We should be able to play with a consumer-level (cheaper model) of 3D printer later in early 2012 as more and more companies have come up with their own mini or small 3D printers. It’s always amazing to see how this printer can print out our design into a physical prototype. We can even create a larger prototype if we know how to create something that could interlocking each other. It could really cut down a lot of cost of prototype production, especially the wannabe designer who would love to see the physical shape of their conceptual design.
Recently, a corporation called Roland DG has announced their own mini 3D printer called iModela iM-01. This 3D printer is coming with iModela Creator design software for creating cute collectibles such as charms, pendants or key chains out of a wide range of existing 3D designs that you can print it out immediately.
This printer is using several type of materials, including plastic, wax, balsa wood and foam when printing the 3D figures/objects. However, there is no information yet on how designer can interact with the 3D printer. Can we choose the material freely? what application is compatible? and how large the 3D printer can print an object into its container is still unknown. However, please rest assure as this Roland iModela iM-01 small 3D printer is fully compatible with all modern Windows OS (XP, Vista, 7) and the connection is through a USB 2.0 port. It’s pretty convenient as all PC (including some tablet systems) have this port come in handy.
Sadly, we are not aware of its availability date and price mark yet.