Staples announced that it has become the first major retailer in the United States to sell 3D printers. Those of you who have become interested in getting your very own 3D printer won’t have to wait too much longer to purchase one from Staples.
Staples will begin offering a limited number of The Cube 3D Printer from 3D Systems by the end of June of this year. The Staples website has the price set at $1,299.99. It comes in five different colors: magenta, blue, green, silver, and white. The announcement includes the following details about the 3D printer:
The Cube 3D Printer, ready to use right out of the box, features Wi-Fi, is compatible with Mac or Windows, and comes with 25 free 3D templates designed by professional artists, with additional templates available online.
…The Cube 3D Printer can print items up to 5.5” x 5.5” x 5.5”, using material cartridges in 16 different colors including metallic silver, glow in the dark, and vibrant and neutral colors. Users can either print from a template or create a design using Cube’s own software, Cubify Invent, sold separately. Staples makes printing with the Cube easy, by offering all of the essential accessories, including recyclable ABS and compostable PLA plastic cartridge refills, replenishment Cube Sticks, which are used to stabilize the object being printed, and replacement Cube Print Pads.
Formlabs is introducing a 3D printer for the pro-consumer market. Unlike most consumer 3D printers this printer uses Stereolithography. The process uses Formlabs resin which is cured by UV laser. The laser traces out a cross-section which then hardens and each layer is built upon the lower layer. The item is printed upside down, so if you are printing the Eiffel Tower the base is printed first. Most other 3D printers use the plastic extrusion method, where plastic is melted and formed, which is less accurate. Stereolithography allows precise details to be printed. Each layer is about 25 micro thick and you can print about 1.5 centimeters per hour on average.
The Formlabs 1 software works with an STL file from any CAD package. The program allows you to rotate, scale and move parts around. You can print multiple pieces at once from different models. The Form1 printer is available for preorder for $3299, which includes the printer, the software, one liter of grey resin and a finishing kit.
Interview by Andy McCaskey of SDR News and RV News Net.
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