Last week I had an opportunity to take part in CeBIT 2016 in Hannover (Germanny). I went there with ABC Data, whose representatives have gone there for ages to obsere the newest trends on the makret, connected with new technologies. CeBIT, which has been organised since 1986, is above all an IT trade, dedicated to software, computers, mobile phones and technical novelties from IT industry. In contrast to IFA in Berlin, organised in the autumn, CeBiT is B2B enterprise. It is the biggest trade of this kind in Europe.

CeBIT (Centrum für Büroautomation, Informationstechnologie und Telekommunikation, so Center for Office Automation, Information Technology and Telecommunication) is held in a hudge exhibition hall in Hanover, consisting on several dozen of halls of the surface of 450.000 m². Its organiser is Deutsche Messe AG. This year’s edition was held 14-18 March. I could have spent there 2 days.

The biggest world’s technological companies came to Hannover, so the flourish of the products and services was just enormous… A few of halls were rented in one half by only one company! A stands which costed roughly about several dozen Euro, were a standard.

My stay on CeBIT wasn’t a trip. ABC Data asked me to follow novelties from 3D printing industry during the trade and to judge their market potential in context of next years. Unfortunatelly, I was disappointed with it…

3D vs. “The Big Buisiness World”

I would like to start with describing 3D printing industry, but I could also focus on writing about stands with “wursts” and beer. There were more food stands than 3D printers and what is more, they were more pupular from them. So, CeBIT is rater not a place for this type of devices. “The Big Buisiness World” looked for another solutions and 3D printers were some kind of a intriguing surprise for visitors. There were only 4 companies producing or seling 3D printers. These devices were presented also on another stands in form of… gadget.


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Formlabs presented undoubtedly the best looking stand from companies connested with 3D printing industry. But it was worse with it, what was presented on it… You could have seen The Form 2, The Form 1+ and a few 3D prints – live printed “model” and two tables with rings. But they looked better that anything what we printed with our The Form 1+, but they still weren’t in EnvisionTEC’s quality.

However, the stand of Formlabs and above all the objects presented on it, were something like an iinquiring break between heading from one hall to another. If you want to come into contact with a potentianl customer, you rather don’t present rings, but concrete solutions or applications (vide Zortrax).


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A HUGE tidbit of the trade – was doubtless BigRep – one of the bigges 3D printers printing in FDM technology. An enormous machine which is nothing else than scaled RepRapem. It has a really good quality with huge LCD panel to operate it. But like in case of Formlabs, BigRep didn’t print nothing special – and the prints staying next to the printer weren’t spectacular. Just, big 3D prints made of plastic.

Supriringly, I met a Polish company on CeBIT!


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The biggest shop with 3D printers in Europe looked quite… poor.An ordinary, modul stand, several 3D printers (f.e. Zortrax M200), several filaments and the mos typical/popular 3D prints. If you consider the range of this company in Europe, it’s a disappointment. If iGo3D had prepared the same stand for 3D Printing Days in Kielce, no one whould have visited it…

Among 3D printers you could have find Zortrax, Ultimaker and da Vinci. Generally speaking, there was some kind of “fraud” with Ultimaker, because the Dutch were mentioned as a separate company, bu in fact iGo3D was also Ultimaker’s stand… To be honest, get3D presented this brand incomparably better, during the 3D Printing Days.  ponieważ w materiałach targowych Holendrzy byli wymieniani jako oddzielna firma, a tymczasem stoisko iGo3D było zarazem stoiskiem Ultiamkera.


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When the stand of iGo3D was disappointing, the stand of Flashforge was pathetic and ridiculos. There was in “Chinese zone”. Big and pretty banner, four 3D printers and a frail.  Chinese girl sitting in the background, focused on texting or sending e-mails. When he came to us after some time, it occured that she didn’t speak English or even didn’t know what she presented. We didn’t unsderstand her and after two sentenceses she started to text again…

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The company presented two Dreamers, Findera and a 3D printer using resin. We also started printing on one of the Dreamers, but the lady wasn’t interested in it.

Another 3D printers

Like I mentioned, you could have find a few 3D printers, which were rather gadgets on stands. We found two or thress Ultimakers, Cube 3, Up! Mini and a prototype of 3DGence One! It printed from very inttriguing filament similar to Laybrick.

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I heard that in one of the halls there was also an original  3DGence One, but unfortunatelly I din’t find it.

What was worth seeing?

That’s all about 3D printers. Now it’s time to write about the real CeBIT and about the direction of development of new technologies and buisiness.

Mobile makes the world go round

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The most important area of new technologies are nowadays mobile devices and solutions.  The stands of Stoiska T-Mobile and Huawei were one of the most absorbing on CeBIT. There were presented all of the possible areas of using smartphones or tablets on them, connected with storing of data.

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Internet of Things, on-line shopping or intelligent cars – everything starts and ends up with smartphone.

Also in halls aimed to resellers and sistributors of electronics, smartphones were the most popular solution.

Internet of Things is and will be everywere

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IoT, the second of the hottest topics of the trade, was present on stands of the biggest IT corporations. IBM rented one half of a hall, when it presened all of the possible areas of using its solutions. Yes, the same IBM, which 10 years ago sold Lenovo and there was no trace left of it. It turned from customer market into B2B. In Hannover we were wintesses of its power. We started with playing with BB8 toy.

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And we finished with huge John Deere’s tractors.:

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IBM is one of the software giants, which we use everyday and we aren’t aware of it.

I would like to mention about Intelu, HP Enterprise (one of the parts of HP, which has been shared recently, HP is focused on software), części podzielonego niedawno HP, Microsoft (which presented even systems of operating petrol stations) or DATEV (the second half ot the “IBM’s hall).

Protecting and safety of data

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The next crucial area presented on the trade where systems of safe storing of data, protecting against outside attack or devices to destroy data carriers. The companies, which have expertise in it, like Kaspersky or GDATA, or the companies like IBM.

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Hnestly, I’m not an expert in software or protecting systems, and that’s why the thing, which interested me the most, were destroying devices. Most of you used a shredder (to paper) but have you ever used a shredder to destroy your hard disk?

I know, that this kind of devices is available on the market, but  it still makes a huge impression on me. I wonder, if I sould buy a new car or a hard disk shredder. Admittedly, i don’t have any disk to destroy, but I could pick scrap and in my free time destroy it with a shredder.

2D printing is alive and it’s still in good shape

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People who live in the world of 3D printers have often a feeling that normal printers are something simple, not exciting and condemned to extinct (why to print anything, if I have everything on my smartphone or in the internet?). Well, go to CeBIT and walk along the halls.

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No well-known company producing printers, copier or scanners was missing. These devices became faster and faster, more effictient and more ecological.


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Computers were presented but not with a flourish. CeBIT is rather not a right place for this type of presentations, nonetheless, you could have find some famous players and niche products.

Drones are a nice sport and nothing special…

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In a huge fenced area, there were put plenty of obstructions of any kind a dron race took place. All of them had an assembled camera which showed a view to player. It was showed simulteneously on a few small screens, thanks to it spectators could have seen the view which was seen by every player.

The race looked spectacular. The drones were tiny, thanks to it they overcame obstacles on the arena, bu on the other site, it was hard to see them because of their incredible speed. In not for the lights in their coverings, you could havve thought, that they were present only because you heard them.

Unfortunatelly, they were presented only in this hall. I heard about many inquiring conceptions of using them in logistics or security in halls, where the most important thing was making money, they were gadgets. Drones are a fantastic devices and a great hobby, but a “Big Buisiness” is not interested with them, at least for this moment.


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Nex to the hall with drones there was a hall with Chinese stands. There was Flashforge, about which I wrote and dozens of small companies offering all kind of electronic accesories. Some things attracted my eye, like computer mouses in shape of mini cars on the licence of producers. :))

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Absorbing system of transfering analogue films on digital carriers:

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However, my personal favourite was a TV and LCD screens showing a 3D view for which you didn’t need special glasses. In case of TV it was quite tiring, but when LCDs are considered, it was just awesome! The pictures can’t show it unfortunatelly, but they have an amazing market potential!

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Although, CeBIT wasn’t the first international trage in which I could have taken part, but it was a very possitive experience. An enermous impact of some companies (IBM!) and a few of presented solutions were surprising. Also the organisers of the trade take care about the visitors who have to experience something unique on their every step.

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I don’t consider this incredible scenery or fantastic resraurant with regional cuisine, buses and limousines driving people along the halls – but you can admit, that daily newspapers from trade (56 pages each) make an impression.

The number of lectures and conferences, which were held on every stand at the same time, is impossible to estimate. On T-Mobile’s stand I saw four independent performances – one on the main stage (T-Mobile has its own main stage) and three next on another sub-stands. And than you could have none to Microsoft stand and you participated in their presentation of new products.

On our way home…

Our hotel or even a guest house – is localised in a small, charming city some kilometers from Hannover. On our way home we wanted to avoid a traffic jam on a motorway, we drived through another, neighbour cities and we saw it…

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In a small, German cirt about 20-30 km away from Hannover, we discovered a car workshop, where vintage American cars are restored. Incredible…

Paweł Ślusarczyk
CEO of 3D Printing Center. Has over 15 years' experience in buisiness, gained in IT, advertising and polygraphy. Part of 3D printing industry since 2013.

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