3D Print Conference Kyiv, 2016

3D Print Conference Kyiv, 2016

Highlights from the event

Staying on track with my professional development, I visited the 3D Print Conference (Kyiv, Ukraine, September 16).

Last time I came to a local 3D Print Confrerence conference was a year ago. And I should say that by now I have learnt a lot more about the technologies, innovations and trends (thanks, the University of Illinois!). So, Ukrainian projects, start-ups and the local market were of main interest for me.

Once more, the venue consisted of four main zones. Apart from the exhibition, there was a 3D printing and 3D scanning workshop. The conference hall hosted the presentations, and my child spent time in the kids’ workshop zone.

The organisers assure that the third Conference welcomed more guests and exhibiting companies. But it seems to me that by now it somewhat lacks the level and drive it deserves. I hope we will see alternatives and new formats offered by Ukrainian and European expo companies.

This year, the presentation program included 10 talks with some last-minute changes. Some of them were quite inspiring.

3D Printing for Development in Ukraine

Brennan Purtzer, the Founder of Blue Continent Eco-Trade Alliance, is currently volunteering for the US Peace Corps in Ivano-Frankivsk, Western Ukraine.

To his opinion, 3D printing for development can have a much more important impact on society that creating art or jewellery pieces. 3D technologies are already being used for the development of Africa, Philippines, Pakistan, etc.

Brennan relies on his experiences with Micronesia, one of the most isolated regions. The supply chain there is long, slow, and expensive. And the national GPD depends on import to a great extent.

Brennan Purtzer 3D Printing for Development of Ukraine

Here 3D printing could shorten the supply chain offering limited on-island production. Among other benefit are better-paying jobs, technical training, better import and export balance. Moreover, the reduced shipping volume means positive environmental impact. With 3D printing, small communities can use recycled plastics to build new items they need.

According to Brennan Purtzer, the same process could be used in Ukraine. But the best solutions for Ukraine are the ones we have yet to invent to solve specific, local issues.

Brennan is planning to open a 3D print learning centre in Kalush near Ivano-Frankivsk. A nation-wide network might follow later.

Printed houses: autonomous and self-learning

Maxim Gerbut, founder and CEO of Ukrainian PassivDom, presented an interesting concept of a printed modular PassivHause.

The startup claims to have created the world’s warmest passive houses. The structure is carbon and glass fibre combined with patented warm windows. An extremely low heat loss makes self-sufficiency easy and cost-effective to implement.

PassivDom. 3D Print Conference Kyiv, 2016

Basic structures, including walls, roofing, and basement platform, are produced with 3D printing by “7D” robotic arms. The dimensions of a basic transportable PassivDom module are 4 m x 9 m (12 tonnes). If case you need a larger building, you are free to combine two modules.

Unlike concrete 3D printing, the original houses are promising full off-grid autonomy. It seems like you do not need any traditional heating system even for cold regions. The thermal characteristics allow using 20 times less energy than usual. Obviously, they outperform the new energy efficiency standards that come into effect in 2030 in the USA and Europe.


The modular houses use solar panels and batteries to produce energy and store it. Even with heavy clouding, the energy supply is enough to keep self-efficiency for up to two weeks. All house appliances are integrated into the Internet of Things. A self-learning system monitors the quality of air inside. Actually, you can control the house from anywhere with the help of your smartphone.

Made in Ukraine: high-quality 3D printing filament

Oleg Kireev, a representative of Extrusion in Motion, told about methods of quality control and testing of ABS and PLA filaments.

A pioneer Ukrainian manufacturer of 3D filament produces excellent-quality materials for 3D printers. Launched in 2016, the manufacturing site is equipped with advanced quality measurement systems and production lines. For their 3D filament, the company exports 100% fresh raw materials from North America.

EIM has already tested its 3D filament in German laboratories. The results were good enough to launch the export of the product made in Ukraine to the market of Germany. Currently, EIM is undergoing certification procedures to comply with the TÜV and European RoHS directive 2002/95/EC.

The R&D department continues to develop new materials in close cooperation with leading suppliers of 3D printers and 3D scanners. Wood, metal, carbon filaments, Flex, and rubber are currently at work. ‘Run by engineers for engineers’, EIM is also planning to offer 3D printing and 3D scanning services, measurement systems, industrial 3D printing technologies, and recycling.

Extrusin in Motion. 3D Print Conference Kyiv, 2016

* * *

Just after the 3D Print Conference in Kyiv, Kwambio announced the launch of its first European 3D printing factory based in Ukraine. The company is ready to compete with Materialise and Shapeways using its own ceramic powder (80 colours!).

“Our goal is to offer high-quality products at affordable prices. Thanks to our incredible team and a perfect eco-friendly location in Ukraine, Kwambio cuts prices and lead time in half,” said Vlad Usov, CEO and co-founder of Kwambio.

Kwambio processes online and third-party orders accepting all kinds of sketches. Your product will be ready from scratch in just two weeks. The price is $0.07 for one cubic centimetre.

Kwambio 3D printing factory

Publishers’ Forum in Ukrainian Lviv

Print Hi-Tech: May & June

Printing, digital, and marketing convergence

Interesting news and case studies involving printing and digital technologies covered in my regular ‘Hi-Tech’ category.

Today: beautiful imperfection of old books; conductive silver inks for industrial inkjet printing of electronic; inkjet making inroads into additive manufacturing; Publishers’ Forum in Ukrainian Lviv.

Books and Permanence: The Expired Series

The Japanese term wabi-sabi represents Japanese aesthetics centred on of transience and imperfection. It is the sense of undeclared beauty that is imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete waiting patiently to be discovered.

In 2013, Kerry Mansfield, an American photographer, created a series of photosdedicated to a strange beauty of expired library books. She shows us their damages that make each book unique discovering its history. Mansfield says she felt nostalgia for the library experience. As a result, she spent more than two years collecting former library books.

“Once they are too abused or out of date they’re written off as ‘withdrawn’, ‘removed’, ‘expired’, and taken out of circulation…. The unlucky ones get recycled back into pulp… Now they have a new life, as portraits of the unique shared experience found only in a library book,” she explains. Mansfield’s goal was to bring these damaged books back to life through photography, treating each as if it were a relic.

Print Hi-Tech: Expried Series

Electronic ink: A way to wearable electronic?

DuPont Advanced Materials launched a new PE410 electronic ink for inkjet Konica Minolta print heads. Possible applications cover a wide range of “lab to fab” processes: from rapid digital design to prototyping to full-scale manufacturing.

The manufacturer underlines that the new ink will enable digital printing for electronic components and circuits with extremely fine lines, including OLED panels, solar cells, antennae and touch panels. Other possible niches are smart packaging applications and even smart clothing.

According to the research company IDTechEx, the market for conductive inks and pastes will reach 3 billion $US in 2025. Therefore, is one of the most dynamic segments within the printed electronics industry. Integrated into plastic featuring, electronic inks could probably eliminate the need for bulkier and heavier conventional switches and wires saving space and weight.

Print Hi-Tech: DuPont conductive ink

AM + Inkjet = quick and efficient process?

After making inroads into industrial printing, inkjet may finally enter the additive manufacturing market. Israel’s Xjet introduced the ‘Nano Particle Jetting” technology that builds solid metal parts without any laser beam like in selective laser sintering (SLS) or electron beam.

The system applies metal in liquid form from standard inkjet nozzles. According to the innovators, the process is both quick and precise. The liquid metal 3D printer uses a cartridge with metal dust that loads into the machine much like with a document printer. Later the printed objects go into a conventional sintering oven to produce the final part.

Avi Cohen, markets development manager for XJet, says that the final metal parts are fully dense and have no thermal distortions or residual stress associated with powder bed metal printing processes. The building process is up to five times quicker that of laser-based additive manufacturing systems with a layer thickness of under 2 microns. At RAPID 2016 in May, the massive machine was finally introduced to public.

Bonus: Made In Ukraine

Founded in 1994, Publishers’ Forum in Ukrainian Lviv (Ukrainian: Forum vydavtsiv u Lvovi) is an international book fair and the largest book-related event in Ukraine reaching its 23d edition. In 2016, the Publishers’ Forum and the 11th International Literary Festival, one of major European literary festivals, will take place on September 12–18.

Publishers, translators, entrepreneurs, journalists, printers and readers will come to Lviv, a major cultural centre for centuries. The aim is to promote reading as a means of contributing to the growth of cultural, intellectual and professional potential of the community, to meet with local and foreign authors and discuss their projects and plans.

Publishers’ Forum in Ukrainian Lviv

3D Printing Shifting the Balance of Power

3D Printing: Shifting the Balance of Power

5 disruptions that can change global economy and society

Recently, I took a Coursera course on marketing in a digital world as a part of my CPD plan. Many ideas and start-ups presented there were completely new to me and looked fascinating.

The course also covered the role of 3D printing in disrupting current marketing models, as 3D printers are a good example of a new digital marketing tool.

Companies like Apple, Netflix, Google create both new products and new business models. Their disruptive innovation is radically changing traditional business practices. New emerging digital tools also have tremendous implications the way products are distributed and placed into the market.

Firm-centered approach to marketing is starting to break down due to the rise of smartphones, online technologies, and 3D printing. In this new digital marketing environment, we are moving from firm-created products and brands to co-created products and brands.

Blurring the dividing line between the physical and the digital, 3D printing, also called additive manufacturing, has been around for over 30 years. However, in the last five years both the size of the printers as well as their cost have dramatically shrunk. As a result, the technology is rapidly spreading and becoming democratized and available to consumers.

A wide variety of materials that can be 3D printed includes plastics, metals, ceramics, food, and even glass, depending on the printer type and technology. Experts say you can 3D print almost any hard material that can be softened or any soft material that can be hardened.

3D printing is a way to a new industrial revolution and dramatic changes in the economy. It may spread over the entire value chain on a global scale, from operation, logistics, manufacturing to marketing, sales, and after-services. Some of you may already own or actually use 3D printed products without knowing it.

I decided to summarize things I love most about 3D printing, one of my main translation specialties. Below is a short description of five transformations you should begin preparing for. 3D printing is going to change your life, too.

1 New manufacturing strategies

As of 2011, the direct manufacture of finished products represented only about 25 percent of the additive manufacturing market. 3D printers were used mainly for prototyping. Now industries are moving from prototyping to the actual printing of final finished products.

With current 35 percent annual growth rate, the market of additive manufacturing and rapid prototyping is one the manufacturing industry’s fastest-growing segments. 3D printing facilitates new product solutions, which would be inconceivable with conventional methods.

Today the aerospace industry (12.0% of global AMRP market), the automotive industry (19.5%), medical/dental technology (15.1%), and other sectors focus strategically on 3D printing as the manufacturing strategy of the future and an embodiment of “Industry 4.0” approach.

Airbus A350 is flying with 3D printed parts. GE has already opened a mass additive manufacturing facility to produce the fuel nozzles for LEAP jet engines. American Local Motors best known for its $100,000 off-road Rally Fighter crowdsourced vehicle recently introduced the world’s first 3D printed car. German Mapal offers a QTD-series insert drills manufactured using additive laser melting.

3D Prnting_New technologies


2 New designs and mass customization

3D printing is changing the way things are developed and designed. This paradigm shift means that lightweight designs, new integrated functions or bionic structural elements will become a crucial part of engineering.

Additive solutions offer diverse potential, which you cannot achieve (at least satisfactorily) with conventional machining strategies. Two directions are possible here. One is to redesign existing products, which have been built conventionally until now. The second is to manufacture new products developed specifically for the opportunities that 3D printing offers as early as the design phase.

B2C manufacturers and retailers are beginning to realize the potential of 3D printing. Nike is now 3D printing its football shoes. Designers say 3D printing going to change the world of fashion in a way similar to how Lycra entered the fashion industry in the ’80s, radically evolving how clothes were made and how garments behave.

With 3D printing, consumers can customize their designs. Once you start thinking digital products rather than physical ones, new possibilities emerge. Unlike conventional goods that are difficult and expensive to customize, digital products are much cheaper and easier to change. Digitization of goods opens a way to satisfy a broader range of customer preferences.

3D Printing_New Designs


3 New distribution models and shifted profits

3D printers can alter distribution models just as the Internet has altered music, text, and video consumption. Just like iTunes replaced physical music stores, the 3D printer has the potential to disrupt logistics and sells of physical goods.

All 3D printed objects start with a digital model. And once an object is digital, it can be easily stored, transported, and modified. Decentralized production networks mean new business models and regional strategies are possible. The company can post digital files of its products or parts of its products on its website for direct downloading (like Nokia tried) or posting these files on a digital 3D printing retailer.

To be able to print locally will save shipping costs and shipping time. For some industries, that means huge competitive advantages. Spare parts can be manufactured on demand at decentralized locations. If a component fails, it will be reproduced directly on-site.

Pioneers of additive manufacturing underline the possibility to return the value created by production from low-wage countries to traditional development and industrial locations in Europe or the USA.

3D Printing_New Distribution Models


4 Medical innovations and bioprinting

3D printing is making rapid progress in the medical and dental fields. Today, most hearing aids and dental implants are 3D printed in the US. 3D printing has enabled the creation of high-dose pills: you can customize and control the speed and strength of delivered dosage reliably.

Companies are inventing new business models, opening digital print centers for additive dental prostheses. Compared to traditional dental laboratories, digital manufacturing is extremely cost-efficient (at least half the price) and offer enormous benefits in terms of quality. 3D printing is also being used to create affordable prosthetics, light and durable.

Bone reconstruction technologies with the help of three-dimensional structures are being developed. Such structures are open for the tuning of chemical and mechanical properties while copying the outer form of the required bone.

A number of startups are actually exploring 3D printing as a way to create human skin and organs. We are not so close to a mass replacement of body parts yet, but a company called Organovo is already 3D printing liver and kidney tissues.

3D Printing _Bioprinting


5 Power of making democratized with 3D printing

During the course, some academic insights about the topic of 3D printing were mentioned. Researchers at Michigan Tech University conducted an interesting experiment published in Metronics journal in 2013. In order to determine how much money 3D printing could save, they printed common household objects instead of buying them.

They downloaded twenty digital designs from thingiverse.com and printed them on a low-cost desktop 3D printer: an iPhone doc, a showerhead, a paper towel holder, etc. The printing cost in terms of both energy and materials was less than $20. In comparison, it would have cost them at least $300 to buy them from a store.

The study at the University of Illinois showed a stark difference between groups making common 3D printed objects and buying them from the shop. Students who printed objects exhibited higher levels of loyalty, they felt a closer connection with these objects and were willing to pay almost 50% more for them.

Desktop 3D printers are going to democratize the power of making and to give consumers more control over the things they consume.

3D Printing_Power of making democratized


minion yellow

Print Hi-Tech: April

Printing, digital, and marketing convergence

Today: the first character-named Pantone color in the company’s history; an ultra-thin film that changes its color like a chameleon; liquid-metal alloys for inkjet printing on flexibles; the fifth International Arsenal Book Festival in Kyiv.

Minion Yellow: an official new Pantone color

Pantone announced its first-ever character-branded colour inspired by Minions. Pantone Color Institute describes it as an ‘illuminating, energetic, friendly and fun-loving yellow shade that immediately calls out to you’.

While the Pantone Color Institute noted that consumers were eager to add energizing colors into their lives, Pharrell Williams, who took part in creating the music for the Despicable Me, came up with an unusual idea. Together with Illumination Entertainment, Pantone team reviewed the existing colors to find the closest representation of the iconic yellow shade.

The result was the Pantone Minion Yellow, the custom warm and playful extroverted hue, meant to be associated with intellectual curiosity and enlightenment. It will be added to the PANTONE Fashion, Home + Interiors color palette with the next color addition.

Minion Yellow: an official new Pantone color

Chameleon-like material changes color on demand

UC Berkeley engineers created an ultra-thin film that can shift colors when flexed or bent. With most natural and artificial materials, color depends on chemical composition. Changing color, therefore, requires changing the material chemistry. The new silicon ‘skin,’ on the other hand, leverages ‘structural coloration’.

In their research, engineers cut rows of ridges on a layer of semiconductor silicon a thousand times thinner than a single strand of hair. Each of those ridges reflects a specific wavelength of light. As the silicon is bent or flexed, the structure of the material changes, becoming green, yellow, orange and red.

Because the material is lighter and more flexible than previous variants, the color-shifting effect could have a wide range of applications. The material would work well with outdoor entertainment displays. It would be useful for military applications, including camouflage. Its creators believe the material also has potential  in building safety. The silicon could be used in sensors for bridges, airplanes and buildings, changing color in case of damage or structural stress.

Chameleon-like material changes color on demand

Inkjet can become compatible with liquid-metal alloys

Inkjet-printing technology may soon find its way into mass production of flexible electronic circuits based on liquid-metal alloys. Elastic technologies might bring a new class of pliable robots and stretchable clothing created for therapeutic purposes or for interaction with computers.

The new printable ink is made by dispersing the liquid gallium-indium in a non-metallic solvent using ultrasound, which breaks up the bulk liquid metal into nanoparticles. This nanoparticle-filled ink is compatible with inkjet printing systems.

The liquid-metal nanoparticles are initially coated with a protective layer of oxidised gallium. So after printing, the nanoparticles must be rejoined by applying light pressure, which makes the material conductive. You can activate only some sectors across the surface, suggesting that a standard film might be manufactured for many potential tailored applications.

Inkjet can become compatible with liquid-metal alloys

Bonus: Made in Ukraine

On April 22, on the eve of the World Book and Copyright Day, the V International Arsenal Book Festival opened at Mystetskyi Arsenal in Kyiv. The biggest book event in Ukraine combines art and literature.

The program of the Arsenal Book Festival traditionally includes presentations of new editions, discussions, lectures, public interviews, readings and performances, open-air poetry and music programs. Cafe Europa, the central international stage, hosted 40 writers, speakers and artists from 12 countries. The first experimental art stage featured contemporary Ukrainian typography, calligraphy, printing samples.

More than 150 leading publishing houses and international partners took part in Arsenal Book Festival representing fiction, children, non-fiction, and art literature. The first translation of Quran was among the most significant announcements: it took translator Mykhailo Yakubovych five years to translate Quran into Ukrainian.

V International Arsenal Book Festival

Photo: calligraphy.com.ua

V International Arsenal Book Festival

Photo: calligraphy.com.ua

Printable Lightpaper

Print Hi-Tech: Jan & Feb

Printing, digital, and marketing convergence

More interesting news and case studies involving printing and digital technologies covered in my regular ‘Hi-Tech’ category.

Today: Magical illustrations for Harry Potter books; a new way to print lightning; 3D printing for aircrafts; InnoTech Ukraine, the first local forum of innovation technologies.

Magical Redesign for Harry Potter Books

Good old print books are still very popular among the readers. Numerous studies show that they do have a promising future. Surely, people are reading more ebooks, but print books don’t seem to be going away anytime soon. With innovative technologies and projects , it is even easier to love printed books—especially hard-bound copies.

Kincső Nagy, a Hungarian design student, made new bindings and covers for all seven books about Harry Potter as her Bachelor’s degree project. Mysterious glow-in-the-dark cover designs for J. K. Rowling’s series suit the magical world perfectly.


Moreover, she created new ‘pop-up’ illustrations for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. ‘The Harry Potter books are extremely magical, mysterious and adventurous,’ writes Nagy. ‘These books are on the border of childhood, therefore my goal was to redesign them with illustrations that reflect this extraordinary atmosphere.’ Awesome!


Printable Lightpaper: Imagine the Possibilities

Just imagine paper-thin light that can be applied to any surface! American Rohinni has developed a technology called Lightpaper.

The technology can be utilized in endless markets and enables entirely new design possibilities that are limited only by your imagination: electronics, transportation, displays, outdoors, lighting. ‘With Lightpaper it’s more of a platform of light that we don’t even know how it’s going to be used,’ explains Smoot. ‘All we know is that we’re trying to unlock the ability to create light,’ Rohinni CMO Nick Smoot commented.

You just print the light on what you want using high volume manufacturing processes. At present, ink is mixed with tiny LEDs (about the size of a blood cell) to form a conductive layer. When current runs through the diodes, they light up.

3D is in the Air

3D technologies excite the markets with continuous growth reports. In fact, additive manufacturing has become a strategic industrial production technology. Within the next 5 years, experts predict up to 400% growth for industrial 3D printing.

GE has already opened a mass additive manufacturing facility to produce the fuel nozzles for LEAP jet engines. Competing with GE, Rolls-Royce has announced flight-tests of the largest 3D printed aerospace component for aircrafts.

For its Trent XWB-97 engine, the manufacturer has 3D printed a titanium structure that measures 1.5m in diameter. So far, Rolls-Royce does not plan to incorporate the 3D printed part into the production run of the XWB-97, meant to power the Airbus A350-1000 aircraft. But the test will help to study the possibilities of mass additive manufacturing.


Bonus: Made in Ukraine

Despite the challenging situation in Ukraine, local companies continue to develop and implement up-to-date technologies.

InnoTech Ukraine, first Ukrainian forum of innovation technologies, will take place from April 9, 2015 to April 11, 2015 in Kyiv covering health care innovations, smart technologies, education and 3D printing.

The first day of this event opens with a 3D printing conference: industry experts and technology users will discuss prospects for 3D printing and additive manufacturing in Ukraine. 3D printing workshops included!

InnoTech Ukraine