Taking place in different locations throughout the world (including China for manufacturing and Massachussets for Science), Dassault Systèmes’ 3D Experience series of events represents the state of the art of what 3D software can do today for designers, engineers, architects, doctors and anyone who need to run a highly efficient manufacturing operation. The “Design in the Age of Experience” 2017 two-day conference in Milan focused on everything that 3D technologies (including 3D software, VR and AR) can do for innovating shapes and products. Now, more than ever before, however, 3D printing is becoming a main focus of the creative workflow.
Beyond some fascinating plenary sessions illustrating visions of a more connected, efficient, sustainable and generally smart future, the conference hosted a number of stations illustrating some of the possibilities that are already available to engineers and designers today. For example the impressive HoloOak, which used Microsoft HoloLenses to imagine race management around the partial prototype of a racecar entirely build in composite carbon fiber. Or the even more breathtaking Scilla Concept Car design by the IED University in Milan (created in collaboration with Pininfarina).
These had very little to do with 3D printing, beyond perhaps some basic prototyping but the Zspace 3D vision system station introduced additive manufacturing which culminated with and expo of 3D printed parts from many of the digital models seen at the previous real time 3D rendering and 3D modeling software stations. Clearly the recent partnership with Stratasys is starting to bear fruits since just about every product was 3D printed in multimaterial, multicolor polyjet technology.
One highlight of the conference was the new 3D Printing Marketplace, which is so new that it only has a very limited access at this time. The project, though, is global and very serious. It will play very well into SAP’s and Siemens’ strategies to create an infrastructure to seamlessly integrate 3D printing into the manufacturing and ordering process. While most of the announcements were not new, the event was perfectly organized and visitors were certainly satisfied by the quality of the speakers. Dassault Systèmes is now taking 3D printing very seriously and that can only mean an even more rapid evolution from here on out.