Awesome Stuff: 3D Printing And Scanning Keeps Advancing
from the on-and-on-and-on dept
But on to this week's offerings. It really was just a little less than four months ago that we had an awesome stuff post about 3D printing, marveling at how quickly the space had advanced (and gotten cheaper). And it seems like in just that short period of time there's been some continued movement in the 3D printing and 3D scanning world. There are so many 3D printing and 3D scanning projects going on right now, so let's point out a few.
- First up is the somewhat astounding Structure Sensor device, designed to turn your mobile device into a full 3D scanner. The video is slick, but if the device can do what it shows it's really quite impressive. From simple scanning of rooms or items and turning them immediately into 3D models to playing augmented reality game that really takes advantage of where you are, something like this seems to have a ton of potential, all hooked up to your mobile device. Watch the video and get inspired.
- As you'll see below, there are a ton of 3D printers out there, each one emphasizing different features. It can get a little difficult to stand out from the crowd. However, the Peachy 3D Printer and Scanner caught my attention. First off, it's $100. Yes. $100. The current "floor" for low end 3D printers has been around $400, so if this guy can really do $100 3D printers, that's very interesting. But perhaps even more interesting is that when you watch the video, you realize that he's not building yet another 3D printer by riffing off the way everyone else tries to do it, but he really rethought how a 3D printer could be built. It doesn't look like most other 3D printers, and doesn't appear to really work in the same way as other 3D printers. The fact that he built his first prototype almost entirely with "objects around the house" is kind of crazy. That said, it's pretty clear that this project is very early. The output quality of the Peachy Printer is clearly much, much lower than most other 3D printers on the market. So there's an element of "you get what you pay for" going on here. But, still, it's inspiring to see this attempt to just rethink how a 3D printer could work (and how it could be pretty cheap).
- Next up, we've got the 3Dsimo, which is a 3D printer "pen." You may remember the 3Doodler, which was one of the most successful projects on Kickstarter from earlier this year (raising $2.3 million). The 3Dsimo looks like a fairly similar offering, though it seems to be getting almost no attention at all. These extruder pens are a little different than a true "3D printer" but I'm expecting the market for these to develop separately as well, as people realize how handy it can be to "freehand" create a 3D object.
- There are so many other 3D printers and scanners currently in the midst of crowdfunding projects. So rather than doing the typical "deep dive," I figured I'd do some quick hits on a bunch of them:
- Zim: a dual head WiFi 3D printer, that has a really nice compact design, with a focus on being easy to use. Priced at the lower end (different models, all well under $1,000). You can remote control it from your smartphone, which is cool, complete with a camera so you can see how the printing is going even if you're not there.
- Phoenix 3D Printer: a more traditional 3D printer, hitting that "sweet spot" on the low end of $400. This one looks like a ton of other 3D printers, but they claim that the software is a lot nicer, though it's a bit tough to tell.
- Lionhead 3D printer and scanner. These guys also talk up their software, and the printer is definitely a higher end printer, with 3 or 8 print heads, designed for ease of use and to look nice... but with a much higher price point. This is definitely more in the tradition of premium 3D printers.
- gMax 3D Printer. A traditional looking 3D printer, priced slightly over $1,000, the focus here is on being able to print big things. So if you think you'll be needing to print larger items, this one may be worth checking out.
- ZEUS, which they claim is the "first" 3D printer/copy machine, but since some of the other projects in this very list do that too, this claim is a bit suspect. This is also a premium priced offering, between $2,000 and $2,500. The device itself is nicely designed, complete with a 7-inch touch screen. Of all the 3D printers, this one has more of a "consumer ready" feel, but not exactly a consumer-ready price.
- On the 3D scanner side, I'll point to both the Dimbody and the Rubicon, which offer fairly similar products, though at first glance they're much more limited than the Structure Sensor above.
And... that's it for this extra long awesome stuff. Maybe in a few months we'll revisit the 3D printing and scanning space again to see just how rapidly it continues to innovate, advance and change.