Skip to Content

Paper-based 3-D prototyper coming to market soon...

3 replies [Last post]
InvisibleJon
InvisibleJon's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/27/2008

FYI:

Through Engadget, I found out about a 3-D prototyping machine that uses standard 20-lb. paper, special glue, and a sharp blade instead of expensive UV-cured polymers or cutting lasers. This makes the cost of materials for the prototypes made by their machine much lower than other prototyping technologies. Walls on models can be as thin as 1mm.

http://www.mcortechnologies.com/index.html

It's coming from a company called Mcor. It looks like they're based out of the U.K.. It's not available in the U.S. yet. They assert that it'll be in North America in the first half of '09. They don't have any prices listed for the machine itself, but I suspect that it's not something that average game designers like you or me could own. The machine does exist, though, and it does work.

What does this mean to you and me? It means that (once this machine is available) it'll be a lot less expensive to create good-looking, complex, custom pieces for board games inexpensively. I'm aware of the tech used by Blue Panther. I think that this new machine and their tech complement each other nicely. Each one does things well that the other one does not do well.

Nifty!

bluepantherllc
bluepantherllc's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/29/2008
MCor

I've seen LOM (laminated object manufacturing) many years ago used for items like fenders.

I've also looked that MCor pictures - don't see any with the detail you can get on injection mold or pewter castings.

I'd also be interested in what kind of glue/resin they are recommending you use to laminate the sheets together. If 500 sheets of paper is roughly two inches, and you're building 1 inch tall figures on a piece of letter-sized paper, that's about 80 figures per half-ream or 160 figures per ream - enough for most games. So material cost (paper at least) is going to be about 3 cents per figure (assume 1 cent per page).

The real questions are glue/resin cost, machine speed and model durability. Early rapid prototyping technologies were notorious for making very flimsy parts - but the technology has certainly advanced - you can get FDM for about 20% the cost of 15 years ago, with about 50% lower material costs. Good, but not good enough for even the highest end games out there. Maybe a custom figure or two per limited edition game (think Titan)

One to watch - if there's demand and the unit cost is right, Blue Panther will have a new service to offer.

InvisibleJon
InvisibleJon's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/27/2008
I'm glad you commented.

I was hoping you'd offer some insight. I'm glad you commented.

bluepantherllc wrote:
The real questions are glue/resin cost, machine speed and model durability. Early rapid prototyping technologies were notorious for making very flimsy parts - but the technology has certainly advanced
Although I don't know hard facts, my understanding is that the "raw" (unvarnished) pieces are fairly wood-like.

bluepantherllc wrote:
One to watch - if there's demand and the unit cost is right, Blue Panther will have a new service to offer.
Assuming that it does what I think it can do, that would totally rock. It'll be interesting to see how it pans out.

Phookadude
Offline
Joined: 11/03/2008
This looks really awesome

The cost is estimated at 1.4 cents a cubic centimeter.
The adheasive is pva and it says it's commercially avalible. Elmer's white glue is pva (mostly).
And it uses the cheapest copy paper. You can harden the peices with superglue (wich is actually inexpensive in large quanities).

Syndicate content


forum | by Dr. Radut