Back in October of last year, HP (Hewlett Packard) unveiled their Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing technology to the world. This unveiling marked the start of what many people feel could lead to the 3D printing space finally taking off. HP, had for years, been one of the leaders within the 2D printing space, and using their proprietary methods of printing, looked to enter a new realm — a realm which has been occupied by companies like Stratasys and 3D Systems for decades. HP, however, has something that these companies do not. They have patents for technology that they use for their inkjet 2D printers, and they are using this very technology to hopefully take 3D printing to a new level.
With HP now joining the 3D printing space, many wonder if its just a matter of time before other 2D printing companies begin utilizing their own proprietary methods of printing to bring something new to the 3D world as well. While we wait to hear if Epson, Canon, Lexmark or Oki Data eventually decide to manufacture their own 3D printers, one Japanese company has officially announced that they will be following in the footsteps of HP.
Mimaki Engineering Co., Ltd., has announced that they will officially be entering the 3D printing space. They too will utilize their current technology which has made them a successful manufacturer of 2D printers for years. Specializing in the manufacturing inkjet printers, model plotters and cutting plotters has provided the company with the much needed experience for this giant leap.
Mimaki Engineering’s 3D printer will use four-color UV curable ink which is capable of printing in 10 million different colors. Like HP, their printers will utilize the companies inkjet technology in order to build up 3D objects one later at a time. According to the company, they will provide 3D printing with more “vivid colors” than ever seen before.
Starting this coming August, Mimaki Engineering will begin offering 3D printing as a service. This beta-phase will allow the company to make sure their technology works correctly before they officially begin selling their printers to other companies. No pricing details or release date for the product has yet been announced, and details of the technology remain sparse.
What do you think about Mimaki Engineering’s entrance into the 3D printing space? Will we continue to see manufacturers of 2D printers enter the 3D space? Discuss in the Mimaki Engineering forum thread on 3DPB.com.