Sunday, February 2, 2014

Reflections from 3DPW - Part 2

By Abe Zukor and Alexander Blau

      Yesterday, (February 1, 2014) a few students from the Black Pine Circle Maker Club went on a trip to Burbank, California to see the 3D Printer World Expo. The Expo took place at the Burbank Airport Marriott Hotel and Convention Center. As soon as we walked in the door, and we were greeted by a massive, 3D Printed Dinosaur Head.

      It turns out that a company called Crea'Zaurus is 3D Printing dinosaur heads to try and replicate what they may have looked like. We thought this was genius, the dinosaur looked realistic and imposing, stationed in front of the conference.

      At 9:00, the seminars began. The seminars were hosted by groups of people who talked about what they or their companies was doing with 3D Printers. We went to a few of these, one of which was called "The Future of Desktop 3D Printing". Here we learned about a new type of 3D Printer that we had not heard of before, called a Delta Printer. These printers are made differently from the kind that we use in our classroom. On "normal" printers, the Build Platform moves and operates on the Z Axis for the print, and the nozzle is the X and Y axis. But on Deltas, the Build Platform is completely stationary, and the Extruders move on the X, Y, and Z axis. This works by having the Extruder suspended above the Build Plate by three support beams, which can move the Extruder any direction horizontally, while also the supports can be moved both up and down on vertical rails.

After we had seen a few seminars, we looked at the Expo Floor itself. It was a massive room, filled to the brim with 3D Printers, Scanners, CAD Programs (mainly ZBrush), and various plastic models. We then proceeded to look around at all of the stuff for a good three hours. (It was really amazing stuff.) Here are some of the coolest things that we saw (pretty much everything that was printed in one piece, and yet moved):

A Wrench and a Crank or Something
Claw Thing
Ferris Wheel (Not in one piece, but still cool.)

A 3D Printed Clock that Moves When You Spin the Gear

   Another thing that amazed us at the conference was the medical aspect of 3D printing. One interesting thing that was there was a 3D printed cast (we've posted about it before!). This cast would be much more comfortable because you could scratch under it. The wearer could also shower with the cast on. Plus, it just looks so pretty!

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