HomeBlog Our recap of the 27th Design Engineering and Manufacturing Solutions Expo in Tokyo

Our recap of the 27th Design Engineering and Manufacturing Solutions Expo in Tokyo


Last week, we attended the 27th Design Engineering and Manufacturing Solutions Expo in Tokyo. The event was held at the Tokyo Big Sight, from the 22th to the 24th of June 2016. The Tokyo Big Sight is a huge building with an architecture straight out of a Stargate movie, surrounded by several halls in which you could easily fit a few Boeing 747 airplanes.

The main gate of the Tokyo Big Sight center

The main gate of the Tokyo Big Sight center.

We attended this event to meet several of our industry partners. We were invited by Prodways (French industrial-grade 3D printer manufacturer). This type of event is a always a great opportunity to feel the pulse of the global 3D printing industry, and in this case to have direct access to the cutting-edge machines developed by Japanese manufacturers. Here’s a recap of what we have seen and our personal feelings and observations.

Here are a few takeaways from this event:

  • Major Japanese players are entering the 3D printing industrial market. Think Canon, Ricoh or Casio. They already have 3D printers to show or were on the show to demonstrate their software.
  • The Japanese domestic 3D printing industry is very active. We saw quite a few industrial 3D printer manufacturers with very interesting technologies and machines which are almost unknown in US/Europe. Same observation for the consumer-grade 3D printers. These brands thrive on the domestic market and don’t focus on international expansion.
  • The usual suspects from Europe and the US brands were there. Stratasys, 3D Systems or EOS to name a few.
  • All the top CAD software editors where here: Autodesk, Dassault Systemes, iCAD, PTC, Siemens…
  • Apart from Japanese manufacturers, the countries with the most companies present at the show were Canada, Germany, United States and South Korea.

And now, here is our gull recap. Sorry for the long article, we’ve broken it down between 3D printers and 3D scanners and then by countries to provide a full overview of the companies present on this major 3D printing event in Japan.

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PART 1 – 3D PRINTERS

I. JAPANESE TOP TIER 3D PRINTERS MANUFACTURERS
II. JAPANESE SECOND AND THIRD TIER 3D PRINTERS MANUFACTURERS
III. USA AND EU TOP TIER 3D PRINTERS MANUFACTURERS
IV. CHINESE AND KOREAN MANUFACTURERS

PART 2 – 3D SCANNERS

List of the 3D scanners booth present on the show.

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PART 1 – 3D PRINTERS

I. JAPANESE TOP TIER 3D PRINTERS MANUFACTURERS

A lot of these Japanese electronics manufacturers are also local distributors for foreign products, including industrial 3D printers and desktop 3D printers.

1. Ricoh 🇯🇵 

The Ricoh stand

The Ricoh stand

The Ricoh AM S5500p 3D printer

The Ricoh AM S5500p 3D printer

The Ricoh Company is a Japanese multinational imaging and electronics company founded in 1936 as Riken Sensitized Paper. Ricoh’s headquarters are located in Tokyo, Japan.

On their booth, they showcased their biggest 3D printer, the RICOH AM S5500pThis industrial 3D printer uses the SLS (Selective Laser Sintering) 3D printing technology. It can use PA11, PA12, PA6 and PP materials.

With a large 3D printing volume of 550 mm (W) × 550 mm (D) × 500 mm (H), the RICOH AM S5500P has the potential to run even the most demanding 3D prints. This 3D printer is really impressive when you stand next to it.

Another interesting fact we noticed, on the Ricoh stand were several Leapfrog 3D printers, including a Leapfrog Creatr HS. Ricoh is indeed the distributor of the well-known Dutch 3D printer brand in Japan.

2. Canon 🇯🇵 

The Canon stand

The Canon stand

Canon Inc. is a Japanese multinational corporation founded in 1937. Canon is specialized in the manufacture of imaging and optical products, including cameras, camcorders, photocopiers, steppers, computer printers and medical equipment. Canon headquarters are located in Tokyo, Japan.

On the Canon stand were featured the demonstration of their software solutions and manufacturing processes, along with several 3D Systems 3D printers, mostly from the ProJet lineup, including one ProJet 460Plus and one ProJet 160. Canon announced in 2015 it would soon release their own 3D printing technology in the two years to come. Canon their SLS solutions claims it will be able to print a wide variety of materials, including polypropylene (PP), polyethylene (PE), polyoxymethylene (POM) or acetal, polyamide (Nylon), and polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA).

3. Toshiba 🇯🇵 

The Toshiba stand

The Toshiba stand

Toshiba (Toshiba Corporation) is a Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. Toshiba was founded in 1875.

At the 27th Design Engineering and Manufacturing Solutions Expo, Toshiba had a huge stand yet no 3D printer to show to the public. They were displaying a lot of software demonstration for Product Lifecycle Management and Product Data Management, related to CAD/CAM (Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Manufacturing) software.

4. Casio 🇯🇵 

The Casio stand

The Casio stand

Casio Computer Co., is a multinational electronics manufacturing company. Its headquarters are located in Tokyo, Japan.

The Casio 2.5D printer.

The Casio 2.5D printer.

At this Design Engineering and Manufacturing Solutions Expo Casio was one of the most interesting Japanese manufacturer to introduce an innovating technology. Their concept is called 2.5D.

Basically, it is similar to a thick paper on which is embossed low relief (also known as bas relief) in color. The results are really impressive and could have interesting applications for advertisement and marketing and documents accessible to visually impaired people. Education also has a lot of potential for this 2.5D printing technology..

[The dimensions of 3D printing]

> 2.5D: ” touch and feel” low relief
> 3D: actual object
> 4D: object evolves with time
> 5D: 3D printing with 5-axis printer

5. Nikon 🇯🇵 

The Nikon stand

The Nikon stand

The Nikon 3D scanner.

The Nikon 3D scanner.

Nikon Corporation, best known just as Nikon, is a Japanese multinational corporation headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, specializing in optics and imaging products.

On the Nikon stand were featured several 3D scanners, based on different concepts. First they were industrial 3D scanners made for measuring internal and external dimensions of parts inside a closed frame.

Nikon also displayed a 3D scanner for floor shop measurements, demoed with an automotive use case (3D scan of a door).

6. Matsuura 🇯🇵 

The Matsuura LUMEX Avance-60.

The Matsuura LUMEX Avance-60.

Maybe the less know brand of this list, Matsuura Machinery Corporation is an international heavy machinery manufacturing company in Fukui, Japan. Matsuura was founded since 1935.

Their first product was introduced under the name Matsuura LUMEX Avance-25. At this Design Engineering and Manufacturing Solutions Expo, they showcased for the first time their latest industrial 3D printer, the Matsuura LUMEX Avance-60, a monster several meters big.

The LUMEX Avance-60 has a build volume of 600 mm x 600 mm x 500 mm and is equipped with a high power fiber laser of 1 kW. The LUMEX Avance-60 is installed with a fully automatic powder supply, collection and reuse system. Metal powder materials can be supplied automatically to the sintering chamber without operator contact.

This was the biggest 3D printer at the expo, and the biggest we ever saw.

 

II. JAPANESE SECOND AND THIRD TIER 3D PRINTERS MANUFACTURERS

1. Mutoh Engineering 🇯🇵 

The Mutoh Engineering stand

The Mutoh Engineering stand

The Mutoh Engineering MF-2200D

The Mutoh Engineering MF-2200D

 

Mutoh Industries is a typical Japanese conglomerate, a massive industrial group branching out in various industries, including 3D printing with Mutoh Engineering.

The Mutoh stand was very big with a lot of Fused Deposition Modeling 3D printers but no innovation to be seen.

Overall, their 3D printers give a relatively low-cost feel, the casings look homemade and the finish is quite poor. We don’t have any feedback regarding their performance as we’ve never tested them, and to our knowledge the Mutoh 3D printers are not easily available outside of Japan. This is a typical Japanese business approach, focusing solely on their domestic market.

The Mutoh Engineering MF-2200D is a huge 3D printer, engineered for the production of big parts in two materials.

Read our Mutoh Engineering 3D printers prices and reviews

2. Aspect 🇯🇵 

The Aspect RaFaEl 550.

The Aspect RaFaEl 550

Aspect is a Japanese company, with a capital of JPY 30,000,000, founded in November 1996. They use the powder bed fusion 3D printing technology. Laser sintering of thermoplastic powders, including Nylon.

Aspect works in collaboration with the famous University of Tokyo (also known as Todai). The MIAMI (Manufacturing Initiative through Additive Manufacturing Innovation) project.

Their lineup of industrial 3D printers is called RaFaEl, strong of three different versions: the RaFaEl 550 , the RaFaEl 300 and the RaFaEl 150.

3. CMET Inc 🇯🇵 

CMET is a typical Japanese conglomerate, a massive industrial group branching out in various industries, including 3D printing with Mutoh Engineering. they are famous for their huge industrial machines, such as the ATOMm-4000 and the ATOMm-8000. Their most impressive product is the Sand Casting Meister, which produces strong molds for injection molding and casting.

The CMET Sand Casting Meister

The CMET Sand Casting Meister.

CMET Inc. also recently introduced a smaller stereolithography 3D printer, called the CMET Inc. Mini Meister. The Mini Meister family of products is 3 products strong, Mini Meister MM-10, the Mini Meister MM-12 and the Mini Meister MM-13.

This 3D printers can use dedicated Mini Meister resins, which includes biocompatible resin approved in Europe and casting resin.

4. ENOMOTO 🇯🇵 

ENOMOTO is a typical Japanese conglomerate, a massive industrial group branching out in various industries, including 3D printing with Mutoh Engineering.

The ENOMOTO 3D5X-α 3D printer

The ENOMOTO 3D5X-α 3D printer.

The ENOMOTO 3D5X-α is an hybrid between a 3D printer and a CNC industrial machine (Computer Numeric Control). It falls into the 5D printing category. The extrusion head is a standard Fused Deposition Modeling extruder which melts 3D filament. The huge difference with a “regular” 3D printer is the ability for the print bed to be oriented along 2 additional axis.

The SYSTEM CREATE Bellulo 3D printer

The SYSTEM CREATE Bellulo 600 3D printer.

5. SYSTEM CREATE 🇯🇵

SYSTEM CREATE is a Japanese 3D printer manufacturer. On display was their biggest Fused Deposition Modeling 3D printer, sized for professionals, called the Bellulo 3D printer. The Bellulo is available in three different versions, which differ by their build volume:

>The SYSTEM CREATE Bellulo 200.
>The SYSTEM CREATE Bellulo 400.
>The SYSTEM CREATE Bellulo 600 (in the picture on the left).

Each number stands for a cubic build volume in mm, therefore the SYSTEM CREATE Bellulo 600 offer a 600 x 600 x 600 mm build volume.

SYSTEM CREATE also offers a wide variety of 3D printing services in Japan, including 3D modeling and 3D scanning.

The D MEC Amolsys H250 3D printer

The D MEC Amolsys H250 3D printer.

6. D-MEC 🇯🇵

D-MEC is another Japanese 3D printer manufacturer. On display was all their lineup of industrial production machines called Amolsys. D-MEC also builds the ACCULAS 3D printers and distributes 3D printers from 3D Systems (ProJet Series).

The Amolsys systems encompasses 2 different types of products, the Amolsys H250 and Amolsys H500 classified as Light Molding Machines (similar to stereolithography), and the Amolsys M150 and Amolsys M300 (Microwave Molding Machines). The Amolsys H500, on display at the expo, is huge and a human could fit inside its build chamber.

These Amolsys machines are actually closer to injection molding machines than to 3D printers. They use a powerful energy source (light or microwave) to melt thermoplastics in a shape predefined by a mold.

 

III. USA AND EU TOP TIER 3D PRINTERS MANUFACTURERS

1. Stratasys/Makerbot 🇺🇸

The Stratasys booth

The Stratasys booth.

Stratasys had invested a lot of money to be highly visible on this event. Perhaps interesting is the fact that they did not push the Makerbot brand forward with only one Replicator 5G to be seen, while a lot of professional products were to be seen, including the

The Altech booth

The Altech booth.

Moreover, Stratasys was not only visible as a brand, but also as a product offer from their official reseller in Japan, Altech. Several 3D printers were visible, including the gigantic Objet 1000 Plus, which was advertised at the discounted price of 59,800,000 JPY, a whooping  US$ 590,000. This 3D printer is so massive it did not fit on any of the pictures we took. Truly a beast.

The Stratasys Objet 1000 Plus

The Stratasys Objet 1000 Plus.

Also on the Altech booth was displayed the Stratasys J750. This multi color 3D printer is the most efficient machine we have ever seen when dealing with realistic colored textures, with thousands of different colors and transparencies available, and a wide range of physical properties. The samples on display included the famous sushi plates and several wood imitations. Try here the Stratasys game to get an idea of this 3D printer possibilities.

The Stratasys J750 on the Altec booth

The Stratasys J750 on the Altec booth

2. 3D Systems 🇺🇸

The 3D System ProJet 460Plus on Canon stand.

The 3D System ProJet 460Plus on Canon stand.

3D Systems had no official booth but it was strongly present through several resellers, including Canon (see Canon section) which included several ProJet 3D printers.

3. Prodways 🇫🇷

Prodways is the 3D printing division of the French industrial group Gorgé. Their lineup of 3D printers is structured around two technologies: the MovingLight and the Selective Laser Sintering (SLS). Their 3D printers are called ProMaker.

The SLS 3D printing technology became accessible to Prodways after concluding a successful partnership with the Chinese manufacturer Farsoon. Farsoon, Prodways and Stratasys 3D printers are distributed by the company Altech, a Japanese giant (see Stratasys section for more details about this brand).

Some parts made by Prodways 3D printers usign the SLS technology.

Some parts made by Prodways 3D printers using the SLS technology.

No 3D printer was visible on their reseller stand, yet they manage to display several parts 3D printed with MovingLight or SLS technologies. Even with big parts, the quality and finishing was quite impressive.

The EOS M 100.

The EOS M 100.

4. EOS 🇩🇪

EOS GmbH is a German 3D printer manufacturer created in 1989. Their industrial 3D printers use the Direct Metal Laser sintering (DMLS) 3D printing technology. On their booth was displayed the EOS M 100.

The EOS M 100 industrial 3D printer is compatible with a selection of metal powders such as aluminium, maraging steel, high-grade steel, titanium, nickel and cobalt chrome alloys.

 

5. SLM Solutions 🇩🇪

The SLM 280 HL.

The SLM 280 HL.

SLM Solutions is a 3D printer manufacturer based in Germany. They offer a lineup of product called SLM. Three 3D printers are available: the SLM 125, the SLM 280 and the SLM 500.

On the booth of their Japanese reseller (also reseller of Sciaky), Aichi Sangyo was featured a SLM 280 HL.

The EnvisionTEC Aureus.

The EnvisionTEC Aureus.

6. Sciaky 🇺🇸

Sciaky is a 3D printer manufacturer based in the USA. The technology they use is called Electron Beam Additive Manufacturing. Parts and structures up to 19 ft. x 4 ft. x 4 ft. (5.79 m x 1.22 m x 1.22 m) (or round parts up to 8 ft. (2.44 m) in diameter) can be produced with Sciaky’s EBAM 3D printers, one of the world’s biggest metal 3D printers.

7. EnvisionTEC 🇩🇪

EnvisionTEC is a manufacturer of 3D Printers including software and material. The company was founded in 2002 in Marl, Germany. The official Japanese reseller of EnvisionTEC is Suzuho. On their booth were displayed several professional 3D printers, including a EnvisionTEC Xede and an EnvisionTEC Aureus.

The EnvisionTEC Aureus is a desktop 3D printer which uses the SLA 3D printing technology. It is used for the production of high resolution 3D models for jewelry and the dental industry.

The Concept Laser Mlab cusing R.

Concept Laser Mlab cusing R.

 

8. Concept Laser 🇩🇪

Concept Laser GmbH is a company based in German, specialized in the manufacturing of industrial metal 3D printers.

On the Concept Laser booth of the 27th Design Engineering and Manufacturing Solutions Expo in Tokyo was presented a Concept Laser Mlab cusing R, their smallest 3D printer, capable to produce accurate parts in metal and ceramics.

 

IV. CHINESE AND KOREAN MANUFACTURERS

1. MagicFirm MBot3D 🇨🇳

The MBot T480.

The MBot T480.

MagicFirm MBot3D is a Chinese manufacturer of desktop 3D printers. The company was founded in 2009 and also operates as a 3D printing service provider. Magicfirm is committed to providing integrated solutions for architectural design, industrial design, film and animation, surgical procedures, mechanical design, education, and other industries, quickly turning concepts into accurate physical objects.

MBot 3D is the name of their lineup of 3D printers. Their most popular versions are the MBot Grid II+ and the MBot T480 which was featured on their booth. The MBot T480 offers a very large build volume of 340 × 310 × 480 mm at an affordable price.

The Gooo3D G Printer.

The Gooo3D G Printer.

2. Gooo3D 🇰🇷

Gooo3D is a Seoul based company. Their 3D printer called the G Printer was introduced during a successful (but underfunded) IndieGogo campaign. This cute little machine uses the photopolymerisation 3D printing technology to 3D print objects in 3D. Its power source is a UV LED projector (λ = 405 nm).

The G Printer looks good and is a well finished product, and so were the 3D prints on display. However at $3,666 it is not a cheap machine.

 

 

 

PART 2 – 3D SCANNERS

The Creaform MetraSCAN 750.

The Creaform MetraSCAN 750.

1. FARO 🇺🇸

FARO is an industrial 3D scanner manufacturer from the USA. They had their own booth on the Design Engineering and Manufacturing Solutions Expo with several of their 3D scanners on display.

 

2. Creaform 🇨🇦

Creaform’s mission is to develop, manufacture and market cutting edge portable 3D measurement and analysis technologies that increase productivity. The company is based in Canada.

Creaform has an office in Tokyo were we were able to test several of their products in June 2016, including their all-new industrial 3D scanner, the MetraSCAN 750.

On their booth was displayed and demo-ed the MetraSCAN 750 and their two portable 3D scanners: the HandySCAN 700 and the Go!SCAN 50.

3. Artec 🇱🇺

Artec is a manufacturer born in Russia, now based in Luxembourg. They are famous for their portable 3D scanners, organized around two lines of products, the Artec Eva and the Artec Spider.

On display on the Data Design booth (Artec reseller in Japan) was a Spider mounted on a robotic arm performing automated 3D scans.

Spider mounted on a robotic arm.

Spider mounted on a robotic arm.

Aniwaa was welcomed on the Data Design booth to have a demo of the latest Artec Studio 11 software, performed with a Spider by Evgeny Lykhin, the VP of Artec Studio software. The main improvements of this latest version are the speed of the creation of a colored 3D mesh and the ease of use/user experience of the software. These upgrades are intended to address the growing use of 3D scanners by non experts, such as museums conservationists, doctors and fashion designers.

Result of 3D scan with Artec Studio 11.

Result of 3D scan with Artec Studio 11.

Instead of necessitating the use of several technical functions and filters the user can simply describe its use case and the properties of the object he wants to scan. This auto mode is therefore more intuitive and less complex. The automatic removal of the standing support is also a very interesting feature. A complete review of the Artec Studio 11 is soon coming on Aniwaa.

4. Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence 🇸🇪

Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence is a company specialized in industrial 3D scanners, which belongs to the global group Hexagon AB. They are based in Sweden and have more than 200 years of history.

5. DAVID 3D scanners 🇩🇪

The DAVID SLS-3 3D scanner.

The DAVID SLS-3 3D scanner.

DAVID, the well-established German 3D scanner manufacturer, offers affordable desktop 3D scanners based on the Structured Light technology. Their product line encompasses the DAVID SLS which exists in two versions, the DAVID SLS-2 and the DAVID SLS-3.

6. ZEISS 🇩🇪

Optotechnik ZEISS is a German company which manufactures industrial 3D scanners. ZEISS announced in 2015 that it bought Steinbichler company, therefore all the Steinbichler products were rebranded as ZEISS. On their booth, we could see their T-Track CS+ solution.

7. Perceptron 🇺🇸

Perceptron offers highly-configurable measurement products and solutions that are used by manufacturers to monitor part and process quality.

The Perceptron booth.

The Perceptron booth.

 

8. Nikon 🇯🇵 

For the Nikon booth details, please check the Nikon section at the beginning of this article.

PRO CMM tracking system.

PRO CMM tracking system.

9. NDI 🇨🇦 

Northern Digital Inc. (NDI) is a manufacturer based in Canada. The company advertise itself as the “leader in 3D measurement tracking technology”. On display was their PRO CMM tracking system.

10. Solutionix 🇰🇷

Solutionix belongs to the Medit 3D Scanners company. The group was founded in 2000 and operates from Seoul, South Korea. The line of products include dental 3D scanners and industrial 3D scanners for parts inspection and digitalization.

Their products are called Rexcan DS3Rexcan CS, Rexcan CS+ and their high end model the Rexcan 4. Solutionix was represented at the Expo by their Japanese reseller which is also selling David SLS 3D scanners. These products are also distributed under the brand eQuality Tech in the US.

About this author

Pierre-Antoine Arrighi

Pierre-Antoine Arrighi is Aniwaa’s Technical Advisor and co-founder. Based in Paris, France, he is involved with the most important decisions in regards to the company’s overall strategy. He is also the team’s technical expert for all things related to 3D printing and scanning, as well as for virtual and augmented reality. He is also a Senior Consultant for French consulting firm kxiop.