It is impossible for anyone to cover this event since that would require visiting nearly 1,000 of the 4,500 exhibits per day and walking amidst the 11 scattered official venues. The LVCC (Las Vegas Convention Center) alone has a two-level South hall, a massive Central hall, a North hall, and a connection to Westgate (an adjacent hotel).
3D Printers and Materials
3D Printing was one of 28 major categories at CES. It had its own dedicated Marketplace with over 30 companies represented.
At this year’s CES, exhibitors were often touting their increased capabilities – higher quality, speed, and build volume – all at more affordable prices. For example, G3D (https://www.g3dsys.com), claimed that its product was the best value in its class at a price of $1,900 when compared to printers from Formlabs and XYZprinting.
Meanwhile, XYZprinting introduced its da Vinci Color 5D which combines 2D + 3D (thus “5D”) printing. This printer received one of the prestigious CES Innovation Awards as an Honoree.
Users can print full color in either two dimensional printing or three dimensional printing with just this one machine. The colors applied digitally are exactly what one gets on 3D prints. (i.e. CMYK ink is applied to a color-absorbing PLA material)
An add-on allows 2D printing on paper. Another upgrade enables a user to turn the da Vinci Color 5D into a laser engraver.
A regular exhibitor within the 3D Printing section of the show for the past several years, this company again showcased a number of their new models. https://www.xyzprinting.com/en-US/home
Many manufacturers continued to add multiple functionality to 3D printers. For example, Snapmaker introduced its Modular 3-in-1, capable of:
- 3D printing,
- laser engraving/cutting, and
- CNC carving.
An indicator of its potential was evidenced by its earlier funding effort on Kickstarter where a record of nearly $8 million was raised in just 30 days. The pricing for this printer has great appeal to budget minded makers as well as to many professionals.
Markforged – this manufacturer is clearly more focused on the business/industrial side of the market than on the average consumer. Their machines are designed to print plastic, metal and composite materials, e.g. fiberglass and carbon fiber enable stiffer and stronger objects to be fabricated. www.markforged.com
Polymaker was appealing to both a professional and an industrial audience with their range of products for 3D printers. For the industrial market, their filaments and powders have qualities for designers and engineers that bridge the gap between prototyping and production. www.polymaker.com
Below are some examples of their new materials:
Dynamism is a distributor and consultant for 3D printers, filaments, scanners and other related products. At their booth several new models of Ultimaker, Formlabs, XYZ Printing Nexa3D, and Desktop Metal were represented. https://www.dynamism.com/
The presence of this company further illustrated the changing focus of CES from strictly consumer to the wider inclusion of industrial and b2b attendees in search of the latest and greatest products for use at work as well as home.