TCT Birmingham 2019 – A Preview


Aya Bentur  

3DPRINTUK End Parts for Bloc Blinds

Next on our Additive Manufacturing (AM) calendar is the TCT event in Birmingham, UK. With an expected number of over 10,000 visitors from over 60 countries, 300 exhibitors, live demonstrations, learning zones, and networking opportunities – there is a lot to look forward to. Here are just a few of the items on our must-see list for TCT 2019.

Casting a Net

One of the things we love about these events is meeting people. Events, in general, are great networking opportunities, it seems that the AM related events extra attention is dedicated to the importance of networking in a somewhat fragmented ecosystem. This year TCT is launching a new program, TCT Connect which will allow attendees to book 1-2-1 meetings in advance for the duration of the show. The program will be facilitated by networking experts serving as matchmakers for both visitors and exhibitors.

Talk the Talk, Walk the Walk

Sharing knowledge is another important aspect of TCT. In order to do so, the event will include 4 stages: TCT Summit, TCT Tech Stage, TCT Introducing Stage, and TCT Insights Stage. Each with a long line of speakers. Just one example is the opening keynote speaker at the TCT Summit – James Brown of Angel Trains who together with Martin Stevens from DB ESG will talk about additive manufacturing for the rail industry, specifically, challenges for rail replacement parts. The two will share their experience on using AM for the production of obsolete parts for trains, as well as additively manufactured end parts (grab handle below) and their certification process according to the Rail Standard. These parts will also be presented by Stratasys along with other real-life additively manufactured applications.

3D printed grab handle produced by Angel Trains ESG Rail and Stratasys

Metals, Plastics, and Parts, Oh My!

We can’t begin to cover all the exhibitors (300!) and the showcased developments. Of course, all the big names will be there, service providers, machine manufacturers, material specialists, universities, research institutes, software companies, machining & tooling companies, and more. Here are just a few of the developments that will be presented at TCT: ExOne will exhibit new metal materials for their metal 3D binder jet printer, Innovent+ (below parts additively manufactured by ExOne). MakerBot will showcase a new machine, the Method X. 3D Systems plans to introduce 5 new materials for their Figure 4 technology. FELIXprinters will exhibit its technology and applications (below). 3DPRINTUK will present the breakeven points between AM and injection molding, as well as their production capacity by showing 40,000 small electrical connectors – which the company can additively manufacture in a week’s timeframe (up top end parts additively manufactured by 3DPRINTUK for Bloc Blinds).

Parts Additively Manufactured by ExOne

And the Awards Goes to – AM

Ford Trinckle and Ultimaker - Automated Design of Jigs and Fixtures

There are 14 categories in the TCT Awards and an impressive group of nominees. It’s interesting to see the wide range of finalists applications and innovations. You have big companies such as Ford, who’s up for the Automotive Application Award for its automated design of jigs and fixtures together with Trinckle and Ultimaker (above), as well as Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare nominated for the Healthcare Application Award for a Brain Aneurysm Surgery Aid developed with Axial 3D (which is also providing an on-site 3D printing lab to Newcastle Hospitals). There is also a growing presence of unexpected applications such as a crop spray nozzle (below) developed by Agrifac Machinery and Carbon which is one of the finalists for the Industrial Application category. It’s nice to see that even the less known verticals adopting AM are getting noticed.

3D Printed Crop Spray Nozzle Agrifac Machinery and Carbon

If you’re visiting or exhibiting at TCT, we’d love to hear your thoughts and impressions in the comments below. And if you want to meet up with us, our Director of Business Development Idan Cataife will be there. For more inspiration and information follow us on Pinterest or subscribe to our newsletter for weekly updates.

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