Set in Burbank, California, the 3D Printer World Expo has become the primary event for professionals and small businesses to take the pulse of a burgeoning industry.
It features the biggest collection of 3D printers under a single roof, showcasing what studios like Disney Interactive and MakerBot, and individual creatives, are doing with the latest technology.
Here's our five highlights of the second year of the expo…
01. 3D printed art on display
Several well-known 3d print artists filled the boundary of the expo with their work, including abstract sculptures by Joshua Harker and Kevin Mack, statues by Tim King and Gil Bruvel, jewelry and wearable art by Jenny Wu and Igor Knezevic.
Gentle Giant/3D Systems brought out their high-end collectibles featuring properties from Iron Man, Game of Thrones and Frozen as well as a 3D printed replica skeleton of Joseph Merrick the Elephant Man.
Lots of printer tech on display from Stratasys, Makerbot and Form1+, to the equally passionate teams from Airwolf 3D, Lulzbot, and Deezmaker.
In addition to printer retailers, there was a strong presence from service providers such as Purple Platypus and Morpheus3D, filament and material scientists from Gmass, educational resources Uartsy and Mold3D, and even a Maker Club from Black Pine middle school.
For entertainment, attendees could create a personalised action figure through Marvel 3DPlusMe, try for over a dozen printer giveaways and tune in to the Zbush live sculpt off.
03. ZB Contest
Creators of ZBrush Pixologic took center stage, flying in 16 artists from all over the world to compete in the live sculpt off. Four competitors went head to head all day Friday vying for the coveted Organic and Mech champion belts.
Sculpts were simultaneously printed overnight using 3D system's 660 Jetpro printer and were in the hall for voting on Saturday.
First place winners Paul Liaw (Organic) and Justin Goby Fields (Mech) walked away with the belts and Pegasus Touch SLA 3D printers while second place winners Furio Tedeschi and Rafael Grasseti were awarded Cintiq 13HD tablets courtesy of Wacom.
The expo was a nerd's paradise for mingling, with opportunities to bump shoulders with industry giants such as Rick Baker, Steve Wang and Neville Page, as well as the talented artists on display and the ZBrush rock-stars presenting and taking part in the live sculpt off.
Conference pass holders were treated to seminars by several early adaptors of 3D printing in the fields of entertainment, jewelry, toys, special effects and entrepreneurial business.
Courses were structured in two tracks, a 3D Printing Boot Camp which covered the nuts and bolts of the technology and how to use it and the Markets and Applications track in which presenters showed how 3D printing could be applied in industry using real examples from their own businesses.
Words: Aiman Akhtar
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