Thursday, April 23, 2015

Fairs | NYC, 3D Print Design Show

The 3D Print Design show took place at the Javits Convention Center, part of the 3D Print Week NY 
(April 13-17).  
   3D printing is such a phenomenon that often it is difficult to discern the true value from the hype. The art show was definitely disappointing, with a remake of the Warhol's Brillo box in a mirrored room —reminiscent of Yajoi Kusama infinity rooms but without the attention to details and conceptual.
   The much advertised fashion show was also somehow disappointing, considering what can be done with other older mass produced technologies e.g.  metallic fabric, polymers, without the massive time investment required by 3D printing.  
  The most interesting part was the exhibit hall showcasing the latest 3D printers for the both the industrial, but mainly, the consumer oriented market. It is impressive what can be done with printers under $3000: the Lulzbot printer was particularly interesting for its capability of printing many materials —including polycarbonate, nylon and wood filaments— at the resolution of  0.07mm layer thickness.
  Definitely medical products seems to be the most promising 3D printing application, where the high precision and customization of 3D printed end products are most suited and cost-effective. 3D printed medical applications vary broadly in scale and materials, ranging from anatomical models and insoles to  prosthetics, tissue and organ reconstruction and implants, 
I appreciated the keynote session "The Search for the Killer App" presented by Peter Leys, executive chairman of the Belgian 3D printing services company materialise. My criticism was somehow confirmed: 3D printing is valuable when it offers a difference in making end products.
3D printed musical instruments
A few ornaments and dress from the 3D printed fashion show