Disruptive Technology

Addwii Enters Market with Low Cost Full Color 3D Printing


Taiwanese company Addwii makes a bold entry into the binder jetting market, offering a speedy 3D printer at a fraction of the usual cost.

addwiiThe 3D printing industry has been turned on its head with the launch of the X1 from Taiwan-based Addwii, a full-color binder jetting 3D printer that costs only $12,680. Why is this a big deal? Because industry players like 3D Systems have dominated the full color 3D printing market for years, with machines that cost more than 3 times as much.

Binder jetting methods are superior to many other additive manufacturing techniques because they offer a better model resolution, faster manufacturing, minimal material waste, and — most importantly — wider color palette. The main issue is the cost of buying one, which currently remains as high as $40,000.

The printer looks and works very similar to a 3D Systems Projet 660. But in actual fact the X1 performs even faster, printing in a resolution of 1200 dots per inch (dpi) at 42 mm/hr on the Z axis, for a layer thickness of 80 to 120 microns.

Too good to be true? Addwii has added credibility through their close collaboration with MicroJet, a large producer of inkjet cartridges. MicroJet has been occupied with R&D work in the sector of inkjet printers and piezoelectric devices for several years, and already holds over six hundred patents for exclusive technology.

Although Addwii is a relatively new company, founded in 2011, their first product looks very promising. The company looks to further entice new customers by offering some additional “extras”. Customers will have access to a database of printable models consisting of over 300 files, and they can also buy a powder cleaner device that allows users to post-process their finished model in a confined space, whilst simultaneously re-capturing material for future use.

For many folks, of course, $12,680 is *still* too high a price tag. But if companies like Addwii continue to disrupt the existing 3D printer market, these more complex additive manufacturing technologies will soon trickle down to fablabs and small businesses keen to experiment with full color 3D printing.