The 3D printer is growing more accessible as the first full-colour desktop model arrives on the scene.
With any new technology, the first models start off both expensive and crude; but as manufacturers and engineers become more conversant with its vagaries, it invariably becomes not only cheaper, but better at what it does. This is proving true of 3D printing. Last year, we saw the Form 1, the first high-definition 3D printer — and possibly the first desktop-sized model. Now, New York-based BotObjects has upped the ante with a full-colour model.
With the same resolution as the Form 1 (25 microns), BotObjects' ProDesk3D comes equipped with a proprietary five-colour PLA cartridge system that can mix the colours together to produce the hue and shades of your choice — and, BotObjects has claimed, the printed objects require no finishing.
The company has said that set-up is easy and automatic, including a self-calibration program that auto-sets the printer and calibrates the printer bed. All you have to do is plug it in, insert the cartridges, upload your design and print. As well as PVA, it can also print in PLA and ABS plastics, with a fan system that ensures a consistent airflow within the system to ensure consistent 3D builds.
BotObjects said on its website: "We wanted to demystify the process of 3D printing while keeping the technical jargon under the hood — enabling everyone to load designs and get them printed easily with just a few clicks. The ProDesk3D ProModel software does just this."
The ProDesk3D is not yet available for sale, so no pricing information is available — it could end up, after all, quite prohibitive. That would seem inconsistent with the company's mission statement, but even the Form 1, which called itself "affordable", ran into the thousands. If you're interested in making an enquiry, contact details can be found on the BotObjects website.