Autodesk unveils 3D printer

Take that Stratasys.

Looks pretty big for such a small build area. Also, it will come down to the UI/UX and reliability. A large number of people who buy 3D printers do not want to tinker with them, they just want to print. Companies like Makerbot figured this out early and well, you can see how it has paid off. If they can make it VERY user friendly, then they have a winner.

Actually, Makerbot hasn’t figured it out, yet. The UX of their website is horrendous. Their products are still pretty cumbersome.

They’ve managed to be the first to make it inexpensive and widely available and get well funded.

What’s worth noting is Autodesk’s attempt to bring stereolythography to the masses at a relatively affordable price (I read somewhere Autodesk’s machine will cost around $5,000). Makerbot and Stratasys use FDM, which has its advantages and drawbacks.

Before we get too carried away with the price, remember the V Flash? That was $10,000 + $7000 in material, cleaning station and build plates. At the time, there were 3 other players around $25k.

Now Autodesk has this at $5k, but it might need $5k of other stuff to make it work.

Having said that, I love that their software is open source (supposedly). I think we could see a real explosion in creativity if we get more players in this market.

What is the mess under the ‘nozzle’ (?).

That photo doesn’t look right to me. Shouldn’t the print be in the liquid at the bottom?

This is a very canny move, Shenzen will be pumping out licensed and pirate versions in a matter of days, and the price will plummet.

For its price point, I would say they are ahead of the curve.

Anyway, the cost of SLA material is becoming very competitive compared to FDM. So I would expect to see a large spike in the number of SLA (both DLP and laser) printers in the next 1-2 years.

It’s building top down- the model gets pulled out of the resin tank instead of dropping down into it (same way a Form 1 prints). A Form 1 is $3300, this looks to be similar in terms of build volume- if Autodesk is at $5k for this I can’t see them getting much traction.

Now that all the old patents are running out, we are getting some nice alternatives to the FDM Makerbot style machines.

What about the Formlabs Form 1?

http://formlabs.com/products/form-1/

$3299

Another thing Autodesk brings is its deep pockets (as much as some of us may hate them for that). Stratasys has been gobbling market share in the past year buying Makerbot and Solid Concepts. In this case I am happy to see Autodesk spending its money to shake up the market.