Cool gadgets come along all the time, but 3D printing is one of the more interesting new trends in technology.
It’s nice to be able to print on paper, but a 3D printer will allow you to actually create physical objects. The problem with many 3D printers is that you first have to scan the image, and then you have to get some clunky software to model whatever it is you scanned and then you have to import that to the device and hope that it all works out.
The Zeus, from AIO Robotics, is designed to be an all-in-one solution to 3D printing needs that basically allows you to do all of the work that you need to do on a single device. The Zeus can scan and then you can tweak the image using the software that’s built in to the unit.
The software is said to be so easy to use, via the built-in 7″ touchscreen, that you can supposedly start printing within 10 minutes of taking the unit out of the box.
In addition, the filament system is not proprietary, which means that it may work with filament that you have from a previous project.
The turntable and some other parts are easily removed for cleaning and/or troubleshooting, and several of the Zeus parts are themselves 3D printable, making it possible to fabricate replacements should they break. I’m guessing that none of these parts are essential to printing, otherwise you wouldn’t be able to print them if they were broken.
The Zeus has built-in wi-fi and can automatically report any problems to tech support, which promises 24 hour response time.
The Zeus 3D printer started out as a successful Kickstarter project and now is being sold o the public. The unit features a 1.7 Ghz quadcore processor, a 7″ color touch screen, a simple quick color change mechanism, a built-in scanner, and a removable turntable with auto bed-leveling.
If you don’t have a wireless network, the Zeus can also connect to the Internet via USB. The unit is truly plug-and-play, and they say you can use it in minutes.
There are some limits to the capabilities of the Zeus; at the moment, it can print objects of up to 6 inches in length, 8 inches in width, and 5.7 inches in height. It can print to a resolution of 80 micros.
The built-in touchscreen controls printing, scanning, online file search, on-board editing, and slicing of files, all of which can be done without the use of an external computer.
Of course, all of this technology, while cool, doesn’t come cheap. The Zeus sells for roughly $2300, and doesn’t include any filament, which you’ll have to buy separately for about $20 per roll.
Still, if you’re not a tech whiz or a design guru, the Zeus offers a good way to get started in 3D printing without the need for an engineering degree.