Smart 3D Printers

by March 16, 2015 0 comments

Printers that can print food, dress prototypes, edible sculptures, etc and are accessible over cloud or from mobile devices are completely re-defining the future of printing. Here’s a closer look at the available devices

 Additive manufacturing now a days has become one of the fastest-growing printing processes that helps virtually make an object appear, generating successive layers of material to create a three-dimensional product. 3D printers are widely used for building prototypes for the medical, aerospace, engineering and automotive industries.

 Airwolf 3D HD-R

It is a printer for professionals who want dual head printing compatibilities and at the same time is fully integrated into the cloud through a WiFi interface and a software control system that can be run from tablets, phones, or computers. It also has file storage and management capabilities, and multi-unit control via its intuitive integrated software based on the AstroPrint 3D Printing platform. The printer can print dresses and several accessories and can be widely used in cloth prototype manufacturing and can print from more than 25 materials. The HD-R is available at retail price of $4595. It offers high resolution 3D printing, can print with 2 materials/ 2 colors on cloud with objects up to 11x8x12 inches in size.





Developed by 3D Systems, ChefJet and ChefJet Pro can create stunning and tasty decorations, edible sculptures and confections of all shapes and size and also bride and groom models with detailed faces and clothing. The Chefjet has a build volume of 8”x8”x6” and can only print in black and white whereas Chefjet Pro adds food coloring inkjet head and can print in similar or bigger shapes as Chefjet and has a build volume of 10”x14”x8”. Both the printers use a combination of sugar and water and then apply additive manufacturing process that creates a sugar frosting layer by layer in real time that later turns into a 3D object.

 They are also powered by Digital Cookbook, an easy to use Chefjet software that’s organized according to food types. So, if you’re working on a wedding cake, there’s a cake section or if you like to make sugar cubes or candy, there’s a section for that, too. Thus, culinary artists of all kinds can create stunning and tasty decorations, edible sculptures and confections of all shapes and sizes. Perfect for the professional baker, pastry chef, mixologist and restaurateur, these printers will enable the creation of custom edible geometries for every cake, cocktail and celebration. It is expected to be available from second half of this year.




Ekocycle Cube

This innovative 3D printer recycles what you use, so you can remake into new, meaningful, beautiful and better things. It has a build envelope of 6”x6”x6” and can print with 70-micron resolution and features auto-levelling, jet filament (either PLA or ABS) and a built-in colored touchscreen user interface. The printer processes PET plastic filament from discarded plastic bottles using Plastic Jet Printing technology. PJP is a solid-based prototyping method that extrudes material and builds model, layer by layer using additive process that rapidly renders complex geometries to the object being developed. The build material, a production quality thermoplastic, is melted and then extruded through a specially designed head onto a platform to create a cross section of the model. The cross section quickly solidifies, and the platform descends where the next layer is extruded upon the previous layer. This continues until the model is complete, where it is then removed from the build chamber and cleaned.

The printer also comes with Cubify app for iOS and Android to print directly from smart phones. The printer can be extensively used in creating toys, consumer goods, carrying cases for electronic devices etc. The printer is priced at $1149 and will be available later this year.


ekocycle cube


Voxel 8 Electronic 3D Printer

Many 3D printers print only components that can later be assembled, wired with electronic circuits, chips. Voxel 8 fills that gap in printing and assembling and can print both components fused with circuits. It uses Fused Filament Fabrication(FFF) and also comes with integrated AutoDesk software which allows for making designs of electronic parts to be directly induced during printing. FFF works on an additive manufacturing by laying down material in layers. A plastic filament or metal wire is unwound from a coil and supplies material to produce a part. It has a build volume of 4”x6”x4”, layer resolution of 200 microns and is capable of printing from two materials PLA and conducted silver ink, with the PLA stored in the base of the printer and the ink located directly in the printhead itself.

When it’s time for a chip or other electronic component such as an LED or a sensor to be fused within an object, the printer stops printing and allows for the removal of the build tray, and lets a person place the component into the printed object. Once placed, the print job will resume. The printer costs around $9000 and will be available later this year. The printer can be widely used in electronic manufacturing industry and is more geared towards engineers and advanced makers to rapidly build 3D antennas, electromagnetic coils and other cool embedded electronics. Also with this technology, you are no longer limited to planar PCBs design and now you can design the electronics to fit your part, rather than designing the part around the electronics.


voxel 8


 MCOR IRIS True Color

The Mcor IRIS can turn regular printer paper, one sheet at a time, into color 3D objects. The printer is based on Selective Deposition Lamination (SDL) technology that cuts, presses and glues paper together while coloring them to make 3D parts. All you need to do is import the file and position your model. The software takes care of slicing the model into printable layers. The selective method selects the area where adhesive needs to be applied. Deposition refers to the method of applying the adhesive in droplets onto a sheet of ordinary paper following the cutting of the profile of the part in that sheet resulting in bonding the sheets of paper. Lamination describes the process of building up successive layers of a substance and bonding them to form a durable finished product.

For color printing, it includes International Color Consortium (ICC) color map, having 1+ million colors and has a 5760x1440x508dpi resolution delivering accurate, consistent, rich, realistic color from part to part, screen to part, as well as on undercuts and sidewalls. Since it uses normal paper to produce 3D model, therefore it is cost effective and is accessible for all types of users whether engineering, education, medical or other commercial sectors. The MCOR IRIS is very expensive, costing around $54000. Though a monochrome model that costs $34000 is also available.

mcor iris true color



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