Oct 2, 2017 | By Tess

SPoE, a printer which “Simply Prints on Everything,” has just launched a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. The printer, which is being prototyped with 3D printing, is described as a “free-standing printer” which can print (two-dimensionally) on virtually any surface.

Though my own expertise lies in 3D printers, the new SPoE printer developed by Joseph Zeleny and his team does seem pretty cool. The boxy machine is designed to be placed on top of almost any material (paper, fabric, wood, plastic, etc.) and can print color graphics directly onto its surface. The innovative printer achieves this through the use of a patent-pending retractable tread system (in lieu of feeders, trays, and cartridges).

The retractable tread system enables the SPoE printer to easily glide over its print surface, depositing multi-colored inks in a precise design.

According to Zeleny, he conceived of the SPoE printer years ago, but did not have the resources to get the project off the ground. Now, however, largely thanks to 3D printing technologies, Zeleny has been able to design, prototype, and test his innovative machine.

In its current iteration, the SPoE printer is comprised of mostly 3D printed parts. The funding sought through the Kickstarter campaign is destined to improve the printer’s components, probably by having them injection-molded for scaled-up production.

How does the SPoE printer work exactly? Well, as the Kickstarter campaign elucidates, the magic of the printer lies in its cartridges. Essentially, Zeleny and his team have developed different types of cartridges for different surfaces.

So far, the SPoE team has developed three types of cartridge: a garment cartridge for printing on fabrics and textiles; an inkjet cartridge for printing on paper, wood, foamboard, and more; and a solvent cartridge, for use on windows, treated wood, metal, and more.

Users can simply install their desired cartridge into the base of the printer, print on the appropriate surface, and switch the cartridge out for another one if needed. Each cartridge (priced at $29.99) will reportedly contain enough ink to print 100 full-color t-shirts.

The versatile printer is also compact enough to carry around and, thanks to its retractable tread system, it has the potential to print on surfaces much larger than its own dimensions. (The SPoE team is currently looking to collaborate with software programmers to develop an open-source large-scale printing software.)

Through Kickstarter, Zeleny and his team are attempting to raise $150,000 in funding to take the SPoE printer to the next level. Improvements to be made include building the printer from more durable materials than PLA, as well as using precision manufacturing to create better-quality gears and treads for the mobility system.

Backers are ultimately invited to pledge any amount of money to help support the SPoE printer project. For a pledge of $499, backers can get their hands on a limited “ultra early bird package” which includes the printer, a full-color dye pigment cartridge, power cable, and instruction manual. The printer is expected to retail for around $749.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Application

 

 

Maybe you also like:


   






Leave a comment:

Your Name:

 


Subscribe us to

3ders.org Feeds 3ders.org twitter 3ders.org facebook   

About 3Ders.org

3Ders.org provides the latest news about 3D printing technology and 3D printers. We are now six years old and have around 1.5 million unique visitors per month.

News Archive