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Printers - Consumables

Gartner: 2016 3D Printer Shipments to Reach 460000

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Gartner: 2016 3D Printer Shipments to Reach 460000

Gartner predicts rapid near future growth for the 3D printer market with 2016 shipments reaching 496475 units, a 105% increase over the 244533 units forecast to ship in 2015.

Such growth will continue over the next few years, as the analyst says shipments will "more than double" every year between 2016 and 2019 before global shipments grow to over 5.6 million.

"Rapid quality and performance innovations across all 3D printer technologies are driving both enterprise and consumer demand, with unit shipment growth rates for 3D printers increasing significantly," Gartner says. "The 3D printer market is continuing its transformation from a niche market to broad-based, global market of enterprises and consumers."

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What You Need to Know About 3D Printing

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What You Need to Know About 3D Printing

HP is in. Microsoft and Intel, too. Ingram Micro, Tech Data, ABC Data and other distributors have opened Business Units or appointed product managers. Best Buy, WalMart, Media Markt, Staples, Synaxon and even Cool Blue are selling it at retail. Not to mention companies like Verbatim selling "filament" to print in 3D like they did for the PC with diskettes and CDs.

3D printing is IT's Next Big Thing. There are 3D scanners that attach to an iPad... applications that link to HP Sprout,  Oculus Rift and Augmented Reality...service bureaus and even clouds where you find 3D printing-as-a service. And a number of e-commerce platforms that sell or give away content, fighting to be the iTunes of 3D printing.

While the song may be different, many in IT will recognize the tune and dance to the beat.

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MIT 3D Prints With Up to 10 Materials At Once

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MIT 3D Prints With Up to 10 Materials At Once

MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) researchers present the MultiFab-- a 3D printer able to print objects using up to 10 materials, as well incorporate other, finished objects into the design.

"Multi-material" 3D printers already exist, if in the shape of industrial machines able to print able to use up to 3 materials at a time. The Multifab claims to be superior to such devices through the use of 3D scanning and machine vision technologies.

As CSAIL put it, the MultiFab constantly receives feedback from a 40-micron 3D scanner and a camera array while printing, allowing it to adjust and re-calibrate materials and the printing process on the fly. The scanning also allows the incorporation of finished objects, such as circuits and sensors, in the printed object.

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An End to Ink Cartridges With EcoTank?

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An End to Ink Cartridges With EcoTank?

Epson suggests an alternative to ink cartridges-- the EcoTank, a range of printers featuring permanent mechanical printheads and a built-in user-refillable tank holding enough ink for around 2 years of printing.

Currently vendors sell printers at a loss, instead making profits through cartridge sales. The EcoTank concept upturns such reasoning, since it involves higher upfront purchase prices and lower replacement ink costs. Refills come in the shape of bottles allowing users to literally squirt ink into the appropriate tanks.

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Context: W. Europe 2nd Biggest 3D Printer Market

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Context: W. Europe 2nd Biggest 3D Printer Market

According to Context W. Europe is the 2nd largest market for desktop 3D printers (priced under $5000), capturing 20% of of global Q1 2015 shipments growing by 114% Y-o-Y as more brands enter the 3D printing arena.

The top 5 global vendors according to the analyst are XYZPrinting (Da Vinci), 3D Systems (Cube/Cubify), M3D (Micro), Stratasys (MakerBot) and Ultimaker.

The market leaders see "good" Y-o-Y gains, even as Stratasys and the MakerBot brand struggle. Further boosting shipments during the quarters is the successful M3D Kickstarter campaign for The Micro, a 3D printer initially offered back in 2014 for $299.

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Ingram Micro Opens Euro 3D Printing Division

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Ingram Micro Opens Euro 3D Printing Division

Ingram Micro commits itself to the 3D printing market as it opens a European 3D printing and scanning division and plans to provide resellers with support and training via new European center of competence.

Leading the division is Rudolf Ehrmanntraut, senior manager of 3D printing and scanning for Europe.

"We have seen a frenzy of activity in the 3D printing and scanning space in Europe, with our resellers making it clear that they are looking to enter or expand in this fast-growing market," Ehrmanntraut says. "We are pleased we are able to provide resellers with the needed support to get them fully operational in offering 3D printing and scanning products and support services-- going much further than just providing hardware."

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A Colour Palette for 3D Printers

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A Colour Palette for 3D Printers

Customers appear to approve of low-cost 3D printers, but such devices can create objects in only one colour. Enter the Palette, an add-on accessory allowing single-extruder 3D printers to print in up to 4 colours.

The idea behind the Palette is fairly simple-- it combines 4 different 1.75mm filaments into a single filament output. It also calculates and cuts filaments according to the design, ensuring every colour appears exactly where it should.

Interestingly the device even handles different filament materials, allowing the use of non-plastic filaments such as conductive, carbon fibre infused, stainless steel infused and woodfill.

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Canalys: "Substantial" Growth for 3D Printers

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Canalys:

Global 3D printer shipments reach "nearly" 133000 units in 2014, Canalys reports-- a "substantial" 68% increase over 2013, with revenues from both printers and associated materials and services growing by 34% to $3.3 billion.

$1bn of such revenues were made in Q4 2014 alone, a quarterly first according to Canalys, while global shipments during the quarter reached 41000 with 24% Q-o-Q growth.

EMEA comes second in terms of market share, as it accounts for 31% 2014 share. On top are the Americas with 42% share, while APAC accounts for 27%.

"We’ve seen the 3D printing industry go from strength to strength in 2014," the analyst says. "As we expected, the holiday season saw the most significant growth, particularly in the consumer segment, with many users buying their first 3D printer. A combination of falling prices, a wider range of technologies on offer and improved printing speeds helped fuel this demand."

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3D Printing, Terminator 2-Style

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3D Printing, Terminator 2-Style

Remember the T-1000 from Terminator 2, the villainous robot able to form itself from liquid metal? Mystery startup Carbon3D emerges from stealth mode to reveal a 3D printing technology inspired by that same sequence.

The technology, dubbed Continuous Liquid Interface Production (CLIP), is stunning to simply to look at-- an arm extracts objects, seemingly fully formed, straight out of a puddle of colourful goo. How does it do it? While regular 3D printers build objects layer-by-layer, CLIP uses light and oxygen to "cure" a photosensitive liquid resin, thus creating objects in a "true" 3D manner.

Essentially, light cures the resin while oxygen keeps it from going solid. A transparent and permeable window controls the exact amount light and oxygen the resin comes in contact with, creating "dead zones" through which printer produces cross sectional images of the object in question.

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