Twenty-five years ago, a young research engineer saw a 3D printer for the first time. Seeing this novel technology in action immediately sparked his interest and, more importantly, his imagination. Now, 25 years in, we are proud of all the meaningful innovations we’ve materialized, and invited the “Leaders of the 3D Printing World” to come to Belgium to celebrate with us at the Materialise World Conference.

Fried Vancraen, CEO of Materialise with one of the earliest 3D printers.

Fried Vancraen, CEO of Materialise with one of the earliest 3D printers.

The conference, with hundreds of guests, kicked off yesterday with Fried’s opening of the “MAKING A DIFFERENCE / A DIFFERENCE IN MAKING” exhibition at the BOZAR Centre of Fine Art in Brussels. Materialise has been working with curator Marta Malé-Alemany to put together this exhibition that looks at 3D printing through both the eyes of fascination and a deeper observation of its consequences. Learn more about it here.

Yesterday was also a great day to look back at what has happened in the last 25 years: Materialise started to successfully print prototypes, created medical models based on medical imaging data, launched our Magics software to make printing even easier, and started i.materialise to make 3D printing accessible to all. Check out the video below to learn more about Materialise’s innovative history:

Today, i.materialise’s very own summit has started. Visitors came to hear inspiring speakers, who illustrated how 3D printing services and solutions can add value in the realm of 3D printing consumer products.

In their presentations and seminars, renowned speakers from all over the world were able to tell fellow designers, entrepreneurs, and start-ups more about how they can use 3D printing, whether it be artistically, for gaming, jewelry design, interior design, customization, or beyond. Learning about the newest applications, different business models, connecting with like-minded people and getting to know other creative communities were the center of these presentations.

Our selected presenters included:

  • Ilja Laurs, co-founder of the company Toyze, the first app store for 3D printed customizable game characters.
  • Martijn Joris, from Belgian start-up Twikit, a website for 3D printed customizable jewelry, trophies, fashion items, and interior design items.
  • Fashion designer Caroline Das, who co-founded fashion brand DAMN.
  • Shoe designer Katrien Herdewyn and 3D modeler Frederik Bussels, who created stunning pairs of high heels and explore the endless possibilities of 3D printing.
  • Peter Donders, a designer with a broad knowledge and range of backgrounds, including furniture design, craftsmanship, and jewelry.
  • Scientist and artist Frederik De Wilde, who uses the possibilities of 3D printing to his advantage when it comes to creating innovative pieces of art.
  • Zbyněk Krulich, co-founder of the 3D printed jewelry brand blueberries.
  • German scale modeler Guido Mandorf, who started to use 3D modeling software back in 2011 and focuses on designs of trains and trams.
  • Industrial Designer Elise Luttik from Amsterdam, founder of design studio eli5e, who creates stunning interior design objects.
  • Christophe Fauconnier, founder of innate motion, and one of the people behind the new online sharing platform Ideas Worth Making.

Live Update from April 25th: 3D Modeling Workshops

But the conference isn’t over yet: today our headquarters in Leuven hosts two 3D modeling workshops where novices to the field of 3D designing and printing learn the basics from real experts and get introduced into the exciting world of 3D printing. The workshops are followed by a guided tour of our 3D printing factory.

The i.materialise team presents the basics of choosing the right 3D modeling software and printing material.

Franky from i.materialise presents the basics of choosing the right 3D modeling software.

In our Tinkercad workshop, instructor Deepak is teaching how to get started with 3D modeling.

In our Tinkercad workshop, instructor Deepak from 3Dee is teaching how to use this 3D modeling app.

Frederik from Pixel Depot teached the participants to get started with MODO.

Frederik from Pixel Depot teaches the participants to get started with MODO.

We give our participants a peek of our production facility.

We give our participants a peek of our production facility.

Once again we would like to thank our speakers, all of our visitors and participants, as well as our entire i.materialise 3D printing community for your trust and loyalty. This conference was also a reminder for all of us that 3D printing lives through great ideas and creative minds.