Thoughts On What Might Have Been The Best 3D Printing Conference In History

By on November 10th, 2013 in Event


We’ve just finished this year’s London 3D Printshow, and while our feet still ache and our brains still explode, we must tell you about this astounding event. 
It’s only the second of this series; the first, in 2012, planned on 1,500 attendees. Four thousand showed up. This year, organizers noted the previous demand and planned on a massive 8,000 attendees. 
That didn’t happen. Thirteen thousand, seven hundred and twenty attended the event. Yes, 13,720. This demonstrates not only top class event organizing and management, but also the extreme interest in 3D printing around the world.
It’s difficult to describe the event, as it was composed of many different components and approaches. There were 3D printers, of course, but also art, science, education, business and industry segments. These don’t normally mix, but they did at the 3D Printshow, offering visitors a full 360 degree perspective on the technology and its use. 
The highlights? Far too many to list extensively, but instead we’ve selected a few (well, perhaps more than a few) images to convey the feeling and energy emanating from those attending: 
The shocking 3D print fashion show, where supermodels exhibited works of artistic clothing beyond anyone’s imagination. 
The seminars and training offered constantly throughout the show. In this image, attendees were learning how to design and 3D print their own robot! We delivered a talk to attendees as well. 
The medical display, showing and explaining the latest incredible developments using 3D print tech to solve persistent medical issues. 
The intricate figurines that so frequently appeared across the entire site. 
The 3D printed art gallery, where we counted more than 80 individual works – and many more were on display scattered throughout the show.
The unusual 3D printers on display, particularly several large-scale devices. 
The brilliant awards ceremony, which we believe will become the prize all 3D print participants will strive to achieve in the future. 
The very unusual 3D prints appearing at the show, including this dress 3D printed in a flexible material.  
The astonishing finishes developed by Cosmo Wenman, transforming plain plastic prints into ancient artifacts. Sorry, you can’t have this particular item as it was purchased directly from the show floor – and it wasn’t even for sale!
The appearance of many notable figures in the 3D print world, including MakerBot CEO Bre Pettis, pictured here delivering a talk (which turned out quite well considering he had just arrived moments earlier directly off a red-eye flight from North America.) Also notable: the surprising absence of 3D Systems from the event. 
The spectacular collection of life-size hollywood figures provided by Legacy Effects and Jason Lopes, including this highly-recognizable (and more than life-sized) item. 
The ever-present news coverage, which at times were stacked several deep, recording video of all things 3D. 
The presence of many famous 3D prints, such as this 3D printed camera. We couldn’t stop recognizing 3D prints we’d previously written about. 
The several ways for visitors to directly participate in 3D print technology, including this portable 3D scanning station, where color scans of people were collected and 3D printed. 
If you have any interest in personal 3D printing, this is the one conference you must attend. We’ll be back. 


By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!