Alright, so here we are bright and early, 7am, with housecoats on, getting ready for the 4pm press conference. Why so early? Well, the event takes place in Old Europe and we are on the Best Coast of North America, nine hours earlier.
Now, the news isn't new, as the 3D Systems pr people let the news out early, already yesterday. What we're seeing this morning/late afternoon is a pair of new high-end printers. One of them does continuous colors, the other a variety of materials. Now, the press releases left out lots of juicy information, such as "How much?", so we'll see if these sorts of questions get answered.
35 seconds left to go. Here's a provided image of the output of the multicolor printer.
3D Systems is announcing 11 new products at EuroMold this week.It looks like we are getting a booth tour this morning.
First up, a "baby 3D printer" the size of coffee maker that prints small objects, like dental and jewelery, and are done in a half hour or hour, with built-in cleaning. MicroProjet 1200 is $4900, taking pre-orders today.
OK, so now the multi-color printer, ProJet 4500. He's calling it "Pantone-like colors," which means it's not PanTone; maybe that will be the next step. Unlike the MicroProjet, this one is the size of a fridge, so it's huge. He's saying parts will be $10 each. Available now.
ProJet 5500X is being called the "holy grail" of 3D printing, a multi-jet printer with simultaneous printing of several materials, instantaneous mixing of materials, producing composites. Biggest parts are 60% larger than those of similar competitors. Can go from glass-clear printing to rubber printing. Five-year printhead warranty.
(By the way, it appears this "livecast" was previously recorded, so we're not sure if there will be a Q&A.)
Now a switch to software, as we get a look at Scan to Design, from the Geomagic folks who were acquired by 3D systems a year ago. A 3-LED scanner is scanning a small complex-looking part to generate a 3D model in software. See the screen grab below. $14,500. Scan a part and get it into a CAD system like Solid Edge in 20 minutes.
And now we are back to more 3D printers. It's beginning to sound a lot alike to us -- "bigger, better, faster..." He is claiming that the cost and durability of 3D printed parts with the new ProX 500 is approaching that of the factory floor. Not sure if that is just the cost the materials, or materials+3D printer.
(Throughout this show, the host is repeating that the founders of 3D Systems invented 3D printing, perhaps in light of all the law suits flying around. The earliest 3D patents will be running out soon, and so some patent owners are busy suing to still collect all the $$$ they can.)
Now we are seeing the largest 3D printer, as the host hauls out a V8 engine block. Disappointingly, it is make of plastic, not metal.
Speaking of metal, we are now seeing another huge 3D printer that makes stuff from sintered metal powder.
Back to software: a new printer driver that will be embedded into all printers in the coming months. (Is this in reaction to Microsoft doing the Windows v8.1-only 3D printer interface?) One interface for all printers -- will this include consumer models like Cube? (Speaking of which, we're not hearing about consumer-priced 3D printers; maybe later.) The software lets you assign different materials to parts through drag'n drop. AutoPlacement places multiple parts to optimize the print volume automatically.
As the bonus, we get to hear and see the first 3D-printed drum set. Due to the limits of recording technology, we can't tell if the sound is better or worse than traditional wood and plastic materials.
Aha, now we've moved to the other 3D Systems booth, the one for consumers: Cubify. Showing the Sense for $399 for 3D scanning. Like photography from 100 years ago, the subject has to stand/sit completely still for a few minutes, as someone wanders around with the scanner hooked by wire to a tablet. The tablet acts as the viewer to ensure all of the subject is scanned -- 3D selfies, as is were.
...and that's it. No Q&A and so our burning questions remain unanswered.