CES is already blowing things up this week, and it’s only Tuesday! Newly announced just yesterday are four brand new ways to print in 3D, and we can’t wait to start trying these new gadgets and systems. If you’re new to the world of 3D printing, be sure to check out our 3D printing archive for stories about all the awesome things you can do, including a handful of 3D printed projects created right here at Brit HQ. Now, onto the new stuff!
First up, we’re swooning hard over MakerBot’s new 3D Ecosystem. The main star here is the suite of MakerBot Apps, which provide new ways to connect with your MakerBot machine. From your desktop computer to mobile devices, these apps make your 3D printing creation process totally seamless, and work across multiple platforms. The MakerBot Desktop keeps all of your projects organized in a library, lets you monitor and control your prints even if you’re not right next to your printer, and lets you preview your 3D prints based on your actual printer.
MakerBot Mobile is our favorite part of this ecosystem, for sure. It’s a free mobile app that gives you the power to monitor and control any 5th Generation MakerBot Replicator and access everything from MakerBot right from your mobile device. We love the idea that you could be out for lunch, monitoring your 3D printing project right from your phone. You can easily reprint files based on history, you can watch, pause, cancel, or even swap filament. It’s great for days when you need to crank out of a ton of 3D printed objects, but can’t babysit the printer all day long.
And the final piece of the ecosystem, MakerBot PrintShop! This simple app is a fun, easy, and free way to create and 3D print all sorts of things. The thing we’re digging most is the TypeMaker, which lets you print out signs, letters, name plates, and more.
Of course, you’ll need some printers to work with this whole ecosystem, right? MakerBot’s class of 2014 introduces us to the 5th generation of MakerBot 3D Printers. The one we’ve got our eyes on is definitely the MakerBot Replicator Mini, available for just $1,375. (And don’t question our use of “just” there — it’s actually quite reasonable in the world of 3D!) It’s powered by the new replicator platform, making it a breeze to use and is awesome for creating high resolution prototypes before graduating to a larger printer. It also features an on-board camera, so you can easily monitor prints and share projects to social networks. How cool is that?
Next up, we’ve got the latest printer from the folks at 3D Systems. Cube3 boasts more than 20 colors and dual-color jetted mashables, meaning your possibilities for color are more limitless than before. The touchscreen is ready for wireless printing, and claims to be 2x faster than other printers. What we’re into is that it is kid-friendly. Using a Cube is super straightforward, and the surfaces don’t become so hot that they could hurt a curious kiddo. And they’re on the mobile printing ticket too! The Cubify app (available on iOS, Android, and Windows) lets you print on-the-go. Love it.
And finally, we’ve got 3D tech powered by Intel. There’s a lot here, and we have to give props to Venture Beat for boiling at all down to a few key innovations. First up, a hybrid laptop-tablet with a built-in 3D scanner on the back. This scanner is Intel’s RealSense 3D Camera, which involves multiple sensors and lets you scan 3D objects into virtual ones.
Next up, 3D glasses that work with the screen of said laptop-tablet, letting you model onscreen using hand gestures in the space in front of the screen. That’s right — gestural 3D modeling. What the what?! The next use for the 3D camera naturally turns to gaming. You can play games in 3D involving both real objects and virtual ones, which seems like something straight out of Weird Science.
Finally, Intel showed how a 3D camera could be used to project 3-dimensional images in space — of course, they chose to superimpose a flying whale from the book Leviathan over the auditorium. Boom.
And we’re sure CES isn’t finished serving up new 3D printing innovations — stay tuned for coverage all week long here on Brit.co.
What do you think of this latest batch of innovations? Talk to us in the comments below.