THIS YEAR'S CES in Las Vegas was the first to host a dedicated 3D Printing Zone, with companies from every corner of the globe showing off their latest 3D printing innovations.
While the 3D Printing Zone at CES was home to some exciting gadgets and models that you'd swear couldn't have been produced by a printer, there was nothing particulary new on show. However, that's not to say that the zone wasn't exciting, as although there were no jaw-dropping products on show, it drove home the message that the 3D printing revolution is coming and that 3D printers are edging closer to becoming mainstream products.
A poster from Makerbot that read, "Five years ago, we were the only 3D printing company at CES", summed it up well, with this year's CES hosting 28 dedicated 3D printing companies, up from just eight in 2013.
With 3D printers likely to be on store shelves across the UK before we know it, here's our pick of the best 3D printing technology and 3D printed examples from this year's CES.
Makerbot Replicator Mini
We managed to catch a look at Makerbot's Replicator Mini, a product designed as an entry-level 3D printer. The product, which is priced at $1,375, sees the firm targeting the prosperous consumer, and the printer is designed with ease of use and simplicity in mind.
According to the firm, it can print quicker than most 3D printers, and with a built-in camera on it the device lets users send pictures of their 3D printed objects to friends and family. It's also got a one-button interface and offers "plug and play" usability.
Kickstarter success story 3D Doodler isn't your average 3D printer.
Instead, 3D Doodler arrives in the form of a pen, allowing users to sketch objects in a 3D space, with the doodles they draw coming off of the paper. 3D Doodler is targeting its product at the ordinary consumer, with the device presently available for pre-order, priced at $99.
3D Systems Chefjet
Chefjet isn't your average 3D printer, either.
Designed by US company 3D Systems, Chefjet doesn't print out the usual head replicas or pen-tops, and instead goes ater your sweet spot, producing various sweet treats. However, with Chefjet printers having a $5,000 starting price, we think this could be one of the products shown off at CES that might not take off.
This 3D printed drum set
It's not a 3D printer, but this 3D printed drum set stopped us in our tracks on the CES show floor.
Not only was there a 3D printed drum set, but there was also somebody strumming on a 3D printed guitar and another playing a 3D printed bass, which shows the range of creative innovations that 3D printing can make possible. µ