writes copy 12 Jan 2018

3D Printing as Seen at CES 2018: Part One

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Like most of the tech world, this week we’ve been paying a lot of attention to the goings-on at CES 2018 as announcements have arisen from the neon desert landscape of Las Vegas. Many of these have been focused on 3D technologies, as additive manufacturing is showcased alongside a huge variety of 3D scanning and related technologies including LiDAR, virtual and augmented reality, and the Internet of Things. While 3D printing doesn’t have quite the footprint at CES that it did circa 2014 and the hype of consumer-focused desktop 3D printers, the technology is an undeniable — and definitely has a place at the massive trade show. With that in mind, I trekked out to Nevada to spend a few days in the hive of activity.

My visit was relatively short, starting with a Monday media event ahead of the Tuesday full show start and with my exit somehow conveniently timed to be 15 minutes before #CESblackout on Wednesday, and I definitely didn’t have the chance to see everything nor speak to everyone I would have liked to, but the time there was very well spent. As a dedicated 3D printing media outlet, being on the ground at such a major event of the tech calendar is invaluable, with conversations and demonstrations providing thorough, hands- (and ears-) on looks at the latest technologies. We’ll be sharing more direct-from-show coverage soon, including exclusive interviews.

In the 3D printing marketplace in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center, I had the opportunity to check out some of the booths we’d been excited to see: below is part one of 3D printing as seen at CES 2018.

HP Z 3D Camera

The first company I spoke with in Las Vegas was HP, which has been making waves throughout not only the printing industries, 2D and 3D alike, but with related technologies including the popular Sprout setup — which works with the just-introduced HP Z 3D camera. Announced Monday, the 3D camera took home a CES Innovation Award. It was on display at the media-only Pepcom Digital Experience! Tech Tailgate event the evening before CES, where I had the opportunity to see it in action.

Displayed alongside several fairly large and fully detailed Multi Jet Fusion 3D prints, the HP Z 3D Camera easily and quickly captures a full 3D image. I saw a complex, large geode scanned in seconds — as Joshua St. John,  Head of Product, Immersive Computing at HP, held the rock, the system automatically removed his hands from the image.

The usable files created so quickly using this system are high quality and immediately workable. Operation is intuitive, with easy prompts to ensure accurate capture of every angle of detailed objects.


Formlabs’ New Materials and Customized 3D Printed Earbuds

Bringing the Fuse 1 SLS 3D printer, Form Cell automated production system, new resins, and more, Boston-based Formlabs had plenty to display at CES. The Fuse 1 is drawing attention as the fairly petite machine is at work on the show floor, with plenty of SLS parts on display to touch and see. The parts hold up to those I saw at their HQ a few months ago, and it was good to see the machine in action.

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