Mon, Jan 13, 2014 - Page 14 News List

Taiwanese budget 3D printer wows at Las Vegas CES

Staff writer, with CNA and AP

Priced at just US$499, XYZprinting Inc’s (三緯) new 3D printer, the da Vinci 1.0, caused a stir at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada, wowing the editors of Reviewed.com, who selected it for an Editor’s Choice Award.

The firm’s entry-level 3D printer beat out 27 other products to earn the endorsement from the Web site, which presented the awards in partnership with show organizer the Consumer Electronics Association.

Judges praised the da Vinci 1.0 as an “affordable and approachable 3D printing” device, comparing it to products from other brands that use the same fused filament fabrication (FFF) technology, but generally cost more than US$1,400.

XYZprinting, a unit of Taiwanese electronics conglomerate Kinpo Group (金仁寶集團), is scheduled to start shipping its da Vinci 1.0 printers to China this month, with the product to debut in Japan and the US next month, and in Europe in March, chairman Simon Shen (沈軾榮) said last month.

The company has set a 100,000-unit global sales target for printers for this year and 1 million over the next three years, Shen said.

Last year, there were only a handful of 3D printing companies at the CES gadget expo, but this year, there were 30 and there would have been more if organizers had not turned others away because they could not fit them in.

The 3D printing area of the show floor drew dense crowds that gawked at the devices and their creations, which ranged from toys to tea cups to cases for Apple Inc’s iPhones.

With 3D printing, “we’re moving to a world of mass customization,” Consumer Electronics Association analys Shawn Dubravac said.

What started with custom-printed T-shirts in the style of CafePress can now happen in all kinds of industries, he said, but added that it is still a small field and he expects that just fewer than 100,000 3D printers will be sold this year.

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