There’s so much news coming out on 3D Printing this year, it’s becoming difficult to both cover it all and separate out the wheat from the chaff. With printers being announced every other week, new materials and reports of acquisitions, it’s no surprise that 3D printing is getting the coverage it has. Throughout all of these, there are a few truly innovative products that stand out–Inspired by all who have come before, but innovative nonetheless. The 3Doodler is one exciting new product launched this year. Another is the ProDesk3D from botObjects. They announced the product today and, though we have yet to see a working version, if it works it will change 3D printing forever. Why? It’s a full-color desktop 3D printer that prints using 5-colors of un-adulterated PLA filament. We talked with co-founders Mike Duma (CTO) and Martin Warner (CEO) to find out more about how this machine will work and when it will be available.
Full-color for the Desktop
You’ve seen and heard about full-color 3D prints before. It’s currently done by MCor with paper and by 3D Systems with their powder/binder printer technology acquired from ZCorp. To date there’s not been any plastic PLA/ABS/PVA printers that mix the colored material for a full-color print. They’re doing it with a cartridge system similar to your paper 3D printer, a 5-color PLA cartridge.
The ProDesk3D is the first 3D desktop printer to offer true full color printing – changing the way the creator thinks about what they are printing. Just like normal ink printers, the ProDesk3D uses its proprietary 5-colour PLA cartridge system, capable of mixing primary printing colors to generate the colors of choice for the object you wish to print. This is delivered seamlessly with our software included with the ProDesk3D.
Now, along with a completely new type of print head, they tell us that much of the pain involved in using a 3D printer is eliminated with the ProDesk3D printer. They’ve incorporated a self-leveling print bed and have developed the software from the ground up to be both simple to use and remove the complexity of prepping a part for print. They plan to make the product available to the public in June 2013, with a price point yet to be disclosed, but competitive with the current higher-end desktop printers, like the Makerbot R2 and Formlabs Form 1. A full-color, plastic printing, desktop 3D printer with self-leveling build platform and easy-to-use software–sounds too good to be true, right? We’re hopeful this product is the real deal and we’re looking forward to spinning up those motors when they push the printer out of production.