3D printing has reached a level of maturity where it’s possible for any company to release their own models. Every week we see a new 3D printer brand popup, and even Dremel got into the game a couple of years ago. But, Dremel is a tool brand, so 3D printing is at least at the periphery of their wheelhouse. Now KODAK — best known for their cameras and film — is entering the market with their “desktop professional” Portrait 3D printer.
It’s not surprising that KODAK has a partner in this endeavor, the “authorized global brand licensee of 3D printing” Smart International. Basically, that means Smart International designed and is manufacturing the 3D printer, and then they’re slapping the KODAK logo on it. That’s a common practice in many industries, so the real question is: is it any good?
Marketing buzzwords aside, the KODAK Portrait FFF (fused filament fabrication) 3D printer has the specs we’d expect from a “prosumer” model at this $3,499 price point. It has dual 1.75mm extruders — one with an all-metal hotend and one with a PTFE hotend — and both hotends are “easily swappable.” Those come standard with 0.4mm nozzles, and should be good for a 20–250 micron layer resolution. Positional accuracy is 12.5 microns in the X and Y axes, and 2.5 microns in the Z axis. The X and Y axes are riding on 16mm linear bearings, presumably pulled by belts, and the Z axis is driven by a 12mm precision ballscrew.
The KODAK Portrait has a 200 x 200 x 235 mm (7.9 x 7.9 x 9.3 inch) build volume, which is large enough to be useful, but isn’t anything to write home about. The build plate is a heated mirror attached by magnets, and with a BuildTak surface, which should be good for temperatures up to 105°C. The build area is fully-enclosed in the sheet metal body and filtered by a HEPA filter with activated carbon in order to control fumes. That’s all par for the course at this price point, and it’s the software that KODAK/Smart International is hoping will make the Portrait stand out.
That software is 3DPrinterOS running on a Raspberry Pi 3, which is an interesting choice for a professional 3D printer, but probably a good one. Users get free access to the KODAK 3D Cloud, which is “an IT-compliant printer management software.” Either through the 5" touch screen or remotely over the internet, users will be able to manage print jobs and then monitor them via a built-in video camera. It has automatic calibration and leveling, along with a filament runout sensor, so remote users can be confident that prints will run successfully without intervention — though you’ll still need someone to remove the finished print before starting a new one.
The KODAK Portrait 3D printer is available to order now, and costs $3,499 with free shipping to the US and Canada. While there isn’t anything groundbreaking about this printer, it does pack in a lot of price-appropriate features and could be a solid workhorse for the classroom, lab, or studio.