3D Printing cos. roll out compact and consumer-friendly models- CES 2014

At the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show the big 3D printing companies, MakerBot, 3D Systems and XYZ Printing came out in force to showcase the awesome of what a novice to professional can do with a 3D printer. For the startups vying for attention in this sector, they were certainly overshadowed and had to fight for their time in the spotlight. The themes of the big three were the same: compact, connectivity, consumer-friendly and affordability.
On Monday, CEO MakerBot Bre Pettis announced their new partnership with SoftKinetic, the release of three new printers, a 3D platform found in all of the printers that provides connectivity and flexibility to the user, new applications and a toy collection.
“We want you to unleash the creative within…it’s about taking physical things and making them digital,” Pettis said.
The main features of the new MakerBots included: eco-filament, connectivity (USB, Ethernet, Wifi), monitoring, camera, ability to share your project on social media, LCD full-color display and intuitive dial and Smart Extruder (snap-on filament cartridge) that sends you alerts if the filament is running out.
At the show, they showcased all three printers, the full color spectrum of filament and some of the cool things they printed.
Read our in-depth coverage of the MakerBot announcement and the new printers here.
3D Systems
If there was any company that put on a show, literally, it was this company. To kick it off, they had a band playing on 3D printed musical equipment-I gotta admit it was pretty bad ass, and I’m now wondering how we can print a guitar for the office. While the band jammed, showgoers oohed and awed about the new handheld scanner iSense and Cube printer.
The new Cube was designed to be family friendly and fit on a countertop. The creation size is 6”x6”x6”, it prints in dual color with an HD resolution ranging from 75 to 200 microns using PLA or ABS plastics. They tout this printer as kid-safe because of the unheated print pad and enclosed nozzle to avoid burns and accidents.

product photo provided by 3D systems

The iSense released in November, is a 3DS consumer scanner for the iPad. This scanner is ideal for physical photography and a really cool way to make a 3D printed full body selfie, or whatever object you prefer. Users can just walk around the object to create a photorealistic copy of the real thing. From here the file processes within seconds to a 3D printable and is powered by intuitive software that allows the user to crop, enhance or adjust the photo.
3D systemi-sense-image-500
The iSense fully integrates with the Cube® family of consumer and prosumer 3D printers and also offers direct upload options to Cubify.com for cloud printing in a range of materials including Ceramix, Aluminix and Clear. iSense will be fully-compatible with apps designed for Occipital’s Structure Sensor. This toy goes for $499 and will be available during second quarter 2014 at Cubify.com and retail stores. Watch how it works below.
Here are some of the really cool printed items from 3D Systems
da Vinci 2.0 & 2.1
From XYZPrinting, the da Vinci 2.0 and 2.1 was rolled out and will be available for shipment later this year. The main focus was the 2.1 printer with the included features: dual nozzles, an enclosed heated chamber, connectivity (Internet, WIFI, USB), iOS and Android application, five-inch LCD color display, collaborative site, a resolution range of 100-400 microns, can print up to 5.9″”x7.8”x7.8” object, and Cloud-based database. The 2.0 is priced at $649 and the 2.1 at $999.
Mulitcolor cats printed from the da Vinci
Mulitcolor cats printed from the da Vinci

Shoutout to the startups
One of the Kickstarter startups was the ROBO 3D company showcasing their R1. This has a $799 sticker price, a 720 cubic-inch build volume, 100 micron resolution capability, the ability to print with multiple materials (ABS, PLA, nylon, laywood), a heated plate, and a cool design.
Learn more about the printers:
3D Systems