3. BEETHEFIRST: the world’s sexiest 3D printer
While most 3D printer manufacturers are obsessed with making their devices more accessible, more accurate and more compact, Portuguese company BEEVERYCREATIVE appear to have another priority: aesthetics. Just take a look at their BEETHEFIRST 3D printer. As well as being the first ever such device to come out of Portugal, it is also one of the best looking bits of 3D kit we’ve yet set eyes upon. With a stripped down, minimal frame and neon lit interior, the BEETHEFIRST looks as much like a work of modern art as a top class bit of hardware.
Before you think it’s all style and no substance, however, we should say its specifications are competitive with other consumer models in its class. Using 1.75mm PLA filament, it delivers objects at 100 micron layer resolution or 300 microns in low resolution mode, with a printer size of 40 x 40 x 14 cm. Check out the video to see it in action.
Beauty costs, however. As well as a pretty chasse, the BEETHEFIRST boasts a price tag of €1,805 (approximately 1,530 quid), which makes it pricier than the FormLabs Form 1, about equal to the CubeX but quite a bit cheaper than a MakerBot Replicator 2X.
2. Blokify teaches kids how to 3D design
If you fancy getting your little ones started on additive manufacturing, Blokify is the very thing for you. While many CAD programmes come with a steep learning curve, Blokify makes designing printable objects simple enough for a child to master. In fact, it’s so easy even the staff here at Top 4 3D Printing might be able to give it a go.
The brainchild of Jenny Kortina, the tablet-ready app uses a Minecraft-style block-by-block system. Once the object is designed, kids can either print it on their own 3D printer or send it off to Blokify for creation. In other words, this is the first step towards my childhood dream becoming a reality: the ability to design and create my very own toys.
1. Proto-Pasta introduce three new 3D printer materials
In terms of boundary pushing, there is no story this week to compare to Proto-Pasta’s Kickstarter campaign. Launched by brothers Aaron and Dustin Cram, Proto-Pasta aims to:
Change the landscape of what is available for consumer grade 3D printing materials and how those materials are evaluated.
To achieve this fairly ambitious goal, the Crams are developing three new 3D printable filaments that do not come with the disadvantages of the two most common consumer filaments currently available, ABS and PLA. ABS is durable, tough and heat resistant, but also toxic and potentially flammable. PLA, on the other hand, is safe to work with and biodegradable but can be brittle and cools very, very slowly. (For a longer guide to ABS and PLA, click here)
Proto-Pasta’s materials are Carbon Fiber Reinforced PLA, which is stiff and resistant to bending, High Temperature PLA, which is heat resistant, and Polycarbonate ABS Alloy, which is strong and resilient. The Crams also want to make the properties of 3D material more widely available and easier for consumers to evaluate.
If their campaign is a success, it could be a huge step forward for the flexibility and versatility of consumer additive manufacturing.