to see how it would adapt. Stunning.

The playlist gets better. Bill Washabaugh is sculptor leading a troupe of phenomenal people at Hypersonic. The NYC-based organization develops industrial installations of themed robotics, the result is a three-dimensional spectacle of awe and wonder.

Converge 2017 Event Report

Breaking Wave by Hypersonic is an example of Bill Washabaugh’s contribution to using technology in design

Greg Lynn of Greg Lynn FORM led us into a journey into the future that cannot be forgotten once seen, especially as it is already here. His design of valet robots trained to follow owners is expected to provide pedestrians greater functionality in populated areas. His vision is epic in scope and magnitude by the virtual simplicity of robots that follow you and carry your stuff for you. This development is soon to be literally at your heels in a short time to come.

Converge 2017 Event Report

Guests examining products made possible through the use of Altair’s numerous enterprise solutions

Michael Peng was next. In architectural circles, Peng is the master. Peng was the force behind Gensler’s construction of the 2,073 ft. Shanghai Tower. One of the many notable features of the tower is that its exterior skin twists 120 degrees around the building to shield it from typhoons. Peng took less than thirty minutes to explain how he did it.

Jason Lopes was the show finale. Lopes works for Carbon and he regaled the audience with stories of his days with Stan Winston and Legacy Effects studios. As their lead systems engineer, Lopes oversaw many notable products, and one of them was the construction of a 14-foot animatronic beast for San Diego’s Comic-Con. Operated by four men inside, this one-of-a-kind creation came to life in a record 30 days thanks to Lopes’ use of 3D-printing. The beast went on to wow the crowds for Jimmy Kimmel Live! show — and wowed us as well.

The event concluded with dinner and entertainment by Nick Waterhouse. For the fortunate creatives that were able to attend this uplifting affair, it will never be forgotten. For those that yearn for the keen gleanings of design’s Mt. Olympus, this is the place to be next year.

More on Converge, including how to register, is available at http://event.converge2017.com/.

WESTEC 2017 Event Report

Posted by Editor On September - 16 - 2017

WESTEC 2017 Event Report

There was much to see and discover at this year’s WESTEC Conference

WESTEC 2017, the west coast’s largest manufacturing trade show and expo, delivered an impressive selection of companies on display, with much to see and discover.
Geared toward the milling and fabrication crowd, the show was a cavalcade of robotic devices, cutting tools, software engineers, filtering systems, and, of course, 3D printing manufacturers.

WESTEC 2017 Event Report

VP of sales Marc Franz at Raise3D, a new 3D printer manufacturer promising superior resolution and affordable costs

A new appearance this year was 3D printing manufacturer Raise3D. Vice President of sales Marc Franz was there to promote the new company, and he was enthusiastic about the resolution quality of his company’s products, especially when their price tag is approximately $1,000 less than comparable 3D printers.

WESTEC 2017 Event Report

UnionTech representative Fred Kaplan, SOMOS’s Kevin Zarkis, and internationally-recognized industry expert Frank Speck at the UnionTech booth

Another company worth mentioning is UnionTech. The Chinese company has only recently begun marketing their products here in the U.S., but they are making a significant impact in the industry with the quality of their stereolithography prints. Jeremy Owen, midwest sales manager for RP America, mentioned that adding UnionTech to their list of companies they represent has given them a tremendous advantage in providing their customers with flawless SLA printing. And since UnionTech is open-source, material availability is unlimited and maintenance on the machines is a breeze.

WESTEC 2017 Event Report

Airwolf3D sales representative Paul Gallagher was swamped by WESTEC 2017 attendees at the Airwolf3D booth

Airwolf3D was also there, but it was hard to get a chance to speak to the staff through the student crowd that was three-deep at the booth. With the success of their Hydrofill water-soluable support material and the growing popularity of their Axiom 3D printer, it was easy to understand why they were a conference favorite. Other 3D printers there included 3D Systems, Stratasys, MarkForged, HP, Rize, and Ultimaker.

WESTEC 2017 Event Report

Taylor Dawson of Hexagon displays both the ease of use and robust functionality of the Hexagon scanning software

Matterhackers was available for guidance on materials and online rapid prototyping questions, as was Purple Platypus. 3D scanning companies were also present and they included Innovmetric, Zeiss, Creaform, FARO, Capture3D, and Hexagon. As high-end 3D scanning remains an expensive but necessary investment for companies to make, WESTEC proved to be a great venue for comparing scanning products.

WESTEC 2017 Event Report

AccuServe General Manager Charles Huang talks about his company’s recent landmark innovation in rotary cutting tools, an adapter that uses ultrasonic vibration for improved CNC performance

Every show has something new to discover, and WESTEC 2017 was no exception. This year’s surprise development in technological innovation goes to AccuServe.
While this product may not be directly related to the practice of 3D printing, the inspired genius of their newly patented device could not escape our attention.
We spoke at length with AccuServe General Manager Charles Huang regarding the creation of their CNC tool adapter and were amazed at what this device can do for milling and drilling operations.

“What we have created is the next step in the use of ultrasonic frequencies to improve the cutting tool operation,” said Huang as he held the tool. “Before this, there was UM, ultrasonic manufacturing, which uses sound waves to penetrate materials. This is RUM, rotary ultrasonic manufacturing.”

Huang pointed out that, when dealing with dense, hard materials such as tungsten and high-tempered glass or ceramics, machinists would have to increase their revolutions up to ridiculously high speeds to burrow into the material. Through the use of RUM and the application of ultrasonic frequencies directed to the cutting tool, machinists were able to burrow faster, at lower RPMs, with cleaner, tighter results. “Because the ultrasonic frequencies are able to ‘peck’ at the surface being drilled, the molecular structure of the material is weakened and the build-up of material on the cutting tool is shaken away. With the addition of this adapter, precision is increased dramatically, and the instance of material fracture is greatly reduced.” Huang went on to say that the companies using their product were reporting a 30% to 70% reduction in cutting time and a valued cost savings in their material inventory, thanks to the lessened rate of fracture. The price tag for the adapter is under $12,000 — a comparable savings to the $400,000 CNC machines that can do similar work with similar RUM technology.

To find out more about the RUM cutting adaptor, visit AccuServe at AccuSereMTS.com. And be sure to sign up now for next year’s WESTEC conference.

The Daily 3D Detail: WESTEC 2017

Posted by Editor On September - 12 - 2017

Westec 2017

Just one of the fun things to see at WESTEC 2017

WESTEC 2017 opens today at the Los Angeles Convention Center (1201 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles) with a wide assortment of booths and vendors all promoting the latest in industrial design. Billed as the west coast’s largest manufacturing trade show, WESTEC provides everyone from aerospace to robotics a chance to showcase their latest developments and innovations. A host of speakers will also be on hand for the three-day event to provide much-anticipated seminar sessions for attendees.

In addition to the keynote speeches by IBM and TITAN America MFG, there will be panel discussions on additive manufacturing and smart manufacturing. A smart manufacturing hub will be on display for businesses to tour, and a machining academy has been set up to help polish skills.

It’s Not Too Late to Register
Attendees can still register for free access to the WESTEC 2017 expo floor through a promo code available thanks to Polymer Molding on their Facebook page.

The Daily 3D Detail: The Periodic Table of Things

Posted by Editor On September - 11 - 2017

The Periodic Table of Things by Keith Enevoldsen

New interactive periodic table of things by Keith Enevoldsen makes learning about science fun for all

Boeing software engineer Keith Enevoldsen has produced a masterful work of art and science. Intended to instruct students in the use of the elements listed on the periodic table, the creation is welcome by all as a great way to look at the physical sciences.

The Period Table of the Elements, in Pictures and Words explains the industrial application of even the obscure elements. With this chart, the mysteries of palladium (pollution control), rhenium (rocket engines), molybdenum (cutting tools), bismuth (fire sprinklers), and all the others are illustrated for a quick reveal, leaving one with a hearty afterthought of curiosity.

For more on Enevoldsen’s work, visit this article at TheMindUnleashed.com.

The Daily 3D Detail: Shapeways CEO steps down

Posted by Editor On August - 15 - 2017

Shapeways CEO steps down

Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg with Peter Weijmarshausen during ribbon cutting of Long Island City facility

Peter Weijmarshausen, co-founder and CEO of Shapeways, has announced his departure. COO Tom Finn will assume CEO operations until a permanent CEO can be installed.

Weijmarshausen began the online 3D service bureau in 2007 with fellow founders Marleen Vogelaar and Robert Schouwenburg, whom have already left the firm.

The service bureau was formed in The Netherlands as a way of providing 3D printing to a wide range of modelers and engineers who were unable to create prints on their own. Shapeways, as part of the Royal Philips Electronics business incubator, trailblazed the 3D printing industry with their services and has been instrumental in providing rapid prototyping to designers all over the world. It has been estimated that there are nearly 37,000 outlets providing Shapeways services in the world.

Weijmarshausen commented on his departure by saying, “I am proud of all we have accomplished during ten years at Shapeways and am excited about everything that I see on the horizon for the company.”

Albert Wenger, Shapeways director, had this to say about Weijmarshausen’s years of service, “I want to thank Pete for the decade he has spent building Shapeways. Pete has really pioneered consumer 3D printing and built Shapeways into the leading marketplace. He will continue to guide the future as a director of the company.”

For more on the story, see this article at 3DPrintingIndustry.com.

Print with Multiple Filaments with Palette+

A simple method of multicolor prints is now available

Type A Machines has introduced a new way of printing in multiple filaments with an add-on device called Palette+. The device, produced by Canadian company Mosaic Manufacturing Ltd, sits aside conventional FDM 3D printers and fuses multiple filaments together through a rotary cutting method. This method than allows not only multiple colors in one print, but a mix of material combinations including PLA with a soluble support material, PLA with flexible TPU, and PLA with PETG.

Print with Multiple Filaments with Palette+

The new and improved slicing method, referred to by Mosaic as closed splicing, allows for a more even distribution of heat across the bound surfaces of filaments. This process is complemented with its own software, Chroma 2.0, which incorporates a functionality enhancement called Raft, a new G-code processing engine that supports slicing programs like Cura.

For more on the development of Palette+, visit Type A Machines.

The Daily 3D Detail: Meet the 3D Printing Nerd…

Posted by Franka Schoening On July - 12 - 2017

YouTube’s 3D Printing Nerd

… and subscribe to his channel while you are at it. Joel uses YouTube videos to discuss and review 3D printers, analyze polymers and generally advocate for the industry. Check out his video about the Kodama Obsidian Prototype or watch him interview fellow 3D printers like Ben Heck or Josef Prusa. Some of his videos are applicable to practical printing, as he fixes his Subaru’s gas cap and prints and reviews his own feetz. But he also enthusiastically responds to fan mail. If you are lucky, he might respond to your question, showcase items you send him, or take your suggestion on videos you would like to see next. And if you are REALLY lucky, he will send you some stickers, as that seems to be the going currency in the 3D Printing Nerd’s universe.

His passion and curiosity make his videos informative and engaging. While nerd used to be an insult, it certainly is rather a certificate of knowledge when it comes to the 3D Printing Nerd.

 

The Six Steps to a New Manufacturing Paradigm

Posted by Fred Kaplan On July - 8 - 2017

Can additive manufacturing deliver on a $12 trillion promise?

By Fred Kaplan

Delivering on Additive Manufacturing's $12 Trillion Promise

The quality and clarity of SL-printed parts gives the additive manufacturing a definitive advantage

The manufacturing world is in transition to additive manufacturing.

The promise of this transition is $12 trillion worth of goods. Trillion. With a T.

Recent advances in technology by HP’s (multiJet fusion), Carbon3D (CLIP technology) and Desktop Metals, have all successfully employed FDM production for short-run end-use parts with at the enterprise level of 3D printers. At the DIY level, desktop model manufacturers such as Markforged, Roboze, and AirWolf3D offer commendable end-use production with the same FDM method.

Stephen Nigro, HP’s President of 3D printing, speaking at the 2017 RAPID + TCT show, described the areas where the additive manufacturing industry can optimize the transformational future of additive manufacturing. While Nigro’s presentation was framed around HP’s multiJet fusion technology, it is a useful look at how these key points are being addressed across many technologies industry-wide.

Following are six essential keys that Nigro believes will transform additive manufacturing toward this $12 trillion goal:

    • World-Class Product and Technology Capabilities: Additive manufacturing has never been more innovative. HP, Carbon 3D, and Desktop Metals are at the very beginning stages of developing technologies that offer the possibility of disruptive short-run manufacturing. Improvements they to chose to address included printing speed, printer “up” time, and higher percentages of acceptable finished parts. While these new technological innovations are getting the media’s attention, another manufacturer, UnionTech entered the U.S. in a new product category showing great promise in both resolution and material strengths. Since 2000, this company’s large-format open source printers have been using stereolithography to produce unheard-of build times with impressive results.SL technology, as seen in the graphic below from Gartner.com, is shown on the very far right in the “Plateau of Productivity” as opposed to the newer technologies which could be located in either the bubble of “Inflated Expectations”or the “Trough of Disillusionment” before they are on their way to the “Slope of Enlightenment.”

Delivering on Additive Manufacturing's $12 Trillion Promise

  • Open Materials Platform to Drive Down Costs: The cost of proprietary 3D printing materials has made it almost impossible to calculate a profitable ROI in manufacturing end-use 3d printed parts. The traditional razor blade method that has been employed by 3D printer manufacturers doesn’t work in an environment in which OEM manufacturers need the broadest portfolios of available materials from the 3D printer. HP began a program to qualify open source material partners at the K2016 plastics and rubber trade show. DSM Somos, has a complete portfolio of SL materials designed to go with open source SL printers such as UnionTech. Since the late 1980s, DSM’s Somos group has earned a global reputation for stereolithography material innovation. Prototypes made from Somos resins closely replicate the functionality of engineered thermoplastics, but are delivered with increased speed and accuracy.Delivering on Additive Manufacturing's $12 Trillion Promise

    UnionTech printers, made in China, have developed a reputation for quality prints

    Another aspect of additive manufacturing materials that has to be considered is the difference in part construction which varies from one technology to the next. Processes such FFF which depend on the adhesion of one layer to next tend to have little strength in the Z axis versus isotropic construction of stereolithography.

  • Materials Diversity: A wide array of material availability is the foundation of successful manufacturing whereas the promise of new materials in the future is an innovation driver. Open-source desktop printers have broken down the barriers closed-source manufacturers have attempted to use to control their market. Open-source printers have brought us PET-G, TPE, and ASA polymers and a variety of other filaments. Matterhackers’ matter guide is a good example of the material range and Somos lists 14 open-source stereolithography resins currently available.
  • New Design Methods for Additive Manufacturing: The development of CAD programs has increased the functionality and provided ease of use for new users. Through these applications, successful designers and engineers are creating geometries optimized for additive manufacturing. The future of CAD is in algorithm-based design that is able to iterate using tradition CAD and 3D-scanned data with programs such as SolidThinking’s Inspire that optimize topology for strength, economic material usage, and weight of printed parts. Another example is Materialise Magics, which optimizes data preparation for 3D printing intended for casting applications.
  • The Reinvention of Supply Chains: As Additive manufacturing is being perfected by organizations looking at the possibility of emailing CAD files versus shipping parts across the globe. While that reality is here, the advance of this prospect waits for the resolution of other issues on this list. Local Motors is a business whose model is built around four microfactories creating automobiles from locally sourced components. The capacity to accommodate the demand for individual vehicles through localized production is an example of the way the future supply chain is headed.

Delivering on Additive Manufacturing's $12 Trillion Promise

An example of the quality of SL prints

  • Regulations and Standards: One of the obstacles to the adoption of additive manufacturing is the uncertainty regarding 3D printing materials. There are currently few certifications for 3D printing materials due to the expense of certifying proprietary materials and the absence of regulatory groups. Typically 3D printer materials are referred to as “ABS-like,” as opposed to being actually ABS or any specific material. This lack of definition can lead to unexpected parts failure if produced without significant testing. Companies such as 3D Systems, Envisiontec, StrataSys and Somos are leading the industry with medical-grade and aerospace-approved materials. In order for manufacturing to embrace additive manufacturing, the industry needs to provide better materials information and a standardized rating system of material properties from the additive material suppliers.

There are a couple basic points to look at when choosing a 3D printer or a new 3D printing material:

  • Heat Deflection Temperature (HDT): which is the temperature at which a material deforms under a specific load. The importance of the number is a reflection on the functionality of the 3D printed part; such as whether the part will be functional under the hood of an automobile. Carbon- or silica-filled materials have a high HDT while PLA has a low HDT which makes easier to be printed on an FFF printer.
  • Tensile Modulus is the measurement of stresses that a material can take along an axis and return to its original shape or the measurement of the stiffness or brittleness of a solid material. Rubber is an example of a material with a low tensile modulus and glass or ceramics have a high tensile modulus.
    • Flexural Strength: is depicted in the graphic below. The “F” arrow is the force at the fracture point when factoring the length and width of the material. Flexural Strength is the stress a material can tolerate before yielding. ABS has a flexural strength of 75 MPa compared to StrataSys’ Nylon12 PA flexural strength of 47 MPa.

Delivering on Additive Manufacturing's $12 Trillion Promise

While Additive Manufacturing is experiencing one technology breakthrough after another, the prospect of one 3D printer being replaced by the fleet of 3D printers will take the combination of 3D printer reliability, along with material functionality, to provide a dependable and predictable manufacturing process. As the industry awaits the roll out of HP’s, Desktop Metals’, and Carbon3D’s new printers, time will show if they are pushing the envelope of dependability and functionality. While open-source 3D printers provide more functionality by being able to print multiple materials, there may an additional benefit: the competition which open-source provides can only result in more user-friendly operations and more reliable 3D printers.


Fred Kaplan is a 3D printing material specialist, who has worked with SLA, SLS, FDM, ColorJet, ADAM, DLP, LOM, FFF, MultiJet, Polyjet, and SDL 3D printers. Specializing in matching the best technology to a particular 3D printing application, he has also worked with many brands of 3D scanners and many CAD packages.

Prior to his work in additive manufacturing, Fred received a Los Angeles-area Emmy and other awards for documentary filmmaking.

Even if you are not a regular subscriber, it might be worth picking up the latest copy of the Economist. Multiple articles on 3D printing are featured, covering additive manufacturing for mass production; economies of scale; Carbon’s plans regarding digital light synthesis and more. Find more details here.

3D Printing at SpaceTech Expo

Posted by Editor On May - 30 - 2017

Companies looking to be in space include GoEngineering, THK, Additec, Proto Labs, Purple Platypus, Airwolf3D, Splunk>, and more

By Gregory van Zuyen

3D Printing at SpaceTech Expo

The talking robot at the THK booth was an international hit

3D Printing at SpaceTech Expo

Next year’s event only promises to be more engaging

The most important thing you need to do right now is book travel and lodging to be in Pasadena, California between the dates of May 22-24, 2018. That is when SpaceTech Expo is happening at the Pasadena Convention Center and you will not want to miss it. Bring the kids. This event deserves the Governor’s Award for STEM Development. It’s the closest thing anyone can get to hanging out with astronauts themselves. All the people there are all qualified geniuses. And they are developing technology you want to discover. It’s nothing short of awe-inspiring.

3D Printing at SpaceTech Expo

The show had something for everyone at any age

Why Pasadena? Because that’s where Caltech resides. And anyone who knows will tell you that you have a satellite’s chance in the sun of getting into JPL without having graduated from Caltech with honors. Space exploration lives here.

3D Printing at SpaceTech Expo

Every aspect of space exploration was displayed for people to experience first-hand

SpaceTech Expo is expanding like the universe. The vast number of booths and offerings of this year’s expo were too numerous to mention in full. We had to limit this article to 3D printing specifically. We begin with GoEngineering.

3D Printing at SpaceTech Expo

GoEngineering’s 3D printing specialist Glen Chancellor demonstrates the Creaform’s ease of use

GoEngineering displayed their HandyScan Creaform scanner integrated with their editing software VX Elements to maximize their position in the scanning market, and frankly, they may be succeeding. Their device is barely over a pound and scans an object to within 30 microns of accuracy. Perfect for reverse engineering any spacecraft. It’s like waving around a baggie ziplocked with air. It’s LASER beams are precise, producing 480,000 measurements a second which is harmless to human exposure, and amazingly accurate. Patching the holes in the VX Elements software was a piece of cake. If I was running a city crime lab looking for the best means of recording forensic evidence, I would snag two for busy days. Price? $35,000.

The scanner market is huge. Huger than huge and few have grasped the importance of it’s impact on the future economy. Read driverless cars. Companies that get that will succeed for sure. SpaceTech taught us that this year.

Contributing Editor Fred Kaplan on scanning: “3D scanners produce point clouds of positional data. The point clouds are geometric samples of the object being scanned and often contain billions of points which require software to optimize the data and to export the data to a solid model such as a .STL file. 3D scanner software can smartly interpolate the point cloud to fill holes, merge meshes, optimize meshes, decimate meshes and create water-tight models ready to be 3D printed.

“3D scanners divide into two types of technologies. Laser Scanners that use a laser source that defines space by emitting laser light from two sources and recorded on camera in a process called triangulation and Touch probes or contact scanners recording positional data in 3D space by touching the surface of the object and clicking the device. Another technology that is used to record the surface imagery and the geometry of an object is call photogrammetry. Photogrammetry used an array of still cameras all pointed at an object or person. Software aligns the images, creates a visual reproduction of the surface and interpolates the geometry. Photogrammetry is used to create human reproductions because the process is recorded the duration of still camera shutter. There are also a variety of medical applications such as CT scans that are scans based upon the volume of an object.”

To be specific, understanding the scanning market takes foresight:
3D scanning is used in:
1) Inspection: to measure the size of an actual part to compare to the CAD that was original designed to increase the accuracy of the part and quality control.
2) Engineering: Creating CAD from an existing part to re-create something no longer being produced or to adapt something new from something old or replace old parts
3) Product Development: Feet and faces are commonly scanned for sizing shoes or eye glasses
4) Medical applications
5) GIS, mapping
6) LIDAR in autonomous cars

3D Printing at SpaceTech Expo

GoEngineering’s William Huertas shows how their software makes Creaform so effective

Kaplan went on: “Creaform scanners are hand-held that are fast and easy to use. The HandyScan scanner is made to scan the interior or the space stations as well as the auto, healthcare and manufacturing applications. The company originated as a scanner service provider but the HandyScan and GoScan packages have set the standard as the highest quality handheld scanners on the market. Creaform’s robotic mounted optical system is MetraScan which are 3D scanners that have been seamlessly integrated into automobile and other manufacturing assembly line operations.”

3D Printing at SpaceTech Expo

Additec — one of the many companies present at this year’s show

Technical Editor Tsion Asmamaw had this to say about the show: “Proto Labs was the company to visit at the show. This company provides injection molding, CNC machining, and 3D printing for customers who wish to budget themselves conservatively. They can see the proto type design before going ahead with any production or large scale manufacturing. I think the flexibility of this company will quickly create a good stream of customers exploring their vision in no time.”

Asmamaw also pointed out that GoEngineering wasn’t the only company sponsoring Stratasys products: “The second company I was interested in was PurplePlatypus. They displayed the impressive machines from Stratasys. The preciseness of the prints displayed at the booth were handheld examples of accuracy. One example was a human hand displayed with all the blood vessels in true color — all done with injection polyjetting by these incredible machines — the level of detail and realism can only help the medical education industry beyond measure.”

3D Printing at SpaceTech Expo

Julie from Airwolf3D in a brief moment between speaking with the many aerospace engineers who visited the booth in the busy three days of the expo

Airwolf3D also presented at the show and, as has been written previously, is a company worthy of taking into space. Their Axiom made a hit with engineers, who although celebrated in their mechanics, have yet to experience 3D printing. Credit goes to Airwolf3D for speaking to this awe-inspiring level of genius it takes to do rocket science. This company is closer than most to being in space. That’s all I go to say.

Lastly, I want to bring your attention to a company that, by all aspects, is not 3D printing related. It is my hope 3D printing companies will seize upon this aspect of technological innovation to improve their products at exponential rate. That company is called Splunk>.

3D Printing at SpaceTech Expo

Devon Bolton, account manager for aerospace & defense for Splunk>

Splunk> does data-mining and analytical feedback on levels that make one ponder what cannot be done. Their team has grown steadily in their application of brilliance in what they are achieving. Keep in mind, this is SpaceTech Expo. This is NASA-grade data-mining analysis. Talking to the team at Splunk> is like trying to have a conversation with a genius cousin on scholarship to MIT. These guys see data in ways that make the notion of cosmic-shift likely. Their story on developing better subway braking systems makes me proud to have met them. Remember you heard of them here first.

Plan now for next year’s SpaceTech. Make a family trip of it and develop a love of science in even the youngest of keen investors.


Gregory van Zuyen is managing editor of 3D Printr Magazine and an instructor is 3D printing at Santa Monica College.