We Are Learning 3D Printing Through Our Personal Experience…
Ultimaker has announced and shown two new 3D printers at CES 2015, these are the compact Ultimaker 2 Go and the larger Ultimaker 2 Extended that will complement the already available mid-size Ultimaker 2 3D printer. It seems that the company is following what MakerBot did last year by introducing three different sizes of devices that would better cover the needs and requirements of different users. The two new devices will be available for pre-order starting March and should start shipping in April 2015, so you are still not able to order them now. The recommended end user price of the compact Ultimaker 2 Go is set at €1195 EURO or $1450 USD without VAT and the price of the larger Ultimaker 2 Extended is set at €2495 EURO or $3030 USD without VAT.
There are still no complete specifications of the two new 3D printers, but most likely they will have the same features like the original Ultimaker 2, but come with a more portable size and limited build space for the Go version and larger size and build volume for the Extended model. Unfortunately Ultimaker is still not releasing a dual-extruder model, though there is some work being done on an unofficial dual-extruder upgrade for the Ultimaker. No guarantees however that this upgrade will ever be released, so if you were hoping to see a dual extruder official upgrade or a new device with two extruders from Ultimaker you might be disappointed from the lack of such.
It seems that the 3Doodler 3D printing pen is getting a new improved 2.0 version very soon, the project is already on Kickstarter and the goal of $30000 USD has been reached in less than an hour. The 3D printing pen that started this new segment will be slimmer, lighter, quieter and even easier to use according to the information and it should be available as early as February for the first 100 early bird backers at just $50 USD. The other backers should get their 3Doodler 2.0 3D printing pens in April/May time-frame and we suppose that about that time the product will be also available on the official website for sale. Currently checking the official website we can see that the older version of 3Doodler is out of stock, though you can still find the 3D printing pen being sold on various other websites. According to the official information it seems that the original 3Doodler has already sold over 130000 units, so you can really call the product a very successful one thanks to being very affordable when you compare the price to an affordable 3D printer. The standard price of the new 3Doodler 2.0 pen without additional accessories should be $99 USD, so it is getting better and still remains affordable.
The new 3Doodler 2.0 is 75% smaller than the original, making it similar in size to a marker pen, it is also lighter at just 50 grams or half the weight of the original and should come with a stronger and better looking anodized aluminum case instead of the plastic one used by the original. These things should make the new 3Doodler 2.0 3D printing pen easier and more convenient to use as well as more attractive looking. But it is not just the look and feel that has been improved, the functionality also promises nice improvements such as lower power usage, optimized and quieter cooling, better speed and performance and more. We are already looking forward to seeing the final 3Doodler 2.0 and trying it out, even though we are not that big fans of 3D printing pens, the new version 2.0 does make us want to try one. If you are interested in the new 3Doodler 2.0 and you want to be able to get one earlier you might want to become a backer of the Kickstarter campaign, though we expect that very soon the official website will also start taking orders for the new version of the 3D printing pen.
It seems that Proto-pasta is launching another interesting experimental filament – an electrically conductive PLA 3D printer filament. The project was made available on Kickstarter with a goal of just $2500 USD that we expect will soon be reached with the filament expected to be available in March this year. The Proto-pasta Conductive PLA filament should be similar in properties to normal PLA filament, though it is supposed to offer high electrical conductivity – better than other alternative conductive filaments according to the makers of the filament. The conductive 3D printer filament is ideally suited for DIY projects, however the problem with conductive filament that remains is that you are not able to solder components and cables to it – so not way to 3D print a PCB using it. The use of a good and highly conductive (15 ohm-cm) 3D printer filament that is PLA-based like the one coming form Proto-pasta will open the doors for some really creative projects that need electrical conductivity.