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3D Printing goes big at CES 2015

If you like 3D printing, being at CES 2015 will make you feel like a kid in candy store. There are 57 vendors from all over the world showing off all different types of 3D printing devices in all shapes and sizes, with the cost ranging from just $70 to more than $100,000. For the first time, there are also food printers and 3D-printed outfits being demoed at the show.

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3DSystems ChefJet Food printer

The ChefJet is one of a few 3D food printers showcased at CES 2015. It can print a variety of sweet edibles, including sugar, chocolate and candy. It can make full-color cocktail decorations, architectural cake supports, interlocking candies, and even sugar sculptures, depending on the type of ingredient being used. The ChefJet is set to ship in the second part of this year and will cost less than $5,000 (about £3,315, AU$6,190).

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Candies 3D printed by the ChefJet

Here are samples of candies printed by the ChefJet. They tasted a bit funny, though.

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XYZPrinting 3D Food Printer

This was the second (and also my favorite) food printer at the show. The Food Printer is the first of its type from XYZPrinting. The machine uses tubes of ingredients to print out cookies or cake decorations. The cookies will need to be baked before you can eat them, but they actually taste quite good. The Food Printer is set to be available in the second quarter of the year and will cost around $2,000 (roughly £1,325, AU$2,475).

Read editors' take
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Visit manufacturer site for details.

Cubify CubePro 3D printer

The CubePro is the fastest 3D printer from Cubify with a claimed speed of more than twice that of a similar printer, and features a large build platform of 11.2x10.6x9.06 inches (285.4x270.4x230mm).

It also has a  high-resolution of 70-micron and can print three colors at a time. The CubePro support ABS, PLA and nylon filaments.

Cost: $2,799 (about £1,850, AU$3,465)

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DWSLab XFAB 3D Printer

The XFAB is a high-end printer that uses Stereolithography Apparatus (SLA) technology, which uses liquid ultraviolet-curable photopolymer, called resin, and an ultraviolet laser to build a 3D object, layer by layer. It can make objects with much higher detail than other 3D printers. It's available for pre-order now and costs around $5,000 (about £3,315, AU$6,190).

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FSL3D Pegasus Touch Laser 3D Printer

The Pegasus Touch Laser 3D Printer is another Stereolithography Apparatus (SLA) printer. It's smaller than the XFAB both in terms of physical size and the build volume. However, it's much more affordable at just $2,750 (about £1,820, AU$3,400). The most affordable SLA 3D printer, however, is the Nobel 1.0 in the next slide.

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XYZPrinting Nobel 1.0 3D Printer

At $1,499 (about £990, AU$1855, the Nobel 1.0 is currently the most affordable SLA 3D printer on the market. Measuring 11x13x23.8 inches (28x34.5x59.4 cm), this print has the build volume of 5x5x7.9 inches (12.8x12.8x20 cm), which is quite large. It has a resolution of 25 microns.

Read full review
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Orian Delta 3D Printer

The Orina Delta from SeeMeCNC is a open design 3D printer. It has an up-front LCD panel to show you the status of your print, on-board SD card (included) for storing up to 4GB of print files, and a heated build surface for printing ABS filament. The printer can print at the speed of up to 300mm per second at an accuracy of 50 microns. It can also build an object of up to 5x5x9 inches (12.7x12.7x22.9 cm).

The printer will run buyers $1,299 (about £855, AU$1,610).

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SeeMeCNC Eris 3D Printer

The Eris 3D Printer is a smaller version of the Orion Delta and can print objects half the size. It's also cheaper at just $599 (Converting to about £400, AU$740).

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Polar 3D Printer

The Polar 3D printer is a very interesting machine. It's one of the first on the market that has a fixed print-head design, meaning the print nozzle never moves. Instead, during a print job, the build platform underneath the nozzle itself moves around. This is the opposite of traditional design where the print-head would move around on top of the build platform.

The benefit is the printer requires fewer parts and can print very large objects for its small physical size.

The printer has a round build-platform that's 8 inches (20 cm) in diameter and can built objects up to 6 inches (15 cm) high.

This is very large for a printer that measures just 8x12.5x14 inches (20x31x36 cmm).

The printer is also quite affordable, at just $799 (converting to about £530, AU$990) for regular consumers or $599 for schools.

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Weistek IdeaWerk Plus Desktop 3D Printer

Available now on Amazon for $799 (directly converting to about £530, or AU$990) the IdeaWerk Plus Desktop 3D Printer from Weistek is another affordable 3D printer on the market.  The printer is quite flexible, with materials and can print PLA, ABS, PA/Nylon, PC, HIPS, and PVA filaments. According to Weistek, the printer's designed to  work continuously for more than 120 hours without overheating.

If you want to spend even less on a 3D printer, however, you'd want to check out the XYZPrinting Da Vinci Junior in the next slide.

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XYZPritning Da Vinci Junior 3D Printer

At just $349 (about £230, AU$430), the Da Vinci Junior 3D Printer is likely the most affordable 3D printer on the market. Judging from how its older brother, the Da Vinci AiO 1.0, did testing, however, the low price doesn't mean it's going to be a cheap product.

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Weistek E-Master Deskotp 3D Printer

The E-Master Deskotp 3D Printer is the second printer Weistek showed off at CES 2015. This printer has the build volume about twice that of the IdeaWerk and also has higher resolution.  It can also work continuously for 120 hours. It's unclear when it will be available and pricing is yet to be announced, however.

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Afinia 3D H800 Printer

The H800 is the latest from Afinia and has a build of 10x8x8 inches (25x20x20 cm). The printer supports build platform self-calibration and promises to work right out of the box. It's available for pre-order now for $1,899 (around£1,255, AU$2,350).

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Ultimaker 2 Go

Ultimaker has two new printers at CES 2015. The first is the Ultimaker 2 Go, which is the mini version of the Ultimaker 2. It has the a smaller build volume of 4.7x4.7x4.5 inches (12x12x11.5 cm).  It costs $1,450 (roughly £960, AU$1,800 as a direct conversion).

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Editors' Rating

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Ultimaker 2 Extended

The Ultimaker 2 Extended is the larger version of the Ultimaker 2. It has a much larger build volume of 9.1x8.9x12 inches (230x225x305 mm), and will cost $3,000 (converting to around £1985, AU$3710).

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MarkForg3D Mark One

The MarkForg3D Mark One is the first composite 3D printers capable of reinforcing printed objects with continuous carbon fiber, Kevlar, or fiberglass. This means you can really print functional parts that work in real world and not just models. MarkForg3D says the printer can print parts that have a higher strength-to-weight ratio than aluminum. The Mark One is not cheap, unfortunately costing around $5,500 (around£3640, AU$6,800).

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3DP Unlimited 3DP1000 Large Format 3D Printer

As the name suggests, the 3DP1000 can print huge objects with a max build size of 1x1x0.5 meters  (39.3x39.3x19.6 inches) and can work continuously without overheating.

Despite the large size, the printer can print at very high resolution of 70 microns. This is a traditional Filament Fabrication (FFF) printer that uses a few different types of materials including PLA, ABS, PC, Nylon, Ninja Flex, and  PVA.

The 3DP1000 has the hefty base price of $20,000 (about £13,225, AU$24,750).

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New Matter MOD-T 3D Printer

Similar to the Polar3D, the New Matter MOD-T 3D Printer also use the fixed print-head design, making the build-platform the only moving part. The printer supports Wi-Fi, uses PLA filament and has a max build platform of 6x4x5 inches (15x10x12.5 cm).

This printer will ship soon and New Matter says it will cost less than $400 (£265, AU$495).

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Mcor IRIS True Color 3D Printer

The Mcor IRIS can turn regular printer paper, one sheet at a time, into color 3D objects. The printer uses Selective Deposition Lamination (SDL) technology that cuts, presses and glues paper together while coloring them to make 3D parts. The taller the object, the more paper required. During the demo it worked very well (note the two prints on the lower left corner of the photo), though quite slowly.

The Mcor IRIS is very expensive, though, costing $54,000 (£35,715, AU$66,820). There's also a monochrome version that costs $34,000 (£22,490, AU$42,000).

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3DFormer 3D Pen

The 3D pen looks like a pen and works like a pen. However, instead of ink, it extrudes melted filament (ABS or PLA). Users then can form the melted plastic (which congeals very fast) into any 3D object they can think of.

It will be available later in 2015.

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3Doodler 2.0

The 3Doodler 2.0 is the second generation of the 3Doodler that came out last year. It's very similar to the 3D Pen, but is much more compact and comes with sticks of filaments that are available in 50 colors.

The 3Doodler 2.0 is currently in its final development stage and will also be available later this year. It's unclear how much it will cost.

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Old World Labs MC1 3D Printer

The MC1 3D Printer is easily the most expensive 3D printer on the market. In fact, it's so expensive that you can't buy one. Instead, you have to rent it for $2,000 a month for a minimum 5-year plan, after a $20,000 down payment.

The reason it's so expensive is because it can print objects in extreme resolution of just 1 micron, within 500 nm. This means it can print parts so precise, or so small, that you have to use a microscope to see the details.

Old World Labs says that the price includes continuous updates to make the machine up-to-date in terms of 3D printing technology and maintenance.

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Makerbot's

Makerbot didn't have any new 3D printers to show at CES 2015. Instead, it showcased its latest fifth-generation printers and announced a new type of PLA Composite Filaments. These are materials made with composites of real metal, stone and wood.

Basically, these materials, in powdered form, are mixed with regular PLA filament to create a new special type of filament. As a result, the printed objects will look like and bear certain characteristics of the materials being used.

Pictured are 3D-printed objects made to look like real-life tools.

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Fuel3D Scanify

The Scanify is the first point-and-shoot 3D scanner. It comes with two lenses and three sensors and can take a snapshot of an object in a tenth of a second. After that, the captured image can be processed by Fuel3D Studio software to and rendered into a 3D image.

The device worked very well in the demo at the show. It's available now as pre-order and costs $1,490 (about £950, AU$1,820)

Read editors' take
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Visit manufacturer site for details.

Airwolf 3D HDR 3D Printer

The HDR 3D Printer is the latest from Airwolf 3D. This is a dual-extruder printer and the only one so far that comes with a built-in Web-interface and storage space. This means users can easily work with it from any device via a web browser. The printer can print more than 25 types of materials.

At CES 2015, Airwolf 3D showed off a 3D printed outfit to demo its printers' capability.

Photo by: Dong Ngo/CNET

Airwolf 3D's 3D printed outfit

Airwolf 3D's Sandy and her 3D-printed outfit. The only thing is not 3D printed is Sandy herself.

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