1) Pick some brains
Last year, TCT Show attracted some 10,000 attendees and 200 exhibitors. That makes it a good place to ask tough questions, share both good and bad experiences and investigate new technologies. In other words: network!
2) Explore 3MF
The 3MF Consortium is gathering pace, so it will be interesting to hear Alexander Oster, CEO of 3MF Consortium member NetFabb, give his progress report on the project.
3) Learn from Stratasys
3D printing company Stratasys has big plans for TCT Show – its stand this year will be its largest ever at a UK trade show. If you’re interested in the company’s machines and materials, daily seminars will be held at its on-stand presentation theatre.
4) Scrutinise smaller kit
Manufacturing units that can sit on your desk? Roland will be showcasing some of its desktop hardware solutions, including its MDX-540 CNC Mill and companion MonoFab ARM-10 3D printer.
5) Study subtractive methods
The TCT show has always featured CNC equipment and, given the current resurgence of interest in subtractive machining, there’s likely to plenty on show this year, too. But we expect many of these are likely to be modern, small-scale machines, like Muncaster Technologies’ office-friendly units.
6) Catch up with capture
It’s not all 3D printing: with data capture often marking the start of projects, there’s a host of new 3D scanning products at the show, including Artec’s all-new Space Spider. Central Scanning will be providing live 3D scanning demos all day.
7) Get a Spark update
Autodesk’s Duann Scott will be at the show to give an update on how the company is working with partners Microsoft and HP on its Spark 3D printing platform.
8) Weigh up some workstations
There’s a healthy representation among workstation manufacturers. Lenovo, for one, will be showing off its ThinkStation P series.
9) Hear from HP
Last year, HP announced it is going to be branching out into 3D printing, but since then, it’s gone pretty quiet. With 2016 on the horizon, will the company’s worldwide director of 3D printing J Scott Schiller reveal any more details in his keynote presentation?
10) Consider outsourcing
When it comes to 3D printing bureaux, there’s been a flurry of openings in the past year or so. If you’ve a project to outsource, this might be a good venue at which to quiz some of them.
11) Get inspired
Inspired Minds workshops, run by education curricula supplier Black Country Atelier, will give 300 school children the chance to get hands-on with CAD and 3D printing.
12) Investigate new materials
The aerospace industry is fertile ground for new materials development. Hear from Boeing’s Brett Lyon.
13) Mix it up with hybrid metals
The mix of additive and subtractive manufacturing machines has big industry players excited. Check out Hybrid Manufacturing Technologies’ new Ambit multi-task system to add AM capability to existing CNC machines.
14) Talk about training
Training is a big concern for employers. UL’s Additive Manufacturing training programme might be one to check out, since the provider has already collaborated widely with organisations in the US.
15) Explore historic hoards
The Staffordshire Hoard is the largest collection of Anglo-Saxon gold and silver metalwork yet found in the UK. Hear from head of conservation Pieta Greaves how 3D technologies have been used to unlock the Hoard’s secrets since its 2009 discovery.
16) Survey sintering
If SLS technology is of interest, but the costs are too high for your organisation, you might want to visit Blueprinter. Its M3 printer is its more refined take yet on its lower price-point sintering technology.
17) Go big and bold
No job too large for your firm? Prodways’ range of big build area SLA 3D printers are designed to make hundreds of tiny parts in large quantities. Take the opportunity to see its MovingLight technology at the show.
18) Consider alternatives
There are still many ways to get things built, besides 3D printing. Proto Labs is a popular provider of short-run production services, using a wide range of technologies that its team will be on hand to discuss.
19) Scan the start-up scene
The Start Up Zone at the TCT Show is a chance to meet up with a new generation of companies at the very start of their journeys.
20) Visit DEVELOP3D
We’ll be at the event for the duration, so feel free to pop by stand E45 and say hello.
Getting the most from TCT 2015 30 September – 01 October NEC Birmingham