3D Systems was at CES 2013 to showcase their 3D printers, and their online 3D printing ecosystem called Cubify, where you can design your own model, order the object to be 3D printed, which is then shipped to your door.
They have 2 printers that are available for the home market:
- Cube 3D printer ($1,399)
Print size: 140 x 140 x 140 mm / Resolution: 200 microns
- CubeX 3D printer ($2,799 to $4,399)
Print size: 275 mm x 265 mm x 240 mm / Resolution: 125 microns. The CubeX can support 1, 2, or 3 printer heads in order to print objects with multiple colors and/or materials.
Charbax shot a video with the company, and I’ve learnt quite a few interesting things about 3D printing:
- It’s been around for nearly 30 years, but only used by the industry until recently.
- 3D printing takes a lot of time. The small spaceship shown in the picture above takes 5 hours to print, a ring about 40 minutes, (designer) shoes take 7 to 10 hours to print in one of the industrial machines.
- The body of drones are 3D printed, as well as hearing aid, and they produce 65,000 individually customized invisible aligners for teeth every day.
- You can print in more than 3 colors, as 3D systems industrial machines supports up to 390,000 shades of color.
- It does not have to be too expensive, as you can print even without a 3D printer, by sending your design to Cubify. The 3D samurai on the picture on the right (about the size of a hand) costs around $60 to print.
- Business appears to be good.
The 3D printed guitar (Atom 3D) in the video is also pretty interesting, but it costs between $3000 to $4000 depending on the customization options.
Cubify also have a developers’ page that let people monetize 3D printing when people order prints via 2 options:
- AppCreate for modelers – No programming knowledge is necessary, and this piece of software allows designers and modelers to create web apps for 3D printing.
- Cubify API for developers – SOAP interface using OAuth. The company also provides a reference PHP implementation that wraps all of the web calls, as well as a sample HTML app. You need to design an app that creates 3D models, then uses the Cubify API to connect to the Cubify.com platform so that 3D printed creations are printed by Cubify Cloud Printing service and shipped out.