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Formlabs, 3D Systems, Ultimaker, EnvisionTEC, HP show off new AM systems in Hannover

Several major 3D printer manufacturers chose the Hannover fair – the largest yearly manufacturing show in the world – to display their newest systems. Many of these represent true paradigm shifts in their specific segment and it is interesting to consider that they all implement different technologies (or at least different technological grades): 3SP photopolymerization, MJF powder bed fusion, FFF extrusion, industrial SLS powder bed fusion, SLA photopolymerization and Benchtop SLS powder bed fusion.

It’s nice to know that they are all real and (almost) ready to go.

EnvisionTEC showed off the latest version of its Vector 3SP system, with 25-micron resolution capability. The system represents a confirmation that EnvisionTEC’s quality will continue to be hard to equal by its competitors.

HP had a perfectly running version of its new full color HP Jet Fusion 500 Series system. For HP it means that the company once again has kept its promise, delivering the full-color system within two years after the initial MJF launch. The 300 and 500 series will likely represent a tough competitor for the currently market dominating ProJet 660 using CJP technology from 3D Systems.

Ultimaker had a number of the new, larger format, S5 3D printers at its booth. The system looks as stylish as previous products but much more solid and technologically advanced. With double extrusion, it is likely to continue to be the market leading prosumer filament extrusion system.

3D Systems showed off a number of products, in particular, the latest ProX 6100 SLS system and the conveniently priced, plug & play FabPro 1000 system. Both devices clearly represent the company’s intention to go back to basic, relaunching itself by offering high-quality industrial level products at more competitive prices for both hardware and materials.

Formlabs stole the scene with the world debut of its long-awaited Fuse1 benchtop SLS system. The era of benchtop SLS can finally begin. Fuse1 will have to face off with Sinterit, Sintratec and others in the segment and, while the prototype system on display looked to be still somewhat far from being ready to launch – Formlabs has the muscle to disrupt the SLS market as it did for SLA.

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Davide Sher

Over the last decade Davide has built up extensive experience as both a technology journalist and communications consultant. Born in Milan, Italy, he spent 12 years in the United States, where he received his undergraduate degree from SUNY Stony Brook. He is a senior analyst for US-based firm SmarTech Publishing focusing on the additive manufacturing industry. He founded London-based 3D Printing Business Media Ltd. which specialises in media and communications services for the 3DP and AM industry, through which he runs 3D Printing Business Directory, the largest global directory of companies related to 3DP, as well as two editorial websites, 3D Printing Media Network and Il Replicatore.

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