The first wave of 3D home printing is awaiting approval from the Federal Trade Commission before bringing a new dimension to the consumer market – meaning we’ll soon be able to create some basic but impressive plastic models from a desktop gadget. First up is Cubify which is shaping up for release in the first quarter of 2012.
Cubify when FTC approved will come with more than a thousand pre-programmed and downloadable CAD style designs which can be transferred from PC to printer via USB drive and printed as three-dimensional models made using a heated plastic resin distributed from a cartridge. As seen at CES ’12, if you’re pretty handy at 3D Computer-Aided Design you can also create your own customised models, provided they are relatively simplistic. But as seen in the photos we’ve seen you can still do some pretty impressive things with Cubify, such as detailed faces and intricately layered plastic shoes.
One downer, but no doubt just a teething problem is that the Cubify printer only allows one colour cartridge of the plastic resin to be administered per printing, somewhat limiting what could be a potentially awesome creative gadget. We’d hope that with future revisions (or even before the speculated April launch) that this can be addressed and multi-colour masterpieces will be make-able in our own homes. The cost of owning the Cubify is currently looking likely to be around $1500 Stateside, with each cartridge costing $50. A costly investment, but looks like a whole lot of fun!
Photo Source: PocketLint