2015 February Newsletter from Z3D.jp

Quick Overview of 2014

It has been nonstop adventure throughout 2014. There are lots of balls to juggle when putting together a new website, including:

  • software development and testing
  • catalogue development and pricing
  • hardware purchasing, configuration, and testing
  • and translations for everything

We are very pleased to introduce www.z3d.jp to the world in October 2014, but it didn't stop there!

There are new products available as well… ColorFab filaments. We were able to start another important stage of Z3d.jp. And along with the new products came new customers with new requirements and questions.

2014 was a real learning experience for all involved. Thanks to our customers, friends and family.

3D Printing 2015

We were able to attend the 3D Printing 2015 exposition on January 29th. It was an interesting event with various companies, organizations, and services attending. However, it was small for an event, only taking 8% of the whole event space. The rest of the space was taken by 2015 Nano Technology, a massive show case of chemicals and machines.

Tokyo Big Site Nanotech and 3D Printing Hall 3D Printing Floor Plan

Why so small? I think the size reflects the position of 3D printing in Japan; little known and growing organically.

The event was dominated in space by the BIG two vendors in Japan; 3D Systems (via Mutoh) and Stratsys. Each had large booths that showcased products, services, and related technology. There were plenty of people buzzing about those booths, looking at 3D printers and asking for information.

Stratasys and 3D Systems Hall MakerBot

Also, there were several organizations with large booths, representing the additive manufacturing sectors of Japan. These booths displayed some very impressive examples of products, including clear automotive parts, full mold plates, metal prototypes, etc. All big industry items with impressive prices. In addition to the organizations, there were some high end 3D printers (ADM machines) from Aichi Sangyo, Toshin, and XYZ Printing.

Auto Parts Mold Prototypes Prototypes

There were lots of 3D printers to view, touch, and dream about. There were a few foreign 3D printer manufactures, including Roland, EuroMold, etc. And plenty of Japan makers showing 3D printers, filaments, and software; NinjaBot, L-DEVO, and My 3D Printer. Here's a few photos of some of the vendor booths.

Cube RB Unknown

The hottest booth was JBM, which showed a very specialized 3D printer that uses normal paper to produce 3D shapes, such as relief maps, etc. The process starts by printing a color image on to paper, just like normal printers today. The paper is then spayed with glue and pressed on the stack. The 3D design is then cut around the edges to make the shape. Very cool!

JBM Printer 3D Print Layers Examples 3D Map

Another hot booth was the Bonsai Lab and My 3D Printer booth. These are some of the most innovative and personalized 3D printers today. And everyone was interested in seeing the new My 3D Printer, which has a very small foot print (and price) but a rather nice and high quality form.

NinjaBot My 3D Printer

Product Announcements

ColorFabb has introduced two new filaments over the past month.

First, ColorFabb announced a new type of special filament called “XT-CF20” on February 4th. This filament combines the strength of ColorFabb XT with hard carbon fibers, which creates a filament with unique hardness and weight characteristics. The filament can be used with any 3D printer but caution should be taken as the filament is abrasive to brass nozzles. Parts produced from XT-CF20 have excellent accuracy, hardness, and a cool black matte finish. Perfect for those making high-precision parts for RC, etc.

ColorFabb XT-CF20

Second, ColorFabb announced the release of a new special filament called “brassFill” on March 13th. Just like the name says, brassFill contains ColorFabb PLA/PHA plastic and fine brass powder. The result is a filament that can be printed by common 3D printers, and then polished to a golden brass finish. The filament is still considered “beta” but has been tested on many popular 3D printers without issues.

ColorFabb brassFill ColorFabb brassFill

Both filaments are available from Z3D.jp but please expect some delay as demand is very high.