Chances like the IFA tradeshow in Berlin only come once a year. Make sure you use this chance wisely, and check out all the cool and incredible new 3D tech!
On Friday, Berlin’s famous Internationale Funkausstellung IFA kicked off, once more gathering gadgets, doohickeys and all sorts of incredible tech to keep you mesmerized. Every year, droves of curious visitors pass through the massive doors and through the seemingly endless hallways of electrical gear and accessories. Amidst the multitude of laptop cozies, Panasonic washing machines (yes, washing machines!), and even synchronized dancing drones (in hall 3.2, don’t miss it), you will find a steady number of 3D printers, scanners and the like. This convention has proved an incredible opportunity for printers. Whether you’re buying first printer, exploring your options, or just out to find the cool knickknacks, IFA seems to have a little something for everyone. However, if you do intend to visit the IFA and check out the printers, do yourself a favor:
Check Your Map
Unfortunately, the 3D print stands are scattered about the convention making it paramount that you have a plan beforehand. It’s incredibly easy to miss a particular stand if you’re not on the lookout.
The Easy Route
To see the most with the least amount of jostling, 11.1 and 11.2 are your go-to exhibit halls. Walking through 11.1, you’ll find Hilltecks Distribution and a huge crowd hovering around their dancing robot. You may also stumble past the Berlin-based 3YOURMIND. This may be of interest if you’re looking to get something 3D printed, or need advice for your own projects. You’ll have a hard time missing the Botspot booth, with its terrifyingly large 3D body scanner. Likely, you’ll never require a 3D scanner quite like this, but it’s worth taking a peek inside.
You’ll also stumble past iGo3D and their various Ultimakers. Unlike many other 3D print stands at the IFA, these printers are live, meaning you can watch them first hand. Though the space is relatively small, they manage to attract a lot of visitors, and the staff can usually be heard describing printers and passing around sample creations. *Hint* If you’re looking to try out a 3D Doodler, here is the place to go; unlike the other, more crowded stands, you can doodle in peace here without being endlessly bumped and nudged.
If you’re curious about the famed Form 1+ printer, you can pay a visit to the Formlabs crew. Easily one of the smaller booths, these guys are really here to answer your questions. They’ve created a truly amazing printer and they’re happy to talk about it—from Empire Robotics to Sutrue. They’ve shied away from shiny doo-dads and distractions, opting to focus on what you really came for—their printer. If you want to see how 3D printing is changing the world, pay these guys a visit.
Just across the pond, is XYZ Printing in hall 11.2. If you’re looking for the big, flashy, IFA experience, XYZ hit the bulls eye. With some dozen printers on display, including their buzzworthy XYZ 3D Food Printer, you really can’t pass on this one. Oh, did I mention the robots? Or the telepresence service robot? How about the chance to see a handheld 3D scanner in action? They also have a contest going on, welcoming you to share a 10-second video about which of their 3D da Vinci printers is your favorite, with the winning video being picked at the end of the IFA and shared on Facebook.
Outside the Comfort Zone
When you’re ready to move to another hall, head over to hall 17 and check out Verbatim. This is a great chance to see their full line of filaments and ask all of the questions you’ve ever had. The atmosphere here is very chill—not quite as hectic as XYZ—so feel free to take your time poking around. They also have printers from their partner Mass Portal on display. Up next…
Intel. If you want the sleek, futuristic experience, look no further than hall 16. You can not only see, but play on their RealSense-equipped laptops. The 3D camera tracks your motions letting you play in 3D without having to wear any embarrassing headgear. However, if virtual reality is your thing, you can head over to their VR and give it a try. On the other hand, if you have friends waiting in the VR line and you are completely disinterested, then you can head over to their “smile for a coffee,” where a computer rewards you for smiling with a coffee.
Way outside of the comfort zone, in the far-off land of hall 26, you walk through the smell of vietnamese food and into the international hall. Here, you can find the perfectly-sized CEL Robox team. Though hall 26 is quite far from the other printers, CEL uses this to their advantage. They haven’t lost their Kickstarter spirit, and are more than ready to give you your full attention. Their printer is explicitly intended for beginners, and those who want to 3D print with the least hassle possible. If that sounds like you, it may be worth your time to take a walk over to the international hall.
Whether you’re curious about printing or you print every day, there are endless opportunities at the famous trade show. Chances like this come only once a year.
License: The text of "A Guided Tour of IFA for 3D Printing Enthusiasts" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.