3D Laminating: The Next Level
March 27, 2013 | 9:04 am CDT

3D Laminating: The Next LevelThis morning I quickly glanced at my last blog. On December 5th of last year I made reference to some health issues I was struggling with and wrote, “I’m happy to report it’s all behind me and I’m ready to get back at it.” Well, not so fast. Just a few days later I learned that I was going to require cancer surgery.

It’s already been 10 weeks since the surgery and the reports that followed were as good as they get. A complete recovery with no further treatment of any kind required. Now I’m truly ready to say it’s behind me and I can “get back at it.”

This also happens to be my 20th blog on Woodworking Network. During this time I’ve covered the history of 3D laminating in North America, the problem with public perception, social media opportunities, and the need for a greater understanding of the distinctions in materials, equipment and processes involved in making a good 3DL component. That’s a lot of material, but leaves so much more to cover.

2012 was an interesting year for the industry. High energy at the IWF confirmed signs of recovery felt earlier in the year. 3D laminates made great inroads into the store fixture, POP and healthcare markets. 3D laminating companies purchased new presses or snatched up available used presses. But the growth of the industry brought with it a certain angst among those that have witnessed and experienced the growing pains of our industry firsthand. Together, they sounded the alarm – We Need Standards! And with those standards we need an industry wide effort to educate architects, designers and buyers.

This week I will be meeting with other industry professionals as a part of the 3DL Task Force of the Composite Panel Association. We’ve heard those concerns and the industry appears ready to go to the next level. The issues of standards and education are on the table. Hopefully, our industry will find the courage to move forward in a meaningful way.


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About the author
Bill Formella | Technical Applications

Bill Formella is a 25 year veteran in the 3D laminating industry with extensive involvement in every facet including machinery, materials, supplies, as well as training and technical support.  Bill is the Technical Applications specialist for Smartech International and writes the Tech|Tips - 3DL blog, a free service provided by Smartech for the benefit of the entire 3D Lamination industry. Bill is also the owner and moderator of the LinkedIn group Membrane Pressing & 3D Laminating Design. Follow him via twitter @formellacsi and @smartechint.