The fact that regular office paper is neither expensive nor hard to come by helps make 3D printing more accessible to more potential users, MacCormack said. “Whatever paper you put into your 2D office printer, you can use in this machine,” and Mcor is targeting, not the enthusiast or hobbyist, but rather the professionals, including engineers, architects, and educators.
The Matrix 300 looks much like one of those big office copiers. A paper stack on the side feeds individual sheets into the printer, where a blade cuts a 2D profile, and each subsequent sheet is attached with a water-based adhesive.
In addition to its unique paper-based approach, Mcor is flexing its muscle with a novel pricing model. Instead of charging a set fee for the printer, the company is giving the printer away for free and generating revenue by charging for a print service plan that can be purchased for one, two, or three years. The one-year plan starts at $18,500 and includes all maintenance fees and unlimited printing. Mcor is offering the Matrix 300 and the service plans in Europe, and it will introduce the model to the US market this year, MacCormack said.
As you say, it's not easy. One of the biggest impediment to successful counterfeiting is the paper, which is not only heavyweight, but has actual colored fibers embedded within it. Then there's the huge amount of pressure used in the currency presses, which deeply embedded the ink in the paper. Finally, there's the recent (within last decade) additional wave of anticounterfeiting measures, including difficult-to-duplicate watermarks and microrprinting, and those vertical strips (in certain denominations) which are only visible when you hold a bill up to light. To obtain paper, some counterfeiters bleach ones and then try to reprint them as higher-denomination notes.
Once the paper layers are bonded and stacked, they have the density of hardwood, not really crushable. If there were thin sections, there would be fragility as there is in any non-metallic SLA process.
It sounds like the main apps are prototypes. I like the recyclability. But I can't see how using this can do much more than assess form. Fit and function won't likely be possible in most apps because paper is too delicate and crushable.
say a cam gear on your _____(insert any company name)breaks. You then take your car to the shop. They say no cam gears on the west coast, _____(same name) can have one sent here by next thursday. Or we can get the file from them and we can print it and your car will be done by later this afternoon, which would you prefer? Of course youll tell him to print it.
this printer, no. I dont see it happening to make printing plates. But if you have time to SLS a set of steel plates that mimics a 1995 series note. And have time to model up $20 bills I may see this working. And then youd need more time to touch up your plates because they dont print perfectly.
Meanwhile youll need the correct stock of paper, and you have a handfull of colors to match.
Im not saying this isnt great or anything, but I am saying there will be two issues here;
First when it is "printed" or cut(personally I think it will be a layering vinyl cutter) you will need some we to remove your project, whether the software automatically created draft or it cuts lines from wherever your troughs and peaks are.
Second it sounds great like it will be cheap and simple, but if 3DS sees it as a threat, they ill start buying and monopolizing the resources it uses. IE it will change from the liquid binder to a gel one. The gel will be on a spool and read by a PROM. Or it will use a reader on the liquid bottle that will do the same thing.
Another I just thought of, 3DS will claim you need to buy their propriotary paper because basic paper will pose a fire risk. It will not let you use regular paper eith because they will install a photocell with a 10lumen light, if it sees the light, youre not using their paper and the machine wont run
@RNDDUDE: That process does sound reasonably close to what Mcor described, especially the layering of paper and adhesive part. One key difference I see is that the Matrix uses standard office paper so you don't have to load it up with specialized reams. That's part of the value proposition the company is pitching.
There was a RP company whose name I can't recall, now out of business, that made a machine based on paper based media. The paper was pre-coated with adhesive and was on a large roll. Basically, it differed from current systems in that the laser did not have to path the entire part surface geometry, but rather just it's margins, like a die-cut in effect. After each layer was done, the machine pulled another sheet of the adhesive-backed paper onto the prior one, and ran a roller over it to make it adhere. Then the laser traced the part perimiter on that next layer. The process was repeated as many layers as necessary. When completed, there was essentially a cube of bonded paper. At each layer, the machine would recognize the non-part geometry areas and divide them up into small cubes, which could then be removed from the resulting large cube on completion. This process was very good for very large parts with relatively simple geometry, because it was quite fast and relatively inexpensive. The resulting part was wood-like, and could be sanded, painted, etc. I used this process to create casting positives for a part that was sand cast.
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.
Sharon Glotzer and David Pine are hoping to create the first liquid hard drive with liquid nanoparticles that can store 1TB per teaspoon. They aren't the first to find potential data stores, as Harvard researchers have stored 700 TB inside a gram of DNA.
The Wolfram Programming Cloud is expected to be a game changer. The application is based on the Wolfram Language and was specifically developed to streamline the creation and deployment of cloud-based programs.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.