Polaroid, the company perhaps best known for instant photo cameras, has jumped into 3D printers, announcing the new ModelSmart 250S at CES. The single extruder printer, made in partnership with UK inkjet cartridge maker Environmental Business Products, will initially be available only to the European market.
The sharp-looking ModelSmart 250S 3D printer bears the familiar (at least if you're over 40) Polaroid colors, adding a touch of nostalgia and brand continuity to the device. Print resolution can be adjusted from 50 to 350 microns, an internal Wi-Fi-enabled camera allows remote monitoring of projects, the extruder calibrates itself and a print speed of between 20 and 100 mm, while not the fastest, is nevertheless respectable. The maximum size of a printed model is 250 x 150 x 150 mm (10 x 6 x 6 in).
The ModelSmart 250S uses Polaroid's own 1.75 mm PLA filament that's available in 9 colors. In addition, a wood-based filament is also available. Filament cartridges include an integrated smart chip that senses and reports the amount of material remaining within a cartridge.
Special adhesive sheets called Z-Axis Sheets are intended to be used with every project. The transparent dual-sided sheets reportedly make it effortless to start and remove what you're printing. Polaroid also claims that the sheets reduce wear and tear on the print head.
The company refers to the ModelSmart 250S as plug-and-play. Software designed to run on Windows and Mac is included, with Polaroid's Prep 3D printing software claimed to have you printing an object in as few as 3 clicks. A rudimentary library of .STL files is provided, with more projects of course available on open-source online repositories.
The fully assembled ModelSmart 250S 3D printer and related consumables will be available in Europe from early 2016. We've no word on pricing.