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3D/4D Printing Zone Featured at NPE2018.

The second installation of the 3D/4D Printing Zone at NPE201 8 in Orlando May 7 to 11 will occupy 1,000 more square feet than the inaugural exhibit three years ago and inform attendees about the latest additive machines, materials, and methods.

Notable leaders in 3D printing, or additive manufacturing, exhibiting at this year's display include Stratasys Ltd., Carbon Inc., Formlabs Inc., and Proto Labs Inc. Located on Level 1 of the South Hall of the Orange County Convention Center, the 3D/4D Zone will feature 25 exhibitors demonstrating the latest advances in rapid prototyping and part production for the aerospace, automotive, medical and consumer product industries.

Contract fabricator Proto Labs of Maple Plain, Minn., employs a full range of 3D printing processes, including Polyjet, direct metal laser sintering, and Multi Jet Fusion, to turn around customer parts in as fast as a day. Billing itself as "the world's fastest digital manufacturing source for rapid prototyping and on-demand production," Proto Labs in December acquired New Hampshire-based Rapid Manufacturing Croup, a specialist in quick-turn sheet metal fabrication and CNC machining.

"Proto Labs is excited to be back at NPE this year, this time exhibiting in the 3D printing pavilion," says Nina Swienton, vice president of marketing, Americas. "In addition to showcasing our 3D-printing capabilities, we will also be exhibiting custom parts made using our quick-turn injection molding, CNC machining and sheet metal fabrication services." The company also plans two presentations, "Designing for Industrial 3D Printing" on May 5 and "Injection Molding: 3D Printed v. CNC Milled Tools" on May 10.

Carbon of Redwood City, Calif., founded in 2013, is the originator of the Digital Light Synthesis process, enabled by its proprietary Continuous Liquid Interface Production (CLIP) technology. Carbon's method builds parts from a shallow resin pool instead of layer by layer. Producing its own machines and materials, Carbon's unique ability to print lattice structures led to a partnership with adidas to make the Futurecraft 4D midsole.

Industry pioneer Stratasys, headquartered in Minneapolis, has been providing comprehensive additive manufacturing solutions since 1988, with 1,200 granted and pending patents. In February, for example, the company announced:

* An agreement with Singapore's SIA Engineering to establish an additive manufacturing service center to provide 3D printed parts for commercial aviation.

* A collaboration with Dassault Systemes and Easton LaChappelle on the Unlimited Tomorrow initiative, becoming the exclusive provider of 3D printing technology to produce low-cost custom prosthetic arms.

Formlabs, based in Somerville, Mass., specializes in desktop stereolithography (SLA) and selective laser sintering (SLS) machines. French digital artist Gilles-Alexandre Deschaud printed all the characters and sets for his 201 5 short film "Chase Me" at 100-micron resolution on the company's Form 1+ SLA machine.

"It's great to be participating in the 3D printing pavilion at NPE201 8," says product marketing lead Sean Lorenz. "There is value in seeing materials and applications across the different additive manufacturing approaches, meeting with end users and hearing about their latest projects--what's working and what they'd like to see next from us."

"At the booth, we'll be showing off some of our newer resins: Color Kit, Rigid and Grey Pro. Color Kit is our first color mixing solution for resin that enables 3D printing in a range of colors without the manual work of finishing and painting," he explains. "Grey Pro Resin has high precision and versatile material properties, including moderate elongation and low creep, which makes it great for concept modeling and functional testing. And Rigid Resin is Formlab's first glass-reinforced resin and offers very high stiffness and a polished finish."

By Geoff Giordano


Geoff Giordano has been a contributor to Plastics Engineering since 2009, covering a range of topics, including additives, infrastructure, flexible electronics, design software, 3D printing and nanotechnology. He has served as editor-in-chief of numerous industry magazines and is founder and chief creative officer of content marketing firm Driven Inbound. He can be reached at geoff(
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Comment:3D/4D Printing Zone Featured at NPE2018.(NPE 3D PRINTING PREVIEW)
Author:Giordano, Geoff
Publication:Plastics Engineering
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2018
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