The coolest stuff at Rapid + TCT 2024, the world's largest 3D printing event — Our first look at new 3D printers, filaments, and more

Rapid + TCT 2024
(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

This week, the world gathered at the Los Angeles Convention Center for a three-day run of North America’s largest 3D printing event, the Rapid + TCT 2024. With a focus on manufacturing and industry-level 3D printers, you might not think there’s anything for the average consumer to see, but you’d be wrong. All the best 3D printer makers turned out to showcase their newest wares, from Prusa, Elegoo, Formlabs, and Polymaker, to name a few.

We attended in person to check out all the excitement and see the latest tech and cool innovations in 3D printing for ourselves. Here are a few highlights from the Rapid + TCT 2024 event:

Elegoo boasts Centauri Carbon, Mars 5 and Orange Storm Giga

Elegoo surprised us with a new Core XY machine, dubbed the Centauri Carbon, keeping in line with their galactic naming protocol. This is Elegoo’s first Core XY offering, as well as the company's first enclosed FDM printer. Elegoo reps said the machine is simple enough for beginners but powerful enough for advanced users. It is a single-color machine, with no talk of going multicolor just yet. Though the machine was on display, details on it were scarce. 

No pricing was mentioned, but Elegoo did say it would be accessible to everyone. The printer is slated to release in the fall.

Elegoo also announced the Mars 5 and Mars 5 Ultra resin printers. Traditionally, Mars printers are smaller and more affordable. The Mars 5 is currently available for pre-order for $179, with the slightly larger and more feature-rich Mars 5 Ultra will debut at $269

Elegoo also had the impressive Orange Store Giga on display. It's the largest consumer 3D printer currently on the market, which comes with an 800 x 800 x 1000 mm build volume. The printer launched as a Kickstarter and is currently in beta testing. Tom’s Hardware has a unit in our reviewer’s living room and will release a review once pricing has been set.

Anycubic shows Photon Mono M7 and Kobra 3

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Anycubic showed off its latest four-color machine, the Kobra 3, and a high-speed resin, the Photon Mono M7 Pro. For more details on features and performance, read our Kobra 3 review.

The Photon Mono M7 Pro is a promising large-format resin machine with a 10-inch light source and 14k resolution. It’s also self-leveling, has a plethora of sensors, and has a tempting sale price of $499. This machine is currently under review, and we’ll have more details on its performance shortly.

Bambu Lab: Nothing New

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Bambu Lab may have has suffered a setback from their A1 recall. They did not have any new machines to present, but did showcase the revamped A1 alongside the A1 Mini and X1 Carbon. 

Creality brings out the K2 Plus

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We were eager to see the new K2 Plus, Creality’s entry in the color FDM race. However, the machine was demoing a single-color print, which suggests their CFS (Creality Filament System) is not ready for prime time. The combo unit is currently available to order for $1,499 and is slated to ship in October. Reviewers have been promised sample units in August, so we’ll keep you posted.

Prusa courts the industrial user with its Pro HT90

Prusa Research brought out a new “professional” grade delta printer, the Pro HT90. Retailing at $9,990, this Prusa Pro delta is designed to handle engineering-grade filament with a premium 500°C hot end and actively heated chamber that can reach 90 degrees C.

The Prusa team also had on display its well-known consumer units, the MK4, XL and Mini. The MK4 and XL are both exceptional printers with places on our list of Best 3D Printers.

Formlabs demos Professional Resin

Formlabs had a live demo of the new Form 4 resin, a versatile machine with an LCD-based system. The superfast Form 4 is said to rival injection-molded parts while still being small enough to fit on your desktop. Geared for industrial use, with a spicy price tag of $4,500, Formlabs has offered to loan us a machine to check out. Look for our in-depth review of this later this summer.

Polymaker launches Panchroma and Fiberon

Polymaker has thrown down the gauntlet with the announcement of its 160-color Panchroma lineup of PLA. The company claims it will have the world’s largest library of colors and surface effects, with filament going on sale later this summer. All Panchroma colors will be high-speed PLA, capable of keeping up with the tread of newer, faster 3D printers. 

The company has split off its engineering-grade filament – and added more – into a sub-brand called Fiberon. Fiberon filaments are high-performance materials, like carbon fiber-filled nylon and more affordable carbon fiber PETG. 

A new web-based tool will also be launched to help customers browse the large collection while looking at models they upload.

The next Rapid + TCT event will be held in Detriot in April 2025. We are eager to see what new technological advances 3D printing manufacturers will have in store for us then. We can't wait!

Denise Bertacchi
Freelance Reviewer

Denise Bertacchi is a Contributing Writer for Tom’s Hardware US, covering 3D printing. Denise has been crafting with PCs since she discovered Print Shop had clip art on her Apple IIe. She’s been a freelance newspaper reporter, online columnist and craft blogger with an eye for kid’s STEM activities. She got hooked on 3D printing after her son made a tiny Tinkercad Jeep for a school science project. Excited to learn more, she got a Creality CR10s and hasn’t looked back. She loves reviewing 3D printers because she can mix all her passions: printing, photography and writing. When she’s not modding her Ender 3 Pro or stirring glitter into a batch of resin, you’ll find her at the latest superhero movie with her husband and two sons.