I arrived in Orlando at 1:30am and jumped on a shuttle driven by an ex-marine who treated the streets of Orlando like his personal Daytona. I was too excited to care; after all, tomorrow morning I would be learning about all the new innovations that the additive manufacture world had to offer. Here are what I believe to be the top 5 innovations from Rapid 2016:


5) Stacker – with four nozzles on one arm, the Stacker allows the user to print 4 identical parts at the same time!  Only printing one? No problem! Remove the other nozzles to increase your print envelope and print one offs.   Mix that with open source material, the stacker is a true production machine for smaller parts.  http://stacker3d.com/


4) Cincinnati BAAM- Cincinnati’s BAAM printer is capable of printing 20ft x 8ft x 6ft!  With that size of machine, they have printed off-road vehicles, a Shelby Cobra, and even a house.  If that size doesn’t impress you, the fact that they are printing in carbon fiber should.  Straight carbon fiber or ULTEM mixed Carbon Fiber, Cincinnati is redefining large scale prints. http://www.e-ci.com/baam/

All Forge

3) Allforge– Allforge introduced their desktop factory machine. With the ability to use 3D printed molds, you can now mass produce parts at the lowest possible cost.  That mixed with the versatile materials from metal to plastic to even candy you can start producing your product right from your desk.  http://www.allforge.com/


2) HP Jet Fusion – HP promises to produce functional parts 10x faster at half the cost.  The HP Multi Jet technology allows you to have the fine details while printing in almost any material.  HP has kept the materials “open source” which means we will see the variety of available materials skyrocket in the near future.  http://www8.hp.com/us/en/printers/3d-printers.html


1) Michigan State – Okay no, they were not an exhibitor; however, printing 4D trachea splints that grow with the patient and then dissolve after 3 years…are you kidding me?  It’s innovative AND saving children. How can this not be number one? We are only scratching the surface of 4D printing but with institutions like Michigan State, 4D is going to be here before we know it.   http://www.engin.umich.edu/college/about/news/stories/2014/march/second-baby-s-life-saved-with-3d-printed-airway-splints