Will.i.am’s company 3D Systems has just announced its newest creation: a 3D printer. But before you skip to the next article, note that this 3D printer isn’t like all the rest. This printer called the “Ekocycle Cube” partly uses recycled plastic bottles as printing fuel. Interested? Here’s the scoop.
The Ekocycle Cube Backed by Coca-Cola
By partnering with Coca-Cola, the 3D Systems team has been able to create the Ekocycle Cube. The cartridges used to print with this machine are packed with filament that’s made mostly from recycled plastic bottles. How much of the cartridge contains recycled plastic? Approximately 25%, says company reps. The 3D printer will work much like other 3D offerings on the market – fill it with a cartridge, set up what you want to print, and out will come your 3D object.
What most people are waiting for from 3D printing companies, though, isn’t so much a machine that prints using recycled materials. What most people want to see is a lower price. Unfortunately, the Ekocycle Cube isn’t entirely affordable at $1,199. But, Willl.i.am is hoping to entice buyers by offering buyers 25 different tech, fashion, and music accessories to go along with the cube. What does that mean? I’m not sure, but it’s one way that the company plans to get people to shell out a little less than $2k for a 2D printer.
The Aim and Goal
In a recent press release, Will.i.am told the media that the cube was aimed at making it “cool” to recycle, and “cool” to use products that come from recycled materials. Did I miss a memo? Wasn’t it already on trend and “cool” to purchase recycled materials and items? Maybe this printer will effectively jump on the bandwagon, but I kind of think it’s too late to be a part of the in-crowd. Plus, there’s that price tag to consider – would you spend $1,199 on a 3D printer simply because it prints using 25% recycled material?
Will.i.am is also into building smartwatches and launching music apps – the later being something that he says all musicians should get more into. He plans to get more involved in music hardware, and urges other musicians to do the same. It’s always nice to note when a new product like this one goes to market, but do we really need another 3D printer? Maybe we do – but we need one that’s affordable and not just “cool.”
Sorry, Will.i.am, you’ll have to lower that price to get people to buy this printer, and I’m not even sure that will work. Yes, it’s nice to see that a part of the cartridge is made from recycled material, but why can’t that technology be applied to regular printers? Maybe that’s the way to go. 3D printers seem to have fizzled out a little while ago.
I’d like to know: will you consider buying this printer? Does it matter that Will.i.am is behind it? Where do you all stand with this new 3D printing device?