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$499 3-D Printer Drew Plenty of Attention at CES (Video) 155

Posted by Roblimo
from the next-year-maybe-we'll-have-4-dimensional-printing dept.
3-D printing is far from new, but a $499 3-D printer is new enough to get a bunch of people to write about it, including someone whose headline read, CES 2014: Could 3D printing change the world? XYZPrinting, the company behind the da Vinci 1.0 printer, has some happy-looking executives in the wake of CES. They won an award, and their booth got lots of attention. This is what trade shows are all about for small and/or new companies. Now the XYZprinting people can go home and pump out some product -- assuming they got a lot of orders (and not just attention) at CES.

Timothy:Gary, could you go ahead and introduce yourself please?

Gary:Okay. Thanks Timothy. It is a very nice to have this opportunity to introduce Da Vinci 1.0 from XYZprinting. I think the key point that I want to talk about this printer is not just its amazing price which we offer to the market at $499, but also the printer features itself. We have no less, any less features than most of the current benchmarking products in the market. We have a larger build size, we have superb quality.

Timothy:How big is that build size?

Gary:It is 7.8 inch x 7.8 inch x 7.8 inch. So it is a fairly large build size. Also, if you can find the quality, it is also superb. But the most important is I think to bring up two points. One is the ease of use, the easy user interface. We try to manipulate the typical 2-D printers, the laser printers, plug and play kind of thing, you don’t have to do any kind of assembly or complicated setup for the printer, so just plug in USB cable, you can press print and do 3-D printing. On the other hand, there are lots of safety features for home users. So we try to put the entire package into an enclosure, so you don’t get burnt you don’t get into any kind of difficulties from the printing operations. So safety is one of our biggest concerns for the typical consumers. So again, to bring the price down, and we can do it better than anyone else, and then also, we have a nice quality ease of use and safety features for the product itself.

Timothy:Talk about the filament that you use.

Gary:Yes. It is a typical ABS filament, and also later on we will have PLA in a couple of months’ time.It is like cassette loading, very easy loading. So you buy the filaments from us, it is USD 28 for a 600 gm pack.

Timothy:Now the build platform here, is that motorized?

Gary:Yes it is.

Timothy:Is it heated?

Gary:Yes it is heated.Actually two main heating elements, one is the print head or the nozzle, another one is the print bed, so just to try to make the print quality well.So the heated bed is actually one of the features for us to make sure the quality is outstanding.

Timothy:What sort of files does it work with?

Gary:Standard STL files, you can grab from our own website or from any lots of database websites you can get, and also we have our own dedicated proprietary file formats you can transfer from a standard STL file to our proprietary formats. For printing files from files for proprietary formats, you can reserve or you can save to some dedicated configuration in order to get an optimized printer outcome.

Timothy:Can you show me how does data actually get into the printer here? It is an USB port or do you have SD slot?

Gary:Okay, from computer. So we have a lot of software all you need to have is a standard STL file downloaded from the web, and then just open the file from using our softwares and there are some easy configurations_____14:42and you just press print button.

Timothy:So it is a USB connection?

Gary:That’s right. Through a computer.

Timothy:Can we see the back?

Gary:Sorry?

Timothy:Can we see the back of the machine?

Gary:The back of the machine? Well, actually another cool thing is there is nothing at the back. Because the entire operation is within the enclosure. So the filament installation is inside the machine itself. So it is very easy to use. You might see the printer size is not that small but because we have a higher enclosure inside the machine, so the entire movement is inside the machine during operations. So that’s why the printer size looks a little bit big, but in terms of the operation size we are not bigger than anyone else.

Timothy:Now what about availability? Is it shipping right now?

Gary:Okay, it will be available in about a month and a half’s time, it should be available somewhere by the beginning of March.

Timothy:And is that worldwide?

Gary:Well, some parts of the world it is already available such as Taiwan and China. But for US market, we will available, people will be able to get the product on online channels from early March.

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$499 3-D Printer Drew Plenty of Attention at CES (Video)

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  • Yeah yeah (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NaughtyNimitz (763264) on Monday January 27, 2014 @01:45PM (#46082347)

    But what will the cartridges cost? And will they 'expire' each time I unwrap and insert one?

    ("Nudge nudge, wink wink HP?")

    • Re:Yeah yeah (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mark-t (151149) <[markt] [at] [lynx.bc.ca]> on Monday January 27, 2014 @02:09PM (#46082685) Journal

      Inkjet cartridges expire so quickly after being opened because they contain ink... which is wet, and evaporates, leaving dry residue in the compartment which cannot be used.

      You will save money in the long run in printing costs if you just buy a laser printer, because toner is dry, and does not evaporate from the container. The cartridges are more expensive, but you will buy them so much less frequently that you will actually save a lot of money in the end.

      • by PRMan (959735)
        This is true. We got a color laser and used the cartridges that came with the printer for over 2 years (a full year after it started complaining about being empty).
        • by mlts (1038732)

          I still have a color laser that I bought in '06 for around $75 when a local Office Depot moved. It still sits on the network for the occasional time I need to print out a decent photo in full color, still on its "starter" cartridges...

          Yes, replacing the cartridges would be $350 or so... but for ~1000 or so color pages? Worth it. If I get ten full color photos from a $50 inkjet cartridge pair, I'm lucky.

      • Well, and plastic filament absorbs water quite fast, so they have all the excuse they want for expiring it.

      • I've been using the same inkjet cartridges for over a year now (I rarely print things), still works. They don't dry up that quickly.
        • by mark-t (151149)
          Consider yourself lucky... your situation is not unheard of, but for every person such as you there are hundreds of others who are finding that inkjet cartridges will need replacing almost every other month. HP, Canon, Epson, Brother, Dell, Lexmark... it doesn't matter what the brand name is. All of them frequently carry the exact same problems with ink drying out.
      • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

        Inkjet cartridges expire so quickly after being opened because they contain ink... which is wet, and evaporates, leaving dry residue in the compartment which cannot be used.

        While that may be true, it is not why inkjet cartridges expire so quickly (after all most printers park the head, effectively minimizing exposure to air). No, the real reason they don't last long is because manufacturers don't put much ink in them. Most cartridges could hold two to three times the stated ink levels.

        • by mark-t (151149)
          If that were the case, you would not get such a vast difference in number of pages printable with a cartridge the faster you use it after opening it. If you are printing only very occasionally, you will be printing noticeably fewer pages with it overall than if you had printed everything over a much shorter period. If your printer has been idle for even a week, you will probably need to clean the print heads just to get respectable quality... an action which all by itself uses between 10 and 20 typical
      • If unusued for a week or two, my Brother printer will exercise the ink cartridge briefly to prevent it from blocking. Yes, this does involve using up a bit of the ink. I had our brother printer sit unusued for a year, plugged in, turned on (just in case we needed it -- but we happened to be in a phase of our lives where we didn't for a long time). I noticed that the ink level would go down slowly even when unused.

        Compare that to my old HP inkjet. Sat unusued for a season or so, and then the ink cartridg

      • Inkjet cartridges expire so quickly after being opened because they contain ink... which is wet, and evaporates, leaving dry residue in the compartment which cannot be used.

        BS. Back in the 90's I used the same ink cartridge in an old deskjet for something like a year or two and it worked just fine; it eventually ran out of ink and had to be replaced. I live in a state where it gets extremely dry during the winters. No issues.

        We have a giant plotter-size inkjet at work that hadn't been used in 3 years.

    • Re:Yeah yeah (Score:5, Insightful)

      by CastrTroy (595695) on Monday January 27, 2014 @02:27PM (#46082955) Homepage
      Same thoughts about why I don't own a color printer at home. I got a cheap ($55) black and white laser a couple years back, and I couldn't be happier. The toner is cheap (relatively), and I don't have to worry about the ink drying up, or print heads clogging before I've even had a chance to use up all the ink. I very seldom if ever need color printing, and when I do it's cheaper and easier to head over to the photo printer (Walmart) or print shop (UPS Store) when I actually need color prints. 3D printers have the opportunity to really change things, but only if I can obtain plastic for really cheap, preferably by recycling plastic from products I've already bought.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      According to their site [xyzprinting.com], each cartridge costs $28 for 600g of ABS plastic, available in 12 colors.

    • Re:Yeah yeah (Score:4, Insightful)

      by GameMaster (148118) on Monday January 27, 2014 @02:55PM (#46083345)

      Ink cartridges that expire each time you unwrap them? Where are you from, the '90's? Welcome to the future my friend, today we have ink cartridges that expire while sitting, un-opened, on the shelf.

      I'm not really joking, we have an HP plotter where I work that does exactly this. When they went to replace the ink cartridge, they found that the entire stock of back-up cartridges had already "expired" according to a pre-set date built into a chip in the cartridge. Thankfully, HP was nice enough to provide a setting hidden away in the firmware that lets you over-ride that check. My guess is that they think the pro-market might not be willing to put up with their crap if they pushed it that far.

    • Unhappy Inkmouth [theoatmeal.com]

    • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

      But what will the cartridges cost? And will they 'expire' each time I unwrap and insert one?

      ("Nudge nudge, wink wink HP?")

      More importantly, how fine a line can it lay down. One could probably build one for even less if you don't mind low resolution. However, just like an dot-matrix printer is cheaper than a laser printer, very few would tolerate the low resolution.

      OTOH, if they can produce a $495 3D printer that is comparable to what is already on the market, that would be fantastic.

  • The article at dailynewsen.com is so full of grammatical errors that it looks like a machine translation. It's really hard to understand. Slashdot editors need a shared list of "don't link to this site" domains, so that if they get a submission that is based on one, they can find a better source instead.

    • by devjoe (88696) on Monday January 27, 2014 @02:07PM (#46082659)
      Specifically, it appears to be a translation-and-back-again of the LA Times article which is the first link in the article, or an automated synonym-substitution (trying to avoid being detected as copyright violation for reposting stories in full, perhaps, though strangely they link to the original article at the bottom). The other articles on their site (see Latest USA News sidebar on the right) appear to have undergone the same process.
  • If I had a choice between a monocolor 3d printer or a color 3d printer- it would be color all the way.

    This field is so young, I expect a significant increase in quality over the next couple years too so that makes me want to wait.

    • If by "colour" you mean multiple different plastics then yes. You're much better off using one ABS/PLA filament and one PVA than two colours since it allows the support material to be printed in water soluable PVA.

      The quality has bee going forwards pretty quickly.

      • Being with plastic is being melted before it puts its layer down, why don't we mix the pigments in at the point that it is melted.

        • Difficulty.

          The plastics are melted as far as a fairly stiff goo. Basically you've got a conical nozzle with a basic resistive heater and thermostat attached. A servo shoves a solid filament dow a tube at the nozzle.

          Basically, the current extruders are REALLY simple. Mixing in pigment would increase the complexity vastly. It's not that hard to have multiple extruders and you get better flexibility too. With even more extruders, you can have several sized nozzles. A small one for delicate outer work and a lar

    • More then just Color.
      I would like Color, with multiple materials. Say Plastic, with metal, glass and rubber.

  • Why is it so cheap? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Predanuke (1719292) on Monday January 27, 2014 @01:50PM (#46082413)
    Because it doesn't use the standard filament. http://www.xyzprinting.com/en/... [xyzprinting.com] You have to buy the 'ink' from them.
    • by Kenja (541830) on Monday January 27, 2014 @02:18PM (#46082833)
      By comparison, their filament is around three times as expensive as others (more if you just get bulk rolls) at ~$46.67/kg.
    • by PRMan (959735)
      From their website:

      The da Vinci 1.0 will also notify you when the filament is running low so you don’t run out.

      I'm sure it will...

    • by wramsdel (463149)

      I was at CES, and I specifically asked to see one of the filament cartridges. Assuming the ones on the show floor are the same design that will ship with the printer, there are no electrical contacts on the cartridge, so likely no "chip" as is the case with ink cartridges. It looked to me like it would be fairly straightforward to reload one of the cartridges with commodity filament.

  • by macraig (621737) <mark@a@craig.gmail@com> on Monday January 27, 2014 @01:51PM (#46082437)

    Proprietary consumables? Seriously? When are we gonna get past this crap? Ever?

    • by jythie (914043)
      Well, it is a viable business model. We have not gotten away from it because it tends to work.

      People complain about proprietary consumables when it comes to printers, yet people keep buying the ones that use them. Printers exist that are pretty favorable to 3rd party refills, but they are more expensive so people tend not to buy them.

      You can have low initial cost + higher recurring cost, or high initial cost + low recurring cost. There is enough consumer demand for both models that options exist, but j
      • by pruss (246395)

        And both models can make sense to a buyer. I think I do about 98% of my printing on a b+w laser printer with low page costs. Occasionally I have something to print out something in color, typically for the kids. It makes sense to buy a color printer with low up-front costs for such rare use.

    • by Mashdar (876825)

      We'll get over it when the human brain starts being rational (read never).

    • by laird (2705)

      In the video interview, they say that it's standard ABS and PLA filament. So while it's in cartridges that might be OK, as long as they don't try to lock people in. That is, if you can buy your own supplies from competing vendors and use them, that's what matters. At $28 per 600g, that's pretty expensive - it works out to $47/kg, which is quite high.

      So overall I'd say that if they really can sell a reliable printer that size for $500 that's an awesome deal. And the fact that they're also doing a lame copy o

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27, 2014 @01:52PM (#46082459)

    Nice going, "editor". You managed not to provide a single direct link to the company that makes the product you're talking about.

    • Man, it really is "damned if you do, damned if you don't" around here. Someone else would have complained if they had, labeling it a Slashverstisement.

      Oh I just checked. They did provide the link. It's a tricky one though. The link to the company, XYZprinting, is hard to find. Check back in the summary and look for the underlined word "XYZprinting". Click that and you should go to the company website. I know, its weird, but there you have it.

  • by MobyDisk (75490) on Monday January 27, 2014 @01:53PM (#46082483) Homepage

    From the latimes article:

    Even though 3D printing is all the rage at the Consumer Electronics Show, many people outside the industry are still puzzled by all the fuss. "Explain 3D printers to me. Why are they useful?" one non-techie friend of mine tweeted me this week, after I posted a picture of a 3D printer at the show.

    The show is called the *consumer* electronics show, not the *producer* electronics show. Most people are not makers, so they won't be excited about a technology that lets them make something. Even if people want something, a 3D printer requires that you know how to design that item.

    When someone invents a 3D designer, where you can say "Build me a thing that..." then you might get the consumers excited.

    • by macraig (621737)

      You've never heard of 3D scanners, I guess? Or open-sourced downloadable 3D files?

      • by MobyDisk (75490)

        I most certainly have! [thingiverse.com]

        I see that you are on the cusp of making a point though. Go ahead and make it, since it might be s a valid one. Do you think that these technologies will make consumers interested in 3D printing?

        • by macraig (621737)

          When they're made more like appliances that don't require education, yes. That applianc-ization doesn't have to include proprietary consumables, though.

          • by MobyDisk (75490)

            So what would the consumer use the 3D printer for? You gave 2 examples: copying objects with a 3D scanner, and downloading objects off the internet.

            I'm not sure how useful the first is for the consumer. Presuming that a 3D scanner will only ever be able to copy static objects, nothing with moving parts. So they could copy parts, perhaps to fix things. EZ drywall repair maybe? Fix that broken picture frame, coat hanger, or curtain rod? Well... assuming it isn't so broken that the copy won't be broken t

    • by jythie (914043)
      There is a lot of middle ground though. Go into any DIY home improvement center and there will be a wide range of tools available for consumers to support any number of wood or metal projects. Some machines (like a CNC or vacuform frames) end up being outside what the average DIY consumer will utilize, but many others (drill press, table saw, etc) have found their way into many non-producers homes and projects. It is still pretty early to guess which way these plastic fabricators will go.
    • Most people are not authors or graphics designers, yet nearly everyone with a computer has a need for a traditional 2D paper-and-ink printer. There is already a large library of downloadable 3D printable content, and if 3D printing becomes mainstream there will surely be 3D modeling software made along the lines of Word or Paint that is easy to use and good enough for Joe Homeowner to make that plastic widget he needs for that DIY project rather than going to the hardware store, or to make themed decoration

    • by TheRealMindChild (743925) on Monday January 27, 2014 @02:24PM (#46082915) Homepage Journal
      The killer application of 3d printers will be to print a new back to the battery compartment in remote controls
      • by Laxori666 (748529)
        Also, utensils. I don't want to have to go all the way to the fucking kitchen when I get delivery, sit at my desk, and realized they didn't include the fucking fork and knife.
      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        What's wrong with tape? More seriously though, I haven't had this problem for quite a while. All my remotes have the original back cover and are fully functional. Some of them are over 10 years old. I do remember this being a problem with the remotes we had in my house as a kid. Maybe it's because plastics have improved, or because we don't have to replace the batteries as often, but I really don't see this as a big problem. I can't think of anything I personally would want a 3D printer for, that would
    • by cdrudge (68377)

      So a traditional 2D printer manufacturer shouldn't go to CES either then? I mean, people who would use such a thing would be producing, not consuming.

      And besides, a 2D printer requires that you know how to design that print out too.

      • by MobyDisk (75490)

        So a traditional 2D printer manufacturer shouldn't go to CES either then? I mean, people who would use such a thing would be producing, not consuming.

        touché! Were there any 2D printers there? I didn't think that kind of thing would be show-offy enough.

        And besides, a 2D printer requires that you know how to design that print out too.

        Yes, but the 2D design is much easier. I find that anyone can learn how to design a useful 2D object, and has cause to do so. Hence the signs/banners example. 3D objects are a whole other dimension, pun intended. I suppose, if and when the day comes that 3D design software is as easy to use as 2D design software today, then that would change the outlook. I'm not sure that is possible though. Ti

        • by cdrudge (68377)

          I have no idea if there were any 2D printers there. I'd be surprise if someone didn't have something there. But the point still remains that you can be a producer as well as a consumer simultaneously.

          With Thingverse and similar sites, there are already tons of items to print, or starting points to tweak to suit your needs. Or 3d scanners. Or if you can't find what you're looking for, SketchUp isn't THAT hard to learn to start using. Yes there is a learning curve. But there's a learning curve to any sof

    • by tahuti (744415)
      I would say 3D printers are at the stage where "micro" computers were in early 80's, yes there were big expensive real computers and almost a toy for home use that you often needed to assemble by yourself. Did majority need computer then, no; today, well who doesn't have smartphone.
      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        And it's beginning to wrap back around on itself, to the point where many people no longer own personal computers. Personal computers were really just a means to an end. Most people who owned a computer had no interest in owning a computer. They wanted to be able to do word processing, send email, access the web, chat with their friends, Almost none of them (percentage wise) wanted a machine they could write programs for. The internet was probably the "killer app" that made most people want to own a com
    • Most people are not makers

      I challenge that assertion.

      Just look at the size of the scrapbooking industry, or hobby stores in general.

      Or cooking classes and cookbooks.

      Most people ARE makers. Most people like creating things. There's no reason to think that devices that can produce small useful things for a myriad of hobbies will not be accepted by a huge range of people.

  • Shoes? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jklovanc (1603149) on Monday January 27, 2014 @02:10PM (#46082703)

    In the future, users may be able to print shoes that are tailored to the exact size of their feet, among many possibilities.

    Have they looked at the different materials that go into shoes these days? The different parts need to have different qualities. The sole needs to be grippy. The uppers need to be flexible and porous. The insole needs to be cushioning yet supportive. This is done today by using many different materials. Sorry but materials that come out of thermal printers don't have all those qualities and generally don't hold up under the stress shoe are put through. Let's try to be realistic about what this technology can do.

    • by Lanforod (1344011)
      How bout crocs. Those seem to be a basic plastic... :P
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27, 2014 @02:23PM (#46082893)

    The overall construction was in line with a cheap 2D printer. The rails where thin, the structure in general seemed to be flimsy in comparison to the other 3D printers that were there. The proprietary print medium and the cheap-ish construction were enough to put me off and I was ready and willing to buy.

    • by wjcofkc (964165)
      Proprietary?

      http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/14/01/27/130232/499-3-d-printer-drew-plenty-of-attention-at-ces-video#
  • Who cares about 3-D printing? Come get me when they have 4-d printing!

  • http://printrbot.com/shop/prin... [printrbot.com] OK. It is a kit, so you need to build it yourself. USD300. Want the new kit? USD349. Assembled it comes to USD449.
    If you do not need the wood, you can have it all for USD259.

    I have been thinking about buying a 3D printer, but for me the price is not yet low enough.

  • Didn't the Solidoodle come out at $499 years ago? Takes 1.5mm filament on a spool. I'm a little confused by this.
  • From the article "Gary Shu, XYZprinting's market development division senior manager, said the 3D printer can quickly create objects that users may need in their homes, such as a plastic cup or a plastic spoon.". I hope he comes up with a few better ideas than that.

    Actually, a 3D printer would be useful to me for hobby projects like cosplay props, although probably a bit expensive. But around the house ? I look around for things completely made out of plastic that it would be practical to print if they brok

    • Aren't market development senior managers supposed to be kind of visionary....or able to fake it? Cups and spoons? Really?
    • The market for 3D printers could be bigger than the CNC + Laser cutter + Vinyl cutter market combined. It's still a small fraction of the whole population, but the market is there.

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