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Printing and Peripherals

Canalys: 3D Printers Gain Traction

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Canalys: 3D Printers Gain Traction

According to Canalys Q1 2014 3D printer shipments reach 26800 units, with 52% being enterprise purchases while the rest going consumer use in proof of increasingly competitively priced units.

"Businesses from a range of industries have invested in the technology to experiment and test its potential, to expedite design and prototyping processes, or to enable local customised manufacturing," the analyst says. ‘While enterprise engagement will continue to grow, it looks to be the consumer space that will drive shipments in the near future."

Canalys says 67% of 3D printers shipped in Q1 2014 cost below $10000 pre-tax, and a number of basic printers come at sub-$1000 and even sub-$500 prices. Such competitive pressures will only cause prices to fall further, making the technology more affordable to businesses and consumers alike.

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HP to Take on 3D Printers: How Come?

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HP to Take on 3D Printers: How Come?

At the annual HP shareholders meeting CEO Meg Whitman confirms the company is set to enter 3D printing space, with an official reveal to take place on June 2014.

According to Whitman the company solved what she says are the two main problems of the technology-- speed ("it's like watching ice melt" Whitman says) and quality ("the surface of the substrate is not perfect"). HP will initially target market verticals demanding systems for the creation of prototypes and finished products, but will also target service providers for consumers wanting individual print jobs.

Currently 3D printers are the domain of smaller vendors such as 3D Systems and Stratasys, so why would a giant such as HP want to take on the technology? A Canalys market forecast might have the answer. According to the analyst the 2013 global 3D printing market is worth $2.5 billion, and will rise to $3.8bn in 2014 before reaching $16.2bn by 2018.

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Epson RIPS Laser Printers

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Epson RIPS Laser Printers

Epson takes on enterprise laser printers with an inkjet range promising higher efficiency on both energy use and printing-- the WorkForce PRO RIPS (Replaceable Ink Pack System) printers.

The RIPS makes use of replaceable ink baggies based on four-colour printing, with one bag for each colour. Each bag carries 3 pints of ink and is designed to be very simple to replace.

According to Epson the system allows for uninterrupted printing of up to 75000 pages (depending on nature of printing involved) without need for consumables change.

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Samsung NFC-Enabled Printers at CeBIT

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Samsung NFC-Enabled Printers at CeBIT

Samsung launches a pair of NFC-enabled printers at CeBIT 2014-- the Xpress C1860 series colour laser and the Xpress M2885 series mono-laser printers, both aideal for home office and SMB customers.

“As mobile becomes more central to the everyday working environment these NFC-enabled printers let SMBs conduct their business seamlessly as well as catering for the growing BYOD trend," the company claims.

The Xpress C1860 colour laser and multifunction printer (MFPs) prints, copies, scans and faxes. It carries a dual CPU (533MHz main, 150MHz sub) and 256MB memory (upgradeable to 512MB) and polymerised toner for vivid and glossy colours.

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Conrad Takes on 3D Printing

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Conrad Takes on 3D Printing

German CE retailer Conrad Electronic launches an own 3D printer-- the Renkforce RF1000, a relatively inexpensive model set to be available as either a kit or a complete, ready to use unit.

The printer connects to PCs via USB, and features an SD card slot. It makes use of Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) to print models up to 250x235x175mm in size using ABS, PLA, PVA, EcoPLA, PET, Tauman, Laybrick, Bendlay, Laywood-D3, HIPS and ABS smart materials.

Conrad says the printer is easy to use, and can also mill and engrave in plastic, wood, aluminium and brass via optional replacement components.

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