The 3D printing industry is evolving and it is the innovators who are driving the technology as it becomes more accurate, more diverse and more sophisticated.
A name that leaps to mind when considering innovation in 3D printing is Mcor Technologies. Mcor has developed the only full-colour, paper-based 3D printers in the world, which build models using Selective Deposition Lamination (SDL) and the company's stand at TCT Show + Personalize this September 25th and 26th will be a platform for promoting this process and explaining how it can help businesses lower their outgoings, save time and improve their designs.
Dr Conor MacCormack, CEO, set up Mcor with his brother Fintan MacCormack, who shared his passion for making a 3D printer that would change how people use and access the technology. He is therefore an essential addition to the show's line up of keynote speakers, approaching the notion of 3D printing from a fresh angle and demonstrating the myriad ways in which the technology can be used.
Making change happen
"The industry is changing and it is great to be a part of this line up as we believe Mcor is one of the companies helping to make this change happen. TCT is a great venue and a great show - and one we always factor in every year ... getting the chance to speak and tell our story is fantastic," he stated.
MacCormack's presentation aims to explain Mcor's history and where the notion of paper 3D printing stemmed from, as well as the energy behind the concept that has ultimately made the business what it is today. The CEO will also explain SDL and dispel the myths that 3D paper printing is like origami or papier-mâché, concluding with an outline of the technology's applications. "I want to talk about how people use our machines and how they use paper," the CEO remarked.
MacCormack believes that events such as TCT Show are essential for the growth of the 3D printing industry and suggested it is more difficult to change in time with the industry without having one's finger on the pulse in this way.
He said: "The 3D printing community is growing rapidly and is now a highly diverse community comprised of many different perspectives; from people who have been manufacturing and using the technology in industrial settings for perhaps 15 years, to those who manufacture and use the technology for innovative new business applications and even in-home use. Once quite separate, these groups are now beginning to blend.
"So, shows like TCT give manufacturers the opportunity to meet these diverse audiences as well as media representatives who have a growing quest for an understanding of all the different technologies and players."
Mcor's impressive growth curve over the last 12 months is testimony to the fact that this company is in-synch with the evolving market. The company increased its staff by 200 per cent, while its partner programme rose by 1200 per cent and sales of paper-based 3D printers jumped by 600 per cent.
In addition to the company's growth figures, Mcor has broadened its reach by joining forces with stationary giant Staples, with Staples Easy 3D offering consumers access to multi-coloured, photorealistic 3D-printed products via Staples branches.
MacCormack believes the 3D printing industry will grow "in many different directions", which is exciting for a company at the forefront of the cutting-edge technology. However, the media could be blamed for focusing just on the sexiest aspects of the technology and not on the potential of other 3D printing developments, while also indicating 3D printing provides instant solutions for businesses.
"It is our mission at Mcor to bridge that gap between any inflated expectations and the reality of what can be achieved and accessed," MacCormack remarked.
"3D printing is revolutionary and I never get tired of explaining what a 3D printer can do. There is a lot of hype surrounding the industry and I think people will look back on this time and say it was the start of something."
The who and the how
It is hard not to get excited about Mcor's journey and the energy behind the company that will propel it towards further success in the future, and MacCormack's enthusiasm for the wider 3D printing industry is just as strong as his passion for his own business.
"Are there going to be 3D printers in everybody's homes or is it about access to 3D printing from the home? There's been massive growth in the industry for companies like MakerBot and Ultimaker, but they're the kind of guys who are more DIY, who have the machines in their homes. I believe the real growth is going to be accessing people who don't have these machines and in time it will be about sending files to be printed by somebody else."
"We believe we are in the top five [3D printing] companies out there. [But this is] still an awareness driver for us," he noted, "How do people use the technology and how do they use paper? TCT will be an opportunity to talk about paper and how people are using our machines."
Conor MacCormack is not short of opinions and insights, while he certainly has the goods to back up his unquantifiable pride for the business he built. He will be taking to the stage on the first day of TCT Show + Personalize to share his contagious zeal for the industry and for the extraordinary things Mcor's machines can do with ordinary office paper.