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International CES 3D Printing Roundup

The International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) wrapped up in Las Vegas this week, and tucked in among the self-driving cars, personal drones, the $4,000 Lamborghini smartphone, and in-booth appearances by everyone from Neil Young to Shaquille O’Neal, there were plenty of 3D printing and additive manufacturing innovations.

Spider-Dress-From-Front-964x644-300x200In fact, the technology’s presence at International CES has doubled since 2014, with even more vendors in the 3D Printing Marketplace. There was also a full 3D printing conference track featuring speakers from Shapeways, MakerBot, 3D Hubs, Formlabs and Autodesk.

Here’s a quick roundup of the new products and events featured at the show:

The flashiest announcement was actually a wearable computer offering from Dutch designer Anouk Wipprecht called the Spiderdress 2.0, that was built using 3D printing. The dress uses robotics and sensors for self defense, tracking body language, behavior, and the wearer’s respiration to initiate a jab against interlopers using one of several plastic legs.

MakerBot CES 2015MakerBot was on hand with new PLA composite filaments made with wood, metal and stone that can work with the 5th-gen Replicator printer, along with a Smart Extruder designed for the new materials. The company also now offers new professional consulting and design services. Later this year, the company is launching Mobile True Remote Printing and Monitoring, which will allow users to control and monitor its 3D printers remotely.

The new 3Doodler pen is significantly smaller than its predecessor. Image: 3Doodler

The new 3Doodler pen is significantly smaller than its predecessor. Image: 3Doodler

The next-generation 3Doodler 3D printing pen was also on display. It’s a smaller and lighter update on the original. The airflow system has also been improved to cool the plastic faster. The pen also has a new portable battery accessory (the JetPak) that can provide three hours of power with PLA plastic, or two hours with ABS. The company is raising funds for the new model on Kickstarter, with pens available from $85.

Aleph Objects launched its LulzBot Mini 3D printer. The company provided public access to its development process of the Mini via an online archive that was updated hourly. The printer has a heated bed that self-levels during start-up, a non-proprietary filament format, support for multiple 3D printing software programs, and open-source hardware and software. It lists for $1,350.

Voxel8 and Autodesk have teamed up to enable printing of objects with embedded circuitry. Image: Voxel8

Voxel8 and Autodesk have teamed up to enable printing of objects with embedded circuitry. Image: Voxel8

Voxel8 has partnered with Autodesk to develop a new design tool called Project Wire for creating 3D electronic devices printed on the company’s platform that will allow designers to create parts with embedded circuitry. Voxel8 also announced pre-order availability of its Voxel8 Developer’s Kit.

Airwolf 3D rolled out its AW3D HD-R 3D printer by printing a dress and accessories out of more than 20 different materials on the show floor. The printer features WiFi connectivity, cloud-based slicing, and integrated software based on the AstroPrint 3D cloud platform. Users can print remotely from a smartphone or tablet.

Airwolf 3D printed dress

Airwolf 3D printed dress

XYZPrinting displayed its Nobel 1.0 stereolithography apparatus (SLA) 3D printer (retailing at $1,499), a consumer device that uses a liquid ultraviolet-curable photopolymer and an ultraviolet laser to build objects. It has a build size of 5 x 5 x 7.9 in., and an X/Y axis resolution of 0.3mm.

Speaking of SLA printing, Formlabs released an update to its PreForm software that includes a 200 micron print setting that, combined with new support structures, will make the company’s Form 1+ printer more efficient. The printer can generate thicker layers without affecting surface quality.

MarkForged’s Mark One Composite 3D printer is now available with cloud-based collaborative software that allows users to access and print models from any device running Google’s Chrome Browser.

Last, but not least, 3D Systems’ “Home of the Now” at CES showed off what the company calls a 3D printed lifestyle in fashion, furniture, décor, toys and gaming. The company also launched the CubePro C at CES. The new desktop full-color 3D printer is powered by botObjects’ technology, a UK-based 3D printer manufacturer that 3D Systems recently acquired. 3D Systems also displayed its Touch haptic 3D stylus along with an OpenHaptics Software Developer Kit (SDK). The $599 Touch comes with Cubify Sculpt, a virtual sculpting software tool.

You can see more CES 2015 3D printing action in the video below.

Sources: Various press releases and manufacturer websites

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