Ultimaker at SIGGRAPH

Recap: SIGGRAPH 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia

The Ultimaker North America team collaborated with local partners and professional CAD peers to introduce the latest updates to Ultimaker hardware, software, materials, and best practices at the leading conference for computer graphics professionals, designers, architects, and engineers.

SIGGRAPH, which stands for Association of Computing Machinery's Special Interest Group on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, is the world's largest annual computer graphics conference worldwide. This year, around 15,000 professionals from industries involved in computer graphics, interactive animation, architecture, and design, animation, and film studios converged on Vancouver, British Columbia for the 2018 conference.

The event has been convening since 1974 and brings together industry experts from a wide variety of fields and industries to share the research, best practices, and emerging techniques and technologies that will fuel creativity, research, design, and new projects in the following years.

Ultimaker was thrilled to take part in this year's SIGGRAPH conference, given the conference's long history as the event to announce significant research advances and technology demonstrations for 3D printing and additive manufacturing. It also caters to the growing demand from design studios and computer graphics experts to learn more about professional desktop 3D printing technology.

Matt Griffin and Liz Arum
Matt Griffin and Liz Arum of Ultimaker

Attendees from across the globe arrived at the conference to evaluate new 3D software, hardware, and visualization technologies. Rising interest from design studios in our technology made participating a great idea.

The Design Engine Community Project

The Ultimaker team took part in the SIGGRAPH Studio, an area of the conference dedicated to hands-on interaction and cutting-edge technology demonstrations. Matthew Griffin and Lizabeth Arum were on hand to showcase a variation of the Design Engine game that Ultimaker has been sharing with educators since the back-to-school season in the fall of 2017. The installation included workshops, printer and professional CAD demonstrations, and design challenges that inspired attendees to create original design ideas they might explore: first on paper, then in CAD, and finally using Ultimaker desktop 3D printers.

Design Engine guests
SIGGRAPH guests with the Design Engine game

Since its release, the Design Engine has been played by groups of students, teachers, and individuals looking to spark self-guided training. The game is a direct response to educators' requests for better classroom tools surrounding inspiration and 3D printing. By prompting participants to create their own original and imaginative works, instead of using preselected examples, teachers can keep their students better motivated through the process of mastering desktop 3D printing.

We hosted a brand new SIGGRAPH edition of the Design Engine, a constantly evolving series of challenges hosted within the SIGGRAPH Studio. Participants from different backgrounds joined for a short startup round and were then able to design and develop their projects using the tools available in the SIGGRAPH Studio Workshop.

Design Engine group
A group of Design Engine game participants

The Ultimaker team also offered a Studio Experience presentation where they detailed the evolution of the Design Engine and the role that 3D art and design training plays in the evolution of the professional desktop 3D printing field.

Learning from CAD industry experts

Leading CAD trainers – including Rhino experts Mary and Dale Fugier from McNeel & Associates, and Fusion360 expert Jeff Smith from Autodesk – offered hands-on demonstrations and tutorials, and answered 3D design questions. This opportunity was particularly appreciated by advanced software users who were able to ask the experts challenging CAD questions. They then had the opportunity to ask the Ultimaker team about best practices for fabricating these designs on Ultimaker hardware.

Attendees also had the opportunity to draw on existing Ultimaker education resource binders and workshop supplies to explore other software packages, including SolidWorks, Tinkercad, OpenSCAD, Blender, and ZBrush.

Ultimaker at SIGGRAPH
Ultimaker at the Wacom booth

Alongside Ultimaker's hands-on experience in the SIGGRAPH Studio area, we were also featured on a dedicated table within the Wacom booth in SIGGRAPH's Technology Expo area. Ultimaker's latest hardware, the Ultimaker S5 was on display, while CAD experts on the booth executed design projects to showcase 3D printing live, answering questions along the way.

We look forward to seeing you at a future event in North America!

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