3D PrintShow in London. Industry - Goldmine or Ghost Hunt?

    There are heroes of the lyrics, and there are comics-cynics. I am from the clan of the second, dark .

    The open RepRap paradigm gave the world the opportunity to assemble a 3D printer itself, without waiting for corporate products, but the dark ones quickly realized and are trying to make a business of different sizes on the basis of it.
    Like moths into the light, they fly to the heady phrase “Welcome to the 3D era” .

    I was able to watch a gathering of designated moths of various calibers for two whole days in London at 3D Printshow 2014, perhaps the largest global show in the context of 3D printing technologies.

    3D PrintShow in London.  Industry - Goldmine or Ghost Hunt?  bq tears everyone.

    Under the cut you will find:

    1. UNJECTIVE review of exhibitors
    2. Controversial reasoning about the feasibility of entering the 3D industry for entrepreneurs
    3. Few robots, PRINTBOTS
    4. Spy Photos COMPETITOR Arduino
    5. Light erotic in 3D

    So, let's begin.

    After the previous exhibition in New York, 3D PRINTSHOW in London seemed like a breakthrough.
    Either the organization and activity of the participants here is much higher, or the industry as a whole has grown over the past year and was ready to show finished products at a fairly high level, but the desire to ask the question “Is this ALL?” - this time was not.

    Below is a panoramic photo of the exhibition hall.
    The visual dominants of the show can be called Autodesk, 3DFUEL, Makerbot stands.

    And if with AutoDesk - everything is clear (100% successful company), with the Americans - too (they were bought for an indecently large amount of money for the industry), then here is the value for the market of the very difficult to use FUEL 3D scannerwith the unsympathetic results of a tedious 3D scan - the second year remains a mystery to me.

    Madness was going on at the entrance to the exhibition hall.
    People with bulging eyes - tried to draw something in the air with melting and almost instantly solidifying plastic.
    This 3D Doodle adroitly stuck to the 3D industry, one of the few who were able to saddle success in this extremely difficult, in my opinion, market.

    Makerbot was a traditionally American-style booth. In contrast to the standard 3D-models for exhibitions of this format, which got nosy, he presented nice printouts from license files developed by the company's designers.

    Separately, I will highlight the Z18 model.

    You will be surprised, but this is the TOP sales in the company, and by no means personalos and mini.
    So the guys from BEST FILAMENT (Lyosha, hello), who took up the distribution of such a product in Russia - may be POSSIBLE on the right track.

    Personally, I VERY LIKED the presence of WORKING food printing machines at the exhibition (there weren’t such in New York).
    There were at least 4 manufacturers here:

    But “ ripped ” all DOVETAILED , the target printer for molecular cuisine (Vitya Polyakov, hello!).
    Can print berries, fruits with completely unusual tastes. Charged with syrups of all stripes:

    The abundance of printers "for geeks and hippies" was pleasing to the eye, but on the other hand hinted at the absence of major breakthroughs in technology. Work on changing the printer went outward, not inland.
    Wifi modules, LCD screens, built-in multicolored or super-transparent futuristic colors webcams are all add-ons, but NOT qualitative shifts.
    You don’t need to be upset, in principle, you can be glad that 3D printers become different from each other and attractive to different customers.

    Before I run into the manufacturers (DO NOT CONFUSE WITH PACKERS) PLA, ABS plastic (this was one of the business tasks at the exhibition), I hung at the bq stand .

    The news from Witbox manufacturers turned out to be MUCH more than I expected.

    1. The Spaniards made an afigen brand Teflon touch coating for 3D printer platforms.
      Now is the time when PLA plastics with different properties are becoming more and more. Delamination, fuzzy fixation on the platform is a disaster known to many 3D printers. Methacrylate platforms generally hold well, but often require 3M blue wide adhesive tape and lose flatness during use. Glass platforms do not have the disadvantages of the former, but without 3D-varnish or other “shamanism” they also do not always take off.
      The bq coating is mounted on top of the table (whether it be Witbox, Prusa i3 Hephestos or any other 3D printer with a comparable print area), it serves for a long time and is comfortable.

      Prusa i3 Hephaestos Hephestos DIY printer from bq

      The SWEETest news regarding the new pre-premier bq products had to be cleared at the request of the company's marketing department. Here: whoever has time has eaten. Be silent now. Shhhhh ... Official releases coming out in a month

      After bq I walked past the Ultimaker booth (Vlad, hello to you): The

      booth is objectively nice and large (albeit without new products), but when I saw the tampered platform of the 3D demonstration printer, I thought: “Guys, you need bq teflon ...” The

      fairy tale takes a long time to tell Yes, not fast business is being done.
      Finally, I got to the plastic .

      The thesis trends regarding consumption for FDM printers, highlighted during the study of exhibitors' stands, are as follows:
      • Environmentally friendly, non-toxic
      • FUCK Chine
      • Diversity

      The first point speaks in favor of the serious focus of manufacturers on PLA .

      I found several ABS samples at the exhibition , including unexpectedly in granules, but they are clearly not a

      trend-maker : FUCK Chine-identity Each of the manufacturers absolutely calmly and paternally reacted to the mention of Chinese manufacturers.
      “The lag in technology in this segment is very large,” they say.
      “Objectively, they cannot do plastic of our level.”

      When we mentioned Russian production, they simply could not hide their smiles.
      "Production? In Russia? You didn't seem to be at PLA REAL PRODUCTION. If they had - they didn’t ask such a question. ”

      For what I bought - for that I sold it. Thanks to the communication skills of my partner for these insiders.

      Variety . Here, even consumables manufacturers think more NOT in the context of the color scheme, but in the context of applicability.
      Personally, I was inserted (among other things) - a chair recruited from elastic fragments of a small size:


      And ... sneakers, no fools:

      Having run through large printers :

      printers for printing lawns:

      and printers of a well-known player in the 2D market, Roland companies:

      I dug in front of this:

      Erotic in 3D

      Eye-stopper worked reliably, and watched the video to the end, and then glanced at what happened:

      I, as on a rope, went to scan my3Dtwin brand .

      The mechanics are not as simple as they seem.
      Photographing takes place in a bright arena (see the video in detail ). At the same time, an UNPUTABLE large number of 2D cameras photographs you.
      The result is approximately the same number of images:

      Then - partly programmatically, partly manually, all these images are formed into a 3D file (STL extension).

      Next is the choice - you can either order the figure in the right size, or buy this file and print it in any online printing service: 3Dtwins , Shapeways - in the world, 3D.ru (Serezha, hi), 3D-printus (Konstantin, you are THE BEST) in Russia.

      Now, after scanning the files, I look like this:

      Let's see what the final result will be after 3D printing.
      Compare, I intend to lay out on readiness.

      In general, the review with large strokes can be considered complete.
      I publish robots:

      and printbots (printed on a personal 3D printer):

      Many cool photos from the exhibition can be found in the official photo stream : * * *


      Since the moment of my last post on Habré, more than three intensive months of work in the industry have passed.
      What can I say.
      Beginners who run into the industry, FROST.
      The market is overheated by the media, but does NOT have real demand that can make the businesses of so many people / companies profitable.
      Any serious projects: Online platforms, Industrial 3D printing, Professional distribution - are far from being independent profitable projects. They can exist on venture investments, or are financed by business donors.

      The more I communicate with industry players, the more I become convinced of the absence of long-term prospects for the production of anything in Russia (be it plastic or the printers themselves).
      Companies with huge budgets, technologies, patent portfolios and a 100-year-old production culture are expanding their presence in the industry. It seems unlikely to win them by playing on the field of the same technology.
      The tale of David and Goliath is unlikely to take place here, unless the iron curtain of the Soviet era is lowered to us.

      Nevertheless, the industry is extremely interesting, a casino with the promise of a big win in the medium / long term.
      Here are just what numbers to bet on, and within the framework of which quantitative / temporary strategy - a question even for sophisticated 3D market players.

      In general, the search for a cost-effective model and mass market is still more like a ghost hunt.
      Someone saw them, everyone is talking about them, but here to catch ...

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