Kodak is entering the 3D printing market soon. It has recently, announced a new dual-extruder, fully enclosed printer and wide line of premium filaments. The new Portrait 3D Printer is now available for pre-order at a special discounted price, and will begin shipping in March 2018 after being launched in January at CES.
The Portrait 3D Printer itself features a large build volume of 200 x 200 x 250 mm (8″ x 8″ x 10″), yet it is compact enough to fit easily onto a desktop. It’s a dual-extruder printer that addresses many of the problems common to dual extrusion: an end-of-filament sensor notifies the user if either filament runs out, and a special feature allows the user to load both extruders with the same material and have one continue printing when the other runs out. It’s a good way to use up a partially-used spool of filament without worrying that the material will run out. There’s also a nozzle-wiping mechanism that prevents color contamination.
The Kodak Portrait 3D Printer boasts a design which is reliable and accurate, along with an ease to use. It also made use of magnets when designing the 3D printer. The print bed attaches magnetically and is easy to remove, and the hot ends attach with magnets as well for quick exchange without the need for tools. The Portrait also features an automatic, contactless print bed leveling system that uses a capacitive sensor to ensure that the printed object is completely perpendicular to the surface.
The 3D printer is highly safe as per its design. It’s fully enclosed, with a HEPA/activated carbon filter that makes it suitable for classroom, office or lab settings. An extractor fan carefully regulates the temperature of the build chamber, ensuring warp-free parts. In addition, the Portrait 3D Printer is rigidly built from precision laser cut steel sheets and features transparent paneling that allows great visibility inside the printer. Five-color LED lights illuminate the printer while printing, as well as providing information about the printer’s status.
Kodak is delivering its own 3D printing materials, which include ABS, HIPS, Flex, and Nylon 6 and 12, as well as several variations of PLA. According to Kodak, the filaments feature the highest roundness and diameter accuracy in the market, as well as the lowest moisture content. That’s notable especially in regards to materials like PVA and nylon, which are especially quick to absorb moisture from the air – and a filament with high moisture content tends to produce a poor print. To further protect its materials from moisture, Kodak provides airtight cartridges, equipped with desiccants, which connect directly to the extruders – the filament is removed from its airtight packaging and transferred immediately to the cartridges, where it is protected from moisture and dust. The startling feature is the software used. It makes it feasible to monitor the printing process, rate the print’s quality, track print time per user and assign cost based on usage.