METAV 2014

METAV 2014

Last week we attended the METAV trade fair in Düsseldorf, Germany. We were part of the Rapid.Area special show which showcased additive manufacturing processes of all kind (commonly known as 3D printing…).  It was hosted by Messe Erfurt as a kind of “trailer for the Rapid.Tech and FabCon 3.D from 14th to 17th May 2014″ (quote Christian Fothe, Marketing Messe Erfurt).

We displayed the ASIGA and the Delta Tower as cost-efficient prosumer devices (you can listen to an interview with Stephan about prosumer devices here), while RTC and Cinteg AG displayed professional grade (and priced) Objet and Stratasys (the Mojo) devices… One of them brand new and pretty impressive: the Objet Connex 500 Multimaterial Multicolor 3D Printer (it cant print full color yet, but can apply a set range of colors to all materials…  have a look in the gallery, its pretty awesome… unfortunately far too expensive for most companies to use as a prototyping machine. But I guess we will see it being used by service providers soon).

As we were adjacent to the “Metal meets Medical” special show area, we had a very interesting and diverse range of visitors as well as interesting booths. You can see official pictures of this special show here: http://www.devicemed.de/metal-meets-medical/articles/438751/

We were proud to give a talk in the Forum, displaying the advantages of low cost 3D Printers for medical applications (slides can be found in the last blog post here).

While the Delta Tower was an eye-catcher for everyone, the ASIGA impressed by its sheer amount of details possible and was very well received especially by visitors from the dental laboratory sector. The possibility to use SuperCast Material to forge crowns and Plas- material to create models of teeth for dental laboratory preparations together with the quality at this low price point was convincing. Most people thought the models created were pretty fragile, which is not true, the Plas material is actually stronger than ABS!

But pictures tell more than words, so don´t forget to click the gallery (appears after its been loaded):

Overall it was a very interesting trade fair. As it was not focused on 3D printing or additive manufacturing in general it was very engaging to have discussions with people coming from all kinds of fields of metal processing, cnc milling, dental laboratories, engineering schools and so on. Most of them having barely heard of 3D Printing or even being a bit scared about it, as they heard rumors it could replace their day to day job in the subtractive (milling, etc.) metal industry. I was able to convince most that it probably won´t. It might add to the possibilities their companies will have in the future and make prototyping easier, but will not replace most traditional manufacturing processes, but rather expand them.

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