This year has seen an explosion of low-cost 3D printing technologies hit the market, many attempting to launch on Kickstarter. In the past month or so, selective laser sintering machines have taken the spotlight, but what really catches the eye of most consumers is the full-color 3D printing process of 3D Systems ProJet (formerly Zcorp) machines. Until 3D Systems finally releases its sub-$5,000, full-color CubJet 3D printer this year, it’s likely that many will be hoping for low-cost machines that can print in vibrant CMYK. A company called Global Trend Technology, Co. based in El Monte, California hopes to bring such a machine to consumers via Kickstarter.
Global Trend has hit KS with their 3D Pandoras Printer 6th Generation Full Color, an inkjet printer that looks to take after the Zcorp/ProJet design. Combining their own powder, developed over six years with more than a dozen different formulas, with an adhesive binder, the 3D Pandoras glues together layers of material into 3D objects. They’ve gone through six iterations of machine, finally deciding that their latest model is ready for market, but they need the funds mass manufacture it. With a campaign goal of $100,000, Global Trend believes they can deliver their 3D Pandoras Printer, with early-bird prices as low as $2,999.
At such a low price, the 3D Pandoras is competitive with the low-cost FDM/FFF 3D printers on the market, such as the latest generation of the MakerBot Replicator, making it much more affordable then the ProJet machines, which reach into the tens of thousands of dollars. The only thing that I’m unsure of is the extent of their color printing process, as they don’t give many examples of full-colored prints on their KS page. In their video (embedded below), they briefly show two prints, but, if the color is the main selling point of their machine, I wonder why it isn’t more heavily highlighted.
If the 3D Pandoras machine delivers what it promises, it could be an affordable alternative to the more costly 3D Systems ProJet machines, but, as with all Kickstarter campaigns, it’s best to remain skeptical before getting into a risky purchase. For more information, head over to their campaign page.