The increasing noise across the 3D printing industry can sometimes make it difficult to track what’s going on and identify the significant developments as opposed to interesting PR. Hype is obviously still a problem too, as is “bandwagonism.” Discerning the nuances between the constant stream of news releases can be tricky, at best.
However yesterday I received some news that I personally believe is a significant development, not in terms of the technology itself, but in terms of its uptake and implementation. The news was under embargo until now, but I think this latest announcement — from Dremel, via Autodesk, will historically prove to be a real turning point …
Or maybe history will show that turning point coming when Autodesk went public earlier this year with its plans to embrace 3D printing in a big way via a software platform and supporting hardware. At that point the industry — and the markets it serves — really sat up and took notice. I suspected that a shift was coming and I know I was not alone. And now I think it’s starting to happen — after the announcement of the collaboration with Local Motors on Monday, timed to coincide with the first test drive of the Strati “3D printed car”, as well as Scott’s extremely insightful analysis of MadeSolid’s access to Spark and the Autodesk 3D printer earlier today — there comes news of another Autodesk collaboration ….. with Dremel.
It’s hard to overstate how significant I believe this to be — we’re talking about a household name, that offers household tools that will now be offering a 3D printer (proprietary, not Autodesk’s 3D printer) and a 3D printing ecosystem via a partnership with Autodesk, which offers increasingly ubiquitous software. While the headline for this news is that of Dremel offering a 3D printer, I think the sub-heading is actually the key to this announcement, which states: “Comprehensive 3D printing ecosystem empowers a new generation of makers to build revolutionary projects for creative and functional purposes.”
Dremel’s introduction of the Dremel® 3D Idea Builder — the name of the 3D printer — comes with the claim that it is “the most user-friendly 3D printing experience on the market.”
Renowned for its portfolio of useful and robust versatile tool systems, this, quite literally, adds a new dimension to the brand and will draw some serious attention.
“The Idea Builder is yet another high-quality, easy-to-use tool from Dremel designed to inspire and empower the end-user to build on their own ideas with the support and mentorship of the Dremel Experts. Through a strategic partnership with Autodesk, Inc., Dremel will provide free print-ready 3D models and simple design tools, while continuing to release new design tools on Dremel3D.com to coach users through the building process.”
In terms of availability, the 3D printer will be available across the US and Canada initially. With order for pre-sales open from tomorrow (September 18) via homedepot.com and amazon.com, and from November it will be available in-store at select The Home Depot® stores. The MSRP is $999. In addition to select The Home Depot locations in Canada, the Dremel 3D Idea Builder will be available at select Canadian Tire stores and online at canadiantire.com.
By offering more than just a 3D printer, namely features and services designed to nurture both novice and advanced users, Dremel, a recognized and trusted brand, is opening up 3D printing in an unprecedented way. Moreover, the 3D printer itself is reportedly the world’s first UL certified 3D printer. All this added value, as well as providing service via Dremel Experts, means that there will be many wannabe users of 3D printers that will now seriously consider making the leap with a brand that they trust. Dremel’s strategic partnership with Autodesk brings access to free design via www.Dremel3D.com, where consumers will be able to choose from print-ready models, simple adjustable templates, such as a jewellery customizer, or they can choose to start their design from scratch with easy access to the Autodesk®123D® family of free design software applications.
Dremel’s President, John Kavanagh commented: “Dremel 3D will enable people to take 3D printing to new levels, from imaginative projects for the home, to inventive projects that may impact the world. Makers have been using Dremel tools to make three-dimensional creations with cutting tools for generations. Today, makers are using Dremel tools to fine-tune and fix their 3D printed creations and have been asking us to introduce a 3D printer. We’re proud to offer them the Idea Builder and we can’t wait to watch them build what’s next.”
For your perusal, here are the Key Product Features of the Dremel 3D Idea Builder:
- Intuitive print software for simple customization of 3D models
- Pre-installed extruder for fast out-of-the-box use
- Print-ready model portfolio provided by Dremel and Autodesk to kick start the building process
- World-class product support and mentorship via the Dremel Experts.
- Full color touch screen and onboard print software for stand-alone operation when needed
- Fully enclosed for reduced noise and protected object building
- Active cooling fan prevents warping of objects while they are built
- Best-in-class print resolution (100 micron) for fine printing detail
- Large, removable build platform for larger prints and projects
Family and Environmentally Friendly
- UL certified to assure quality and safety
- PLA filament in 10 vibrant colors areplant-based, recyclable and renewable
- Energy saving mode reduces environmental impact and wasted energy
Talking to an Autodesk insider about this latest news, coming so soon after the other announcements that show the diversity of the company’s approach, they confirmed: “that was the whole purpose of Spark, to solve 3D printing challenges across multiple industries.”