3D Printing at TCT Show 2019

3D Printing at TCT Show 2019


Welcome to another video from ExplainingComputers.com. This time we re visiting the 2019 TCT Show
in Birmingham in the United Kingdom. TCT stands for time compression technologies, and the TCT Show is the place to see the latest and the greatest in 3D printing. So, let s go and take, a closer look. TCT is a very large tradeshow, and hence I
cannot hope to include everything on display in this video. So, I what I m going to do is to focus on
some key stands, and innovations, that really caught my attention. For example, over on the Stratasys stand I found these and this, which are first 3D printed parts to be put into service in trains on the UK s
railways. These were produced using a Stratasys 3D printer
by Angel Trains and DB ESG. And in case you re wondering this is an arm
rest, and looks like this on an actual train. Meanwhile, these are grab handles, and are
located on a trains on the outer edges of seats The ability to 3D print spare parts like these
reduces the need to place orders for large production runs, or to hold a large inventory
of legacy components. Instead, spares can be printed on demand as
required, which all helps to keep costs down. In a similar fashion, on the other side of
the Stratasys stand, we find this mock-up of a business class seat in an aircraft cabin,
which is here to demonstrate how 3D printers are increasingly being used to produce lightweight
ducting and other interior aircraft parts. For such applications, Stratasys has developed
its aerospace-grade ULTEM 9085 filament, which allows flight-ready parts to be 3D printed
that meet the necessary flame, smoke and toxicity material requirements. Just one of the 3D printers capable of making
industrial-grade parts is the new Stratasys F120, which is more reliable, accurate and
durable than typical desktop hardware. And as we can see, the F120 also produces
very nice prints. And talking of nice prints, Stratasys are
also displaying a range of printouts from their resin-based, material jetting or PolyJet
3D printers. This, for example, is a one half of 3D printed
mold used to make bottles. Some PolyJet hardware is also capable of making
really high quality, full-colour, multi-material 3D prints, such as this prototype of a trainer,
or this superb medical model. This particular piece was printed on a Stratasys
J750, one of which is on working away on the Laserlines stand. Again a full-colour medical model printout
is on display. And due to its rubber-like outer material,
it feels very strange indeed. Stratasys are not the only company to offer
full-colour 3D output. For example, running live on the Matsuura
stand, we find an HP 580 Multi-Jet Fusion 3D printer that builds objects using a powder-based technology. The detail and surface quality are very good,
if not quite up to the standard of the more expensive resin-based colour printing available
from a Stratasys J750. Over at XYZ Printing, the DaVinci Colour Mini
also creates full colour 3D prints. This is a material extrusion printer, and
mixes coloured inks with a special colour-absorbing PLA filament. This significantly lowers the cost of colour
3D printing, with the price of the printer down to about $1,600. Taking yet another approach, on the Duet3D
stand is this amazing, one-off printer built by Ian Peg, aka Deckingman on YouTube. This amazing printer is fed with five different
color filaments, which are mixed in its extruder to create multi-colour prints. This really is a most extraordinary piece
of engineering, and I very much enjoyed discussing its construction and operation with its inventor. A 3D printing company I ve followed closely
for many years is Ultimaker. Back in 2012, I saw an early Ultimaker, which
even then had great print quality. Fast forward to today, and at the TCT Show
the company have launched their Ultimaker S5 Pro Bundle. This is based on their existing S5 3D printer
from May 2018. But rather than keeping the filament mounted
on the back, several spools are now housed in a sealed material station on which the
S5 stands. There’s then an Air Manager placed on the
top to fully enclose the build space. Ultimaker claim that the S5 Pro Bundle brings
industrial production power to the desktop, with automatic material handling, efficient
air filtering, and filament humidity control. Another company I ve been interested in since
its early days is Formlabs. Back at 2012, I filmed their first 3D printer,
the Form 1, which was a game changer because it loweredthe cost of stereolithographic,
resin-based printing to a few thousand dollars and brought it to the desktop. In April 2019, FormLabs launched their new
Form 3 and Form 3L, which as we can see here have their very reflecting casings! These new printers are based on low force
stereolithography, which improves print quality, with support structures that are easier to
remove. Here we can see the difference between a printout
from an older Form 2 printer on the left, and a new Form 3 printout of the same object
in the same material on the right. With an extensive range of resins available,
the FormLabs printers can produce a wide variety of output, from prototypes to final parts. In June 2019, New Balance even released a
limited edition of this running shoe, its 990 Sport, which has the back of the sole
3D printed on a Formlabs 3D printer. The design of this part of the shoe is known
as TripleCell, and could not be manufactured using traditional production methods. To make the part possible, Formlabs developed a new photopolymer material called Rebound Resin. Several other manufacturers are showcasing
stereolithographic 3D printers that use light to solidify a photocurable resin. Not least 3D Systems, the inventors of the
technology, are exhibiting some modular cells from their Figure 4 3D printing platform,
which is intended for the large-scale production of 3D printed parts. Meanwhile, on the Photocentric stand, their
Liquid Crystal Magna 3D printer is getting its first outing at a UK tradeshow. Photocentric s 3D printers use LCD screens
to image object layers, with the Liquid Crystal Magna based on a 23.8 inch, 3840 by 2160 panel. To demonstrate the capabilities of their technology,
Photocentric have arrived at TCT with a full-size prototype of a motorbike that they have 3D
printed entirely in resin. Not to be outdone, just opposite EnvisionTEC
have brought a racing car with them, which features parts produced with its stereolithographic
3D printers. Also on display are their floor-standing
Vector 3SP printer, along with the smaller Envision One. EnvisionTEC have a reputation for making hardware
that is used to fabricate highly intricate small parts, like these figures, and also
dental and other medical devices. However, this year at TCT they are focusing
more on the broader industrial application of their technology, including the 3D printout
of jigs and larger components. This year there are relatively few consumer-focused
3D printers at TCT. Educational favourites MakerBot are present,
although the printers they are showcasing are their METHOD models, which launched in
December 2018 to bridge the gap between industrial 3D printer accuracy, and desktop 3D printer
accessibility . Without doubt, the METHODS certainly produce great prints. But with the price starting at $6,500 dollars,
they are certainly not for most makers. A more consumer-orientated device is the UK
manufactured Threedy, which costs 895 pounds in kit form, or 1,795 pounds assembled. Alternatively, over on the Prusa Research
stand, an open-source Prusa i3 can be purchased for $749 as a kit, or fully assembled for
$1,000. The i3 printer we are looking at here had been fitted with a multi-material upgrade, which allows it to be connected to up to five rolls
of filament, from which it selects as required in order to produce multi-filament prints. The TCT Show awards excellence and innovation,
and this year s non-polymer hardware award went to Anisoprint for their composite fibre
coextrusion or CFC technology. This features a print head with two extruders,
one of which is fed with a single thermoplastic, while the second is fed both a thermoplastic
and a strand of 0.35mm carbon fibre composite. This allows Anisoprint Composer 3D printers
to fabricate plastic objects that are selectively reinforced with carbon fibre, so allowing
structural parts to be made that can be stronger than some metal components. Ansioprint sell two sizes of their Composer
3D printer — a smaller A4 and a larger A3 model. The prints produced appear to be very strong indeed, and it’s noticeable how much heavier the same parts are when produced with a dense
carbon fiber reinforcement. In addition to thermoplastics and resins,
some companies are exhibiting metal 3D prints, including 3D Systems, EOS with this rather
beautiful bracket, and TRUMPF with this jawbone, and this superb component additively manufacturer
in copper. Over on the SLM Solutions stand, there’s also this very impressive engine cylinder head, which took over six days to print. SLM Solutions also drew my attention to this
part, which is the first 3D printed metal component used in a production automobile. Specifically, this is the active heat shield
panel fitted in all Bugatti Chiron sports cars. The part is 3D printed in aluminium on SLM
Solutions hardware, and features integrated water cooling channels, which would be impossible
to incorporate if it were manufactured using conventional methods. Over at Digital Metal, a DM P2500 3D printer
has produced some highly detailed but very small stainless steel prints. These Klein bottle openers, for example, are
only a few centimetres tall, while this vehicle is about 40mm long, and these castles with
interior staircases range from just over 10mm to just under 5mm tall. Digital Metal also gave me this tiny 3D printed
whistle, which as you can see is about the length of a micro SD card. At every TCT Show there is one product that
really grabs my attention. And in 2019, it s on the Zotrax stand. Over the past few years, Zortrax have developed a reputation for manufacturing very solid and reliable material extrusion 3D printers,
and at TCT they’re introducing their new Endureal model. They ve also got several of their Inkspire
resin-based 3D printers on display. But it’s not any of these printers that I
consider to be TCT’s Best in Show. Rather, what I think is the most outstanding
product is the Zortrax Apoller. And what this does is to turn a material extrusion print that looks like this . . . . . . into one that looks like this. Technically, the Apoller is a smart vapour
smoothing or device that post-processes ABS, HIPS or ASA-based prints so that they no longer
have a stepped surface with visible layers. Objects are placed into the Apoller, selections
are made on its touchscreen, and its chamber is heated and filled with acetone or another
solvent vapour with precise temperature and pressure control. After a few hours, parts can be removed, and
have a surface quality comparable to injection molding. The potential to use the Apoller to expand
the range of application of material extrusion 3D printing is enormous. For the first time, it makes it possible to
cheaply and safely 3D print plastic objects with a consumer-acceptable
surface quality, and which can be properly cleaned. Personally, I think that the statue on the
right has the look and feel of bone china or porcelain. And certainly, many people would be happy to have objects of this quality in their homes 3D printing continues to be a very exciting,
vibrant and forward-looking industry, and this has very much been in evidence here at
the TCT Show. But now that’s it for another video, if you’ve enjoyed what you’ve seen here please press that like button, if you haven’t subscribed,
please subscribe, and I hope to talk to you again, very soon.

22 thoughts on “3D Printing at TCT Show 2019”

  • Thanks Chris,
    Brilliant outside broadcast production, incorporating not only high production values but also very interesting and informative content.
    Watch out BBC Explaining Computers is the new kid on the block!

  • I've always wondered what TCT stands for! I followed TCT shows for a while, and in fact I am giving a talk at TCT Shenzhen this year yet it's first time I get to know that TCT is Time Compression Technologies! Thank you Chris!

  • Been talking to Markforged lately.. sent me some samples… print metal, carbon fiber. seem pretty sharp, still a bit pricy though.

  • Excellent job, as always! Thx. I will be sharing this w/ the Orlando 3D Printing Meetup group at today's meeting…

  • Our Universe was probably 3D printed by some bored alien teenager, playing a extra-cosmic game with his homie, Lil Lucifer.

  • Now that resin printers have become reasonable prized for hobby usage at an entry of less then 500 Dollars, I am waizing for the same to happen with metal- based 3D Printing…

    But I do realize that powerful 500 – 2500watt lasers cannot be bought for just a couple Hundred quid…

    Still waiting for one to drop below 5 figures!

  • Great video. I really am excited about the future of 3D printing. I sort of wished there were more vendors there that did 3D printing in other industries – eg. construction, and architecture.

    Also, what I'm not seeing are green 3D processes. So many of these printers print plastics but as the awareness of micro-plastics entering our food chain become more heightened, I wonder how the industry is going to address this. Perhaps the shift to plant based plastics that's safe to consume might replace the resins currently in use.

    One thing that caught my eye was the use of carbon fiber string, this can really shake up the construction industry and make stronger walls, bricks, etc. Heck, the process can even move on to printed cloth/clothes. Wow. Amazing.

  • The next show will feature non-planar and 5-axis printers in their full glory. Extruders need to be longer and thinner.

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