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TCT show 2014

TCT 2014 show at the NEC

On Wednesday the 1st October 2014 iDig3Dprinting paid a visit to the TCT+Personalize show at the NEC. This was a great trade fair of the great and the good manufacturers and suppliers of 3D printing and additive manufacturing products and services. For us is was chance to meet contacts in the flesh and make new contacts, to see what the latest additions to the 3D printing market place there are. We cater for the domestic, educational, and office environment so our round up is a summary of that.

All in all we had a good day at the TCT+Personalize 2014 show, it was good fun; a lot of interesting people doing interesting things.

3D printer accessories at the TCT 2014 show

Firstly to scanners. We did have a look for some alternatives to our 3D systems Sense and iSense 3D scanners. Not that these are not good 3D scanners but we do like to offer a broad range of options. What we found, apart from the more pricey like those offered by Europac 3Dimensional, where the Fuel3D hand held scanner and the Matter and Form desktop scanner. There where some other 3D scanner options in the form of duel purpose desktop 3D printers but we will come to those later.

– Fuel3D scanner

The Fuel3D hand held scanner has a scan resolution of on average 0.35mm and will capture the colour of the objects you are scanning. Your scans can be exported as .STL, .OBJ or .PLY file format. The company is an Oxford University spin out. So watch this space as these hand-held scanners our coming on to the market currently.They should, when available retail at around the £900-£1000 price bracket.

Fuel3D 3D scanner

– Matter and Form 3D scanner

Next up is theMatter and Form desktop 3D scanner. This scanner as a less fine scan resolution of around the 0.43mm mark, and like the Fuel3d scanner will output your files in .STL, .OBJ and .PLY. Its designed to be portable but unlike hand-held scanners is used to scan objects placed on its scanning platform and so there is a limit to the size of object that can be scanned, it can scan items up to 190 mm x 190 mm x 250 mm. However it is a more affordable 3D scanner retailing at ~£360.

 Matter And Form 3D scanner

 – The Strooder Filament extruder

The Strooder is a filament extruder, it makes 3D printer filament from thermoplastic pellets. It retails at ~£249. It is not quite on the market yet but soon to be. It will produce filament at either 1.75, 2.85 or 3.00mm using different sized nozzles. They have ABS and PLA pellets at the moment but this range is expected to expand together with the added development of a Spooler designed to feed the newly made filament on to a spool. The Strooder has a special Purge setting to clean the system of previous plastic material and the high pressure of the extrusion system ensures no air bubbles. Nice product. Below pictured is David Graves (one of the co-founders), trying to avoid the camera with his Strooder.

The Strooder filament extruder at the TCT2014

Desktop 3D printers on show at the TCT 2014

Well there was quite a lot of desktop 3D printers, We can’t say that this was all of them but we saw most. Please note that weren’t trialling them so we cannot comment on the quality of the end product, or the quality of the 3D printables that they can produce, this is not a review.

– The Cube 3 and CubePro 3D printers

A large contingent at the TCT show 2014 was the 3D systems stand. Currently 3D systems have there new Cube 3 the next generation up from the Cube 2 and the CubePro, the replacement for the Cube X. iDig3Dprinting sells the Cube 3 for £1032. This machine, like all of 3D systems 3D printers, uses their own filament cartridges that does allow your 3D printer to know when the filament is going to run out which does save on aborted  print runs. The build area for the Cube 3 is 152.5 x 152.5 x 152.5 cm and the layer resolution is 0.07mm and 0.2mm. It has dual extruders and so supports printing in two colours. The CubePro on the other hand has an enclosed build area of 285.4x 270.4x230mm and a layer resolution of 0.07, 0.2 and 0.3mm. iDig3Dprinting’s prices for the CubePro start from £2386.80 for a single extruder machine. Pictured below is a grey Cube 3 alongside 3D systems new Haptic mouse, the Touch Stylus.

3D systems Cube 3 3D printer and Touch Stylus


So obviously one of the arrivals was the UPBOX from TierTime. We are waiting to see when we can sell this. It is looking like its going to retail around the £1799 mark, its a very stylish looking printer, you can check out all of its specifications on the UPBOX product page. Essentially it offers and enclosed build chamber, 0.1mm resolution and a large build area of 255 x 205 x 205mm. Additionally it also has the UP automatic levelling features and an air filter to reduce the smell from ABS printing.

PP3DP UPBOX 3D printer

– The LayerLabz Pro

This was a nice looking FDM 3D printer with an enclosed build and large build area built in Ireland. The build area is 340 x 210 x 240mm. It has dual head capability so you could print in 2 materials. The resolution is down to 0.02mm and it takes 1.75mm filament and will use PLA, ABS, Nylon, HDPE and flexible filaments. This printer also boasts wireless connectivity. The starting price for this printer is ~£1552. The remit for Layer Labz was to produce a 3D printer for the classroom, with this in mind they have paid particular attention to safety.

 LayeLabz Pro 3D printer

– The Miicraft

The miicraft is a high resolution (~0.05mm xyz-axis), compact stereolithography 3D printer. It’s has a build area of 43x27x180mm. its advantage is that for an SLA printer it is one of the cheapest in its class at around ~£1638.

Miicraft SLA 3D printer

–  The Lantern

The Lantern is desktop DLP 3D printer offerings from 2Engineers who are based in Belgium. This is another DLP photolithographic printer that boasts an impressive z-axis resolution of 0.005mm and has a larger build area than the Miicraft of 140x80x100mm. The RRP is ~£1482 so it comes in at a low price for a DLP printer. Of note is that it has a retro look although it is our understanding that there may be some additional development work done on the 3D printer chamber. We were asked to pick between two prospective designs for the outside.

The Lantern DLP 3D printer

The Threedy 3D printer

The Threedy is a FDM 3D printer made by Puzzleshed Ltd from Hertfordshire, UK. It has a good sized build area of 210x210x160 and boasts adjustable z-axis resolution of 0.05-0.3mm which is very useful for early stage project development. It takes 1.75mm filament, has optional nozzle sizes and supports any Reprap 5d firmware compatible slicer software. This 3D printer can be bought pre-assembled or in Kit form so there is an opportunity to save some money for the mechanically minded. Prices for the Kit are £895 and the pre-assembled £1195.

Threedy 3D printer

 – The Nectar One

This is the first of our Delta form 3D printers from Nectar 3D, a Dutch company. For them it was the launch of the Nectar one. This 3D printer is in the pre-production phase but its specifications as they stand are as a dual FDM delta form printer.

 Nectar 1 delta form 3D printer

The Robox 3D printer

The Robox is a FDM printer made by Cel-UK from Bristol, UK. One great advantage of this printer is the 2 year warranty which on its own makes it stand out. The other aspect is that it has been designed to be modular with the aim of having interchangeable heads that can perform different functions e.g. paste extruder. The Robox can also use a “SmartReel” system whereby its branded filament spools come witha  rewritable EPROM that stores information about the filament on the spool. Layer resolution for the Robox is 0.020mm, a build volume of 210 x 150 x 100mm which is enclosed. The Robox retails at about £850.

 robox 3D printer

– The Zmorph 2.0 3D printer

The Zmorph is an interesting 3D printer design from Poland similar to the RepRap Mendel design. One of the advantages of the Zmorph is that it can be fitted with different types of tool head, even one to mount a dremel power tool, effectively turning it into a CNC router. The Zmorph has an enclosed build area of 250 x 235 x 165 mm, a z-axis resolution of 0.1mm. There are .STL files available so that some of the parts can be replaced. The Zmorph retails at around £1460 with additional heads costing ~£12- £300.

zmorph 3D printer

– BCN3D+ 3D printer

The BCN3D+ is another printer from the RepRap school, again similar to the RepRap Mendel design, this time from the Spanish spin out company from Fundacio Barcelona Tech. The BCN3D+ features a heated build plate, 240 x 210 x 200 mm build volume and a variable layer thickness of 0.08-0.35mm. The head can be upgraded for a dual extruder head or paste extruder. The price is about £772 for a pre-assembled printer.

bcn3d+ 3D printer


– The Tripodmaker

The Tripodmaker is a Delta form 3D printer with a build area of 300x300x420 although its a circular build area. The print resolution is 0.075mm. Its of a good sturdy construction and can be purchased in kit form or pre-assembled. The pre-assembled form comes in at around £1560. Here is the Tripodmaker with the founder Pieter-jan Vandendriessche.

tripodmaker delta form 3D printer

 – The Cyrus 3D printer

The Cyrus 3D printer offers stand-alone and wireless printing with a layer resolution of 0.02mm and a build volume of 195x195x200mm. Interestingly it has a heated granite stone platform, designed to reduce the disparity on temperature loss that can occur across heated print platforms with the aim of reducing warp. There is also an app so that you can control your printer from your tablet via bluetooth. The printer will print in most materials and has also been designed to reduce noise levels, running at 46dB. The Cyrus retails for about £1100.

cyrus 3D printer

-RepRapPro Huxley, Ormerod 2 and Mendel

So from the spin off of the original RepRap project started at the University of Bath RepRapPro where at the TCT show displaying three of their printers the Ormerod, the Huxley and the Mendel. Now I am not going to go into detail about these well know form factors for 3D printing, perhaps we can talk about the Huxley. The Huxley is the smaller of RepRapPro’s offering with a build volume of 140x140x110mm and an impressive layer resolution of 0.0125mm. it takes 1.75mm filament and has a heated platform, good for ABS. Its a nice little machine that comes in at a full kit price of £360 making it the most affordable 3D printer. The Huxley is in the foreground and the Ormerod 2 in the background.

reprappro 3d printers

– The Ultimaker 2

The Ultimaker 2 comes in at about £1478. This gives you a good sized build volume of 230 x 225 x 205 mm and a layer resolution of 0.02mm. The Ultimaker 2 has also tried to reduce its noise level and posts a noise level of 49dB.

ultimaker 2 3d printer

– da Vinci 1.0 3D printer

The da Vinci 1.0 by xyzprinting is sold as an All-in-One printer in that it offers 3D scanning capabilities. It has a good price of ~£468 . For that you get a 200x200x19 build area, variable layer resolution of 0.1-0.4mm and of course its desktop 3D scanning capabilities. This system uses filament cartridges of either PLA or ABS.

the da Vinci 1.0 all in one



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