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CAD/CAM Corner
3D Printer Takes Paper-Based Approach
2/1/2012

The Mcor Matrix 300 uses ordinary new or used A4 paper to make 3D objects. The setup greatly reduces operating costs.
The Mcor Matrix 300 uses ordinary new or used A4 paper to make 3D objects. The setup greatly reduces operating costs.

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Rob Spiegel
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3D face
Rob Spiegel   2/1/2012 8:30:32 AM
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Nice story, Beth. The video really shows it all, especially the 3D face. It is hard to believe until you see the video.

Jennifer Campbell
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Re: 3D face
Jennifer Campbell   2/1/2012 9:58:58 AM
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I was a bit dumbfounded when I first saw this photo. I thought, what does this have to do with the story. Then, it dawned on me. Very cool. I'd like to see more examples of objects that the Mcor Matrix 300 created using paper.


Beth Stackpole
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Re: 3D face
Beth Stackpole   2/1/2012 10:34:02 AM
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I felt the same, Jenn. I didn't really understand what the block had to do with the ordinary paper and what exactly that guy was doing at first. Once it become clear, it was pretty amazing. The idea of being able to produce fairly durable objects from ordinary office supplies seems pretty compelling. At least for rapid prototying applications--not so sure about using these paper-based parts, no matter how durable, for anything beyond design reviews and some modest testing.

 

 

Ann R. Thryft
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What are the target apps?
Ann R. Thryft   2/1/2012 12:04:04 PM
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That's pretty amazing all right. I would imagine that this might be targeted at users who need prototypes that don't need to last long. Is that right Beth?


Jon Titus
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Recycle, too
Jon Titus   2/1/2012 1:40:15 PM
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When you finish, the waste goes in the paper-recycle bin.  The model can go in there, too, when you finish with it.  A nice tool for models but I'd like more information about tolerances.  Many of the prototype printers that use plastics have good tolerances that let parts fit together and "operate."  Does this type of paper-based prototype let users do that?  I'd also like to know more about the technology and how the moving head cuts and glues the paper.  Very clever.

Beth Stackpole
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Re: Recycle, too
Beth Stackpole   2/1/2012 3:08:07 PM
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I like your point about the recycling aspects of the printer, Jon. I'm not sure about exactly how the process works and there is little technical information on the site. Based on my conversations with the company, they say the printer can and is being used overseas for rapid prototyping of parts--in particular, they mentioned a medical device company using it for vaccum forming and some companies using it to prototype packaging. I'm not sure I see it in use for part prototyping that requires precise tolerances, however.

Alexander Wolfe
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Illicit Uses
Alexander Wolfe   2/1/2012 4:32:47 PM
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I can see this 3D printer turning up on one of those cable TV crime channels (Investigation Discovery) as being used in attempted counterfeiting. Must be very tempting to someone out there. (On the lighter side, I can see paper-based 3D printing taking origami into heretofore uncharted territory.)

Charles Murray
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Re: What are the target apps?
Charles Murray   2/1/2012 7:25:56 PM
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I could see ths being used in the auto industry for tight packaging applications under the hood. It's one thing to see such applications on screen, it's another to be able to hold it in your hand and slide it down under the jumble of wires and other components.

TJ McDermott
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Re: 3D face
TJ McDermott   2/2/2012 12:30:46 AM
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Colored paper.  Colored adhesive!  This is positively brilliant!

The pricing plan is quite similar to that of companies "selling" copy machines.

Beth, what rate?  How fast can it build up thickness?

Beth Stackpole
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Re: 3D face
Beth Stackpole   2/2/2012 6:45:21 AM
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TJ: Not sure about the rate or some of the other nitty-gritty  details on the printing process. Your comment on the pricing is absolutely right. They are taking a page (pardon the pun) from the photo copier business and offering a three-tiered pricing plan to meet a range of usage needs, from occasional printing to multi-departmental, everyday use. Interestingly, several of the stories I've been working on lately have touched on this theme of service becoming recognized for its potential to deliver greater revenue and better margins than sales of the actual product given the razor-tight margins most industries face today.

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