The Next Generation of 3D Printing at Formnext 2017
For the third time, formnext exhibition and conference has concluded in Frankfurt am Main, Germany and for the third time, we were there, showcasing Zortrax solutions, answering all your questions and sharing the wonderful moments. Passion for 3D printing was in the air. This year though was a bit different. All because of three newcomers to Zortrax Ecosystem: Z-SEMIFLEX, Z-ULTRAT Plus and Z-SUPPORT Plus materials for Zortrax Inventure. But as they say, first things first. Let’s introduce those unaware of what formnext stands for and why we were so thrilled to take part in it.
Formnext powered by tct is annual trade fair organized by mesago, a part of Messe Frankfurt Group. The event is considered one of the most prominent around, when it comes to scale and magnitude. Growing year by year, formnext gathers all important companies and communities of the additive manufacturing world. The event started with a keynote speech of Terry Wohlers, president of Wohlers Associates. Followed by a number of presentations delivered by business and industrial leaders, as well as professors and specialist. The theme was the next generation of manufacturing technologies with topics like healthcare, automotive, consumer products and industrial products. Our stand number 3.1-D88 was well prepared to fulfill them all. Furthermore, we made a presentation ourselves, highlighting the new materials and their applications. You can watch it here.
Guided by Intuition
For four days, from 14 to 17 November 2017, Zortrax stand was packed with visitors from all around the world. Even though we were hard to miss, presented novelties of Zortrax Ecosystem drew serious attention. Let’s begin with the newest version of Z-SUITE 2. Recently, the software was heavily redesigned and upgraded with numerous new functionalities and features. To list but a few: refreshed UI, editable support, auto mesh repair, thin wall analysis, tabbed projects. Overall, our aim was to take all the good parts from the previous versions, make them more intuitive and to add various cutting-edge enhancements. The visitors could discover and interact with them via our touch screen wall. All interested in degree of changes should read the article comparing Z-SUITE 2 to the newest trends. On a side note, the software is still in its beta phase, so expect more groundbreaking developments!
True to the event’s theme, we have presented the next step in desktop 3D printing – Zortrax Inventure. Although, the latest Zortrax 3D printer had its premiere at Zortrax Experience Conference, formnext was an excellent opportunity to showcase it to worldwide audience. As expected, it was well received. The extraordinary performance of the 3D printer was also acknowledged and perceived through the remarkable quality of its prints. The models like the working Torsen differential or the highly-detailed heart proved the capabilities of Zortrax Inventure. Some visitors couldn’t believe that single print was enough to create them. A quick demonstration of DSS Station capability of dissolving the support was enough to prove our point. Nevertheless, the spotlight was stolen by three new materials dedicated to Zortrax Inventure.
Flexibility of Z-SEMIFLEX
The first of trio is Z-SEMIFLEX. Based on TPU-98A, it’s an answer for professionals looking for both elasticity and stiffness in their prints. The material combines features of rubber and plastic, which make it extremely resilient to abrasion and tearing. Next unique feature of Z-SEMIFLEX is its shape-memory. Once squeezed, the model will naturally restore the original shape. Furthermore, it is highly resistant to temperature (up to 130°C), oils and greases. During 3D printing, it has no shrinkage and strong layer adhesion.
Resilient like Z-ULTRAT Plus
Z-ULTRAT Plus, ABS-based material was specially designed for Zortrax Inventure. As you are probably aware, Z-ULTRAT is our take on ultra-durability for prototyping and final part printing. The Inventure version of the material is equally durable and resistant to high temperature (not exceeding 90°C). Furthermore, Z-ULTRAT Plus is characterized by low shrinkage and excellent layer bonding. But, the new material has got more unique features in store. For the first time, the users will be able to create intricate and exceptionally durable parts in a single print. The reasons for that lies within the composition of the next premiering material.
Dissolving Z-SUPPORT Plus
Z-ULTRAT Plus and Z-SUPPORT Plus work in unison. The duo provides users of Zortrax Inventure complete solution for printing models consisting of several parts or whole moving mechanisms. Just like the Z-SUPPORT, the new support material for Zortrax Inventure is easily removable with water. All the user has to do after finishing the printing process is placing the model inside DSS Station filled with water. No activators, no manual labor required.
The third edition of formnext was undoubtedly a success. To get a glimpse of what happened in Frankfurt, you can watch our video coverage. It’s hard to overstate how proud your involvement and passion have made us. It was a truly inspiring event. Zortrax stand was even visited by Michael Petch from 3D Printing Industry. He came to personally hand the award for Zortrax M200 for The Best Personal 3D Printer. What’s more, our motorcycle case study was featured in the 3D Printing Handbook published by 3D Hubs. It was featured as an example of combining 3D scanning, reverse engineering and 3D printing.
And as icing on the top, we were visited by Devin Montes from Make Anything. Be sure check out his channel which proves that everything can be 3D printed. Thank you for the recognitions and all the valuable feedback! See you at Consumer Electronics Show 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.