Jan 6, 2016 | By Kira
Mcor Technologies has today launched its first-ever full-color, paper-based desktop 3D printer, which uses non-toxic, eco-friendly A4 office paper as the build material rather than extruded plastic. Based off of the larger Iris industrial 3D printer model, the new ARKe desktop 3D printer eliminates many of the costs and safety concerns involved with traditional 3D printing, all while offering full, photorealistic color in an easy-to-use and compact machine. The ARKe 3D printer is currently on display at CES 2016, and has been named a CES Best of Innovation Awards Honoree in the 3D printing product category.
Mcor, founded in 2005 by brothers Conor and Fintan MacCormack in Ireland, hopes to “stand on the shoulders of 2D printing” and use its proprietary technology to lead the consumer 3D printing revolution, particularly at the 3D printing educational level, where more and more 3D printer companies have been shifting their focus.
Adding to its existing lineup of industrial paper-based 3D printers, the Iris HD and Matrix 300+, the ARKe is a compact 3D printer (its full dimensions are 34.4 x 22.8 x 23.6 inches), designed with the goal of making full color 3D printing more accessible to a ‘latent creative market’, the ARKe includes several key characteristics that set it apart from traditional 3D printing technology.
First of all, like all of Mcor’s products, the ARKe provides unmatched, full-color capability. According to the company, with a DIP of 4800 x 2400, the print head enables the ARke to “exceed the DPI resolution of the highest comparable industrial 3D printer by a factor of 2x.” We have previously seen this sort of beautiful, full-color capability on display in Keith Brown’s 3D printed sculptures.
“Our definition of full-color us any color at any time,” said Conor MacCormack, co-founder and CEO. “The big change [for 3D printing] is going to be in education…and color is one very important missing piece.”
Examples of full-color and photorealistic 3D prints acheived with the ARKe paper-based 3D printer
Secondly, due to the use of standard paper rather than extruded plastic, harmful particle emissions and toxic chemicals are almost entirely eliminated, making the 3D printing process safe and eco-friendly—an increasingly important consideration as 3D printers become more and more common in our households, classrooms and offices. What’s more, using paper as a 3D printing material means that the finished 3D model is entirely recyclable, adding to the technology’s sustainability.
Of course, one of the most important advantages of paper-based 3D printing is its cost-effectiveness. Office paper is accessible and affordable, and thanks to Mcor’s Selective Deposition Lamination (SDL) technology, it can be molded into surprisingly stable and realistic 3D models. In terms of its design, the ARKe 3D printer is customizable, coming in various designs such as Chrome, Wood or Union Jack.
"Our mission is to put a 3D printer in every office, classroom, and eventually every home, and Mcor ARKe is a huge step in that direction,” said MacCormack. “The launch of Mcor ARKe is a defining moment for Mcor and the 3D printing industry, much like the iPhone was for Apple and the 747 was for Boeing. I believe that this is a disruptive step that will transform this industry stimulating widespread adoption of 3D printing particularly in education and among creative professionals.”
Though paper may seem like a flimsy replacement for plastic, the SDL layering process, which works by using an adhesive to stick individual sheets of paper together, results in finished 3D objects that are in fact extremely strong and durable. According to the company, its 3D printers are ideal for prototyping, art and history projects, and various accurate and realistic 3D modeling needs. “Paper is incredibly strong when you layer it up,” said MacCormack. “Think of paper like a scaffold, and then you can put into it a resin, so you can get things that are really, really hard.”
The ARKe will be available for purchase in Q2 2016, with an MSRP of $5,995. According to the company, its Iris 3D printer has already been sold in 60 countries, and so far the ARKe has received more than 2,500 pre-orders.
While the majority of 3D printer companies are hard at work developing the next generation of unbelievable 3D printing materials, including liquid metal, conductive graphene, ultra strong ceramics, G3DP glass, and all matter of plastic-based 3D printing filaments, Mcor certainly stands out from the crowd with their innovative, affordable, and eco-friendly paper-based 3D printing solutions. They are also one of many 3D printer manufacturers to definitively set their sights on one of the most rapidly growing 3D printer segments: low-cost, consumer 3D printers for the educational market.
All images credit: Mcor Technologies
Posted in 3D Printer
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Vasia Pupking wrote at 1/12/2016 7:02:23 PM:
Are there not enough forest has been destroyed already? Paper usage must be eliminated in the near future if we don't want to turn our planet in the lifeless desert. I hope they go bankrupt.
Fawad Inam wrote at 1/8/2016 12:31:31 PM:
price of this machine is 8995$. kindly correct this