TCT 3Sixty: What to expect from the UK's leading 3D printing showcase - TCT Magazine

2022-05-28 18:41:03 By : Ms. Tina Ma

With barely a minute to unpack our suitcases after RAPID + TCT, it’s already time to zip them back up again as Team TCT heads back out on the road to the NEC Birmingham for this year’s TCT 3Sixty, the UK’S leading showcase for 3D printing and additive manufacturing (AM) technologies.

More than 150 exhibitors and 60 speakers are set to bring their latest products and insights to the floor on 8-9th June, highlighting the entire AM value chain from design to manufacturing to post-processing and 3D scanning. With our Evaluation, Adoption and Optimisation framework, the event has been designed to suit each stage of the AM adoption curve whether you’re looking to take that first step, discover a new application or maximise your existing 3D printing workflows.

A good place to start will be the North Stage where Dr Mark Prince, Director of Undergraduate Mechanical Engineering Programmes at Aston University will be discussing the rapidly evolving landscape of AM technologies and materials, and how to exploit their capabilities through additive design principles and economics. For those already further alone the adoption curve, on the South Stage, Thomas Krüger and Wilderich Heising at Boston Consulting Group will be digging two of AM’s hottest topics with a talk on how AM can enable more resilient and greener supply chains. The theme of supply chain will continue throughout the conference with talks from Pantea Khanshaghaghi, Project Lead at Equinor and JenniferJohns, Reader in International Business at University of Bristol on transforming supply chains with distributed manufacturing and virtual inventories.

If you’re joining us for the TCT Awards (you should, it’s going to be a fancy affair - get your tickets here), be sure to make your way to the North stage at 10am on day two for a special fireside chat with Women in 3D Printing President Kristin Mulherin and this year's Wi3DP Innovator Award winner. You’ll also find industry specific talks on automotive from Oliver Smith at Rethink Additive and micro trends in materials from Sona Dadhania at IDTechEx along with solutions to challenges such as IP from Aidan Skoyles at Finnegan, and quality assurance from panelists at Materialise (E50), Authentise and ASTM International (H70). For attendees looking for a more in-depth look at the latter, ASTM will also be hosting a short course on June 8th in collaboration with The MTC on the fundamentals for AM quality assurance (book your place).

To hear about the latest product developments, the TCT Introducing Stage will be your one stop shop with presentations from Wayland (E90), Xerox (E17), Meltio (H10, H20), Covestro, Nano Dimension (E35), Massivit 3D (C70), Ultimaker (F10, D30, H20, H10, A40, H50) and many more covering everything from micro AM to functional materials.

The show floor guarantees a wealth of expertise whether you’re looking for materials (4DBiomaterials (A50), AM Polymers (G40), AP&C (G42)), metal systems (Additive Industries (J1), Desktop Metal (C30),TRUMPF (G10), WAAM (B70), Xact Metal (G45)), polymers (Stratasys (D20, H45, C40), ETEC (C30), BCN3D (H20, H10, F10, H50), composites (Roboze (D60), Markforged (D30)), desktop machines (Prusa (G60, G62), E3D (G32), Formlabs (C45, D30)), a bit of everything (3D Systems (G5), CDG (L70, L86, L80,L88), EOS (J40), HP (E70), Laser Lines (H45) Matsuura (C30)), post-processing (AMT (D30), DyeMansion (C30), RENA (G50), Quill Vogue (D47), Solukon (G15)), 3D scanning (Central Scanning (G30), Manchester Metrology (F55), T3DMC (B35)), software (Altair (E55), AMFG (F5), Cadspec (F20)), or services (3DPRINTUK (B65), Complete Fabrication (A45), LPE (C52)).

Construct3D is launching at TCT 3Sixty – can you tell us about the technology you are bringing to market?

"We wanted to make a machine that the community would love, and didn’t need you to worry about upgrades or tweaks to get better performance. So, we built our own FDM printer from the ground up, analysing every choice and part to see if it improves the printing experience. Turns out, the machine we made punches well above its class. Our printer really showed off its calibre when it was able to outperform the other machines by printing at speeds up to 320mm/s with accelerations over 17,000+.

In addition, with E3D’s full copper volcano block and nozzle, we are able to truly give printing freedom without the limitation of flow rate. It is only through our voluntary work helping with the PPE shortage that we realised how fast our printer actually was. For every one unit printed on competitor printers, ours printed four."

What are the key capabilities of the Construct 1 and Construct 1 Mini machines?

"Our printers are capable of incredibly fast speeds with impressive accelerations. This is only possible because of how rigid our frame is and our focus on using high quality parts. The printer is ready for action straight out of the box. There’s no need to upgrade anything as we’ve used the leading class main board and a highly reputable supplier for our extruder. Everything about our machines was tuned for excellence and accuracy to make the 3D printing experience enjoyable as well as time efficient."

In FDM 3D printing, Construct3D is stepping into a very competitive market – what do you think separates you from other players in this space?

"Our machine is able to print extremely fast, but also has the rigidity, reliability and quality to support the impressively fast accelerations required to actually see rapid printing. It also turns out that when you focus on quality and reliability, you can push the limits of what people consider viable. We have been able to create a machine that outperforms machines 10x its price. Lastly, our overarching philosophy of quality above all extends to the user experience, where we have class-leading suppliers and components, which allows fora multitude of smart calibration and user features that makes the printing process completely controllable and pain free."

Tell us what TCT 3Sixty visitors will be able to see at the Construct3D booth?

"They will be able to see three prototypes with a plethora of example prints with full print information and comparisons to competitors.There will also be two machines running demos so people can experience high flow printing with fast accelerations, while maintaining exceptional quality and dimensional accuracy."

Can you provide some insight into the work carried out at Aston University’s Advanced Prototyping Facility?

"We are helping companies with the development of new products – including producing prototype parts for Energym, Sonic Games and Rotospa."

Why has the university placed this focus on 3D printing technology?

"Aston is always looking to the future and additive manufacture is now moving very quickly out of Sci-fi and into mainstream manufacturing, but this comes with new design techniques, rules, process and materials. This means we need to teach these techniques to the next generation of engineers but at the same time offer courses and help to engineers looking to use additive manufacture."

With access to such a range of 3D printing processes, what is your assessment of the capabilities of the technologies?

"We have a wide range technology at our disposal, including FDM systems from Ultimaker, 3DGence and Zortrax, as well as a PolyJet J835 from Stratasys, a Form2 from Formlabs and a MetalX from Markforged. Plus, we have full time design engineers working with the manufactures of 3D printing as well as on designing for manufacture."

At TCT 3Sixty, Dr Mark Prince will be presenting a talk entitled ‘Bringing additive manufacturing to work’ – what will be the key themes of this presentation?

"3D printing can have significant impacts for businesses working across a diverse range of industries through saving development time, tooling production, bespoke parts and complex geometry production. This session will help you to navigate the rapidly evolving landscape of additive manufacturing (AM) technologies and materials, and discover how to exploit the capabilities of AM through additive design principles and economics.

Introducing the Advanced Prototyping Facility based at Aston University and the expert advice and services available to help you to unlock new business opportunities and realise exciting innovations. Whether you’re new to AM and looking how to get started, or to find out how you could better exploit the advantages and avoid the pitfalls of embedding AM in your processes then this may be a very good use of your precious time."

Registration is completely free and you can start making the most of your TCT 3Sixty experience even before the doors to Hall 9 are flung open by visiting the TCT Event Hub and making connections with exhibitors, setting up those all-important in-person meetings, and building your schedule.

Want to discuss? Join the conversation on the Additive Manufacturing Global Community Discord.  

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See the latest additive manufacturing and 3D printing developments in person by joining us at TCT 3Sixty in Birmingham, UK on 8-9th June.

TCT 3Sixty is the UK's definitive and most influential 3D printing and additive manufacturing event.   If you are a design, engineering or manufacturing professional looking to evaluate, adopt or optimise 3D printing and additive manufacturing for your business, then join us this June!

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