Rapid TCT 2019: What happened this year?
Rapid+TCT is certainly one of the main events worldwide when it comes to 3D printing. This trade show took place from the 20th to the 23rd May, in Detroit, in the United States.
This tradeshow happens to be the best place to unveil what will create the future of additive manufacturing.
What were the main announcements and innovations released during this tradeshow? We made a little selection among all the great 3D printing announcements. Let’s discover what happened during this last edition of Rapid+TCT!
Any new 3D printers?
BigRep, and its large 3D printer
You certainly know the manufacturer BigRep, specialized in FDM 3D printers. The 3D machine presented by BigRep is actually a brand new version of their last BigRep Studio, with new functionalities. For example, this new 3D printer allows to print faster, and it also includes a new slicer program, called “Blade”!
This 3D printer will be able to print filament with high performance, and these new 3D printing materials will soon be announced.
A new metal 3D printer for Shining 3D
You may already have heard about Shining 3D and their 3D scanners. But do you know that they are also manufacturing 3D printers? And they are manufacturing 3D printers for all kinds of 3D printing technologies. This time, they unveiled a new metal 3D printer: EP-M150, using Selective Laser Melting technology.
Optomec improves its technology
Optomec presented its new improved 3D printer using advanced DED technology (or Directed Energy Deposition). This 3D printer is made to work on complex metal parts. This 3D machine offers great performances, a laser that powers up to 3 kW and 5 axes able to operate simultaneously. This 3D printer can be used to build new parts, but also for restoration or modification of existing metal parts.
What about new 3D printing materials?
3D printed diamond composite
Sandvik unveiled quite a surprising material composite during this last edition of Rapid+TCT. They presented… a diamond composite. This impressive 3D printing material is made up of diamond powder suspended in a photopolymer resin. This new material has been developed for industrial applications, as it is a strong and tough material. Indeed, diamond is known to be the hardest material in the world, 30 times stiffer than steel, according to Anders Ohlsson, Delivery Manager at Sandvik Additive Manufacturing.
How is this composite printed? The stereolithography (SLA) technology is used to print these parts, as the diamond powder is a resin material.
3D printing with a new flexible material
Royal DSM and Adaptive 3D announced a new partnership, and the future launch of a brand new photopolymer material called Soft Tough Rubber. This material has interesting characteristics, as its properties can change when it is exposed to light. This rubber-like material could be used by many different sectors, from the medical sector to consumer goods.
New carbon fiber-reinforced plastics
The polymer manufacturer Techmer PM is about to launch a new production line for carbon fiber-reinforced plastics. Their technology has already been used by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory to give life to large scale 3D printed structures, such as houses. With their new production line, we can say that they are about to go even further!
Two sectors making the most of additive manufacturing
3D printing in the automotive industry
We already saw it on our blog, the automotive industry is really making the most of additive manufacturing. It appears to be a good solution for spare parts, but also to work on innovative designs or to create new complex automotive parts such as tires, or even brakes. Everybody is already dreaming about 3D printed cars.
During Rapid+TCT, we saw that the automotive industry was quite present, 3D printing is becoming a real competitive advantage for this industry.
Car parts were actually presented by XYZ Printing, BigRep and Brad Keselowski Engineering. Moreover, we also learned during this trade show that the Renault F1 Team is about to partner with Jabil, new wheels have been developed by GE Additive, while OEM Stratasys is now collaborating with IndyCar racing team.
Motorsports are really popular during this edition, as the technology offers many advantages for the conception of new car and new designs, from prototyping to production.
3D printing in the medical sector
The medical sector is really a key sector for additive manufacturing applications. 3D technology appears to be the perfect solution to create custom-made devices. The medical sector also allows new innovations, making it possible to create incredible innovations like bioprinting, but also to improve what is already saving lives such as implants and impressive reconstructions.
During this trade show, some conferences were made about medical 3D printing. Dr. Naomi Murray, Director of Advance Operations, Additive Technology Solution, a leading American medical device manufacturer Stryker. The doctor explained how additive manufacturing has always been used by the company as a production technique, to manufacturing end-use devices. They use 3D printing to manufacture spine implants.
The doctor also talked about the future of Stryker. All we can say for the moment is that more 3D printed implants and new tissue regeneration systems will appear on the market.
Are you looking for a manufacturing partner to help you create medical or automotive parts? You should start looking at our online 3D printing service and our materials catalog. Discover your instant quote in just a few clicks.
Were you there during the trade show? Share with us your 3D printing discoveries.
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