Autodesk’s own 3D printer, the Ember, has been long anticipated since its announcement last May. The 3D printer is based on Spark, their 3D printing platform. The company has been forthright that Spark maintained more of their focus than Ember, and it seems they were right to not put the cart before the horse as they got all their technology in line before releasing it.
Excitement has been building over the months, though, and in December Autodesk started taking orders for the Ember from a select few individuals.
Today, Autodesk is making Ember available to the masses. You can order one now for the already announced $5995 price tag. Orders from the US and Canada are shipping now, with a four-week lead time (so expect to receive orders around mid-March), and European orders will begin to be filled in early April. The Ember 3D printer features digital light stereolithography technology and is intended to provide high levels of precision in production.
We took a quick look last week at one new software platform being made accessible for the Ember 3D printer, with DELCAM’s new ArtCAM JewelSmith software. The Ember appears to be well-suited for 3D printing jewelry, and the ArtCAM JewelSmith software provides for increased design options.
While the Ember’s small build volume is great for jewelry design, there is still a reservation among many in the 3D printing community about the Ember’s place in the 3D printer space. The 64 x 40 x 134 mm build volume is reportedly one-eighth that of the popular, and less expensive, Formlabs Form 1+ 3D printer. The Ember does provide for print speeds of 15mm/hr, which represents a good speed without being remarkable.
What the Ember does offer, though, is an open source design, allowing for a future in which users will be able to not just provide feedback on the design that can be integrated into future generations, but directly contribute to the product. While the CAD designs and material formulations are not yet available, Autodesk will release this information in the near future. For now, the 3D printer’s software and resin tray are both open source “to enable you to contribute to the evolution of 3D printing hardware, software, and material science.”
- DLP SLA technology, which “prints in hi-res faster than laser-based SLA printers”
- Resolution of 50 microns on the X and Y axes, and 10-100 microns for the Z axis, allowing for “ultra-high resolution modeling”
- Build volume: 64 x 40 x 134 mm
- Speed: 15 mm/hour at 25 micron layer height
While the pre-orders for the Ember were announced under the early bird “Explorer Addition” packages, as of the time of writing, that information remains on the official order form, so it looks like the package remains the same — without, now, the necessity for any sort of pre-approval before ordering.
For $5995 (not including S&H, taxes, and any customs/duties), ordering the Ember will yield:
- The Ember 3D printer
- Two 1L bottles of clear prototyping resin
- One Ember finishing kit
- Technical support
- Access to the Ember Explorer Forum
Have you been anticipating the commercial release of the Ember 3D printer? Let us know in the Autodesk Ember 3D Printer forum thread over at 3DPB.com.