The first part of our report on 3D printing at SOLIDWORKS World 2018 can be read here. This second article gives more details on future plans and new 3D printing technology from Raise3D, solidThinking, Protolabs, BigRep and Formlabs.
Marc Franz from Raise3D and the team have the Raise3D N2 Plus FDM 3D printer with its highly functional build volume of 12″ x 12″ x 24″. The smaller build volume of N2 at 12″ x 12” x 12” is also on display. Coming soon from Raise3D is a new filament runout sensor.
With Raise3D 3D printers increasingly becoming a goto option for larger manufacturers and engineering enterprises, Raise3D are developing a Raise cloud system. This allows owners of multiple 3D printers to work efficiency with the machines. Marc Franz tells me that some customers now have 50 – 100 machines.
One Raise3D client is Shadecraft, the makers of a solar umbrella which doubles as an entertainment center. Designed for high-end hotels the Shadecraft umbrella retails for $6,000, 3D printing is an integral part of manufacturing.
Like MatterHackers, Raise3D are also working with another well-known YouTuber. Dustin, AKA JAT.MN, is the host of 3D Printing Tonight a “weekly series which features current 3D Printing News, Tips, Q&A, Live Builds.. and more!”
It has now been almost 10 years since Altair acquired solidThinking. The topology optimization tools found within solidThinking Inspire are extremely powerful. One SOLIDWORKS world delegate welcomes the news of a software tool intended to accomplish a similar task with the response that the newcomer should look toward Altair as originator in this field. Indeed the company now has over 20 years experience in topology optimization.
Keshav Sundaresh, Global Business Development – Math & System Design at solidThinking talks me through some of the numerous tool sets available. With Inspire for manufacturing going from original designs and constraints to an additive ready design and then to a refined design for traditional casting, “take an hour from start to optimized.”
Protolabs are continuing their success in the accelerated manufacturing realm. In addition to additive manufacturing, injection molding and CNC machining, the Minnesota headquartered company recently completed acquisition of RAPID a custom parts supplier specializing in quick-turn sheet metal fabrication and also CNC machining.
For Protolabs, attending SOLIDWORKS World is important because, “We have the same customers and just about everyone here needs to get parts made.” With a growing number of capabilities and one of the largest assemblies of industrial 3D printers in the world, it’s more than likely those parts will be 3D printed on a Protolabs operated machine.
This weeks show in LA is also a valuable event because the attendees are from a “wide variety” of backgrounds.
Berlin’s BigRep has more than a small amount of announcements coming up in 2018. But for now Frank Marangell, President of US operations & Executive Vice President of Global Sales, is remaining tight lipped. Mid-year we can expect to see an enclosed BigRep One running 10x faster and with a new extruder permitting a wider materials palette. The fruits of the BigRep and BASF partnership announced in November 2017 will also become apparent later this year.
Marangell tells me that the new extruder is a, “great example of German engineering.” It will be function with nozzles of 0.6, 1 and 2 mm. At 3D Printing Industry we are excited to see what BigRep has in store and look forward to bringing you more news when we can.
3D printing at the center of the digital renaissance
Not every 3D printing company was at the show this week, and many of the other exhibitors were not directly related to the industry.
Carbon was one notable absence, some speculated the company is maintaining a startups discipline on the budget. Formlabs, while present were far from talkative. Despite bringing their forthcoming Fuse SLS to LA, the wind appears to have been temporarily knocked out of them by HP’s announcement on Monday. The introduction of a more affordable Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing range was not well received.
Of course SOLIDWORKS World 2018 was not only about 3D printing, however without it there would certainly have been plenty of gaps to fill in the programming. With announcements around additive during the opening sessions of day one and two of the conference, plus a dedicated, standing room only AM Symposium Dassault Systemes firmly indicate that 3D printing a core component of the “digital renaissance.”
Still to come in our reporting from SOLIDWORKS World 2018 are interviews with 3D printing CEOs, insights from additive manufacturing experts and a closer look at 3DEXPERIENCE Marketplace Make. Sign up to our free 3D printing newsletter and follow the leading social media accounts to make sure you don’t miss out.
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Featured image shows the LA Walt Disney Concert Hall. Photo by Michael Petch.