Tag Archives: 3D Printer
Enterprise-Class 3D Printer Prices to Drop Below $2,000 by 2016, Gartner Reports
In a new report. Gartner says early adopters of 3D printing technology will gain an innovation advantage over rivals.
3D printing is disrupting the design, prototyping and manufacturing processes in a wide range of industries, according to Gartner, Inc. Enterprises should start experimenting with 3D printing technology to improve traditional product design and prototyping, with the potential to create new product lines and markets. 3D printing will also become available to consumers via kiosks or print-shop-style services, creating new opportunities for retailers and other businesses.
“3D printing is a technology accelerating to mainstream adoption,” said Pete Basiliere, research director at Gartner. “It is a technology of great interest to the general media, with demonstrations on science shows, on gadget websites and in other areas. From descriptions of exciting current uses in medical, manufacturing and other industries to futuristic ideas — such as using 3D printers on asteroids and the moon to create parts for spacecraft and lunar bases — the hype leads many people to think the technology is some years away when it is available now and is affordable to most enterprises.”
The material science behind 3D printing processes and materials will continue to progress, and affordable 3D printers are lowering the cost of entry into manufacturing in the same way that e-commerce lowered the barriers to the sale of goods and services. As a result, the 3D printer market will continue moving from niche adoption to broad acceptance, driven by lower printer prices, the potential for cost and time savings, greater capabilities, and improved performance that drives benefits and markets.
“Businesses must continuously monitor advances to identify where improvements can be leveraged,” said Mr. Basiliere. “We see 3D printing as a tool for empowerment, already enabling life-changing parts and products to be built in struggling countries, helping rebuild crisis-hit areas and leading to the democratization of manufacturing.”
3D printing is already established in industries ranging from automotive manufacturing to consumer goods to the military, as well as the medical and pharmaceutical industries. Businesses can use 3D printing to design personalized products, components, working prototypes and architectural models to promote their brand and products in new and interactive ways. Indeed, there are opportunities to create entirely new product lines in which the finished 3D-printed product is what the consumer purchases.
3D printers are now priced so that any size business can invest in them and start experimenting with the myriad ways to monetize them. By 2016, enterprise-class 3D printers will be available for under $2,000. Early adopters can experiment with 3D printers with minimal risk of capital or time, possibly gaining an advantage in product design and time to market over their competition, as well as understanding the realistic material costs and time to build parts. Furthermore, enterprise uses for 3D printers have expanded as capabilities of 3D scanners and design tools have advanced, and as the commercial and open-source development of additional design software tools has made 3D printing more practical. Gartner believes that the commercial market for 3D print applications will continue expanding into architectural, engineering, geospatial and medical uses, as well as short-run manufacturing.
Major multinational retailers have the means to market the technology to consumers and generate revenue by selling printers and supplies, as well as from sales of individual 3D-printed pieces. One vision is for the retailers to not only sell the printers, but also offer a service bureau that prints custom items or personalized variations on stock items, a key consumer trend.
Another possibility is for roving display vans to visit the retailer’s stores. Customers would visit these self-contained vans parked in front of the store that contain two or three operating printers and watch parts being made (including possibly their own personalized 3D item). Alternatively, the consumer could order the custom or personalized part to be made while they are shopping, or to be available for pickup the next day.
More detailed analysis is available in the report “How 3D Printing Disrupts Business and Creates New Opportunities.” The report is available on Gartner’s website at http://www.gartner.com/resId=2373415.
Micro 3D printer Nanoscribe is revolutionizing 3D printing on a tiny scale.
Today’s 3D printers can do amazing things, but take a long time to actually create an object – a few hours for an iPhone case and 2,500 hours for a full car. A new desktop 3D printer called Nanoscribe can create complex microstructures incredibly fast – seconds instead of minutes and minutes instead of hours.
Michael Thiel, chief scientific officer at Nanoscribe (a spin-off from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany) recently spoke with MIT Technology Review about his company’s new 3D printing technology and the potential impact on producing medical and electronic devices.
Printing microstructures with features a few hundred nanometers in size could be useful for making heart stents, microneedles for painless shots, gecko adhesives, parts for microfluidics chips, and scaffolds for growing cells and tissue. Another important application could be in the electronics industry, where patterning nanoscale features on chips currently involves slow, expensive techniques. 3D printing would quickly and cheaply yield polymer templates that could be used to make metallic structures.
So far, 3D microprinting has been used only in research laboratories because it’s pretty slow. In fact, many research labs around the world use Nanoscribe’s first-generation printer. The new, faster machine will also find commercial use. Thiel says numerous medical, life sciences, and nanotechnology companies are interested in the new machine. “I’m positive that with the faster throughput we get with this new tool, it might have an industrial breakthrough very soon,” he says.
The technology behind most 3D microprinters is called two-photon polymerization. It involves focusing tiny, ultrashort pulses from a near-infrared laser on a light-sensitive material. The material polymerizes and solidifies at the focused spots. As the laser beam moves in three dimensions, it creates a 3D object.
Today’s printers, including Nanoscribe’s present system, keep the laser beam fixed and move the light-sensitive material along three axes using mechanical stages, which slows down printing. To speed up the process, Nanoscribe’s new tool uses a tiny moving mirror to reflect the laser beam at different angles. Thiel says generating multiple light beams with a microlens array could make the process even faster.
Nanoscribe plans to start selling 3D printers later this year.
The Objet1000 is Objet‘s largest ever 3D printer. With a build platform of 1000 x 800 x 500 mm (39 x 31 x 20 inch), the system enables designers, engineers and manufacturers to quickly and easily create large and very precise models for prototyping parts and products in automotive, defense, aerospace, consumer goods, household appliances and industrial machinery sectors. The system features Objet Connex multi-material technology offering standard and ABS plastic performance, a choice of over 100 materials and the ability to mix up to 14 different materials in a single prototype or model to achieve the true look, feel and function of your intended end product.
3D printer manufacturer Objet Ltd. has announced the release of an accessible, attractively-priced and all-inclusive 3D printing package for schools, colleges, universities and institutes of higher education, called the Objet30 Scholar Package.
Here is the full press release:
“The Objet30 Scholar Package was developed to make Objet’s 3D printing systems and solutions even more accessible to the strategically important education market,” says Gilad Gans, Executive Vice President for Objet. “It provides students and faculties across multiple disciplines – particularly STEM curriculum studies – with increased opportunities to create and prototype advanced design ideas.”
Tailor-made 3D printing solutions for the education market are a strategic objective of Objet. The company’s 3D Printers have been adopted by many of the world’s leading universities and research departments, including Virginia Tech, University of New Orleans, Art Center College of Design, Purdue University, and The Technion.
The package was designed with educators in mind allowing academic institutions to focus on creativity. It includes the Objet30 Scholar professional desktop 3D Printer; two or three year supply of rigid opaque 3D printing materials (Objet RGD240 rigid blue and support material) which Objet will store and deliver on-demand; a desktop Water-Jet system to remove the support material; training for users; maintenance of the 3D Printer; and technical support. Objet30 Scholar customers are also entitled to further discounted 3D printing material re-fill packages.
The Objet30 Scholar provides 28 micron layer accuracy and the material features high-detail visualization for simulating the precise look of standard plastic products. As well as giving students the ability to develop a 3D printing project portfolio, the Objet30 Scholar package provides graduates and post-graduates with valuable knowledge and experience that can help support future design and manufacturing careers in Fortune 500 companies that operate similar professional 3D printing systems.
About the Objet30 Scholar Package
- Ultra-high resolution accuracy, typically 0.1 mm (0.0039 inch)
- Produces models with smooth surfaces, fine details & moving parts
- Suitable for small spaces, offices and desktop operation
- Can be used with all types of 3D CAD software
- Tray Size (X×Y×Z) 300x200x150mm (11.81×7.87×5.9 inches)
- A one-time package for 2 or 3 years
- No material storage headaches
- On-demand materials, delivered when needed
- High resolution 3D printing for simulating the precise look of students’ intended end product
There’s a new open-source 3D printer in town, and its name is Pwdr.
In a change from the technique used by MakerBot 3D printers of extruding plastic onto a platform layer by layer, Pwdr operates like the expensive industrial powder printers. This opens new doors for the consumer 3D printing market.
A whole new range of materials become available for experimenting with open-source rapid-prototyping; for example, when using the 3DP process: gypsum, ceramics, concrete, sugar, etc. And when the SLS process is fully supported, plastic materials like ABS, PP, Nylon and metals become available as building material.A Hewlett Packard inkjet cartridge is used for the deposition of binder. The cartridge can be refilled with custom binders using a syringe. A custom binder of 20% alcohol and 80% water has been proven to work.
The Pwdr Model 0.1 consists of chassis, tool head and electronics. The printer entirely consists of off-the-shelf components. It has a simple design and can be built within a couple of hours. The machine is easy and affordable to build and modify. Building a Pwdr Model 0.1 machine costs about €1000.