Surely we aren’t the only ones thinking it’s a wonder that Canon is just now dipping its toes into today’s lively waters of 3D printing. One of the world’s most ubiquitous brands, and one that most of us have known nearly all our lives–from cameras to copiers and a venerable amount of technology in between–the global company has headquarters around the world, from Tokyo to New York.
And as is most likely the case with some of the other big names who we are waiting to hear from as well, the lack of hoopla and publicity up until now is because they were working behind the scenes quietly, just waiting to roll out the next best thing–which is arriving in the form of, as far as we know so far, a resin-based lamination system.
Canon, which has in the past worked with 3D Systems to distribute their advanced manufacturing machines, with a selection of the ProJet range of 3D printers, expects their new and fairly top secret system to rival other 3D printers within the industry due to its intrinsic innovation, along with the following:
- Ability to use a wide range of diverse materials
- Simplification of post processing
- Faster build times
The not-yet-released machine is said to accelerate speeds and reduce costs, at the same time offering users the opportunity to work with a wide range of general purpose resins and deliver a competitively smooth surface finish. The company has developed 3D Integrated Software, designed to seamlessly link 3D technologies and devices such as 3D scanners and allow easy handling of multiple formats of 3D data.
Developed completely in-house, the new technology concept is debuting at the Canon EXPO in Paris, October 13-15. Held only once every five years, the EXPO is by ‘invite only,’ but this year much of it will be shared through social media. While the 3D printer is still just in the concept and prototyping stage, we will of course be curious to see and hear about what is shared in Paris regarding this new machine that Canon highlights as “not only suitable for rapid prototyping but rapid manufacturing as well.”
The capability for being able to produce small lots and do it very quickly, as Canon projects, will obviously allow for much greater efficiency in production. Combining a new method with great speed is a winning combination–along with a user-friendly platform requiring no prior experience. Also to be included is Canon’s 3D Integrated Software which links to other devices such as 3D scanners.
Currently, what little else we know is that Canon expects this high-precision, high-speed new technology to produce 3D models of “superior strength.” There will also be little time spent in post processing with the new 3D printer, according to Canon, whose team predicts “more time innovating and less time waiting.” And that’s something that should appeal to all levels of 3D printing enthusiasts, from the desktop to the factory.
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