Geek.com reports: “3D printers were once out of reach of just about everyone due to the very high price of the hardware. Today, they are still expensive, but have come down to the point where enthusiasts can start saving up and buying one. Even kids are being targeted now with $800 Origo aimed at 10-year-olds.
If you are going to charge that much for a printer, then it really needs to have a hook. Japanese company Roland DG may have found that hook for its own, tiny 3D printer called the iModela iM-01.
First of all the iModela is around $1,000, so it has to offer something to make it worth the investment. The good news is it’s a small unit fitting easily next to your PC on a desk. That’s doubly good news seeing as it requires a USB connection to access the associated software the 3D models you want to print are loaded into.
The key selling point, however, seems to be the ability to print action and collectible figures, like those vinyl character sets you can pay a small fortune to acquire. Like Pokemon? Then the iModela is going to be able to print your favorite characters if you can find the models to print them with. Or how about creating your very own unique character set? The design software lets you form your very own 3D creations, too.
The printer uses a mix of plastic, wax, balsa wood, and foam to produce a figure, which you can then spray paint and add detail to as you see fit. In fact, the printing looks like the easy bit, and the skill comes during the application of paint to get a professional finish.
The video below gives a 10-minute demonstration of how to produce a 3D model using the iModela (don’t be afraid to flick ahead as it does drag in places). It looks quite slow and cumbersome, but that’s ok, because we all know technology progresses quickly and in a few years this will be $100, work at 10x the speed, and you’ll have another machine sitting next to it ready to paint your collection.”
See the iModela in action