What’s up with all the tall 3D printers that suddenly have appeared?
At first it seemed to be sideline experiments, but now we are seeing a pattern. Tall 3D printers are here to stay.
In the beginning the build volume of most personal 3D printers was more or less a cube with almost equal sides. Like you’d see in a kitchen oven. However, over time experimenters worked out ways to create 3D printers that had a much larger z-axis, enabling the printing of tall objects.
These tall experiments remained in the “DIY” category until this year, when MakerBot announced their Replicator Z18, which has significant height. Leapfrog announced their Creatr XL, a tall version of their “regular” Creatr. We would not be surprised to find other manufacturers suddenly announcing taller versions of their products.
Leapfrog told us their initial display of the XL at EuroMold was just to show off an experiment. But now it seems that they detected significant enquiries about the machine that they decided to productize it. That, and MakerBot’s announcement.
But why the focus on tall. We now think it’s a natural outcome. Just take a look around you. You will see lots of tall objects, or objects taller than wide. You’ll also see wide objects that could be printed in tall 3D printers by simply orienting them along the vertical. It turns out there are simply more “lengthy” objects than “cubic” objects.
The world is not made of cubes.