Things we Learned at the 3D Printing Expo


The MakerLab (Aric, Danny, Ryan, and Vishal) attended the Chicago 3D Printing Conference & Expo at McCormick Place last week. Thanks to Hod Lipson, we were given the opportunity to speak at the Expo on Thursday, July 11 and share our story. We spoke about our Lab and the cool things that have been made there so far, such as Jeff’s lightbulbs and Ben’s wifi display.

In addition to sharing our story, we had the opportunity to learn about recent advances in 3D printing from experts such as Bre Pettis (CEO, MakerBot, recently acquired by Stratysys), Scott Crump (Chairman and Founder, Stratasys), and Abe Reichental (CEO, 3D Systems). Here are some of the interesting things we learned:

–MakerBot’s Digitizer 3D scanner is making nice progress and should be available by the end of 2013.

3D Systems is beta testing a 3D printer that prints food from cartridges inspired by the Keurig coffee system. During the conference, they also announced a partnership with Deloitte to accelerate adoption of 3D printing.

–Stratasys has 3D printers that print over 100 different types of materials.

–Microsoft is placing a heavy emphasis on 3D printing and trying to make it as easy as 2D printing.

–Xerox (PARC Division) is working on technology for printing electronic circuits and new types of batteries.

–General Electric has over 300 3D printers. They are also encouraging open innovation with 3D design contests. The technology has significant implications for Aerospace.

–Disney has started a new initiative that allows children to print Barbie doll accessories at home.

Ryan and Danny sitting on 3D printed stools at the 3D Printing Expo in Chicago.

Aric and Vishal at presenting on "Learning by Making" at 3dPrinting Expo in Chicago on July 10-11, 2013

Aric and Vishal presenting “Learning by Making” at the 3D Printing Expo in Chicago on July 11, 2013.

View more photos from the Expo here.

Join the Maker movement at Illinois. Subscribe to our blog RSS feed to be the first to hear about events, new tutorials, and other exciting news from the MakerLab and Like our Facebook page.