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3D printers from China eye-catching at New York show

(Xinhua)    18:33, April 12, 2016

NEW YORK, April 11, 2016 -- A 3D printer is working on a vase in the 2016 3D Print Week exhibition in Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York, the United States, March 11, 2016. The 3D print week will host a series of exhibitions, shows and keynotes, which aim to share the creative and professional opportunities within the 3D printing industry. (Xinhua/Li Changxiang)

NEW YORK, April 11 -- Monday was busy as usual in Jacob K. Javits Convention Center here, but a somewhat different kind of noise echoed unremittingly in its North Hall.

The 2016 3D Print Design Show officially opened on Monday in Javits Center. The week-long event will host a series of exhibitions, shows and keynotes, which aim to share the latest 3D printing technology as well as opportunities in the industry.

FlashForge, a Zhejiang Province-based 3D printer maker, boasts a large display space right at the entrance of the Exhibit Hall. The four models of printers they had brought to the exhibition, each with different price-points and aiming at different levels of consumers, have attracted many attendees.

"Our printers are very popular in the U.S. and Europe," said Jane Liu, sales director of FlashForge.

"As a matter of fact, 90 percent of our 30,000 units sold in 2015 are purchased by customers outside of China," Liu said. "Our most popular model has been a bestseller on Amazon.com for two years continuously."

The model Liu referred to was named Creator Pro. On Amazon's product page of the bestselling printer, nearly 500 customers have left reviews of the product, and 80 percent of them are positive.

"The FlashForge Pro is a pleasure to use, but at an impressively low price. What's not to love," wrote one Amazon customer.

"The key to this success is our focus on quality," Liu said. "We have consistently provided top-notch quality machines, which allow us to gather a substantial loyal customer base."

FlashForge is among more than a dozen Chinese companies that are attending the event. More than 60 3D printer manufacturers, filament materials providers and software makers have brought their latest models and products for peer review, in hopes of attracting business partners and distributors.

The printers, some massive and standing two meters tall, and some tiny enough to fit in the palm of one's hand, are all buzzing and humming, producing their own unique creations.

Of the total 63 3D printing-related companies, Chinese manufacturers clearly hold the majority among the non-U.S. companies.

Unlike some of the technology industries in which Chinese companies are known as copycats, the 3D printing field has seen many Chinese manufacturers competing in building high-end printers for industrial and medical use. Many also showed unparalleled originality and creativity.

3D printer manufacturer Qingdao Unique has brought three 3D printer models for children's education to the exhibition. One of them looks like a Rubik's cube, one like a giant pencil, and the last one has a modular design that needs to be assembled by children themselves.

"Our company's focus is education," Qingdao Unique sales representative Wang Weiya said. "We tried to make it easy and interesting for schoolchildren to learn and create with our printers."

The 3D printing software developed by Qingdao Unique will help schoolchildren to learn how to create 3D printed objects within an hour. They can also build a 3D printer from the ground up in 10 minutes with the modular designed version.

Wang said the company's new line of products has received a lot of interest from U.S. distributors.

"The market potential for 3D printing technology will be immeasurable," Wang added.

According to additive manufacturing consulting firm Wohlers Associates, 3D printing has grown into a 5.2-billion-U.S.-dollar industry in just a few years' time, and is still developing at an exponential pace.

The market for 3D printing is expected to be 26.5 billion dollars, Wohlers predicts.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Yuan Can,Bianji)

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