The Month of May in 3D Printing
Another month is coming to a close so as tradition has it, we provide you with our monthly 3D printing news. It was an interesting month with some fun new 3D printer announcements, the usual amount of Kickstarter projects and loads of fun design challenges. Let’s take a dive into the details…
First, let’s have a look at the new 3D printers that were announced this month. First up was the new FDM (Fused Deposed Modeling) 3D printer by Stratasys called Mojo. It’s one of the 3D printers that looks and acts most like a traditional 2D printer due to its ease of use. Stratasys has vastly simplified several key user interaction points, both in hardware and software and is offering the printer at a cost price of $9,900. Still a bit steep for the individual home user, but an interesting price for small business owners and creatives.
The other noteworthy 3D printer that got announced this month was the Objet30 Pro by Objet. At first glance it really reminded me of its bigger brother the Connex but just smaller. It is the first desktop 3D printer to offer 7 materials off the bat and has a bigger platform than the Mojo by Stratasys, however it also has a much higher price tag: $43,000. The Objet30 Pro will go on sale on June 22nd.
Talking about new 3D printers, it seems that the open-source community keeps on pushing for simpler and cheaper alternatives through continuous crowdfunding projects on website such as Kickstarter. A great example from this month is the Bukobut 3D printer by Diego Porqueras. He promises to deliver an affordable FDM based 3D desktop printer worthy of the next generation of open source 3D printers. His project has done great as it has easily surpassed its goal of $42,000 by more than $125,000! Just that alone makes it more than newsworthy on our list of this month.
Another great example of how to crowdfund an open source 3D printer is that of the B9Creator: a high resolution 3D printer by Michael Joyce. This 3D desktop printer does not use the traditional FDM approach, but instead opts for the use of resins and builds your model upside down. The results are quite impressive and indeed nicely detailed. Again, here you’ll see that Micheal knew what he was doing from the beginning as his project also easily surpassed its target of $50,000 by more than $130,000 and there are still 17 days to go as I write this. Definitely worth a look and if it’s your cup of tea, don’t hesitate to chip in and help this brilliant man to bring a great 3D printer to life.
As the crowdfunding projects continue to proof that a good concept often secures great future business opportunities, so do creative individuals who launch new 3D printing opportunities like Makielab. Makielab is basically a great website where you can customize your own Makie (a customizable doll that you can dress as well) and get it 3D printed and shipped to your home. Great concept and great results as well! It’s definitely worth a look on their website.
Now that we’ve had a look at what the smaller businesses have been up to, let’s cross the road and look what the big one have been up to. First up is 3D Systems… Yes, you have guessed it… another acquisition! This time it’s FreshFiber: a leading 3D printed consumer electronics accessories brand sold on-line and in retail stores. Over the past two years, FreshFiber grew its product offering and presence globally through high-end retail stores like Apple, FNAC and Gravis. Good investment? Only time will tell.
And to keep the tradition going, 3D systems also decided to acquire Bespoke Innovations as revealed today. This makes you wonder if they will repeat last year’s acquisition spree or maybe they’ll break their own record?
Another company that seems to be doing great is our friend Bre Pettis‘ Makerbot. The word is that their “Botcave” as they call it is no longer big enough to house the 125 employees. So Bre decided to give his team some nice new space to play around in. The result is the entire 21st floor at One Metro Tech, which is over 31,000 square feet. Great success = great expansion and Makerbot is clearly do just that. Congrats guys!
Then for you sci-fi fans out there, there was a nice surprise from non other Disney. They now offer “carbon freeze me” 3D printed figurines to their customers. Nothing says “I love Star Wars” like a sculpture of yourself being frozen like the legendary Han Solo. Go ahead and check what the fuzz is all about!
We also found a great article about behind the scenes movie magic with 3D printing at the center of it. It gives a great describing of how Laika used 3D color printers to create magnificent stop-motion animations. It’s maybe not massive news, but it’s a hell of a great article to read that we found this month!
And then of course… this month would not be complete without the countless design challenges that we saw going round. With the Storybook Character and Mookum Challenge behind us, we immediately saw more wonderful design challenges pop up. 3D Tin organized a great open design challenge, while Tinkercad dedicated a challenge to father’s day on their Facebook account. Both Challenges have awesome rewards and we would strongly suggest that you have a look and give them both a shot. Hurry though because both challenges are coming to an end soon.
And that’s about it for this month. Please keep your eyes open as i.materialise has something really fun lined up for you for the month of June! Want to know more about it? Subscribe to our newsletter (scroll to bottom of link to subscribe) to get the exclusive reveal before it hits our blog!
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