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Meet the 3D Printer That Uses 2D Paper – Fortune

by • January 5, 2016 • No Comments

Here’s a thing which sounds too excellent\ to be true: a 3D printer which churns out objects in full color and uses day to day office paper (instead of plastic) as the build material.
But which’s what Mcor Technologies plans to unveil today at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas when it shows off its new 3D printer, Arke. The product is in addition a CES Best of Innovation Awards Honoree in the show’s 3D printing product category. Founded a decade ago in Ireland by two brothers, Mcor released the Iris—an industrial-size, paper-based, full-color printer—in 2013. The Arke is the computer desktop version of which larger printer.
3D printing technology isn’t new. The common methods of doing so now—building up layers of plastic, fusing together powdered metals, or applying a laser to a pool of resin—have created excellent leaps within the last five years.
But after several years of 3D-printing hype—fueled by the potential companies and consumers saw in the technology—the temperature of the 3D industry has cooled. Analysts have stated which the technology is yet too complex and costly to drive mainstream adoption.
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In the computer desktop market for 3D printing equipment, the best known names have not long ago faltered. MakerBot, purchased by professional 3D printing giant Stratasys “SSYS” in 2013, laid off workers twice in 2015. Stratasys competitor 3D Systems “DDD”announced at December’s end which it was getting out of computer desktop 3D printing entirely. The push over the last year has been on deriving easyr, faster, and cheaper means of producing 3D-printed objects, and which’s what Mcor is attempting to do.
“We had this quite easy idea: If we may build a printer which had zero running costs, which may create folks want the technology,” said CEO and co-discovereder Conor MacCormack in a call with Fortune.
MacCormack believes he and his brother, Fintan, have discovered which with the Arke. Instead of plastics or other materials, the printer uses an adhesive to stick together sheets of paper fed into the machine in a fashion much like to which of 2D laser printing equipment. Once sheets of paper have been layered on top of one another, a slicer cuts the profile of the shape being printed. What the machine spits out at the end looks like a block of office paper, but the finished print is in fact on the within. The sections of paper sheets which are glued together additional sturdyly create up the 3D print, while the sections of paper sheets loosely adhered assist as a assist structure to keep the 3D print intact until it’s finished. When conclude, a man peels away the excess paper, leaving behind the final 3D print.
It appears implausible, but the MacCormack brothers have utilized this technology to print a number of objects, which include models of buildings, convincingly edible replicas of fruit, a bust of President Obama’s head, and a hammer sturdy adequate to drive a nail into a board.
“Paper is amazingly sturdy when you layer it up,” said MacCormack. “Think of paper like a scaffold, and and so you can put into it a resin, so you can get things which are quite, quite hard.”
The other amazing innovation discovered in the Arke is full color, a thing which has been lacking in the computer desktop 3D printing market. Mcor’s printer color inks in high resolutions, as the most advanced 2D printer available today may, onto the paper 3D-printed object. “Our definition of full color is any color at any time,” MacCormack said. “We’re standing on the shoulders of the 2D-printing world.”
WATCH: For additional Fortune coverage on 3D printing, watch this video:

The company declined to share its revenue numbers, but Mcor said it has sold its Iris 3D printing equipment to customers in 60 countries who use it mostly for modeling and prototyping. As for the Arke, which becomes available in the 2nd quarter of this year for of $6,000, MacCormack said Mcor has taken 2,500 pre-orders so far. His plan is to go after the education market initial, by positioning the Arke as a cheaper, computer desktop 3D-printing alternative to other machines which require plastic filament.
“The big change is going to be in education,” he said. “And color is one quite important missing piece.”


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