CES 2015: The Best New 3D Printers Roundup

 Read original story on: GizMag

3D Printers made their splashy debut at last year’s CES and continued to evolve throughout 2014. At this year’s CES, well-established brands like MakerBot and 3D Systems aren’t likely to release any major updates to the flagship desktop machines they debuted last year at CES, but plenty of other companies are coming out with new, improved offerings. Here are some highlights:

Ultimaker, now three years old, expanded beyond its Ultimaker 2 with the Ultimaker 2 Go and Ultimaker 2 Extended.

ROBO also came to CES with an expanded lineup, which now includes the new R2, R MEGA, and R MINI, which will sell for just $399.

Taiwan’s XYZprinting unveiled their $349 da Vinci Junior, which is reportedly much easier to manage than their current da Vinci 1.0 model.

Voxel8, which draws its founding team from Harvard, announced an interesting hybrid machine that prints both plastic and conductive ink. A developer version of the printer will begin shipping in late 2015.

CES 2015 Preview: Nine Areas To Watch

With less than a month to go before CES 2015, rumors are starting to swirl about what products will be shown and which will be this year’s standouts. We’ve started sifting through coverage and will be paying particular attention to the following areas when we attend next month:
  1. Automotive. This is the year the car finally takes over CES. With a record 11 manufacturers present, the convention will feature keynotes from Mercedes chairman Dieter Zetsche and Ford CEO Mark Fields. Everyone’s talking about a new concept car — an autonomous “mobile living room.” Meanwhile, Audi will also announce two “world debuts.” Watch for press events from Chevrolet, Volkswagen, Toyota, and more.
  2. Smart Home. The automated home will have its own marketplace at the Sands, though the entire city will seemingly be dedicated to Smart Home: expect large presentations from Belkin and Philips, and dozens upon dozens of home automation products — including iDevices’ first-ever Homekit-enabled device.
  3. Wearables. LG will reportedly release its successor to the G Watch, which could also incorporate 4G. Breaking into the market for the first time, HTC will debut a not-smartwatch wearable, but no details are out yet; it’s potentially something in the line of a fitness band. Lenovo has a watch on the docket, but we are holding our breath for the not-gonna-be-at-CES Apple Watch.
  4. Smart Garments. Technically a division within “wearables,” but expect the connected clothing market to get interesting, with shirts, jackets, sports bras, and even socks delivering fitness data with embedded sensors.
  5. 3D Printers. Doubling in size from 2014, the dedicated 3D Printing Marketplace will feature over 30 exhibitors stretching over 14,000 square feet. Watch the space for big moves from players like Makerbot and Autodesk, and expect that the crowd-pleasers will host interactive demonstrations just like last year.
  6. Phones. There are many rumors about Xiaomi debuting a Mi5 smartphone as it tries to take on the American market. Expect to hear buzz on LG’s flexible G Flex 2. No Samsung Galaxy S6 this year.
  7. Virtual Reality. With Oculus Rift, Project Morpheus from Sony, and Samsung Gear VR, the augmented reality space is (finally! Really, this time!) set to erupt. Expect to see VR-themed games, apps, and more interesting experiences.
  8. Drones. Expect to see dozens of flying cameras in the dedicated Unmanned Systems Marketplace. GoPro will even debut their own.
  9. Big Shiny Televisions. Finally, the big screens: joining the rapidly expanding, horribly expensive pack of 4K TVs may be LG’s 55-inch 8K display. Codenamed “Mabinogion,” it will have a resolution of 7680×4320 pixels. 

Keep watching ipglab.com as we continue to cover CES 2015.


UPS To Offer 3D-Printing Service Nationwide

Following the success of its 3D-printing pilot program that launched in 6 locations last year, UPS is now expanding 3D-printing service to 100 stores nationwide. With the 3D Printing Industry enjoying a healthy 21% growth last year, it makes sense for UPS to expand their partnership with Stratasys to further capitalize on the growing market, meeting the demands of small businesses and DIY enthusiasts across the States.

NASA To Send 3D Printers Into Space

NASA is reportedly planning to fly a 3D printer into space for the first time. This special 3D printer is made to function in a zero-gravity environment and, if successful, would enable astronauts on the space station to print out needed parts right onboard without waiting for the next resupply mission. Such on-demand capability could revolutionize the constrained space supply chain, further validating the legitimacy of 3D printing.

Partner Spotlight: Cubify

Winner of the Best Emerging Technology award at CES 2013, Cubify is a consumer-friendly 3D printing system that scans, sculpts, and synthesizes any design.

What is the Cubify system?

Cubify’s scanning products are portable and lightweight — there is an iPad accessory model and a freestanding handheld version. Once a 3D scan is completed (and you can scan anything, from objects to people to events), the file uploads to Cubify’s cloud. It can be edited and modified like a traditional image using the company’s suite of modeling apps. The latest app is Cubify Design, which enables professional-grade 3D assembly for $199.

So once the design is ready, what happens next?

The real fun starts with Cubify’s 3D printer, which can print straight from a mobile app or the cloud. There is a basic model, which is geared toward all ages and starts at $1000, and a pro version, which can print in ultra-high resolution in three simultaneous colors (as thin as 70 microns — pretty thin!). There are also higher-end models for professional prints. Cubify’s color system uses 24 colors, two of which glow in the dark.


What’s next for Cubify?

It’s still a bit pricey, but expect the Cubify system to get more affordable as 3D printing becomes commonplace. Cubify is now printing everything from luxury shoes to customized Star Trek figurines. 3D printing is an increasingly exciting space, and IPG Media Lab is looking forward to seeing how the consumer side will develop.

What does this mean for the on-demand economy?

As 3D printing becomes easier and cheaper for the average consumer to use, customers will have near-instant access to goods. Consumers will be able to dream up their own ideas, and print them at home, such as a parent creating and printing a toy for their child by the time they get home from school. Ultimately, brands may be able to market direct to consumers without the need for retailers, completely reinventing the way people shop.

Amazon Introduces Dedicated Web-store For 3D Printed Products

As the need for customizable goods continue to rise, 3D printing is ascending from a niche novelty to one of the hottest trends in tech right now. Now digital retail giant Amazon is hopping in on the hype and introducing a new web store portal specifically dedicated to 3D printed goods. By partnering with a few suppliers including Mixee, Scupteo and 3DLT, Amazon is set to make 3D printed items easily accessible and commercially viable. The market trend in online retail has seen a growing endorsement of direct production and selling, especially suitable for one-offs and small orders, which truly puts each individual customer’s need front and center. And that’s an edge that mass-produced retailers will never have.

A Gut Check For 3D Printing

3D printing is one of the most buzzed about tech developments in the last year. From 3D printing candy to guns, it seems that the possibilities are endless. Yet, a new report titled Consumer 3D Printing & Scanning: Service Models, Devices & Opportunities 2014-2018 estimates sales of consumer 3D printers to not exceed one million units until 2018, up from the roughly 44,000 estimated sales by the end of this year. Like most nascent tech, consumer education and a lower price point will be critical to adoption. While we’ve seen some novel executions from the likes of Hasbro and Hershey’s which let consumers print their own versions of toys and chocolates respectively, more utilitarian use cases will catalyze uptake.

Photoshop Now Supports 3D Printing

Photoshop, one of the most widely-adopted pieces of photo editing software, announced an update today that will support 3D printing. The tool is designed to make it easy for most anyone to edit and print a model. Right now, it’s better suited to putting the finishing touches on an object rather than building it from the ground up, but Photoshop has always been an editing tool at heart, so it’s what users are already accustomed to.

From a more technical standpoint, Photoshop will automatically generate temporary supports under the object to ensure that it won’t fall over while it’s being printed, and it’s partnering with MakerBot and Shapeways to generate real-time previews of how the object will look. It will also adjust the object for the printer that it’s being printed on to get the best possible output. For Shapeways, the made-to-order 3D printing service, there’s a drop-down menu to select Shapeways, and the object will be sent off to be printed in whatever material you select – even solid metal, if you want – and mailed to you thereafter. Photoshop will even estimate how much the service will cost. It’s an even larger indication that 3D printing is slowly working its way into mainstream consciousness – and markets. 

Makerbot Aims To Put A 3D Printer In Every American School

3D printing has been touted (in big block letters, no less) as THE FUTURE (of everything) for some time now, and Makerbot, an American leader in the consumer 3D printing sphere is ready to make the push towards this reality by placing a Makerbot in every school in America.  The effort is being funded by a crowd funding campaign at DonorsChoose.org. Makerbot CEO Bre Pettis calls Makerbot “manufacturing education in a box,” which hints at the greater ambitions of the presently small 3D printing industry.  If Makerbot achieves its goal and places a printer in every school in America, could we be headed for a greater shift, leading to a full industrial revolution that forever changes how we think about making products?

See IPG Lab’s Makerbot in action, currently making a turkey head (’tis the season): http://instagram.com/p/gYGwQBoeYp/