Two new 3d printers have caught my eye.
First the Mcor Matrix from Mcor Technologies which uniquely uses plain old A4 paper as the medium. A special knife cuts each sheet and then the layers are glued together with a PVC variant. The paper makes the models 50 times cheaper than the nearest polymer rival. The resolution is the thickness of the paper – so about 0.1 mm which again is finer than some of the Zcorp machines. The models produced have a wood carved look, and are monotone – or striped as shown above using colored paper, but can be easily painted. The company is from Ireland and very friendly. The machine is out of my price range (about 24000 Euros) but I will be trying out one of the recommended print bureaus:
- The Royal College of Art has the Matrix and they provide a bureau service through Rapidform
- 3D Worknet also have the Matrix and they provide a bureau service
Secondly there have been a rash of build it yourself rapid prototyping machines in the last few years but one called Personal Portable 3d printer (PP3DP) is a little different. This one from Japan has all of its mechanisms hidden away in metal casing, rather than the usual skeletal rod aesthetic. The photo shows how small and tidy the machine is. The cost is a little more than the build it yourself machines at about £2000. The quality of the models is comparable to the other DIY machines at about 0.35mm resolution – you can see the spool of ABS plastic hanging off the machine.