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3D printing technology has pretty become a steady rock in both the making and Maker worlds, but it is far of an island. In fact, 3D printing is heavily intertwined with and dependent on an ecosystem that Autodesk calls “Reality Computing”, coined by the software manufacturer to address an umbrella of 3D (and other related technologies) in general. This comes with 3D image capturing, 3D modeling, and, of course, 3D printing, equite of that has become increasingly dependent on the others as the digital world continues to blend with the physical. In order to recognize, and celebrate, those who are pioneering technologies related to Reality Computing, Autodesk inaugurated the REAL conference only last year. We can be reporting live of the REAL 2016 in San Francisco, California, assisting you follow the action and technology delivering place at the Fort Mason Center this week.


Before we break into the action at REAL 2016, let’s get a firm belief of only what reality computing is. One of our former correspondents here at 3D Printing Industry, Andrew Wheeler (who is now Co-Chair of REAL 2016), interviewed Autodesk’s Technology and Innovation Strategist Rick Rundell back in 2014, who explained precisely what reality computing encompasses.

“Reality Computing is of capturing physical information digitally, via digital tools to turn it into new knowledge and new creations, and and so being able-bodied to donate digital information into the physical world by materializing it through various types of desktop regulated systemes or through augmented reality,”Rundell said. “We use the term ‘Reality Computing’ to encompass an emerging set of workflows around the data required by 3D printing and in addition data that is generated for various types of kinds of spatial sensing technologies.”

Rick Rundell of Autodesk

Rick Rundell of Autodesk

So, as you can see, Reality Computing goes much deeper than only 3D printing technology. In its simplest form, Reality Computing can be appeared at in three various steps: capture, compute, and turn it into, REAL 2016 has broken down their event to cover equite of these categories both independently and in-relation to one another. ‘Capturing’ entails anything of 3D sensing to 3D scanning, referring to the system of sensing the physical world and digitizing it. This is where the future step of ‘computing’ comes in to play, where the physical world is 3D systemed and transformed into an optimized digital space. Lastly, is ‘turn it into’, that entails anything manifested in the physical, of 3D visualization (such as in VR or AR) to 3D printing itself.


What does Reality Computing encompass?

But yet, 3D printing is an integral part of the system, and it can be represented by a number of speakers and companies at this year’s event. This comes with Tim Geurtjens of MX3D, who can be discussing their project to 3D print a steel bridge in Amsterdam; Bastian Schaefer of Airbus, the aerospace giant that is utilizing 3D printing technology on a daily basis; style and architectural developer Behnaz Farahi; and over one hundred other speakers and exhibitors. For those 3D printing enthusiasts out there, there are most other people to appear out for at REAL 2016, which include artist Eyal Gever, who is planning to send a 3D printed “laugh” into space this year as the quite first extra-terrestrial art installation; as well as Kaitlyn Hova, who can be performing on her own 3D printed violin. Overall, the event showcases the merging worlds of capturing, computing, and creating.





Behnaz Farahi

Behnaz Farahi

On the other hand equite of the aforementioned speakers use 3D printing technology in an significant way, the other facets of Reality Computing are only as significant to their system. Other speakers and companies who don’t fully use 3D printing technology, quite obviously and relevantly use other 3D technologies of the same limitless ballpark. Take BioDigital’s Frank Sculli for instance, who can be speaking of their cloud-based, immersive 3D environment for exploration of the human body. One other example is San Francisco’s quite own Matterport, a one-of-a-kind real estate agency via image capturing for the rapid 3D visualization of physical spaces.





At REAL 2016, it won’t only be the well-known figureheads sharing their expertise with the attendees, in fact, the event can kick-off with The REAL Deal Startup Competition. The competition can showcase four qualifying startups, which include a couple that are heavily invested in growing 3D printing technology. There’s AREVO, who can be presenting their “3D Printed Carbon Fiber Composite Materials”, as well as UNYQ, a prosthetic cover producer who uses 3D printing for a few of their products. Other competing startups include LucidCam, a stereoscopic 3D camera for VR, and Minds Mechanical, a startup offering proprietary software solutions for 3D technologies.


REAL 2016 considers itself to be additional of a hands-on think-tank than an ordinary Maker Faire or tradeshow, a place to discuss new ideas with this wide-ranging, yet close-knit community. Throughout the week, 3D Printing Industry can be delivering you coverage on the people, startups, and companies at REAL 2016, trying to expand beyond 3D printing technology to assist us advantageous know it.

Tyler Koslow

About The Author

Tyler Koslow is a Brooklyn-based writer for 3D Printing Industry, and has in addition generated content for publications and companies such as Dell, Brooklyn Magazine, and Equity Arcade. His content is focused on a wide range of topics which include tech, gaming, and music . Tyler is in addition a habitual instrument player, a writer of fiction, and generally all around fun haver. Tyler attained a Bachelor’s degree studying English-Creative Writing at the University of Central Florida in 2008.