Last week, 170,000 people gathered in Las Vegas for the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), one of the largest global tech conferences and a forum to discuss the consumer technology market's most relevant issues. Some of the world’s most powerful business leaders, industry thought leaders, and creative minds were in attendance, as well as over 3,600 manufacturers, developers and suppliers of consumer technology. Attendees experienced the latest advancements in everything from robotics, sensors, and electronic gaming to 3D Printing, digital imaging/photography, and wearables.
Murphy Company Goes West
Murphy Company CEO Loren Stone headed out west, to the forefront of chaos and inspiration in Las Vegas to get a better understanding of the future of 3D printing.
"The energy and excitement at the premier electronics show is beyond words I can offer," Stone says. "The innovation and forward thinking with products and services for consumer and business use is astounding. It is important that Murphy Company is here as we continue to be an industry leader. We are especially interested in 3D printing, as we continue to build out this product line. The Consumer Electronics Show is the place to be for this."
All Eyes on 3D Printing
According to a recent press release from the Consumer Electronic Association (CEA), 3D printing's presence at the CES has doubled in size from the 2014 to 2015. This year featured over 40 companies and booths, many showcasing new printers attempting to find a distributor or looking to get some brand exposure. One of Murphy Company's preferred vendors, Mcor, received the Best of CES 2015 Award in the 3D Printing category. Mcor makes the first and currently only paper based 3D printer.
“We are honoured to receive this distinction,” said Dr. Conor MacCormack, co-founder and CEO of Mcor Technologies. “This award further validates our SDL paper based 3D printing technology as the most unique and best suited to providing wide access to low-cost, professional quality 3D printing.” By using sheets of copy paper, users can make 3D printed models that can be tapped, threaded, hinged, made water resistant and flexible, as well as being entirely recyclable.
Building With Innovation
A few companies decided to shift their gaze away from the printers themselves, and instead focused materials. Makerbot and Protoplant announced a slew of new filaments, soon to be market ready, including wood, metal, carbon fiber, even a conductive filament that could allow for the printing of circuit boards.
MakerBot CEO Jenny Lawton intentionally refrained from introducing a new printer at CES, but instead claimed she wants to create "the most comprehensive 3D Ecosystem to support our customers." She goes on to recognize the difficulty that 3D printing entails. "It is not plug-and-play. 3D printing takes work and takes software and hardware that make it work. We are focused on improving the overall 3D printing process to make it easier and more accessible for everyone.”
3D printing's consumer accessibility may take some time to truly take off in the mainstream, but with the integration of new filaments, having an opportunity to print using materials apposite to the project at hand may expedite a pique in consumer interest. Pair these materials with the increasing affordability of desktop printers, and we may see this pique happening within the next few years. In an attempt to help this process along, Murphy Company is positioning ourselves with industry leaders, as well as creating opportunities for enthusiasts to stay updated on industry news.
For more information on this year's conference, check out the CES wrap up video.
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