It seems like something out of Star Trek. Replicators don’t exist just yet, but consumers are taking baby steps closer to the whole idea thanks to Stratasys’ latest product addition to its ever-expanding range of 3D printers and accessories. The Objet500 Connex3 is almost set to be released onto the market and is poised to be the world’s most innovative 3D printer to date. This is because the printer is the first on the market that can shell out multicolour objects made from different materials at the very same time.
Simple Aesthetics Are No More
The world has become sort of accustomed to a rather flat, lifeless 3D printing experience. The one dimensional design aesthetics seen in the majority of 3D printer prototypes, while functional and serve their purpose, don’t exactly have the sort of wow factor that this hardware is truly capable of. That is, not until now. There’s now a wider range of dynamic, consumer-oriented objects that can be presented to consumers in terms of their look and feel, which can accommodate several different needs within the same object: rather than just printing one plastic shell and hoping for a good seminar.
Not Geared For Home Users
The Objet500 Connex3 isn’t the smallest 3D printer to hit the market in recent times. In fact, because it’s one of the larger ones on the market today, it suggests that this product was geared towards large businesses and top-end designers who require the best possible 3D printers at their disposal. At this time, it’s unclear whether or not this device will be scaled down for the home user. Jon Cobb, Stratasys’ executive vice-president of marketing, believes it will be, but it won’t be for some time. It’s possible that the company is just sitting back and waiting for the sales to reveal whether or not this sort of printing experience is required by a large amount of consumers to justify bringing it into the home market.
Price and Availability
Stratasys hasn’t publicly made available the price of the printer just yet. However, Cobb commented in a recent interview that it’s going to cost something in the region of $330,000 USD. It will be made commercially available during the second quarter of 2014, too.
Is it Worth It?
The innovative nature of this printer could certainly be a selling point for those who require what it has to offer. Does it necessarily trump those plastic creations that many 3D printer users are familiar with? It’s certainly possible as this printer gives a completely different tactile experience and creates more aesthetically pleasing objects. Whether or not this is what a particular business requires is up to the business owners themselves.