The Ultimaker North America team wrapped up June with two events that drew enthusiastic crowds: AIA in New York and ALA in New Orleans. These simultaneous shows provided Ultimaker the opportunity to reach diverse audiences, highlighting useful applications in 3D printing that they may not have otherwise considered.
Running from June 21 to June 22, the American Institute of Architecture held its annual Conference on Architecture at the Javits Center in New York. The 200,000-square-foot expo featured over 800 brands, 135 courses, and speciality pavilions that focused on various elements within architecture, design, and community growth.
Located in the Technology Pavilion, the Ultimaker booth was a beacon for architects and planners looking for an alternative solution to outsourcing or building their models by hand, with the aim of cutting costs and reducing time during the design process. Guests were excited to learn about the many possibilities and benefits that can come from having an Ultimaker 3D printer when creating such models for clients.
Over the course of the two-day show, a steady stream of visitors stopped by our booth to admire the architectural models we had on display, and to learn about the new Ultimaker S5 printer. Features like the filament flow sensor, active bed leveling, and large build volume were enticing to designers who wanted the flexibility and ease of use Ultimaker brings.
"It was encouraging to speak with architects and designers who were familiar with Ultimaker and who were excited about the benefits in-house 3D printing could bring to their firms, like creating tangible models for clients that are simple to iterate as needed,” says John Kawola, President of Ultimaker North America.
Highlighting real-world applications
On the second day of the expo, Jerrod Kennard, designer for Kohn Pedersen Fox, gave a special presentation at the Ultimaker booth. Jerrod spoke about the ways in which KPF, a global architectural design and planning firm, uses Ultimaker 3D printers to create architectural models. KPF also had prints on display in the Ultimaker booth, which gave visitors a tangible glimpse of real-life applications of 3D printing in architecture.
In addition to the Ultimaker S5, one of the biggest showstoppers at AIA was Ultimaker PVA. Many of the architects and designers who stopped by our booth saw the relevance of using water-soluble supports when designing complex models with large overhangs, deep internal cavities, and intricate geometries. Those who were unfamiliar with 3D printing discovered new possibilities in Ultimaker’s open-filament 3D printers that would take their architectural designs and iterations to another level of creativity.
A new chapter in 3D printing
The American Library Association’s (ALA) Annual Conference and Exhibition ran from June 21 to June 26 in New Orleans, drawing a crowd of librarians, educators, students, and other industry professionals. Organized to help libraries stay on top of changing trends and innovations, ALA is a platform that provides programs, discussions, networking events, and special guest speakers for those interested in transforming their libraries with emerging technologies like 3D printing.
Laura Galloway, Marketing Manager for Ultimaker North America, was in our booth at ALA and saw the enthusiasm from librarians and educators who were interested in incorporating 3D printing into their spaces. “Many of the people we spoke to already had makerspaces with 3D printers,” she said. “A lot of them use Ultimakers and were familiar with our printers, but were looking to add more and grow their spaces.”
A thriving community success story
Etienne Douglas, Webstar Coordinator and Community Library Specialist at Marin City Library in California, was available in the Ultimaker booth to talk about his experiences with 3D printing in his library makerspace. As he has successfully built a 3D printing program at the Marin City Library, Etienne understands the many uses and benefits of integrating Ultimaker 3D printers into community library settings, such as lowering the barrier to access for new technologies and enriching the educational experience for learners of all ages.
Open to any and all Marin County library card holders, the program allows library guests to design 3D models, use a hand-held 3D scanner, and create prints on Ultimaker printers. Visitors to the Ultimaker booth at ALA were able to converse with Etienne about his makerspace endeavors and garner ideas for their own community spaces. With the help of 3D printing, community libraries and educational makerspaces can offer the latest in additive manufacturing technologies for design, prototyping, creative learning, and much more.
We hope to see you at a future event in North America!