Following up on its release of two new desktop 3D printers, 3D Systems unveiled four more printers today that target consumers with advanced printing skills and artisans with specific creative needs. The printers create objects in white ceramic, full-color plastic, white sugar and full-color sugar. All of the printers are expected to ship in the second half of 2014.
Since buying LA-based confectionary 3D printing startup The Sugar Lab last year, 3D Systems has been showing off the pretty sugar cubes and other sweets the firm’s technology was capable of creating. Now, 3D Systems has created two dedicated printers aimed at hobbyists, bakers and general artisans interested in adding some delicate art to their sugar creations.
At around $5,000, the ChefJet is the cheaper of the two options and capable of printing objects that measure up to 8 x 8 x 6 inches in white. It’s able to create flavors like chocolate, vanilla, mint, sour apple, cherry and watermelon.
The ChefJet Pro prints in the same flavors for $10,000, but adds full-color printing capabilities and a build size of 10 x 14 x 8 inches.
While printing in sugar may sound novel, the real excitement should surround the CubeJet full-color printer. At less than $5,000, it’s the most affordable (unless the botObjects ProDesk3D does indeed ship this month) full-color 3D printer ever by a wide margin.
It’s said to print in white, pastel and bold colors. If the technology inside is anything like 3D Systems’ professional ProJet color line, it will put out some very decent prints.
Color printing is still a very limited and relatively new area of 3D printing. Seeing it jump into a consumer-accessible printer, albeit an expensive one, is a very promising development.
The $10,000 CeraJet prints in white ceramic that can then be glazed and fired to add color. Currently, some of the most useful objects that you can make with a 3D printer are ceramic, as it doesn’t break down when exposed to elements like food or water, unlike the plastics used in most 3D printers. The relatively inexpensive $10,000 price tag will be a nice option for artisans.