Report 3D Printshow Berlin

So, how was 3D Printshow Berlin?

3d printshow

Who you should read this: Anyone who wants to attend a 3D Printshow. 

A premiere is always exiting for all people involved: The guys who make the show, the exhibitors and – last but not least – the audience. Same with the 3D Printshow Berlin, which was held for the first time in Germanys capital. It wasn’t the biggest, but an exquisite trade show.

While it wasn’t the largest of 3D printing conventions, there were still plenty of exciting things to see. Starting with the printers themselves: The big brands like Makerbot and Stratasys were of course still doing their thing, while the smaller companies were the big attraction. Quite literally. Like the BigRep, which can print things up an entire cubic meter in size. Printing your own furniture? No problem.

Speed, Speed, Speeeed!

A lot of the more compact printers were focusing more on speed and ease­ of use instead of promising too much of everything. The Italian WASP and the Danish Dynamo 3D folks both created platforms that can outperform the tried­ and true machines, like the Ultimaker, with three times faster print times under very specific circumstances.

Oh, and of course, Ultimaker were there as well, with the three sizes of Ultimaker 2 (read our review here) they are offering now. The pocket­sized Ultimaker Go looks tiny next to its larger brothers, but it seems to deliver the same top­notch quality you’d expect from the bigger ones. They do look very slick, but what if you want something more approachable and warmer? Well, there’s the Aye Aye Labs Hotrod Henry, a fused filament 3D printer / styled to look like a 50’s household appliance, which definitely turned out to be # the most unique thing at the 3D Printshow. But plastics weren’t the only thing that was being printed on the show floor.

Print with food, scan in seconds

The Mcor Iris uses copy paper as the base material for its prints and prints in calibrated full color. On the booth, you also could take a look at the Fuel3D Scanner. A regular tablet is added to a handheld scanner and does all the calculating – just watch the video.

WASP showed a printer using ceramics while the members of the FabLab Maastricht were using chocolates and other edible material to 3D print food. It’s not exactly Star Trek Replicator material yet, but the results were definitely enjoyable. And it seems that FabLabs are growing in popularity, probably in a large part thanks to the flexibility of the 3D printers that they are making available for their members.

The FabLab Berlin took it a step further and is even selling their own 3D printer, which is their version of the Prusa i3. And they’re printing banana holders with it, because, why not. Another application that looks like it’s maturing very quickly is 3D scanning, and there were two companies showing off what they can do.

One the one side, there was the fuel 3D scanner, which can capture smaller areas in a single shot, on the other side, there was my3Dtwin, who were doing full body 3D scanning. Where affordable scanning is probably going to make the biggest impact is with the low­cost 3D printed prosthetics shown here that were either made on expensive laser sintering machines or highly affordable consumer 3D printers.

Also interesting were the materials shown. Verbatim, in example, is entering the filament market.

The art gallery at the Berlin 3D Printshow was highly impressive as well. There was the entire bandwidth of 3D printed art, starting with geometric experiments, some of which involved a significant amount of manual post­ processing, over super­complex and detailed prints which, in terms of the overall finish, are impossible to tell from really well­made, one­off handcrafted parts, but would also be impossible to create that way.

Here are some of the interviews we’ve conducted with the some of the key players at 3D Printshow Berlin:

  1. Filemon Schöffer from 3DHubs
  2. Amir Fattal from BigRep
  3. Dr. Gabor Forgacs, Organovo
  4. Ilja Laurs, Nextury Ventures

So that was the Berlin 3D Printshow 2015, if you get the chance of visiting another 3D Printshow near you, you should definitely go and check it out.