Next door to CI was Stratasys, a global leader in 3-D printing who enticed visitors with its Fortus 450mc 3D Production System. According to David Dahl, an applications engineer at Stratasys, seeing 3-D printing in action has changed many people’s preconceived notions about it. Dahl jokes that many people stopped by during the beginning of a print, then came back later “like waiting on a pizza to cook.”

“The process is pretty straightforward,” Dahl said. “Once [people] see [3-D printing], they realize it’s not some obscure technology. And then they start seeing the applications and you can see the gears spinning for how a composite is forming.”

Show floor visitors also flocked around the Lean Mean Molding Machine from Composites One, the Closed Mold Alliance and Magnum Venus Products (MVP). During demo sessions, attendees watched engineers make parts that can be applied to infrastructure, architecture, corrosion, aerospace, transportation, marine and more. For many first time attendees, such as Praphulla Chandra, a CAE Engineer at BASF Corporation, the live demos were a great opportunity to get exposed to new and unfamiliar manufacturing processes. Chandra had the chance to see the “New Tooling Technology” session, where engineers prepared a CNC plug mold with GURU advanced tooling from Soul Composites. Chandra explained that his area expertise is compression molding, and at BASF, he hasn’t had much exposure to wet lay-up.