Now back to your regularly scheduled posts! Life caught up with me for a day or so since I didn’t have a chance to post until now, but here’s the post about the Mcor Iris 3d printer (below)!
It’s a pretty interesting machine! It prints full-color models by cutting and gluing successive sheets of 8.5×11 office paper together. Basically, you load an obj file (with the color profile embedded) into the software, and it slices your model and prints each layer on a sheet of paper (along with a barcode that tells the machine which order the layers go in). There is a standard inkjet 2-dimensional printer in the base that does the layer printing. Then, the 3d part comes when you load it into the top part! After loading all the sheets, the printer then cuts and glues them like a big automated craft project.
It produces really interesting things with full color, however that’s not the main application I have seen it used for. The big pro for this printer is when it is applied to vacuum forming. You can print out your form in paper with the Mcor, which makes it much more resistant to the heat that vacuum forming needs to melt the plastic around your form. A lot of forms that are made with plastic only last a few times before they start melting and deforming from the heat.
That being said, there are a few downsides…. For starters, if you don’t use it frequently, the ink in the inkjet printer dries up, and that causes you to have to run color cleaning pages through the printer until the ink runs clean. This process of restoring the ink is very time consuming! I can’t speak to the level of physical maintenance however, as I have never handled maintenance on it… just printing. Also, you do need to make sure not to waste paper… I printed out a little 2x2x2 inch figurine, and it took 300 sheets of paper! So, if being eco-friendly and caring about paper waste is your thing, then make sure to pack a few prints into one 8.5×11 inch build space and optimize the amount of paper used. There are even certain orientations that will use more paper than other orientations!
I also feel like the printer is fairly expensive for what it does (in the $50,000 range). That being said, it is still a neat concept!
So, that’s all I really have to say about the Mcor. However, I have now reached the point of comparing all these printers to Hyrel printers (The printers I will be using for the future projects I talk about in coming posts in the next few months). Now, since all the other reviews have been completed, I’ll outline why I have chosen Hyrel with respect to the other printers. Stay tuned and thanks for reading so far!
John (aka The Mad Printer)