The EinScan-S 3D scanner is a new affordable consumer oriented desktop 3D scanner from the Chinese company Shining 3D that is supposed to offer high-quality results at a sub $1000 USD price – it should be available for $899 USD. This 3D scanner uses structured light phase shifting technology and should be able to provide accuracy of ≤0.1mm, a resolution that should provide one of the best detail levels for a non-professional, consumer oriented and affordable device. The EinScan-S 3D scanner apparently has two modes, one using the provided automatic turntable for scanning smaller objects with a size of up to 215x215x200 mm and a second fee scan mode using a tripod mount for the scanner with the ability to scan bigger objects up to 700x700x700 mm in size. Shining 3D promises that their device is portable enough for easy carrying around, scanning fast – about 3 minutes for a full automatic turntable scan and easy to be used with automatic processing of the acquired data to provide you with a good 3D model that should be ready to be printed without additional work from the user required.

EinScan-S Desktop 3D Scanner Specifications:
– Single scan range: 215×160 mm
– Max scan volume: Automatic scan 215x215x200 mm, Free scan 700x700x700 mm
– Scan speed: Automatic scan <3min, Free scan <10s (single range) - Alignment method: Automatic align, features align, manual align - Scan mode: Automatic scan, Free scan - Data format: STL, ASC - Resolution: 1.3 Mega pixel - Light source: White light - Printing support: Yes - Scanner dimension: Folded state 400x300x120 mm, Extended state 630x300x280 mm - Scanner weight: 3.5 kg - Power consumption: 50w - AC input: 100V~230V

If you are looking for an affordable consumer oriented product for 3D scanning and then printing the resulting models you might want to keep an eye on the EinScan-S desktop 3D scanner among others. The device is quite interesting in terms of specifications and it it really is able to deliver what the manufacturer promises at this price point it is going to be a great addition to your 3D printer. Again we are talking about an affordable consumer oriented 3D scanner with an expected sub $1000 USD price, not about a professional high-end solution that may cost tens of times or even more that price and would be able to offer better resolution. For its expected price the EinScan-S does look very promising, so we are looking forward to seeing the device available on the market and seeing what it can actually do.

For more information about the Shining 3D EinScan-S Desktop 3D Scanner…


We continue experimenting with the use of the Smooth-On XTC-3D after we recently shared our first experience using it. This time we used Natural PLA filament for our tests as we wanted to see will the use of the XTC-3D help in improving the transparency of the printed parts. Last month there was an interesting article about using the XTC-3D for improving the clarity of the Taulman T-glase, so we wanted to see if there will be a similar effect on parts using the semi-transparent Natural PLA filament. The initial results that we’ve had with parts that we have already printed and decided to use for tests were not very good as apparently the 3D printed part with that you want to be more transparent will need to be specifically printed with thin walls. So we gave up on experimenting with improving the transparency on already 3D printed parts with Natural PLA, and while we also wanted to try out the Taulman’s tutorial for T-glase filament we had trouble with the filament sticking properly to our build plate covered with standard 3M ScotchBlue tape on the MakerBot Replicator 2 3D printer that we are using, so we have postponed testing with that material and XTC-3D for a later time as well.


What we have decided to do instead was to coat the 3D printed parts with XTC-3D, then sand them and paint them with a standard spray paint used for coloring plastic materials. We have started with a Batman logo that we have printed with Natural PLA filament, left to right on the photo: the 3D printed logo, the logo sanded with fine sanding paper getting a more matte look and then painted with black metallic spray paint. The end result is really nice and smooth surface after the sanding and painting, though we did not do great with the painting part, but we did it in a bit of a hurry. As we have mentioned the 3D printed parts that we have used here for testing are not good for testing to improve the transparency of Natural PLA filament as they are tick objects with infill like is the case of the Batman logo, but even with multiple shells and without infill it is hard to improve transparency. You would probably need to use less shells with no infill and maybe larger layer height to get better results with improved transparency on Natural PLA as the recommended setting for T-glase suggest.


The Batman logo is easier to coat with XTC-3D and sand and paint, so we decided to also try a bit more complex 3D print – a small trophy cup. We have already had a few of these printed, so it was easy to compare before and after. On the photo above you can see the 3D printed cup on the left and the same cup coated with XTC-3D and sanded on the black background. You may notice that the coated and sanded cup still does show some noticeable lines for the layers, even though the surface is actually smooth – this is a result f the transparency of the material. On the right part of the image above you can see the already painted cups, the one that is coated with XTC-3D and sanded (inside and outside) on the left part and the one that is directly painted after being printed. Again not perfect painting on our side with some dust particles getting caught by the paint, but you can clearly the very smooth surface of the coated and sanded part. Even without sanding the 3D printed parts that are coated with XTC-3D that are painted after that may look great, but sanding may help in getting the paint to stick better and be more durable on the long run. We are going to continue experimenting with the Smooth-On XTC-3D coating as we like the results so far, though it does need to getting used to and trying out different with settings for the 3D printed parts depending on what are the final results that you want to achieve.


There are already multiple 3D printer filaments that contain carbon fibers infused with thermoplastics such as the Proto-pasta Carbon PLA filament. These filaments for 3D printers however all rely on chopped carbon fibers and the end result is not as good as what we are used to seeing both visually and in terms of mechanical properties from woven carbon fibers infused with epoxy. A company called MarkForged, founded by an aerospace engineer, however is trying to change all that with their device called Mark One Composite 3D Printer that is designed to print using continuous strands of fibers embedded in a thermoplastic matrix, a process that they call CFF (Composite Filament Fabrication). The Mark One 3D printer is capable of printing carbon fiber, glass fiber and Kevlar composite materials, but these need to be designed especially for the device filaments.

According to tests made by MarkForged of their special filaments parts printed on the Mark One can be designed to be stronger than 6061-T6 aluminum by weight and up to 1/3 the strength of the best carbon fiber composites made today. This strength is achieved thanks to the use of continuous fibers as a reinforcement in the printing material as opposed to the use of chopped fibers that Carbon PLA and ABS filaments designed for normal FFF/FDM 3D printers rely upon. Composites made with continuous reinforcing fibers exhibit substantial increases in strength and stiffness compared to similar materials using discontinuous (chopped) fibers. The CFF technology used utilizes a thermoplastic matrix that solidifies immediately after extrusion, so the printed parts are ready for use as soon as they have finished printing. But the Mark One 3D printer apparently can also print using Nylon and PLA thermoplastic materials aside from the composite fiber materials, so you should be able to use the device for more things that do not require strong fiber composites. The Mark One composite 3D printer uses a dual printhead design: one head is capable of printing composite filaments (CFF) and the other, traditional thermoplastic filaments (FFF) and parts may be printed either by a single head or a combination of the two.

MarkForged Mark One Specifications:
– Printing Technology: Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) and Composite Filament Fabrication (CFF)
– Build Size: 320mm x 132mm x 160mm (12.6″ x 5.2″ x 6.3″, 412ci)
– Material Compatibility: Carbon Fiber, Fiberglass, Kevlar, Nylon, PLA
– Highest Layer Resolution: FFF Printing: 100 Microns, CFF Printing: 200 Microns
– Extruders: Dual Quick Change
– Filament Sizes: FFF: 1.75mm, CFF: MF4
– Chassis: Anodized Aluminum Unibody
– Build Platform: Kinematically Coupled
– Software: Eiger Cloud Enabled
– Supported OS: Mac OS 10.7 Lion +, Windows 7+, Linux
– Supported Browser: Chrome 30+
– Supported Files: .STL
– Connectivity: WiFi, Ethernet, USB, USB flash

The MarkForged Mark One 3D printer does not come cheap, but it is also a device that is not designed for the average home users – it is apparently targeted at professionals that need to be able to work with stronger fiber reinforced parts that they design and print. You can currently order the Mark One Composite 3D Printer for $5499 USD (dev kit is available at $8799 USD with more materials), but there is approximately 10-12 week lead time. With the device being shipped worldwide, so as long as you need it and are ready to wait a bit for it you should be able to get your hands on this interesting 3D printer.


MarkForged Mark One filament price:
Carbon Fiber CFF Filament – $1.55/cm3 or $25.34/in3
Kevlar CFF Filament – $1.15/cm3 or $18.83/in3
Fiberglass CFF Filament – $0.67/cm3 or $10.96/in3
Nylon FFF Filament – $0.22/cm3 or $3.65/in3

Apart from Nylon you should be able to use cheap PLA filament as well, and as you can see the fiber reinforced special filaments do come pricier with Fiberglass probably the best choice if you need high strength at the best price with Kevlar and Carbon filaments used only when they are specifically required. Unfortunately there is still no option to order filaments on the official website, so you should probably contact the manufacturer to request additional filaments to be shipped with your order of the printer or get the development version instead of the standard one that comes with more materials bundled.

For more information about the MarkForged Mark One Composite 3D Printer…