Having spent the majority of yesterday being inspired by speakers like Prof. Jenny Lewis of Voxel8, J. Scott Schiller of HP, Todd Grimm and Joe DeSimone of Carbon3D at the 3D Printing Conference I didn’t get a great deal of time to prowl the show floor looking for stories. This morning its a whole different kettle of fish.
The CES 2016 show floor is absolutely rammed on day two but I’ve managed to scoot around and get a general feel for what’s happening in the 3D Printing Marketplace. A lot, there’s a lot happening.
It strikes me that the first event of 2016 is going to set the pace for the year, we all know that for some of the major players 2015 represented as something of a struggle but for comparatively smaller machines manufacturers like Lulzbot and Robo 3D last year was a stellar one.
That is apparent as you peruse the show floor and see the scale of ambition in the booths of those companies. Gone are the Yoda Busts a 3D Selfies, nearly all of the manufacturers are showing off functional useful prints; you see printers printing while being filmed with a bespoke 3D printed camera dock; machines printing wearable watches with embedded electronics; sub $1,000 machines printing actual jigs & fixtures
Consumer 3D printing is taking a slightly different turn from the 'one in every home' dream towards an enabling technology for those that want to be enabled, and that is no small market; The DIY market for instance is one the manufacturers are tapping into and that alone represents a whopping $31 billion. It is evident right away at CES, the hype has died down and people aren’t asking “What can I print with this?” people are asking “I need to print this to do that can you machine take this material?”, we're coming out of the chrysalis of the trough of disillusionment and flourishing into the plateau of productivity, at speed.
3D Systems have taken the biggest booth of the 3D printing marketplace and I’m looking forward to taking a proper tour of it later on today, what I will say is, firstly, yes, the Cubejet is here and it is actually printing and there’s one piece of machinery that Todd Grimm pointed me towards that could represent a revolution in manufacturing.
The as yet unnamed concept from the inventors of SLA is printing with a small robotic arm from a pool of resin, at speed, later on I’m going to find out more on this concept from the rather massive 3D Systems team. It’s clear 3D S are being ran like a business now and it is taking full advantage of a more 3D savvy audience to show what its plethora of technologies is manufacturing now.
Keep your eye on the CES News section for more updates live from the show floor.