3D printing at drupa

3D printing at drupa

I would like to look back at one of the first ‘event-in-events’ that 3D fab+print organised last year: the touchpoint at drupa 2016 in Düsseldorf, Germany.

drupa is an 11-day (!) trade show that attracts visitors from all around the globe and has target groups from a wide variety of industries. In addition to the printing and packaging industry, professionals from vertical markets – such as luxury goods, cosmetics, consumer goods, bank and safety technology, and many more – are attracted. With over half of the visitors attending drupa with specific investment projects, it is a great place to network and do business.

From 2D printing to 3D printing

So what does all of this have to do with a 3D fab+print touchpoint? Well, there is a link between 2D printing and 3D printing. Companies that have become famous for their expertise in 2D printing (Canon, HP, Epson, to name but a few) are taking part in the 3D printing market, either directly, or through partnerships. Though the 3D printing industry is nowhere near the revenues of the global (2D) printing industry, forecasts are that 3D printing will experience a steep growth in the coming years and so-called 2D Printing companies (Ricoh, Kodak, Xerox, to name a few more) can’t afford not to be involved.

At the 3D fab+print touchpoint at drupa 2016, divided over nine days more than twenty speakers with various backgrounds gave over 75 presentations.

At the 3D fab+print touchpoint at drupa 2016, divided over nine days more than twenty speakers with various backgrounds gave over 75 presentations on topics such as ‘The business potential of 3D printing for 2D printing services (Sebastien Hanssens, Caldera), the ‘Synergy between 2D and 3D printing (Itamar Yona, Aviv 3D), and ‘Ready or not, 3D printing will disrupt your business’ (Pete Basilière, Gartner).

HP also took part in the 3D fab+print touchpoint at drupa 2016. In their presentation ‘3D Printing – it’s all about digitalization – learning from 2D Printing’ they discussed the huge opportunities and potential of 3D printing, as well as examined some key pain points to be overcome. They spoke about their vision to accelerate the widespread adoption of 3D printing, and provided an introduction to Multi-Jet Fusion Technology, as well as their Open Platform approach.

Andrew Harris, Canon
Andrew Harris, Canon

Another 2D giant that participated in the touchpoint presentations was Canon. Andrew Harris, European Marketing Manager of 3D printing with Canon presented ‘3D printing for print service providers’. In this lecture he examined the opportunities that 3D printing presents for print service providers, highlighted key principles behind 3D printing, and discussed why 3D printing is seeing such a rapid growth across a variety of vertical markets.

Packaging production and 3D printing

In addition to introducing Additive Manufacturing to 2D print professionals at drupa, professionals in the packaging production industry were addressed. 3D printing holds a number of benefits for the packaging industry. Blueprinter for example discussed their role in the packaging industry. Blueprinter’s CEO Niels Appel explained that 3D printing technologies are already being used in the packaging industry, primarily for prototyping. He also looked ahead towards new materials that will appear in the future which will enable packaging companies to create functional models.

In addition, Sander Adam from Leapfrog discussed ‘The untapped potential of large 3D printing in current production methods’ in which he covered the use of large scale 3D printing in the flexo market. And Smithers Pira covered a variety of disruptive trends in functional and industrial printing, including printed electronics and how 3D printing will revolutionize manufacturing.

Audience 3D fab+print touchpoint drupa 2016

And Massivit offered a glimpse into the types of applications and services that are feasible with ‘3D printing – Big Time’. They showed how 3D printing is already a relevant technology for creating large decorative objects, either for use in the design and decoration of venues, or for use in marketing activities, like in the retail industry.

3D printing at drupa 2020

After reflecting, it is time to look ahead towards the future. At drupa 2020 – which will be held from June 16–26 at Messe Düsseldorf, Germany – there will again be plenty of opportunities for visitors to explore the possibilities of 3D printing.

To provide visitors of drupa with the best possible information, 3D fab+print already started researching topics and sourcing speakers. Yes, 2020 is still quite a few years from now, and this is the best possible moment to express your interest in participating so we can together work towards a great event.

You are welcome to give a presentation, provide a (series) of workshop(s), show your 3D printing technology in a booth, and/or maybe even offer a complete 3D printing course over a few days. Any other suggestions to inform visitors about the promises 3D printing holds, as well as the challenges, are also welcome.

So please don’t hesitate and contact me right away. The future is just around the corner, be sure to embrace it!