Plenty of all-in-one printers can scan, fax and print, but an all-in-one 3D printer is a horse of a different color. XYZ Printing's new da Vinci 1.0 and 2.1 AiO 3D printers let you scan and print 3D objects from one machine. We checked out the new devices here at Computex 2014 and were intrigued by the da Vincis' promise.
The concept of all-in-one 3D printers isn't new -- many Kickstarter projects have put forth the idea, and products such as AiORobotics' Zeus all-in-one 3D printer is a professional solution that costs $2,499. What sets these newer models apart is their sub-$1,00 price point, laser sensing technology and the fact that they already have units ready to ship.
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XYZ Printing was able to get units ready so quickly because the company built upon its existing models, just adding the new laser sensors and a spinning plate into the device's platform.
The company tells us its laser sensors are unique in the industry, thanks to the diagonal placement that let it get a more complete scan and reduce parallax errors. With one sensor placed on the top and another placed at the bottom on the facing side, the sensors can see an object from odd angles. That means the printer doesn't have to rely on software finishing to fill out spaces.
We watched as two red laser beams in the da Vinci 1.0 AiO scanned a little sculpture of the Mona Lisa, feeding that information to a computer that's hooked up to the printer. The company told us it takes between 1 and 5 minutes to finish scanning a small, fist-sized sculpture and that the user can select the amount of time spent scanning. The longer you scan your object, the more complete a result you'll get.
Once the scanning is complete, you'll have to remove your reference object, hit print on the companion program on your computer, and the software adds some finishing touches to make sure the model is watertight. The printer plate descends from the top and the da Vinci will start printing.
The two new AiO models announced at Computex this year are really refreshes of the existing 1.0 and 2.1 versions. The 1.0 is a more basic version that retails for $499, while the 2.1 ($849) is a standalone solution with Wi-Fi capability so you can print from anywhere in your house or office. XYZ Printing tells us the AiO models will cost a few hundred dollars more than their predecessors, meaning you may be able to get the da Vinci 1.0 AiO for around $799 before the end of the year.