3D printers are currently revolutionizing our ideas about the creative professions and inspiring the imaginations of designers, architects, business entrepreneurs and DIY enthusiasts. At this year’s CeBIT companies from all over the world will be unveiling the latest 3D printer models.

In the documentary film “Printing the Legend”, a small American company called Formlabs makes the market leaders in the 3D printing world sit up and take notice. In March Formlabs will be making its debut appearance at CeBIT, where visitors can marvel at the revolutionary “Form 1+” 3D printer. The very high resolutions of the printed objects are achieved by the use of stereolithography (SLA). Formlabs was set up in 2012 by a team at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).

The complete spectrum of 3D CAD solutions, 3D visualizations and 3D printing will be on display in Hall 3 at the stand of Europe’s leading supplier, Kisters. One buyer of the company’s software solutions is the 3D printer manufacturer 3D Systems. In the same hall the Czech company be3D is showing a printer for very large formats (105 cm x 80 cm x 219 cm), as well as one of the fastest 3D printers on the market. Another manufacturer, iGo3D, has a particularly broad range of products on offer in Hannover. From an affordable DIY model kit to a fully assembled stand-alone device, the company offers 3D printers, 3D scanners, 3D software, 3D filament and 3D printer accessories. Canon Korea Business Solutions is also exhibiting its 3D printer “Marv” for the first time, with special security features and automatic scaling, calibration and output. This year’s official Partner Country China is also exhibiting 3D printing systems at CeBIT. The Chinese company Jiangsu Sainty Runlong Trade will be presenting its latest solutions.

3D printing is also an important focus of university research. Aachen University of Applied Sciences is exhibiting at the pavilion being staged by the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, showing how individualized products made by 3D printing are changing retailing and sales experiences. The spin-off company 3YOURMIND from the Technical University of Berlin will be displaying architectural models. The same company will also be showing display models for industry, prototype manufacturing for medical technology and instrument engineering as well as small-batch production. Before the product is printed, however, a 3D model is needed first. As part of the Swiss Pavilion, the spin-off aquilaviz from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich will be showing an app that turns a smartphone into a mobile 3D scanner. Using sensors and a camera, the app collects optical information about an object from which it constructs a virtual three-dimensional image. The app then calculates the three-dimensional representation directly on the smartphone.