Apr 26, 2016 | By Alec

Nearly a year ago, Chinese consumer electronics giant Lenovo shared some big news at the very first Lenovo Tech World Conference in Beijing on May 28 2015: they would become the first top line Chinese brand to enter the consumer 3D printing market. Fast forward eleven months, and that is exactly what Lenovo has done. At a new event in Beijing, they have just introduced their very own XiaoXin L20 line of smart 3D printers aimed at consumers.

You might wonder why a developer of laptops, smartphones and tablets is interested in the consumer 3D printing market, which is a lot smaller than Lenovo’s usual target customer base. But as Lenovo’s 3D printing business manager Mu Zhen explained, 3D printing has become big business in China and is set to expand enormously. According to Mu Zhen, the Chinese 3D printing market has become the third largest in the world. It accounts for 13 percent of the international market’s revenue, and for about 8 percent of all sales. What’s more, the domestic market is blossoming. Market specialists are predicting a steady high growth speed of 100 percent over the coming years, while the Chinese government is strongly backing 3D printing development. This market could become the next flashpoint in the Chinese economy, the manager said.

Lenovo might thus have become the first top-line brand to enter the 3D printing market, they will probably not be the last. What’s more, they are doing so with an impressive 3D printer. At the announcement a year ago, the company showed off several da Vinci 3D printers by Chinese partners XYZPrinting, and they have doubtlessly learnt a lot from those successful consumer models during the development of the XiaoXin L20 3D printer.

For starters, it looks very good for a consumer model. Featuring very smooth, Apple-like panels with metallic silver-colored frames, the whole XiaoXin L20 structure is actually made from sturdy aluminum. This ensures a very stable 3D printer that weighs as little as 8.8 kg. What’s more, the L20 features a very open design to allow users to closely monitor 3D printing on the 20 x 18 x 16 cm build platform and change materials very easily. However, all bearings and tracks have been completely packed away to ensure user safety.

While no exact specifications have been revealed yet, Lenovo did already showcase the 3D printer’s most important selling point: smart and user-friendly 3D printing. While the previous generation of desktop 3D printers call for a lot of manual work in regards to leveling and calibration, the Lenovo XiaoXin L20 3D printer features intelligent automatic leveling options. With that smart module, automatic corrections are even possible during 3D printing to ensure optimal results. Furthermore, the L20 also features high level temperature control for systematic 3D printing.

The machine’s user-friendliness is further reflected in its openness to a very wide variety of 3D printing materials, including polylactic acid, flexible rubber, wax, wood, and rubber, alongside other more common filaments. This means users won’t have to worry about whether or not something is 3D printable. Moreover, the XiaoXin L20 is particularly easy to set up and install, with e-mail notifications keeping the user informed about 3D print status, power protection and the state of pause and resume orders. Finally, Lenovo has already revealed that they will be supporting the XiaoXin L20 with a cloud-based online public 3D printing service. This is intended to form a seamless closed-loop system to provide complete customer services.

Lenovo, it seems, are not working on some weak attempt to sell a few more products, as the XiaoXin L20 3D printer is looking very promising indeed. Instead, their product seems to match the company’s ambition to establish a leading position in China’s fiercely competitive 3D printing market. We will doubtlessly hear more about this remarkable 3D printing move in the near future.



Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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The Gee k wrote at 4/27/2016 2:08:22 PM:

Hey Alec, Interesting article but it is missing a few details. Why doesn't it describe how this 3D printer is actually a Mostfun Pro with Lenovo's name on it? Why doesn't it mention that Mostfun and Lenovo decided that profits were more important than the Kickstarter backers that made this printer possible? I know that 3ders.org has to pay the bills but don't you think your readers would like to know the full story here and not just gloss? You were actually the one who wrote the piece on the Mostfun Pro when they announced the launch of their Kickstarter Campaign found here: http://www.3ders.org/articles/20150810-mostfun-pro-first-ever-intel-inside-desktop-3d-printer-soon-to-launch-on-kickstarter.html Don't they look exactly the same to you? Read the comments section of the Kickstarter Campaign and check out how the companies involved here are focused on profits as opposed to the backers that made the profits possible. How about doing a follow up article about the Mostfun Pro?

Erickson wrote at 4/27/2016 12:31:39 PM:

Makerbot got nothin' on these guys.

ropesh jalali wrote at 4/27/2016 6:52:21 AM:

nice technology

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