The publication DEVELOP 3D hosted what I believe is their second “DEVELOP 3D Live” conference here in Boston this past week, nestling in at the George Sherman Union building at Boston University (BU) for the gig. I had a chance to quickly fly through the event and some of the evening networking parties to see what was happening and who was there.
DEVELOP 3D LIVE—Why It’s A Cool Event
The reason why this event, which was born in the UK, is cool is self-evident once you encounter the incredible products being developed thanks to the incredible technologies that make it all possible. Perhaps the coolest thing to hit the manufacturing world in the past ten years is the emergence of 3D printing. And within this world is a subset of technology focused on lattice or matrices design. Yes, this is about building three-dimensional matrices that possess incredible strength, in areas such as rigidity for example, yet are largely filled with voids of air.
And what about air?
For starters, air is damn light. So spatial voids with just air in them, in connection with other materials forming those voids, makes for compelling weight transformations—specifically weight reductions. This is fundamentally about putting physical products and parts on a serious weight diet.
Architosh has already written extensively about this process of weight reduction in the past in connection with solidThinking. But the new lattices is another take on this trend. And because these are 3D printed in various materials including metal one needs software to model these matrices. Pretty intense stuff! Take a look at the pictures above.
Conference Focus Areas
DEVELOP 3D LIVE Boston had three conference tracks. The main track and a track each on Additive Manufacturing and one on AR/VR/Viz. 3D printing is a form of additive manufacturing. I was impressed with the Danish company called Ultimaker. They will be at AIA National in 2018. nTopology is the name of the company making a 3D tool specifically for the generation of lattices as discussed above.
Companies set up in the exhibition space—and except for an unforgivable tripping hazard—were quite well attended to. Despite the 1/4 size of attendees versus the UK version of this show, booths saw good action and there was lots of cross-pollination talk between companies.
The big gold level sponsors included companies like Autodesk, Ansys, Foundry, MarketForged, SIEMENS, and SolidWorks. There were 16 other silver level sponsors, including host DEVELOP 3D itself. Each sponsor had a booth.