After months of speculation and quite a bit of skepticism, we’re pleased to report that the ProDesk3D is real, it works, and it really does print in color. How, exactly, is still under question – we weren’t given direct access to the innards of the machine – but we saw it working with our own eyes.
Videographer Steve Long went to a meeting with the company where he reported that the body is four inches wider than the Form 1 printer. It has an aluminum body and two print heads, hidden by a plate, that can print 25 micro layer thickness. When the printer changes color it moves the head to the side and purges the old color and brings in a new one. “Print head will in a single layer print out all parts of a certain color on that particular layer – green, for example- then purge, and go on to the next color and fill in the rest, etc,” he said.
“When I arrived at the location the ProDesk 3D was already in action printing a nautical shell + gear design. The final product you see atop the device in the shot with the orange cover. The print head has a specific noise (almost like a standard paper printer). Part of the noise is due to the speed the head moves along the X & Y axis. It was very agile and quick. I was able to see one colored layer at the base and the printer was working on the second as I was taking photo stills,” said Long.
It will have Mac and Windows apps when it launches and the firmware is configurable so you can set the base leveling routine and control the fan speed. They don’t yet have a community site per se, but they’re thinking of bringing in a community manager eventually. Why is the company so camera shy? We’re not exactly sure. But Martin Warner, co-founder, suggested that their plans were once compromised by a journalist sneaking into their development center with a video camera up his sleeve. Whether this is some Münchausen-esque PR antics or the real deal we’re not certain, but we are certain that this thing works.[gallery]