Canon to enter 3D Printing market

Initial concept illustration for Canon’s 3D printer that’s currently in development. The OEM predicts two years before its new 3D Printer hits the marketplace.
Initial concept illustration for Canon’s 3D printer that’s currently in development. The OEM predicts two years before its new 3D Printer hits the marketplace.

You can now add Canon to the list of major press and printer manufacturers (like Heidelberg, Konica Minolta, HP, and others) who have already begun expanding into the lucrative 3D market via new prototypes, equipment and affiliations. During the recent Canon Expo held in Paris, France, Canon revealed plans to enter the 3D printing market with new proprietary technology.

The OEM displayed parts built by its new prototype system while emphasizing that existing systems share a number of major problems – including low speeds, limited material capabilities, end-product durability and accuracy, and complex post-processing techniques and procedures.

Canon’s solution is a system based on traditional resins that it says will offer expanded material diversity, will reduce post-processing requirements, and will include water-soluble support materials.

canon3dprinting1-inIn other words, an entire digital environment it calls a “3D Integrated Software” solution. This system will include 3D scanners, AM systems and easy-to-use digital design tools to create 3D products for both rapid prototyping as well as rapid manufacturing. Canon is predicting a window of at least two years before it has a working 3D Printer ready for commercial release.

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Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.