If you like the make/build aspect of this world then a closer observation of the many printers on display at the shows is certainly worth while. For instance, the two machines above have something interesting in common. They both use Spectra fishing line instead of belts, one on x/y, and one with line on x/y and z! The print quality from both was excellent, which just shows that while not commonly used, the Spectra line is a practical alternative to belts.
And there was this curious configuration at the excellent Ooznet stand... looks like a Prusa i3, which it basically is, but fitted with an unusual extruder driving mechanism, called a Flex3Drive! It allowed the best of both worlds, the light x-carriage with the motor remotely, but still the benefits of direct drive extrusion (lower retract distances). It worked very well.
This lovely looking delta, by Andrew Wade drew lots of attention. It's a self-build which Andrew is working towards releasing.
This desktop sized filament maker was in the show's Start Zone. Called the "Strooder", it received it's start-up funding from a Kickstarter launch in June '14 and is hoping to do it's bit to reduce filament costs to consumers by providing a way to make your own filament from pellets, which are a fraction of the cost.
This prototype experimental hopper extruder design was on display by RichRap. At a desktop level, the whole concept of directly feeding plastic pellets is quite at it's infancy, but has exciting potential to reduce cost and offer interesting blending possibilities right at the printer.
Above, RichRap's prototype pellet extruder.
I'll rounding up with two short video clips...
The Nectar One wasn't quite ready to print at this years show, but gets the prize for the coolest door opening mechanism in the show! http://www.nectar3d.com/ I wish them well in their launch.
The fastest moving mechanism at the show has to be the cutting blade on the Mcor IRIS printer! (See video below).
3d landscape printed on the Mcor IRIS.
There's a bunch more photos which I'm going to push to a Google+ album for general viewing at this point. It's probably the handiest way to share them out. Link here.
Thanks for viewing!