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Printers - Consumables

Will.i.am and Coca-Cola Takes on 3D Printer

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Will.i.am and Coca-Cola Takes on 3D Printer

Another contender enters the increasingly crowded consumer 3D printer arena-- this time it's Black Eyed Peas star turned tech entrepreneur Will.i.am and Coca-Cola with the Ekocycle Cube.

The Ekocycle Cube is based on the Cube 3 from 3D Systems, a 3D printer maker counting Will.i.am as CCO. The Coca-Cola involvement comes in the print filament cartridges, which the company says contain around 25% of "post-consumer recycled materials," with an average of around 3 bottles per cartridge.

"We will make it cool to recycle, and we will make it cool to make products using recycled materials," Will.i.am says. "This is the beginning of a more sustainable 3D-printed lifestyle. Waste is only waste if we waste it."

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The New Matter 3D Printer

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The New Matter 3D Printer

It seems a week can't pass by without a story involving an affordable consumer 3D printer, and won't you know it here's another one-- the New Matter MOD-t, a device promising "affordable and easy" 3D printing.

Just launched as an Indiegogo crowdfunding/preorder campaign, the MOD-t differs from similar printers (such as the M3D Micro or MakerBot Replicator Mini Compact) in being a white box holding a motorised print bed, over which a printhead hovers atop a pair of metal rods.

New Matter says this design features "dramatically" fewer parts, allowing for an "ingenious" 2-axis motion system-- essentially the printed moves from side to side while the printhead moves up and down, eliminating the need for a gantry system or elaborate calibration and bringing down production costs.

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MakerBot Ships Compact 3D Printer

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MakerBot Ships Compact 3D Printer

Stratasys subsidiary MakerBot ships a 5th generation 3D printer-- the Replicator Mini Compact, a small (as the name suggests) consumer printer promising easy and affordable 3D printing.

First announced at CES 2014, the printer uses FDM technology and supports STL, OBJ, Thing and MakerBot object files. An on-board camera allows users to monitor 3D printing process (via soon released MakerBot Mobile app), while a Smart Extruder handles actual printing.

"The MakerBot Replicator Mini is one of the first 3D printers to shift from the office to the home," the company says. "We're excited to have the MakerBot Replicator 3D Printing Platform and our Fifth Generation 3D printing technology inspire creativity and innovation in adults and children alike."

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The Mink 3D Printer.. for Makeup

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The Mink 3D Printer.. for Makeup

Outside of mad CES demos the worlds of makeup and printing hardly ever get to meet-- if until now, as self-described "serial inventor" Grace Choi reveals the Mink, a small 3D printer allowing one to create makeup, not cheap plastic doodads.

It might sound more than a bit weird, but Choi has a very sound concept behind the device. You see most, if not all, makeup is made from the same set of basic ingredients, and pricing markups are based on either scale (i.e. common pinks and reds are cheaper than more exotic colours) and branding. Thus Choi suggests customers should simply dump the middleman and mix pigments with powder, cream and other such materials and make their own cosmetics. Smart, no?

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Juniper: Consumer 3D Printer to See "Significant" Growth

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Juniper: Consumer 3D Printer to See

According to Juniper Research global consumer 3D printer sales will exceed 1 million units by 2018-- a long-term yet significant increase over the sales of 44000 units the analyst estimates for 2014.

Driving growth during the period is the entry of established vendors in consumer 3D printing space such as HP, as well as more attractive pricing and a widening scope of applicability.

The established printing vendors are still to "show their cards," but niche and novelty 3D printing applications are on the rise. For example, Hasbro and Hershey are developing unique consumer applications for the technology, while M3D's low-cost Micro printer is something of a Kickstarter success.

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Kickstarting Consumer 3D Printing

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Kickstarting Consumer 3D Printing

Will 3D printing technology truly reach the mass market? M3D believes so as it reveals the Micro, a device it describes as "the most affordable 3D printer that can be used right out of the box."

The Micro is a compact (it weighs 1kg) cube-shaped device promising reliable and low-power 3D printing. It prints objects using PLA and ABS plastics, as well as M3D filament spools, and reportedly prints out a teacup in all of an hour.

Print layer resolution is 50-350 microns, while print area clocks at a maximum of 116 x 109 x 113mm. In other words printed objects are not too large, the printer allows for cheap and cheerful plastic trinkets. M3D also promises user-friendly software allowing users to easily search for, organise and print objects.

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HP to Take on 3D Printers: How Come?

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HP to Take on 3D Printers: How Come?

At the annual HP shareholders meeting CEO Meg Whitman confirms the company is set to enter 3D printing space, with an official reveal to take place on June 2014.

According to Whitman the company solved what she says are the two main problems of the technology-- speed ("it's like watching ice melt" Whitman says) and quality ("the surface of the substrate is not perfect"). HP will initially target market verticals demanding systems for the creation of prototypes and finished products, but will also target service providers for consumers wanting individual print jobs.

Currently 3D printers are the domain of smaller vendors such as 3D Systems and Stratasys, so why would a giant such as HP want to take on the technology? A Canalys market forecast might have the answer. According to the analyst the 2013 global 3D printing market is worth $2.5 billion, and will rise to $3.8bn in 2014 before reaching $16.2bn by 2018.

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The Smallest LG Printer Yet

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The Smallest LG Printer Yet

LG reveals what it claims is one of the smallest mobile printers around at CES 2014-- the Pocket Photo 2.0 (model PD239), a miniature device able to print 5.1 x 7.6cm photos from iOS and Android devices.

The company says the mini-printer is 4mm thinner than the first Pocket Photo model, and uses ZINK technology to print at 313dpi. It connects to mobile device via NFC or Bluetooth after the installation of a free Pocket Photo app.

Users can also embed QR codes in photos for enhanced sharing.

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Conrad Takes on 3D Printing

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Conrad Takes on 3D Printing

German CE retailer Conrad Electronic launches an own 3D printer-- the Renkforce RF1000, a relatively inexpensive model set to be available as either a kit or a complete, ready to use unit.

The printer connects to PCs via USB, and features an SD card slot. It makes use of Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) to print models up to 250x235x175mm in size using ABS, PLA, PVA, EcoPLA, PET, Tauman, Laybrick, Bendlay, Laywood-D3, HIPS and ABS smart materials.

Conrad says the printer is easy to use, and can also mill and engrave in plastic, wood, aluminium and brass via optional replacement components.

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