RAPID + TCT 2022: The Next Level

By Sarah Goehrke

This past week, the Nexa3D team joined our colleagues across the industry at North America’s largest 3D printing event: the unparalleled RAPID + TCT. Event organizers have been billing this year’s gathering as being “the next level” for our industry – and, clearly, they were right. More than 400 exhibitors, 200+ expert speakers across more than 130 presentations, and a bringing together of the minds highlighted the experience.

 

The Ultrafast 3D Printing Superhero

RAPID + TCT 2022 served as a beautiful launchpad for some of our biggest collaborations and achievements to date. To showcase all that, we brought more than two dozen of our team members to our unmissable booth – a giant suspended “X” marked the spot – and we were busy.

 

The event was our official North American tradeshow debut for the desktop XiP 3D printing system. We celebrated in style, raffling off an individual XiP system to a visitor who entered our contest! Thrice-daily live demos from our own head of desktop, Michael Currie, showed in real time what ultrafast 3D printing can bring to the table (or, rather, to the desktop). A 12-minute print job for a full build plate before visitors’ eyes saw many of them entering the raffle to bring home their own. The good news, though, is you don’t need a raffle to get a XiP: it’s available now for order!

To show what the XiP can do together with our industrial NXE 400 system, we also brought in the brilliant Rob Wiggins. You might recognize Rob’s work from Transformers or other top-notch designs from the Get It Done Dudes, and we were thrilled to collaborate with him to create our own superhero. Meet the Nexarator: the ultrafast 3D printing superhero! The helmet, in Rob’s signature style, was 3D printed in 76 individual pieces using 4 materials from our portfolio – and frankly we stopped counting the texturing and finishing techniques he brought together to give it a look that made it a real show stopper. It’s also drawn the distinction of being the first post-RAPID Design of the Week over at Fabbaloo!

We had our entire portfolio on display, also comprising our industrial NXE 400 and NXE 200 LSPc systems, dental-focused NXD 200 system, coming-soon industrial powder bed QLS 820 system, and partnership with Freeform Injection Molding technology platform Addifab.

Phew.

Like with the Nexarator, the best way to share what these platforms can do is to show, not tell. So we let our customers and collaborators tell the story!

PepsiCo leaders Max Rodriguez and Thangthip Tekanil shared the stage with our CTO, Izhar Medalsy, in a presentation on the Tech Hub floor. There, they highlighted how LSPc and FIM technologies have enabled remarkable time- and cost-savings from traditional means of product development. Did we say remarkable? We mean it. Check out the full case study for a look into how PepsiCo slashed time and costs to the tune of 90%+!

Wilson Sporting Goods’ Glen Mason was also going to bat for us – literally. Glen brought new youth baseball bats to life with new possibilities through our collaboration with Addifab. These bats aren’t a story of reductions from what they did before, but rather how LSPc x FIM enabled something totally new for this sporting goods leader. Check out the full case study here.

Talking the Walk

Every conference, there’s huge focus on a vital aspect: walking the walk. We hear a lot of people at microphones talking the talk and saying all the right things – but how many really have actionable follow through?

One thing that attracted me personally to join the Nexa3D team was that they’ve already been walking the walk…but not everyone knows that! So let’s focus on talking the walk.

We started the day before RAPID + TCT kicked off, with the first-ever AMGTA members summit. There, member companies of the Additive Manufacturer Green Trade Association shared impacts and aspirations in terms of sustainability. Our own Avi Reichental dived into our ethos to digitize the world’s supply chain sustainably and what that means, in action terms, to us. We’re working with Forest Nation to bring nature’s own best practices back to abundance through reforestation efforts, and building better understanding of our own impact – and using that understanding to build better internally. Our own XiP was thought and rethought to be a better, more sustainable product itself. We also appreciated the opportunity to network with other AMGTA members, meet the new executive director, and work toward a collaborative vision of actual green initiatives.

At RAPID + TCT itself, Avi took to the stage in a well-attended conference session whose title sums it up: “It’s Time To Get Serious About Digitizing Supply Chain Sustainably”.

Also vital to our team – and my personal focus – is our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Through my work on the Board of Directors on and as the Head of DEI at nonprofit Women in 3D Printing (Wi3DP), continuing the work in terms of a more equitable industry is critical. I appreciated the opportunity to speak on this topic both on a memorable Wi3DP panel – “What Does the Future of AM Look Like?” – and in the conference for Nexa3D with my colleague Kristin Mulherin, Head of Powder Bed Solutions at Nexa3D and President of Wi3DP, in a session called “Why a 3D Printing Manufacturer Should Invest in DEI Today”. This latter session was also followed up with a larger discussion “Panel – Creating a DE&I Framework in the Additive Manufacturing Industry” with other brilliant minds in the industry.

The Next Level

So was RAPID + TCT the next level? Or was it the Nexa Level? While that’s the name of our in-house magazine, it also fits here. We had to have a celebration at our booth on the first day of the conference to bring everyone together to raise a glass and toast! There’s so much groundwork laid for us to continue, together, to advance to the next level – and the next, and the next, and the next.

RAPID + TCT also hosted the first major fundraising event from the Together We Are Strong industry coalition, supporting Ukraine. Put together in only three weeks, the auction raised more than $54,000 in won bids, and has a still-open PayPal for direct donations to raise even more. We’ll have additional detail on this effort soon!

A huge, huge thank you to everyone who made RAPID + TCT 2022 the rousing success it was! Thank you to SME, TCT, our partners, our customers, our colleagues, our competitors, and everyone we haven’t even met yet. We look forward to pushing additive manufacturing toward an ever-brighter future with you.

Special thanks to our own Amir Reichental for designing our decadent booth and our own Lisa Carrao for helping us all keep our heads on straight!