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  1. #1
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014

    TCT360 2021 - NEC birmingham

    Fantastic day yesterday at tct360 in the uk.

    I've go a lot of video and pictures that need to be made into a coherent video, so I'll just run through a few teasers :-)

    The twin themes this year seem to be HUGE resin machines (no, bigger than that) with envisiontec's new 8k monster taking first prize, for resolution if not actual maximum size.
    Resins sold in 5kg containers are now the 'small' bottles lol

    And multi-material is seriously making a play for industrial prototyping and final use parts on a massive scale.

    Stratasys desktop j35 and j55 are now my new: ' oh god I NEED one of those' machines.
    It's just like magic.
    At £40,000 the j35 is not cheap, but for a 5 material, polyjet, led cured, spinning buildplate, piece of scientific wizardry - If I won the lottery I'd buy one before the ink on the cheque had dried.
    Just an awesome machine and it's replaced the xact metal xm200c as the thing I'd buy first if I won the lottery.
    It's stratasys, so you'll need a LOT of money for the actual resins - but that's why it's a lottery win purchase :-)
    And the woman on the stratasys stall did admit that 'great machines, but wow the consumables are expensive' was one of the things she heard most frequently.

    I mean I'd buy both the xm200c and the j35 - but, the j35 would get here first, well unless I decided to go for the j55 instead (that one also does colour and has a larger build volume, while being able to fit on the same smallish desk) lol
    Given that i can just pop over to derby and buy one - yeah come the £140million euro lottery win - I'd have my grubby little hands on a j55 faster than you can say: 'holy crap £300 a litre for the resin !'

    On the e3d stand I saw the machine that would have had Autowiz drooling and wondering whyy he'd ever bought the prusa mmu in the first place.
    A small desktop machine with 4 interchangeable heads on a seriously compact tool changer system.
    The whole thing is smaller than my sapphire pro, but probably with not that much smaller build volume.
    And apparently available as a kit.

    And I finally saw a pellet fed fdm printhead.
    This was by dyze and meant for big machines. - Let's put it this way, the hotend weighs 7kg and will take up to a 5mm diameter nozzle with a 2.5kg per hour throughput.
    Attach it to the robot arm at the other end of the hall and you could build small houses in a couple of days.

    Dyze also do a small version, at only 2.5kg, that went up to 1kg per hour feedrate and took up to a 3mm nozzle.

    Then there was the chat we had with the fellow who makes all the r2d2's seen at starwars film premiers. Throughly nice chap and what he told us about how klipper tunes printers for speed, was pretty amazing.
    He's now got a flsun delta that will print cleanly at 400mm/s - yep you read that right. His real-time printing video, looked like my delta on a timelapse video !
    Sam Prentice is his name, and a nicer fellow to chat to you could not find.

    So yeah while the show itself was fairly small this year, there was really good variety of things and enough people so that it didn't feel empty, but not so many that you couldn't see everything and talk to everyone.

    Honestly people were just glad to be somewhere that felt normal.
    We all had covid passports - it was a condition of entry. So nobody was wearing masks, or standing half a hall away.
    We aren't quite back to shaking hands yet, but maybe next year :-)

    There were sanitisation points all over the show, my mate was the only person I saw use them.
    And nobody was going round cleaning the models after someone had handled one.
    You might think that was foolish - personally it was just nice to get back to normal and leave the onus on the individual.

    Freebies wise, tct was one small plastic bag.
    Very little and the exhibitors (clearly all veterans), were being really careful where they left stuff lol
    I mean i could probably have walked off with a prusa-mini.
    The two people on the large prusa stand, were pretty occupied.
    But tempting as it was, I do NOT now have a small orange new printer.

    Three filament samples and a few magazines was about all we got.
    One carbonfibre infused nylon and a sample of filamentum's new nonoilen.
    A biodegradable filament that has a glass point of 110c without any post print baking.
    I figure I have enough to make a coffee cup for gnomes :-)

    But the actual cost is around £35 per kg.
    So if it's any good and really does have that high a temperature tolearance - it's going on my christmas list :-)

    If you're wondering about the freebies - trade shows are generally completely different to consumer shows.
    In consumer shows the onus is usually on people buying stuff from stallholders.
    In trade shows, the onus if very definitely on giving stuff away to get you to stop, chat and potentially buy a half million injection moulder.
    So goodies are abundant and freely available.
    It's one reason I love trade shows - that and all the really cool toys - that while amazing - are so far out of my price range, I'm never tempted to spend any money :-)

    Common giveaways are: pens, bags, mugs, notepads (I do now have an exactmetal notepad magnetted to my knp) diaries, bottle openers, coasters and various other bits and pieces.

    So while the pickings were slim at tct, we did NOT go home empty handed, far from it !
    Leading me to an honourable mention for the Interplas Show.

    Interplas the injection mouilding show was also on at the nec.
    The tct badge gets you entry into three other trade shows.
    TCT, interplas, a medical components show and an electronics measurement show.

    Now for some reason, we've never been round an interplas before.
    let's put it this way - we had to stop after an hour as we could no longer carry all the stuff people were giving us.
    And we made it quite clear we'd just popped across fom tct - they did not care.
    Apparently nobody wants to take anything home, so the rule is to give as much stuff away as you possibly can.
    So next year the plan is to take some kind of wheel based cargo carrier, go round interplas first, then go back to the car to unload and THEN do tct lol

    Interplas: Great show, fantastically friendly people and all the tradeshow swag you can possibly carry !
    There's now a recyclable plantpot that smells of caramel (really), full of pens and stuff in my workshop. Curious to see how long the smell lingers.

    I coined a new catchphrase while going round interplas: 'here, smell this' :-)
    Followed by thrusting a brown plastic plantpot under someone's nose :-)
    Along with the plantpots made from 20% sawdust and reclycable plastic, we picked up some nice sized garden trugs (6 each, couldn't carry more) some large scoops, which i think have been appropriated for the greenhouses, wet teabag holders, and as many chocolates and biscuits as you could eat - being diabetic, I no longer eat my way round lol

    So after 8 hours on our feet and two really great shows, we ended the day swapping dog pictures with two of the women on an interplas stand.

    One of the best days at the nec for a long time.

    And there's a whole bunch of stuff I haven't mentioned - video to come :-)
    But just for Autowiz - here's the e3d multi-tool changer kit machine:
    Last edited by curious aardvark; 10-01-2021 at 10:41 AM.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Enable - a metal printing firm, ran a competition where you had to guesstimate the weight of the same part printed in: steel, aluminium and magnesium.

    There were 50 really fancy looking 3d printed metal pens for the 50 closest guesses over the three days of the tct show.

    Got a text this morning - I've won one :-)

    So based on that, the steel part was around 9kg, the aluminium one around 2.5kg and the magnesium one around 1.5kg.

    Who says fishermen always exaggerate the weight of their catch, I was obviously pretty close ;-)

    I'll post a pic of the pen when it arrives - I didn't take any pics at the show, but they were pretty fancy looking things with lots of intricate cutouts and wibbly bits. (it's a technical term)

    I can't find enable listed as an exhibitor - so they were probably a last minute decision.

    So that's pretty cool :-)

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