L-R: Adam Brandejs, Drew Cox, Trevor Townsend
It seems like a while ago since TCT last spoke to engaging Canadian startup Matterform. A quick Skype call in late November introduced us to the 3D scanning company and a month and a half later we got the chance to speak to them in person on the remarkably busy show floor in the International CES 2014 3D Printing Techzone, sponsored by TCT + Personalize.
On the penultimate day of the show, the Matterform team was still full of energy and enthusiasm, riding on the back of two full days of great enquiries, potential leads and the incredible atmosphere in South Hall.
All three of the Matterform partners - Drew Cox, Adam Brandejs and Trevor Townsend - have been on-hand to speak to anybody with an interest in their product or wanting to join the 3D printing industry dialogue.
When TCT stopped by on Thursday afternoon, Adam Brandejs was the only member of the team with both hands. Indeed, it was lucky the team were on a corner booth to give visitors better room to manoeuvre around the persistent crowd.
Clearly, International CES has been a success for the team, who are already very happy to look forward to appearing in 2015.
"Assuming we are still alive next year," Brandejs said, "We will be coming back and getting a bigger booth. We've had lots and lots of leads, lots and lots of people looking to get into 3D printing and asking how."
He explained why Matterform believes 3D scanning is a fantastic technology, because it opens up the entire 3D printing world to those with no CAD or industrial design background.
"It's exciting. I think because it's a really easy entry point - you can scan a new case for your Gameboy, put it into AutoCAD and print it and you have this personal thing you made yourself."
As well as general civilian enquiries, discussions with people looking to scan the collections of museums and galleries, and dentists, Brandejs revealed there have been enquiries about a Matterform jewellery scanner and a machine that can 3D scan people.
The word democratisation has been used a lot in the 3D Printing Techzone this week and Brandejs believes 3D printing and 3D scanning are truly disruptive technologies that will change mindsets. The technology, he said, will change how we consume, allowing us to (eventually) recycle and repurpose materials instead of buying more products that will reach the end of their lifecycle and end up in landfill.
"Imagine a world where you can take a child's shoe when they grow out of it, scan their foot and reprocess the sole into a new shoe," he said. "That's what I am so excited about."
The Matterform team may be visionaries but they are also conscientious. They have been processing the feedback from the first users of the Matterform 3D scanner launched last year and are taking every comment and compliment seriously.
"We are definitely interested to make the machine better and better. We are looking into doing version two but we're going to make it an upgrade for our early adopters.
"It's been really encouraging feedback for the most part, 98 per cent I would say has been really positive.
All the Matterform team want to make this the first of many successful CES outings. Drew Cox and Trevor Townsend added to Brendejs excitement about being in Las Vegas for the global industry event.
"It’s been overwhelming, I never expected to have the interest we have been getting," said Cox. "I believe there's more uses for 3D scanning than in 3D printing and our target market is already much bigger than I first expected. We are going to come back and I am really excited to see what people are going to do with the technology."
Townsend stated: "It's been kind of fascinating for me, obviously there's a whole lot of new interesting technology and for us it's been a really positive experience.
"There's been so many people wanting to know about the scanner and when and where we are selling it. It's been tiring - but awesome."
"So for CES 2015 we will be there, if we are still alive, but to actually be here is amazing. Everybody has been a little overwhelmed but it's very exciting," Brandejs said.
"Because of that, it gives you a lot of hope we are doing something right."