TCT Show 2018: This year’s must-see 3D printing technologies

At this year’s flagship TCT Show event, over 250 exhibitors will pack out Halls 3 and 3A of the NEC, Birmingham with the most dynamic technologies across the design-to-manufacturing value chain.

From 3D printing systems and design software, to materials, post-processing and inspection technologies, visitors will get a first look at the latest products, applications and key trends shaping the industry today.

In the coming weeks we will be bringing you a preview of the many innovations you can see across three days of exhibits and multi-stage conference programming. Kicking things off, here are just some of the 3D printing and additive manufacturing highlights you can expect to see on 25-27th September.

UK debut for new TRUMPF 3D printer (Stand N44)

Machine tool manufacturer, TRUMPF, will showcase its TruPrint 3000 system for the first time in the UK. A medium-format machine with a build volume of 300 x 400 mm and industrial part and powder management, the machine is designed for flexible series production of complex, metal components. Features include an interchangeable cylinder concept which reduces setup times, increases productivity and machine utilisation rate.

Ultimaker to showcases new larger dual extrusion printer (Stand R18)

Huge companies like Jabil and Volkswagen have already proven the power of desktop 3D printing in industrial environments whether it’s making tooling or providing engineers with the flexibility to innovate faster. Ultimaker, whose FDM systems are used by both companies and more, will bring its latest machine, the Ultimaker S5, a larger dual extrusion system with advanced connectivity features, to the TCT Show floor.

Lars Bognar, a Research Engineer in AM at Ford commented: “The Ultimaker S5 allows our engineers and designers to fully iterate and test certain functional prototypes to as real conditions as possible without scaling.”

Farsoon invites visitors to “take a tour” of its HQ

Furthering its global expansion, laser sintering leader, Farsoon is inviting TCT attendees to take a tour of its China-based showroom HQ from 10,000 kilometres away on its TCT Show booth. Visitors will be able to see the world’s largest 3D printed single-piece automotive HVAC (Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) Housing measuring almost 1 metre in length, printed on the Farsoon HT1001P and learn more about Farsoon’s Continuous Additive Manufacturing Systems (CAMS) and open platform philosophy.  

Continuous desktop manufacturing with Tiertime (Stand K44)

Chinese 3D printer manufacturer, Tiertime will demonstrate its three latest machine models on the show floor. Launched this year, the line-up includes the UP mini 2 ES, the UP300, and the X5. The mini 2 ES is already available in the US and Europe whilst the UP300 and X5 will make its debut at the show. The UP300 boasts the UP line’s largest build volume to date and is designed for optimal thermoplastic extrusion with a wide variety of materials.

The X5, shortlisted in the TCT Awards, is a new concept, designed from the ground up as a continuous 3D printing system for low-volume manufacturing.

Formlabs to highlight SLA ecosystem and bench top SLS (Stand F26)

Boston-based desktop stereolithography leader, Formlabs will be showcasing its entire Form 2 ecosystem including Form Wash and Form Cure which provide an automated approach to post-processing prints. The process allows for “setting and forgetting” within a printing workflow, while maintaining consistent prints and optimising mechanical properties.

Visitors to the booth will also be able to get a closer look at the Fuse 1, launched last year, which promises to bring the industrial power of selective laser sintering to the bench top.

Stratasys Carbon Fiber Edition printer makes European debut (Stand H36)

First introduced at RAPID + TCT in the U.S., Stratasys’ newly-launched Fortus 380CF Production 3D printer will be running live on stand H36. For the first time in Europe, the Fortus 380CF is available in a range of price points and is compatible with Stratasys’ high-performance Nylon 12 Carbon Fiber thermoplastic material which contains 35% chopped carbon-fibre.

Visitors will learn how Dutch Service Bureau, Visual First, is using FDM Nylon 12CF to replace metal machine parts for its customers, reducing costs by 60% and lead times by 75%.

Olsson Ruby enables low-cost FDM printers to print with engineering-grade materials (Stand D42)

Swedish 3D printing company 3DVerkstan will launch a high temperature version of its Olsson Ruby nozzle on stand D42. The Olsson Ruby High Temp can handle temperatures up to 500 degrees Celsius (900°F) and features a coating with non-stick properties, resulting in smoother and cleaner prints in heat resistant composites, such as carbon-filled Ultem, or PEEK. Inventor, Anders Olsson, says the nozzle could be particularly beneficial in the automotive and aerospace sectors where high temp 3D printing materials could potentially replace metal parts.

Xaar to bring High Laydown Technology to the show floor (Stand J21)

For the first time at TCT Show, Xaar will exhibit its High Laydown (HL) Technology for material jetting on stand J21. The Xaar 1003 printhead enables the jetting of fluids with viscosities of up to 35cP and with the addition of HL Technology even higher viscosity fluids can be jetted at significantly increased throughput as demonstrated using BASF fluids. This facilitates faster printing of 3D parts with improved mechanical properties such as tensile strength.

3D Systems to exhibit scalable Figure 4 solution (Stand L24)

On booth L24, 3D Systems will be showcasing its wide range of 3D printing solutions for plastics and metals. Announced late last year, the 3D printing giant’s latest offering includes the scalable Figure 4 production platform which takes users all the way up to complete Digital Moulding, the new entry-level industrial grade desktop FabPro 1000, and high throughput DMP Flex 100 for entry-level metal and dental applications. 

Europac 3D spotlights HP and UnionTech 3D printing (Stand M26)

Europac 3D, one of the UK’s leading 3D printing, scanning and inspection businesses will be showcasing HP Multi-Jet Fusion Technology through a range of mass customised 3D printed products. The HP Multi Jet Fusion promises faster and higher print quality at a 50% cost-per-part reduction.

The latest technologies from UnionTech, one of the largest manufacturers of SLA 3D printers, will also be on the stand, including UnionTech’s RSPro 450, a completely open platform.

UK first for Mimaki full-colour 3D printer

This year’s TCT Show will see the UK and Irish launch of Mimaki’s 10 million colour 3DUJ-553 3D printer on the stand of its exclusive distributor, Hybrid Services Ltd.

Shortlisted in this year’s TCT Awards nominations, the Mimaki 3DUJ-553 3D printer uses using a UV-curable jetting process to produce full-colour detailed parts at a resolution of 19 microns within a build volume of 50 x 50 x 30 cm.

The machine is compatible with white and clear inks which can be mixed with colours to add transparency to prints and its water-soluble support material eliminates the need for manual removal of support structures. With the ability to match around 84% of FOGRA 39L colours and 90% of the SWOP gamut, the Mimaki 3D printer uses an output ICC profile which can be run within Photoshop to accurately simulate colour output on screen.

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