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3D printing gets a big boost at CES 2017

By David Cardinal
The CES 3D printer marketplace is a great venue for getting an overview of what’s new and innovative in 3D printing. Unfortunately, industry leader 3D Systems didn’t return this year, but there were plenty of other players — old and new — that showed off what is now possible in printing solid objects. We’ve already covered the Ability 3D prototype, but here are the others we found particularly interesting:

When I 3D printed my first color object, I had to send it to a service bureau and it was very expensive. XYZ Printing is trying to change that, with an inexpensive color 3D printer suitable for home and hobbyist use. The printer is limited to using two colors, but with its software you can also create any shade that lays between the two primary color materials you load. The da Vinci Junior 2.0 Mix sells for $450. 
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 I really liked CoLiDo's printers because they remind me of something I might build from a fancy Erector set. As a result of their sparse structure, they can print large items at relatively low cost. Amazingly, the company even has a plan to bring out a metal-printing version soon. It showed us sample items that were printed in some type of material that could be heated and turned into a product that looks and acts like a hobbyist metal object.

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I've seen and written about the 3Doodler pen before, but haven't ever seen one that generated the precise lines of this Lix pen. Now, the amazing building they've created with the pen would take someone with a lot of experience, but we were able to create interesting "wire frame" shapes with only a couple minutes of playing around. At $140 including 80 filament refills, I'm sure this will be popular with a wide variety of creative artists and hobbyists.
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 Aside from being the coolest-looking 3D printer I saw at the show, Titan is one of the most productive. It takes advantage of Autodesk's support for multiple print heads to allow all five of its robotic arms to collaborate on producing a large part. It is supposed to ship later this year, with pricing in the "if you have to ask…" 6-figure category. The company does hope to get them installed at online service providers for those who "order out" for their 3D jobs. Without an enclosure it can use fairly standard material. With one, it can work with additional materials like ABS plastic.
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Markforged, which has been a leader in carbon fiber printing, used CES to launch its new Metal X unit, which can print stainless steel. It is much smaller, and less expensive, than the massive 3D Systems units (although you need to call the company for a price quote), and much more real that the optimistic Ability 3D prototype. Metal printing is definitely a new frontier for 3D printing, which we'll be following closely as it evolves.

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3D printing gets a big boost at CES 2017 Reviewed by Chidinma C Amadi on 10:18 PM Rating: 5

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