The 3D Printshow in London had a rather fantastic mix of everything this year.
I spent three days up at the show, met lots of great people and took far too many photo's.
Kerry and the team running the 3D Printshow have such an immense job, it's almost impossible for anyone who just visits to see what goes into a show like this. Ultimate respect for the team, and next year with an even more ambitious schedule all around the world, it's going to be even more work. They are recruiting if anyone wants to take on the challenge !
I made a short but fast video & slideshow to show some of the great parts of the London 3D Printshow 2014 - I hope it gives you a taste of the way both the consumer and professional 3D Printing industry is progressing. The 3D Printshow team is off to Paris again, very soon.
I would also strongly recommend viewing it directly on YouTube as it's in HD - direct link here.
Along with the 3D Printshow team, I need to say such a big thank you to the team at Fabbaloo, who made my time at the show so much fun. We were all on the Knowledge bar stand with a mission to help anyone that asked us anything at all about 3D Printing (or anything else for that matter) - we had some really great questions and discussions this year.
Many questions last year started with, how does it work? what can it do? or what can it make? This year most of them started along the lines of I work in X industry and we want to use 3D Printing to help us do X, what do I need to know? - that's always a good sign that things are moving along.
Another really great signal is that lots of people wanted to know how to get involved in the '3D Printing industry', many of these were school age or about to go into further education. It's obviously not all that clear what skills you need for a career in 3D Printing. And to to be honest, as things evolve and 3D Printing takes on more avenues in various industries. Maybe it'll start to look more like an enabling tool rather than a specific industry anyway.
So many good things happened at the show, lots of great people and companies with missions and goals, shaping this industry into something really very special.
When I got home and the dust had settled, one company really stayed in my mind. They are using 3D Printing and other technology for further education and learning, with our next generation of creative minds - the kids.
I can make - I would encourage anyone to take a look at what they are doing and get involved or spread the word.
Not all that much new technology was in force at the show this year, it was very hard to find even a single delta printer at the whole show. Yes, some new low-cost SLS machines were around. But what was happening was a clear joining of forces between companies who have been around for a little while and are starting to figure out what it's going to take to succeed in this consumer landscape.
Fuel3D and Ultimaker announced a cooperation to bundle the Fuel3D scanner with the Ultimaker 2.
Colorfabb and Eastman have joined forces and seem to be planning to take over the world :)
3D Hubs are working with a lot of people and are experts in sharing and cooperation for mutual benefit.
Lots of other things are also going or are about to happen, but I can't tell you about them at this time, sorry. It's certainly an exciting time for the industry and we have even more thrilling times ahead.
We have always had 3D Printing services, and this year was no exception, what was more 'on-show' was a strong focus to provide more as a service. Se we still have actual 3D printing by the likes of Shapeways and i.Materialise, But many more now are offering design services, verification and a whole host of 'cloud 3D printing' - many who didn't even seem able to explain what it was they were offering. "it's cloud based" was all I got from one. I didn't ask any more.
One great UK company (with real people who care and are not up in a cloud) who has always gone that extra mile for the client is 3D Print UK if you are not already aware of them, do take a look.
Art and fashion -
Was in full force at the show. This year the organisers had hundreds of budding hopefuls apply, and they had to turn down most of them for not making the grade. It seems Artistic use of 3D Printing is now a solid form in it's own right. Fashion is still trying to work within the limits and it's doing a very good job indeed.
There was far too many fantastic works to put down here (watch the video above) - but here are a few that I was drawn too.
One of my favourites at the show was the 3Doodler dress by SHIGO - Yes, I know it's not '3D Printed' get over it, it's awesome !
Another one that struck a chord with me was the stunning work by Shane Hope - these pieces have so many features and detail, it's unlike anything you have seen before. It brings a whole new dimension to artwork and although I myself have done some simple 'melted Art works' before this was something else, something spectacular.
Photo's and even video do not do it justice, it's just the sort of thing you need to see in person, study, explore and feel the creation of each piece.
PussyKrew was another example of stunning computer imagery brought to life with 3D printing and lots of hard work - these prints used Ultimaker printers and hand finishing to great effect.
I just realised I want to add about another 30 more, but that's going to make this post massive, so watch the video for more amazing works.
One I can't leave out is the fantastic model of Big Ben by Mark Durbin (AKA MakeALot), Printed on Ultimaker and Delta Tower printers with Colorfabb materials. More of the scale and design in the video above.
Another personal achievement was listening and meeting Enrico Dini of D-shape (the man who prints houses) he is an inspiration for me and it was a joy to see his work and hear his story fist hand.
And last but not least - What was the general Hype level?
Quite low really... Thankfully.
The only thing that really grated on me was that all Makerbot staff had t-shirts on with the following "I CAN MAKE ANYTHING" - Any of you who were at my presentation on the Saturday of the show, would have heard my response. Hype and misleading marketing is generally not a good thing in my view. We have all worked hard to get across a realistic view of what current 3D Printing can do for people, and that's a lot already.
And I'll leave you with something not to do with 3D printing. I didn't add to the video, but has a deeper meaning to me and many more -
Here we have some stunning images of the 888,246 poppies around the Tower of London moat to commemorate and represent all the British Military Personnel who died in the first World War, which broke out 100 years ago. The last poppy will be planted on 11th November.
Every single poppy is made in ceramic and is hand planted in the grounds, it's breathtaking.
See you next time.