Although CES 2017 wrapped up a couple of days ago, the news is still flowing about the largest consumer technology trade show in the world. If you haven’t checked out our coverage of the event, take a look at some of the announcements, interviews, and photos that we gathered over the last week. 3DPrint.com was onsite for the full event, and though we’re back home now, we’re still keeping up with the news coming out of Las Vegas after the closing of the show.
We predicted that 3D printing would have a large role at CES 2017, and we were right. Digital Trends was also onsite at the show, and they’ve just released their fifth annual Top Tech of CES list. Out of the 18 winners highlighted by the publication, three of them were up and coming 3D printing companies – an impressive number considering the sheer amount and variety of technology on the floor this year.
Two of the winners took top honors in the “cool tech” category. One company that has risen quickly in the 3D printing industry is Monoprice, the massive online electronics retailer that first appeared on the 3D printing scene in 2014, but really began making an impact at CES last year with the introduction of a pair of extremely low-cost printers that helped them rise to the position of fifth highest seller of desktop 3D printers in the first three quarters of 2016.
At CES this year, Monoprice introduced several new models, including the Delta Mini, which gives a new meaning to low-cost 3D printing with a price tag of only $150. The cost isn’t the only reason Digital Trends was impressed enough to give the diminuitive model a Best of CES 2017 award, though.
“Despite being outrageously affordable, it’s also extremely sturdy, capable, and user friendly,” Digital Trends states. “Just like its predecessor, the MP Select Mini, the Delta Mini is equipped with a range of high-end features that are usually only found in printers that cost much, much more than $150…A cheap printer alone doesn’t impress us – but a cheap printer that can stand toe to toe with machines that cost five times as much? Now that’s something special.”
Also in the Cool Tech category is the 888 3D printer from startup Ability3D. Founded by former NASA engineer Ben Willard, Ability3D has done what some may have believed to be impossible: created an affordable, desktop-sized consumer 3D printer capable of printing metal parts in the home or office. “Affordable” is the key word here: the 888, which will launch on Kickstarter in March, is expected to retail for less than $3,000, unheard-of for a metal 3D printer.
“So why does this printer cost so much less than currently available metal printers? It’s all about technique,” says Digital Trends. “Rather than using lasers to fuse metal powder into a solid object, the 888 uses a combination of MIG welding and CNC routing to achieve a similar effect. Because welding machines, metal filament, and CNC toolheads are all relatively accessible and cheap, Willard can sell his printer for a fraction of the cost.”
The Latin Innovation Award is given by Digital Trends every year to a company bringing outstanding tech from the Latin world, and this year the winner was Sur3D, a Uruguayan startup whose claim to fame is Selva3D, a software application that allows users to transform 2D images into print-ready 3D models with just a few clicks. Selva3D has been used for several novelty 3D printers such as Magic Candy Factory and PancakeBot, and is designed specifically for in-store 3D designing and 3D printing in retail environments. This year, the company introduced two new products: one for the design and printing of fashion accessories, and one for the design and printing of toys.
Sur3D, Ability3D and Monoprice are in good company, sharing the Top Tech list with luminaries such as the virtual reality HTC Vive Tracker (Gaming), Nvidia’s AI-powered driverless car technology (Automotive) and the Samsung Chromebook Plus (Best in Show).
“Our editorial team worked around the clock to cover every inch of the show floor at CES,” said Jeremy Kaplan, Editor-in-Chief for DigitalTrends.com. “While there were certainly incredible displays of technology and innovation, we proudly award the Cyber Stag to the companies who have delivered products that shine above and beyond.”