This week in 3D printing, the formnext conference is hitting Frankfurt — and preoccupying the whole additive manufacturing world, including us. Over the course of four days, we’ll be there (Hall 3.0 Booth H73), showing off Form’s 3D printed prosthetics, the creative fruits of our new licensing partnership with Valve, and Nervous Systems’ Kinematics Dress (on display at the nearby EOS booth, Hall 3.1, Booth G50). But, we’re also excited to soak up the latest in 3D printing research and technology. So we’ve put together this special formnext edition of The Week in 3D Printing to help us all stay on top of some of the exciting innovations coming out of the big-deal AM event.


Stratysys is debuting the J750 3D Printing Solution software, which allows users to design for printing in specific materials, while Sigma Labs is releasing web-based quality assurance software PrintRite3D INSPECT, and Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence is tackling improving print quality with a stable of software tools like Simufact Additive, a simulation tool for predicting and reducing distortion in powder-bed printing.

Machines and Manufacturing

EOS is going after mass additive manufacturing in plastics with its new EOS P 500 polymer printer, while Mimaki and Verashape are both bringing promising innovations to the show. Mimaki’s 3DUJ-553 will be the first full-color 3D printer that can print up to 10 million color combinations, and Verashape’s VSHAPER has a 5-axis kinematics system and a rotating working platform, allowing users to print in multiple materials and on top of what was previously printed. And EnvisionTEC will premiere a set of upsized printers, including the Perfactory 4 LED XXL, which features the largest build area on the market for DLP 3D printing.

Metal and Multi-Material Printing

Do four lasers equal 4x print speeds? That’s the promise of Renishaw’s RenAM 500Q metal 3D printing system. Meanwhile, XJet, Optomec, and ACEO are all releasing multi-material 3D printers at the conference. XJet’s Carmel printers rely on NanoParticle Jetting Technology that layers nanoparticles of either metal or ceramics, Optomec’s LENS 3D Hybrid Machine Tool can mix aluminum, titanium and other reactive metals, and ACEO’s “drop on demand” technology is a multi-material silicone 3D printing process.

There will be so much more to see and do at formnext, but these are the booths we’re starting with. If you’re at formnext this week, stop by and learn more about how Shapeways brings additive manufacturing to all at Hall 3.0 Booth H73. We’ll see you in Frankfurt!