3D Print at Personalize TCT Show Birmingham

The UK’s definitive and leading additive manufacturing, 3D printing, rapid prototyping and product development technology has been an awesome experience for visitors of every level of interest from hackerspace to aerospace. The eighteenth edition of this exciting free event has been such a big deal, I had registered my ticket months ago.

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The TCT Show + Personalize took place at the NEC in Birmingham UK from 25-26 September 2013, Hall 3a. Unfortunately I was only able to make it to Day 1 on Wednesday, but I wanted to make the most if it. I bet that thousands of attendees came through the doors of the event over the few days with the quality of the visitors particularly high. A lot of exhibitors have reported that they have already reserved their space for 2014.

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The event was totally awesome, and not just for us who have been for the first time there: such a great combination of exciting technology on show with no admission charges, free seminar sessions, free car parking and free visitor Wi-Fi proved a winning formula for all the visitors and the stage is now set for continued growth in 2014.

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This nice event might have been the shop window for the UK industry. Unlike the other great show in London, TCT has focused on the emerging technologies and developements of the scene: there haven’t been too much fancy little plastic toys or entry-level FDM technology 3d printers, but we have seen a lot of metal 3d printers and full-color 3d printing solutions for the rapid prototyping industry. The variety and interesting developments have increased year by year, and TCT is the only UK event to find it all under one roof.

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In addition to the industrial technology providers this year also saw the debut of the Personalize hub and a RepRap corner as well, focused on the emerging maker and consumer markets for 3d printing. This zone proved to be one of the most popular and busy sections of the show, the open-source 3d printers like the Prusa, Mendel and Huxley have played an important role in the big game of the representation of the additive manufacturing technology.

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And in addition to the interesting exhibitions and booths, C-Level executives from 3D Systems, Stratasys, ExOne, Mcor Technologies, Shapeways and MakieLab have been all on stage to share their wealth of experience across the full spectrum of the newest 3d printing technologies. The TCT Show auditorium has been filled with designers, developers, engineers, investors, business owners, makers and the media. Actually, this is the first time that so many people of the industry’s executives have been brought together to present their experiences with 3D printing.

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Experienced 3d printing experts like Joris Peels from Voxelfab have discussed cutting edge technology for concept, design, and manufacturing functions across all sectors. Mr Peels presented his ideas on where the industry should be going. The famous engineer talked about how to tidy up technology in a more practical way, focusing on sorting out the waste produced by machines when builds do not work. “There is a lot of hype on the desktop, ” he explained, adding that the media and advertisements for desktop 3d printers “overstate capabilities of these affordable entry-level machines and underplay problematic things such as build quality and reliability.”

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“It’s great having machines but they are all worthless without users having the ability to make exactly what they want. We need millions of people to be able to design, iterate, modify, custumise, individualise and create”. My opinion: absolutely indeed, most people who can afford to buy an affordable desktop 3d printer won’t take the time to learn a professional 3d modeling for 3d printing tools like Rhinoceros, Solidworks or 3D Max, and although there are plenty of sites offering downloadable objects for 3d printing, the magic of creating your own stuff can be quite difficult to reach for an average user without some hacking enthusiasm.

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“There’s a lot of hype on the desktop,” he explained, adding that the media and advertisements for desktop 3D printers “overstate capabilities of the machines and underplay problematic things such as build quality and reliability.”

“It’s great having machines but they are worthless without [users] having the ability to make exactly what they want. We need millions of people to be able to design, iterate, modify, customise, individualise and create,” he added.

– See more at: http://www.engineeringcapacity.com/news101/business-news/joris-peels-at-tct-show-2013#sthash.RZjANnDj.dpuf

discuss cutting edge technology for concept, design and manufacturing functions across all sectors. – See more at: http://www.engineeringcapacity.com/news101/business-news/joris-peels-at-tct-show-2013#sthash.RZjANnDj.dpuf

discuss cutting edge technology for concept, design and manufacturing functions across all sectors. – See more at: http://www.engineeringcapacity.com/news101/business-news/joris-peels-at-tct-show-2013#sthash.RZjANnDj.dpuf

discuss cutting edge technology for concept, design and manufacturing functions across all sectors. – See more at: http://www.engineeringcapacity.com/news101/business-news/joris-peels-at-tct-show-2013#sthash.RZjANnDj.dpuf
discuss cutting edge technology for concept, design and manufacturing functions across all sectors. – See more at: http://www.engineeringcapacity.com/news101/business-news/joris-peels-at-tct-show-2013#sthash.RZjANnDj.dpuf

This year the event has boasted a first, as it has welcomed the RepRap community to set up camp in a dedicated space on the show floor. The RepRap project is one of my favorites these days: the open-source affordable 3d printers which can replicate themselves while 3d printing their own plastic parts already play a key role in the new industrial revolution and is a real milestone on the way from mass production to mass customization. Richard Horne, RepRap stalwart spoke at TCT for the first time this year, where he championed the maker community in his presentation 3D Printing for Business and Pleasure.

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Horne’s reputation among makers is borne out of his keen involvement in the RepRap community. RepRap – which is short for replicating rapid prototyper – is a self-copying 3d printer that uses a plastic filament and is much cheaper than buying a desktop 3d printer, as RepRap develops and gives away its designs for a much cheaper machine with a self-copying capability. The technology is giving communities in the developing world access to 3d printing, as well as hobbyists keen to 3d  print their own 3d designs at home.

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Luckily the father of RepRap, Dr Adrian Bowyer, has joined Horne et al for the show along with RepRapPro Ltd. (link) on the stand, who had many RepRaps printing RepRaps and has been on hand to answer frequently asked questions and discuss the future of home 3D printing and how personal manufacturing could evolve in the near future. It has been really interesting to me, especially because I’ve just bought a RepRap Huxley 3d printer hardware kit and have just started to built my very first open-source desktop 3d printer. I’ll write a post about it, I promise! And at the end, let me show you a photo of a 3d printed jazz trio, which played at the TCT hall: these guys seem to play on traditional instruments like the electric guitar, drum kit and a keyboard; but in this case, all of the instruments have some weird 3d printed parts, just check out the fantastic details! I wish Giger had designed some 3d printed guitars
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2b3d Budapest 3D Printing Days

Hi there! Did you know, that there was  3D print show in Hungary in June? Okay, first, I had to apologize because I posted my first and last article on this blog a couple of weeks ago, but forgive me, I have been really busy in the last couple of months, and I really enjoy it! My 3D printing passion is getting greater, and the best thing is that many people are getting interested in my 3D printed designs as well!

© @andreashepherd on Instagram

© @andreashepherd on Instagram

I’ve just attended on an event organized in Budapest last week, from the 11th to 16th of June. Maybe I was wrong, I haven’t been there as a visitor, I’ve been there as professional exhibitor with my parametric | art brand, I had an own corner at the exhibition. So I could exhibit my 3D printed designs and my desktop 3D printer has been printing all the time while I made some workshops and lectures as well. This conference and expo with workshops was for all the people who are interested in high-tech gadgets, like desktop 3D printers, parametric design, 3D printed unique design objects, additive manufacturing, generative architecture, parametric 3D modeling with Grasshopper and other 3D arts. That was such a big deal for me, you know I’ve just started my 3D print blog about generative design in the last couple of months, and this huge hype all-around was totally unexpected. I hope it starts something cool…

© Design Terminal

© Design Terminal

The show was called 2b3d Budapest 3d Printing Days, organized by Design Terminal, a governmental institution responsible for the development and support of the hungarian creative industries, and is to encourage young artists and engineers working in the national creative industries – including local 3D printing enthusiasts – to emerge domestically, and to direct the attention of domestic and international investors to the potential business opportunities behind their talent. For tourists, Design Terminal at Deák tér is the best place to go if you are interested in local urban art, design and other creative civil projects.

© Design Terminal

© Design Terminal

Te event attracted a lot of people and had a huge amount of significant 3D printing organizations exhibiting including, Leopoly, FreeDee, Protokat, Rapid3D, Catalyst, Varinex, Fablab Budapest, Kitchen Budapest, and me as parametric | art. The topic has been geared to provide the audience with a strong foundation and explanation of how 3D printing is today, how it will change our future and what business opportunities are on the horizon. In addition to the several tutorials and seminar sessions, attendees found an exhibition hall packed with the desktop and industrial 3D printers and 3D printed objects like generative 3D printed jewelry designs, prototypes, designer lampshades, toys and medical demonstration tools.

© Design Terminal

© Design Terminal

Although the show had a quite small footprint, it was well-packed. The young team of Design Terminal did a manage it well, I’ve count about hundreds of attendees in the exhibition hall and seminars every single day, and the tutorials and conference attracted many attendees as well. It’s such a big deal, because I bet that about 1/3 of the audience was totally new to 3D printing. And based on how crowded the exhibit hall was—every time I approached it, I saw a wall of people—there was a lot of interest in just watching the machines running.

© Design Terminal

© Design Terminal

I absolutely enjoyed the lectures and the workshops, although unfortunately I wasn’t able to watch them all. One thing that impressed me was how well the crowd mixed—it included a huge amount of people who were completely newbies, plenty of people from the “desktop” 3d printing world, and some people from medical and design industry, whose printers cost several times more than my little MakerBot Replicator 2 desktop 3D printer.

© Design Terminal

© Design Terminal

There were some really interesting discussions and debates about 3D printings applications. Journalists caught up with the 3D printing experts to find out how 3D printers and the third industrial revolution will change our lives. I also had a workshop on Thursday about generative 3D modeling and parametric design, the attendees have 3D modeled a parametric bracelet using the totally free Grasshopper 3D for Rhino, and then, we’ve optimized the geometry to 3D print in on my exhibited desktop 3D printer. I think it has worked, although it wasn’t enough time to make something more complex because of the lack of time. One design has been 3D printed, and I’m going to send the 3D printed model to the designer for free, he gets it as a gift.

© parametric | art

© parametric | art

I want to discuss the pros and cons as well, so I should write something about the negatives as well. (If there were any of them…J) What I missed about the lectures and seminars was how we should use the several tools (especially open-source, free or cheap ones), including Grasshopper, Meshmixer or Blender to prepare our 3D models for 3D printing. I still can remember when I was starting out with 3D printing, that I had no idea which tool was for designing models, for messing with models, and for repairing the meshes to avoid issues while 3D printing. And I bet that the newbie’s to the scene will have some trouble with their own 3D models when they want to 3D print them as well…

© @bonooobong on Instagram

© @bonooobong on Instagram

Honestly, I got very tired for the end of the week, but it still has been such a great pleasure to be there because it has started something in Hungary, in this little country with a lot of creative and smart people. All the segments of the 3D printing scene have been represented by local hungarian companies, a new high precision DLP 3D printer – invented by two guys – has debuted on the event as well. It was nice to be a part of this cutting-edge event! I just want to thank Design Terminal for the great event management, and thank you everyone for being there and making it legendary! See you next time on a forthcoming Grasshopper or 3D print workshop!

© T-Gla

© T-Gla