Last week, Print The Future became the first ever company to showcase 3D printing technology at High Point Market in North Carolina, creating unique large-scale furniture pieces onsite throughout the five-day long event.
If you're not familiar, High Point Market is the largest furnishings industry trade show in the world, bringing more than 75,000 people to High Point, North Carolina, every six months.
More than 12 million square feet of exhibit space houses some 2,000 manufacturers’ showrooms in downtown High Point, where tens of thousands of industry professionals gather to buy, learn, and network.
The PTF team travelled down to North Carolina with a couple members of PicoTurbine and three of their WASP printers, including the giant DeltaWASP 3MT, to share our vision with High Point attendees. PicoTurbine, the North American distributor of WASP, has been featured on our blog a few times already: find out we met them at the Inside 3D Expo in NYC and how we took a field trip to their STEAM center in New Jersey, if you haven’t already.
If you’ve ever been to High Point before, you’ll know that it is relatively traditional in its offerings. There are tons of beautiful, hand-knotted rugs; thousands of modern, abstract paintings; and countless luxury linens, pillows, and home accessories for buyers and designers to consider for their showrooms or projects, respectively. In the images below you can see a couple of my favorite booths, which happen to both be pretty modern.
This time around though there was something a little bit different being offered at the Market.
Print the Future was invited to exhibit at the exclusive Mill Village – a historic textile mill that had been restored to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards.
The building is owned by Cisco Brothers, a California-based sustainable furniture company, who have a permanent showroom on the first floor. This Market was the first time they had opened up the space on the second floor to vendors.
The Mill Village Collective is a new collaborative format for bringing the home furnishings trade community together during High Point Market. They sought to create a complete experience for visitors, showcasing unique and inspiring products in a more laid-back atmosphere.
The inaugural theme was "Craftsmanship, Customization, Design, Innovation, & Sustainability". The organizers wanted to highlight authenticity in design, utilization of high-quality materials, innovative technology combined with traditional handwork techniques, and the increasing preference for customization and sustainable practices.
While there were over 180 buildings holding exhibits for High Point, Mill Village was truly the perfect fit for Print The Future.
The building hosted food trucks and local breweries in the evenings to encourage attendees to stay longer for an enhanced experience. The Print The Future team had a blast each night, getting to know our fellow exhibitors and showing guests around our booth, who were able to watch items being 3D printed while they enjoyed their refreshments.
If you weren’t able to make it to High Point, here’s what you missed:
Print The Future had a large 950 square foot exhibit that featured one large 3D printer and two medium sized tabletop printers. We also brought along some of our favorite pieces of 3D printed furniture, including some new ones that we printed at the New York pop-up.
Visitors to our booth got to see the printers in action, learn about how 3D printing works from our team and from the experts at PicoTurbine, and were able to see, touch, and sit on pieces of 3D printed furniture.
We shared some of our Designer Case studies, including Anna Mannarino's cocktail table and the story behind Jason Mizrahi’s Loop chair. We even printed a new, taller version of the cocktail table in a blue and green gradient that became a Market favorite (left image below).
Our booth was set up to encourage conversation and interaction through printing demonstrations and the living room-style set up of some of the pieces. We had many repeat visitors, who came back to see new items hot off the printer. Besides the taller version of Anna’s cocktail table and the miniature version of Jason’s Loop chair, we also printed a miniature of Frank Gehry’s wiggle chair, a variety of small and large vases, and a scale model of our booth that Eugene Pentland, mechanical engineering student and designer at PicoTurbine, created within a few hours after we finished setting up.
We loved the communal vibe of Mill Village and enjoyed getting to know all of our neighbors, who showcased really incredible things from rustic reclaimed wood tables to timeless rugs with incredible histories to a magnetized table of “floating” wood cubes. For a full list of everyone that exhibited at the Mill Village space, be sure to check this article out.
We had people of all ages come to see our exhibit - consumers, designers, buyers, and enthusiasts all stopped by to see what we were up to. Children excitedly tested each piece of furniture out, while other manufacturers saw ways they could use this technology in their own work. We engaged in a ton of amazing conversations with designers about how they could integrate 3D printing into their process and their projects.
Overall, the trip down to North Carolina was very successful, as we were able to share our vision with even more people than we did at the New York pop-up. We're ready to keep this momentum going and are already on the look-out for where to take the next PTF experience. Here's to the future!
For even more about our experience at High Point, check out some of the media coverage our exhibit garnered below:
Fox 8 News: 3D printing company brings futuristic feng shui to High Point Market
The Courier-Tribune: Furniture Market welcomes first 3-D-printed furniture company
Home Accents Today: Printing the future, one piece at a time
Thank you to everyone who stopped by our booth and gave us your feedback! We've learned so much from you already and know that this is only the beginning of our journey together!
Want to have a say in where we go next? Click here to vote for your city and to sign up to be notified first about the next Print The Future pop-up experience!