Voxel8 has created the world’s first 3-D electronics printer from the ground up. Novel conductive materials and 3-D printing technology from the Lewis Research Group at Harvard University. New software crafted for the Voxel8 printer called Project Wire by Autodesk.
Advancements in 3D printing technology have given consumers access to what is being hailed as the world’s number one 3D printer, but it appears as if even the world’s best is falling short when it comes to capturing small details.
Many people have never even seen a 3D printer before, but the new device has been steadily growing in popularity over the past few years.
When it comes to real life consumers, however, having great potential just isn’t enough.
The latest front-runner in the world of proprietary 3D printers is XYZ Printing’s da Vinci 1.0 AiO.
The 3-in-1 desktop printer is compatible with Windows XP, Windows 7 and higher and Mac OSX 10.7, 10.8 and 10.9.
It is complete with a full ABS 3D printing system and a laser 3D scanner.
After placing your object of choice inside the printer, a turntable will rotate the item and allow it to be scanned by a laser.
That laser will be quickly gathering information about the object and use the data regarding contours, size and shape to create a nearly identical copy.
The key word here is “nearly.”
Even with today’s technology it is still difficult to get an exact copy of the object you’re scanning.
Many of the smaller details are lost in the replicas and even this printer hasn’t found a way around the tricky task of scanning shiny objects with a laser.
For now, it is recommended that consumers avoid shiny objects as a whole when they’re playing around with their new printer.
Tech Crunch ran a few tests on the printer and, while the results were impressive, they also served as a reminder that the 3D printing world still has a ways to go.
The copy of a small lion statue resembled what the original statue might look like if it were left out in the hot sun too long.
While the main composition and shape of the copy passed the test, details of the lion’s face and around his head seemed to be lost and meshed together.
The results of copying a small gargoyle head was still more impressive than what most home 3D printers will offer but still failed to hold its own when placed next to the original figure.
It’s also been made clear that the printer won’t pick up engraved writing very well.
Smaller details aside, the printer is certainly at the forefront when compared to other devices in the same category, but it also comes with a catch.
While many 3D printers allow users to refill the filament on their own, the AiO won’t allow for such a thing.
The printer uses a special cartridge, Tech Crunch revealed, but refilling the cartridge will still only cost around $30.
Further generations of 3D printers certainly will continue to enhance and improve the detail of the copies that are created, but anyone who is eager to get their hands on one now can purchase an AiO for about $800.