Just over a month ago, we showcased a product with the potential to revolutionize the still-new 3D printing industry: the ProDesk3D by botObjects. Hailed as the world’s first full-color 3D printer, the ProDesk3D allows designers to pick a desired palette and quickly print the final product with a five-color, re-usable PLA cartridge system. Since the ProDesk3D is only in the pre-order phase (and we were eager to know more), Inhabitat reached out to botObjects founders Martin Warner and Mike Duma to dig deeper into the development process of this ground-breaking product. Read on to find out why the ProDesk3D pushes the boundaries of 3D printing technology, and how it was designed to make self-fabrication accessible to a larger audience.
INHABITAT: If the launch of a full-color 3D printer has even a fraction of the impact that full-color television had on society, the ProDesk3D is going to be huge. How do you see your product changing the way designers think about what they’re printing?
This is a great question. Just like the printing press, television, and PC revolution, 3D desktop printing is not only the most exciting technology to be talked about in 2013, but it is the timing of the desktop version, mainstream awareness and the scope of device technology—that meet the needs of mainstream audience. Owners such as designers, and just about all creators, will benefit.
The ProDesk3D brings full color, speed, accuracy, simplicity and significant advancement that arms not only technical consumers but all consumers with even limited 3D technology printing experience with a printer and software that can achieve so much more than what was previously on the market.
Moving the industry from hobbyist/engineer to power use—enabling a diverse set of experiences to descend upon our product—that will create designs that will literally change sub-segment industries forever. The power of designers of all types will flourish and proliferate as a result of 3D desktop printing.
INHABITAT: What items have you been able to create with the ProDesk3D that wouldn’t have been possible (or attractive) on a traditional one-color printer?
Color simply changes everything. For most users, industrial 3D printers cost 10s—and sometimes over 100—thousand dollars to purchase. An important distinction here is that we aim to give massive advancement to everyone for a 3D printer that can exist on the desktop.
We released some official product samples (on our website) that couldn’t be printed by any current 3D desktop printer. One was a vase that beautifully blended color to create a vibrant existence for flowers.
We also created a musical instrument—a recorder with lovely colors. Recorders were typically boring yet functional objects, but now they are fun and interesting to collect and personify themselves with the owner.
Lastly, another example that we recently hinted at on Twitter is a ‘planetary set of gears’ with color transition, metallic, translucent and fluorescent colors. These special single cartridge colors will bring endless possible suggestions to what could be created—such as toys, tools, instruments and more—while giving us a totally different context to color mixing.