XYZprinting wants users to talk to its 3D printers. Say, print an apple and it will print an apple. Say, calibrate the printer and the printer will calibrate. This feature is available on its new $3800 Da Vinci Color AiO color 3D printer.
The company says the technology was inspired by other voice services but was developed in-house over the last two years. The service is limited at launch but eventually it will let users prep their print job, pause, calibrate, get status updates, and conduct printer maintenance.
“For the first phase of the rollout, we will be able to support search function at XYZ 3D gallery,” Frank Peng, Associate Manager-U.S., XYZprinting told TechCrunch. “What this means is if you would like to find a 3D model of a vase, you would just say ‘search for a vase for me,’ and the XYZ 3D gallery will pull out all vases on the gallery for you to choose from.”
The Da Vinci Color AiO uses inkjet technology to inject color directly into the filament as its printed. Previous full-color solutions required the use of nylon powder or multiple filaments for mixing enough colors to simulate full-color printing. The Da Vinci Color simply sprays that color into the hot PLA filament it uses to print plastic objects, resulting in full-color objects. Spools of filament cost $35, the ink costs $65 and the printer will retail at $3800.
“The 3D printing industry is working together to utilize additive manufacturing’s advantages to better our lives and benefit the consumer’s product usage cycle,” Peng said. “So ideally what this means for voice recognition is that a car company like Ford can keep digital inventory of their parts and users can give a command of “search a 1999 Ford radio tuner for my car,” and the part can easily be located and printed.”
Right now the voice service is limited to this one printer and the company is not saying if it plans to add it to future models.