3D Printer Uses Office Paper

Mcor Technologies recently launched a brand new rapid prototyping machine. The Mcor Matrix forgoes the standard of expensive and rare build materials by using A4 office paper. The machine selectively deposits glue on the sheet of paper: more glue on the cross-section, less on the waste. It then uses a blade to cut out the part profile. The vertical resolution is determined by the paper thickness. You can use either 20lb paper, which has a thickness of .1mm, or 40lb, which is twice as thick, so it will build twice as fast. The final part can be sanded and painted like wood. The idea is similar to LOM, but those machines require specialized paper. It’s nice to see a company intentionally target a low cost of ownership. If they had used a laser though, you’d only have to worry about sourcing the glue. Machine and material prices have yet to be announced.

[via Fabbaloo]

41 thoughts on “3D Printer Uses Office Paper

  1. It would be interesting to find out how compatible it is with paper that has been printed on (eg: toner) – there are waste bins brimming with A4 copy paper that have the wrong thing printed on them and end up going to the recycling bin….

  2. this is so cool it will probably work faster than the normal dust too because it doesn’t have to lay it out i bet its stronger too i hate how the rapid prototyped plaster always shatters with the slightest touch i agree that lasers would be good but why not use some type of arc to cut it that wouldn’t get dirty like a laser

  3. @aonomus:
    Great Idea! My school has so much waste paper they are filling dumpsters each week! I could go to the library and get enough paper to build a house!!!

    For ages now I’ve been on the fence waiting for something cheaper, and now it’s free! This is going to be my next project! I have the servos and controllers from a few old scanners and some industrial paper feed mechanisms from the tons of printers I got from work! Now all I need is an Arduino, a high powered red laser (I bought the 720nm lasers for my Multi-Touch table from aixiz.com and they were awesome!) and some Angle Iron for a frame!

    Right after I finish my Multi-Touch Table! :D

  4. I’m not so sure about the material costs, if you’re using new paper. At 10 sheets per millimeter, it could be at least 6 eurocents per millimeter in height, if you buy the paper in bulk (as in, 40 boxes at a time), and at least twice that it you have to buy in smaller quantities at consumer prices. At consumer prices, that house in the picture (I assume 80mm height) would cost about 10 euros for the paper alone.

  5. After digging around a bit the “Irish Times” newspaper gives out the price point at us$22,000 , so they eat alot of horse doodo when they say it’s “50 times cheaper than a normal 3d printer” seeing how a cheaper high quality 3d printer would be 60-70 grand.

  6. I was talking to the company at TCT this year.
    If you look at the website the total cost of that house is €1.20 this is inclusive of paper, glue and blade.
    lasers cause fires!
    cost per cc is 0.01c euro
    even if the house was 10euro which it is not the cost of making this machine on other 3d printers would be 40/50 times more expensive this is what they mean when they say 50times cheaper not the cost of the machine.

  7. forgoes expensive supplies and uses standard A4 paper.

    so here in the USA it still uses expensive supplies. As a ream of A4 paper costs $64.00US here at a local office supply store.

    Why us here in the usa still use retarded paper sizes I’ll never know. but then we are raging morons and still use the antiquated english measurement instead of metric…

  8. I bought a LOM a few years back on EBay. It was a nice machine, it’s only problem was its size. It was about as big as a mini cooper.
    It took up an entire bay of my garage. I wound of getting a Stratasys FDM and selling the LOM.

    The LOM never required specialized paper. It was just standard butcher paper which has a light coat of wax on one side. Maybe they told people it was special but it wasn’t. Kind of like my parents use to tell me…

  9. @Insipid Melon
    you might be interested in http://www.tamasoft.co.jp/pepakura-en/

    I think the zcorp 510 is around $45,000 and it prints in color

    @skitchin, Most 3d models will need some kind of cleaning up or modification. Some inside geometry might need to be removed. Or parts of the model will need to be redesigned to make the final 3D model more stable.

    This mcor technology would be great for schools. I like the idea of using scrap paper. But, the $20k price might make some schools think twice. There is a product called Rapidpro that is designed for schools but uses self adhesive paper. Rapidpro costs probably half as much and comes with a curriculum.

  10. how about instead of paper, thick sheets of currugated cardboard? it would be much quicker and use much less glue. Plus you would only need an old box or something to build a fairly decent sized prototype.

  11. The thing with MCOR is not the cost of the printer, but the cost of the media. The ZCorp and other 3D printers use really expensive proprietary goop as print media, whereas the MCOR uses plain old paper, which is indeed waaay less expensive than the proprietary goop.

  12. I hesitated to post on the first day, but what the heck…

    This isn’t a hack, its just an ad. And the product isn’t even a hack/breakthrough in its industry. Now, if they were selling it for US$1,000 then that would be a great deal (I will give a +1 to the idea of recycling standard office paper).

    There are lots of sites out there talking about the various rapid prototyping methods. I still think that UM/Rolla’s idea of using water/ice to make investment casts is the best for a hacker-type (electricity + water) though wax depositing might be easier and not much more expensive since you can reclaim the wax after casting and don’t need freezing capacity.

    What would I love to see? Electron-beam sintering machines at the $1,000 price threshold, or a Kinkos-like, web-based company using the same at affordable prices.

  13. Coloring the glue? i assume they’re using diluted glue (to deposit a finer film and pattern). So, just put down extra ink and let the glue absorb the ink – it is water based and takes dyes quite nicely.

    Now, how do we make one of these for ourselves?

    A vinyl cutter/plotter seems like a natural start for the paper cutter.
    An inkjet seems obvious for the glue – until you realize that dried glue is a @$%*# to clear. So, maybe a syringe like system? Or something that can self-clean?

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