Having two print heads means you can use one to print the object while the other can print support structures that can later be dissolved away.
Good grief. No sooner had I penned my column about my 3D printer arriving than I saw an announcement for a forthcoming 3D printer that made me drool.
The unit in question is the Zim (I cannot help myself from thinking "Invader Zim") from a company called Zeepro.
Zim: The first dual-head personal 3D printer.
Now, I love my (second-generation) Solidoodle 3D Printer, not least because it physically resides in my office, while the Zim is still more of a potentiality in the space-time continuum. I say this because the Zim is still largely in the prototype stage. To bring it firmly into reality, Zeepro announced Wednesday that is launching a Kickstarter project Friday, Sept. 13. This means that the people who run Zeepro aren't particularly superstitious, or they aren't very good at thinking things through.
If the Zim project comes to fruition, it will be very tasty. The key element is the fact that, unlike every other personal 3D printer, the Zim boasts a dual head assembly. This means that users can print their 3D objects in multiple colors. More importantly (for the parts I would like to create), it means you can use one extruder to print the object while the other extruder prints support structures in PVA plastic (which dissolves in water). This opens the doors to all sorts of possibilities.
The folks who are creating the Zim have obviously been thinking about this a lot, and they've come up with all sorts of interesting ideas. For example, the Zim will come with a digital camera whose output can be fed to the Internet, thereby allowing you to monitor the state of your 3D creation while you are racing around in the outside world.
I will be keeping a watchful eye on the progress of the Zim while happily playing with my Solidoodle. Mayhap, in the fullness of time, I will think about upgrading to something like a Zim.