Philip Hudson September 5, 2017

Next month is the 22ndTCT Show, arguably one of the most important dates in the UK additive manufacturing (AM) calendar. It’s a great opportunity for 3D printing (3DP) innovators like us, to get together with businesses and manufacturers alike, to present, discuss and explore “tomorrow’s manufacturing technology today”. Anyone with an interest in AM will most likely be familiar with these three letters.

TCT Show logo

Fewer, I suspect, will recall that TCT stands for Time Compression Technologies – a term used to reflect additive manufacturing’s rapid prototyping heritage. Why? Because 3DP, like the show, has evolved way beyond its origins.

3DP: Getting over the hurdles of heritage

Clearly, rapid prototyping still has relevance. Reduced model lead times and rapid design modification to enable quick-fire, market-responsive product development, remain major benefits of 3DP that manufacturers want. Indeed, many of the projects we work on with customers are about achieving these very benefits.

But 3DP is now about so much more. From serial production and mass customization, to lean manufacturing and supply chain transformation, 3DP in the UK now offers benefits that span the entire manufacturing ecosystem. Prototyping, production line automation, end part creation – mainstream manufacturing innovation at every turn.

Support at every stage

This exciting breadth of opportunity is actually why TCT is now such a good match for Materialise as an exhibitor. The show’s evolved focus on far reaching benefits and applications reflects our holistic proposition of helping manufacturers see how 3DP can easily fit into any part of their business; whether it’s about enhancing products or production lines, our end-to-end backbone of printing and software solutions means we are always able to offer 3DP support, wherever and however it delivers most value.

A sneak peek of our booth at TCT
A sneak peek of our booth at TCT

It’s great to have face-to-face opportunities like TCT to help spread that message. Reflecting the changing face of UK industry, the show is dedicated not just to showcasing emerging technologies, but to highlighting that 3DP is a mainstream solution for manufacturers to achieve broader ambitions.

Indeed, two projects that reflect this ethos are actually shortlisted for TCT awards this year; a production line project with Philips Lighting - saving them around €89,000 a year - and a customization solution, blending lean principles with Make to Order (MTO) strategy, for HOYA’s Yuniku consumer eyewear range. They both show how the manufacturing ecosystem has changed.

To learn more about how 3D printing has evolved to help your business, visit us on Stand F16 as at this year’s TCT or contact us for a free consultation.

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