On October 26th,27th and 28th, Senior Applications Engineer Dan Topjian joined MarkForged Reseller 3HTI at the South-Tec show in Charlotte, North Carolina.
South-Tec is a regional manufacturing show covering CNC, laser measuring, robots, scanning and other state of the art manufacturing processes. There were a handful of other Additive Manufacturers on the show floor but MarkForged was the only composite 3D printer exhibiting.
Attendance was good, many thousands of people came by the booth. Everyone was somehow connected to the manufacturing business, but there were a few prominent types of attendees.
Three Types of South-Tec Attendees
- Visitors with no 3D printing experience, looking to discover how it could help their process
- Novice users that have some printing experience, but don't own a machine
- Experienced users interested in the benefits of the only 3D printer in the known universe that embeds continuous strands of carbon fiber, Kevlar® and Fiberglass
The strength of the parts surprised the majority of visitors. Dan observed, "the elegance of the printer itself, the part quality and the part strength surprised the majority of visitors. Many people used to PLA or ABS printing couldn't believe what they were seeing."
Many Parts, Jigs and Fixtures were on the Display Table
There were fiberglass reinforced Jigs, Kevlar® reinforced fixtures and many tools on the table. One toy prototype manufacturer was most impressed by the strength afforded by the composite reinforcements. ABS isn't strong enough to survive testing their kid-powered prototypes.
A few racing support teams were also impressed by the strength of the materials. They are used to working with composites and were shocked that there was no ovens, epoxies, or safety equipment necessary. The MarkForged is definitely the easiest way to make composite parts they'd even seen.
Also universally beloved was the ability to 3D print parts with cavities for hard-mounting components and electronic components. This overprinting capability lets you print finished products with embedded hardware.
The 3D Printed Drone is Quite Catchy
Bruce from 3HTI also had parts from their in-house engineered drone. This was definitely a very catchy part. "We were the envy of our aisle," exclaimed Dan Topjian. You can read more about the drone on their blog.
Many thanks to Bruce Bodnyk & Joe DeCarlo of 3HTI and Dan Topjian from MarkForged. All images courtesy Dan Topjian.