There are numerous 3D Blu-Ray player brands with their own different products available. In this article you will be able to discover more about 3D Blu-Ray technology and its requirements, features, benefits and drawbacks.
LG Electronics UP970 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray Player
OPPO BDP-103 Universal Disc Player
Sony UBP-X800 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
Panasonic DMP-BDT210 Integrated-Wi-Fi 3D Blu-ray
Samsung Electronics UBD-K8500 3Dy
What Is a 3D Blu-Ray Player?
A 3D Blu-Ray player is a device which is used to play 3D Blu-Ray discs. These discs contain encoded image information at a resolution of either 720p or 1080p, and at 24 frames per second which is a method known as frame packing: when two frames are stacked one on top of the other.
When you put a 3D Blu-Ray disc into a 3D Blu-Ray player, the laser component reads the 3D signal and transmits the video information through the remainder of the connection chain. This chain must include a TV or video projector with 3D capabilities.
The TV or video projector then takes the 3D signal and decodes it, which results in the two stacked frames being displayed simultaneously but overlapping.
One of these frames is for the left eye to see and another for the right eye, and when special 3D glasses are worn you are able to see both images merged into a singular 3D image.
To use a 3D Blu-Ray player successfully, you must utilize a HDMI connection of at least ver 1.4 or above in order to transmit a 3D signal.
What Is the History of 3D Blu-Ray Players?
On 17 December 2009, the Blu-Ray Disc Association made an official announcement of required 3D specifications for Blu-Ray discs, which permitted backward compatibility for the current 2D Blu-Ray players which were already on the market.
Sony was one of the first companies to adopt this new technology; allowing 3D compatibility to the Sony PlayStation 3 console on 21 April 2010, and then on the 21 September 2010 it added 3D support for Blu-Ray through a firmware upgrade.
How Do I Use a 3D Blu-Ray Player?
In order to use a 3D Blu-Ray player, you firstly need to ensure that it is connected correctly to your 3D enabled TV or video projector.
Then you need to insert the disc into the player and start playing it, before putting your 3D glasses on, sitting back and enjoying your movie in 3D!
What Accessories Do I Need to Use in Conjunction with a 3D Blu-Ray Player?
To use a 3D Blu-Ray player you will need to have a 3D enabled TV or video projector, a 3D Blu-Ray disc to play, and suitable 3D glasses.
The 3D glasses may be either Passive Polarized or Active Shutter, depending on which model of 3D capable TV you are using. If you are using a video projector then you will need the Active Shutter glasses.
The type of 3D Blu-Ray player or disc has no effect on the kind of 3D glasses that you will require.
How Much Does a 3D Blu-Ray Player Cost?
3D Blu-Ray players range in price quite considerably. At the lower end of the scale, a product will set you back between $100 and $300, and at the upper end you will be looking to pay between $700 and $1000 for a product with more features and better specifications.
What are the Features and Benefits of a 3D Blu-Ray Player?
When using a 3D Blu-Ray player, in conjunction with 3D glasses, a 3D disc and a 3D TV or video projector, you are able to watch all of your favorite films in three dimensional quality.
A 3D Blu-Ray player will also play DVDs, CDs and regular Blu-Ray discs, making it a versatile and multi purpose piece of equipment for your home entertainment setup. It is also possible to connect a 3D Blu-Ray player to a streaming service such as Netflix or Hulu.
Most models of 3D Blu-Ray players come with added features such as USB and SD card compatibility which allows you to view content from external media, although this will not be possible in 3D quality unless your media is already saved in this format.
Another useful feature is multiple disc capacity; this means you are able to watch another disc without having to get up and swap discs in your player. 3D Blu-Ray players can hold up to five different discs, and many models feature a hard drive for extra storage space.
The Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) allows you to access content and media that is stored on other devices in your home. This makes it easy to share photos, videos and music between TVs, computers and smartphones in your home, using a home network.
A Wi-Fi capable 3D Blu-Ray player means your device can connect easily to the internet without the need for an ethernet cable or an additional wifi adaptor which will require the use of a USB port. This allows you the ability to download or stream movies online.
Many 3D Blu-Ray players are capable of adjusting the image output; it may be possible to switch between 4:3 and 16:9 screen aspect ratios, and also to adjust the zoom level, blackness level, and the angle from which you view the scene if this is possible with the disc you choose.
4K upscaling is a feature which allows media in lower resolutions such as 720p or 1080p to be viewed in 4K definition. While this is not quite as effective as viewing a disc that is already in 4K definition, upscaling is a useful feature for improving your viewing experience.
The final feature that may come with your 3D Blu-Ray player is surround sound capability, either multichannel or Digital Theatre Systems format. However it should be noted that to enjoy surround sound to the best extent, you will need to source and purchase a number of external speakers to do this.
What Are the Drawbacks of a 3D Blu-Ray Player?
The main drawback of 3D Blu-Ray players is that TVs with 3D capabilities are becoming few and far between.
3D capability is a feature that isn’t being regularly included on many new TV models, and unfortunately it is a requirement in order to be able to play 3D Blu-Ray discs successfully.
You must ensure that your firmware is updated regularly in order for the player to continue to work correctly and effectively, otherwise you may encounter problems.
It should also be noted that a 3D Blu-Ray player with a ‘Wi-Fi Ready’ label will not connect automatically; it will require an adaptor which you will have to purchase separately.
What Are the Top 5 3D Blu-Ray Player Brands?
With so many different 3D Blu-Ray player brands to choose from, and each with their own unique models available, it can be hard to know the best one to go for when buying a new product for yourself.
Here is some information on a few of the best 3D Blu-Ray player brands with products currently on the market.
LG Electronics UP970 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray Player
LG is a major brand for consumer electronics, and it sells a wide variety of home entertainment products. This brand sells a full range of video player products at a wide selection of price points, so you have a great selection of 3D Blu-Ray players to choose from.
The models by LG feature smart TV capabilities, wireless connectivity, and numerous other innovations to improve your home entertainment experience.
The LG UP970 has topped a 2018 Best Blu-Ray Player list, thanks to its quality level of performance, its ability to read almost all formats of disc, and the effective amount of contrast in the display as a result of the HDR feature.
Some of our recommendations from this brand include:
OPPO BDP-103 Universal Disc Player
Oppo is a smaller technology company, although since launching in China in 2004 its products are now sold throughout the world and are highly ranked by consumers.
Oppo’s 3D Blu-Ray players feature advanced video processing technology as well as 4K upscaling, and all models are universal, meaning they can support all kinds of discs including SACDs and DVD audio music discs.
3D Blu-Ray players by Oppo are Roku-ready, which means they are able to accept a Roku Streaming Stick which can be plugged into the MHL enabled HDMI output.
The first universal disc player with Blu-Ray capability was the BDP-83. The BDP-93, which was released in 2010, featured 3D capability and dual signal HDMI output.
After these came the BDP-95 model, which had identical video performance and function along with improved audio output capabilities.
The following BDP-103 and BDP-105 players came out at the end of 2012, and had dual HDMI signal input as well as dual HDMI signal output. The BDP-103D, released in October 2013 was the first Blu-Ray player to feature Darbee Visual Presence technology.
The end of 2016 saw the introduction of the 203, the first Oppo 4K/UHD Blu-Ray player which is backwards compatible like previous Oppo models. The most recent 3D Blu-Ray player release is the 205, which includes added audiophile features.
Some of our recommendations from this brand include:
Sony UBP-X800 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
Sony is one of the largest global consumer electronics manufacturers, and produces a variety of home entertainment products including 3D Blu-Ray players.
Many of Sony’s models feature full 1080P HD, high resolution audio capabilities, music streaming and multi room listening via Bluetooth, built in Wi-Fi capability, and 4K upscaling models which are compatible with Sony’s UHD TVs.
Some of our recommendations from this brand include:
Panasonic DMP-BDT210 Integrated-Wi-Fi 3D Blu-ray
Another of the big guns in regards to the production and sale of consumer electronic devices, Panasonic is known for producing a smaller selection of Blu-Ray products including 3D Blu-Ray players which are widely available and come at a range of different price points from $120 to $700, depending on the features that you require.
Panasonic 3D Blu-Ray players have numerous desirable features, including unique processing technology and smart network functions for different 4K media, along with 4K upscaling and 4K photo playback capabilities.
Some of our recommendations from this brand include:
Samsung Electronics UBD-K8500 3D Wi-Fi 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
The final one of the major consumer electronics brands that we recommend for 3D Blu-Ray players is Samsung.
This brand is known as an innovative company when it comes to many different categories of product; it was one of the very first brands to feature a Blu-Ray player in a home theatre in a box system.
Samsung was also one of the first companies to offer a Blu-Ray player with 3D capabilities that included 4K upscaling in order to work with UHD TVs.
Many Samsung 3D Blu-Ray player models feature 4K upscaling or 4K UHD capabilities, HDR, smart Blu-Ray, built in Wi-Fi capabilities, 360 degree content playback, video upscaling and multi room compatibility. The different products are sold at a range of price points.
Some of our recommendations from this brand include:
With a range of features and benefits, a 3D Blu-Ray player gives you the opportunity to watch you favorite movies in the most exciting way.
Provided that you have compatible accessories and your chosen product has the correct specifications for your needs, selecting a model from one of the top 5 3D Blu-Ray player brands will ensure a worthy investment for your home entertainment system.
Featured Image via Flickr
3D printing was first patented in the 1980s, the first machines were used for industrial purposes and they were very expensive. In recent years, desktop 3D printers have become readily available and they’re more affordable. Creating models, toys and prototypes in the home is now within reach of more people.
Desktop 3D printers are compact and portable unlike the cumbersome machines used for manufacturing.
How do 3D Desktop Printers Work?
Before printing an object, it needs to be designed using computer software and then that design is then sent to the 3D printer. The printer produces very thin layers which are printed one on top of the other. These layers stick together until the 3D object is complete.
The 3D printing process is called fused deposition modeling (FDM). The materials used to produce the print are heated and dispensed from special nozzles. As the layers are produced, the materials cool before setting to make the solid object.
Any molten material that can cool down and set can be used to make 3D prints. Plastics, steel, nylon, resins and polycarbonates are all used by 3D printers to produce various items.
There are some important components that make a 3D desktop printer and it’s useful to look at the components and what they do.
The build area determines the size of the object that is created by a 3D printer. Desktop models will not have a huge build area due to their compact size. The surface of the build area should be flat and this is called the print bed.
Some print beds are heated to prevent objects warping when the print is cooling down. When plastic or other materials cool there is some shrinkage which can cause warping. Some printers do not have a heated print bed and this limits the materials that can be used to print.
The hot end is a vital part of any 3D printer and it’s where the material is heated before it’s extruded. There are various types of hot end for extruding different materials at varying temperatures.
Peek Based Hot End
Peek based hot ends are able to extrude various thermoplastics up to a maximum temperature of 230°C. Peek based hot ends need to be well maintained to prevent them from clogging.
All Metal Hot End
All metal hot ends are needed for extruding nylon and polycarbonates which are heated to high temperatures. All metal hot ends extrude materials up to a maximum temperature of 320°C. All metal hot ends do not require any maintenance and rarely clog.
The filament is the plastic or other material that the 3D printer uses to create the finished product. Filaments come in 2 sizes and are 1.75mm or 3mm depending on the type of printer. The filament is on a spool which is loaded into the printer.
The extruder on a 3D printer is needed to feed the plastic or other material to the hot end. There will either be a direct extruder which is mounted on the hot end for finer control of the filament, or the other type of extruder is call a Bowden and this feeds the hot end from a distance for more accurate 3D prints.
Most 3D printers have one or more cooling fans which reduce the temperature of the print. Having a 3D printer with efficient cooling will produce better prints with a nicer finish.
A 3D printer contains many electrical components as well as the mechanical components used for printing. Printers have a power supply, electric motors, thermostats and a motherboard. The motherboard communicates with the computer and the software to create 3D prints.
Reasons to Use a 3D Desktop
There are a number of good reasons to buy and use a 3D desktop printer in your home. Learning to design and print items is rewarding, educational and fun. Making your own tools, toys and household items saves you money, time and it has environmental benefits.
Save Time And Money
If you are able to make your own tools or spare parts for a broken piece of machinery you’ll save money. After the initial outlay for the 3D printer, many things can be made for a fraction of the price you would have to pay for them. Making unique gifts for family and friends is another way to save your hard earned cash.
You’ll also save time by not having to visit stores or shop online for the things you need. Once you’ve submitted your design to the 3D printer you can sit back and wait for the finished product.
Learning to use a 3D printer and designing prints is a great way to learn new skills and it’s a particularly good way to educate children. Children love to create things and seeing something that they’ve designed come out of the printer is very rewarding. Using a 3D printer teaches children computer skills which is important in today's technological world.
3D printing at home has environmental benefits and you’ll be helping the planet. When goods have to be made in factory it contributes to air pollution, and the items have to be shipped. 3D printing produces less waste than manufacturing which is another environmental benefit.
Shipping items by land, sea and air uses fuel which is damaging to the environment. Making your own things in the home reduces the amount of goods that have to be transported.
How to Choose a 3D Desktop
When choosing a 3D desktop one of the most important things is the bed size of the printer. You’ll need to think about the things you want to print so that the machine can accommodate the finished product.
Layer thickness is another important thing to consider when choosing a 3D desktop. The majority of home printers produce layers starting from 20 microns to 500 microns. The thinner the layers are the better the finished print, but printing thinner layers takes longer.
Before buying a 3D desktop printer it’s useful to check what materials it uses to make prints. Many of the printers are able to use a variety of materials but some may only use plastic. If your printer only uses one material it will limit the type of things you’re able to produce.
Choose a printer that allows you to change the nozzle for different projects. If you want to produce accurate and highly detailed prints you’ll need to use a smaller nozzle. Nozzle sizes for the majority of desktop 3D printers range from 0.25mm to 0.8mm.
If you’re new to the world of 3D printing it’s better to buy a basic printer until you’ve learned how to design and print. Some 3D desktops are aimed at experienced printers and may be too complex for beginners. When you become more experienced you always have the option to upgrade your printer.
What Are The Top 5 3D Desktop Brands?
We’ve selected 5 manufacturers that produce desktop 3D printers that are suitable for home use.
MakerBot Industries is based in the United States with their headquarters in New York City.
MakerBot produce a range of 3D printers including the desktop models the Replicator+ and the Replicator Mini+. The Replicator + is an upgraded version of the original Replicator and new model has a larger build volume that its predecessor. It prints 30% faster than the old model and features a grip surface which prevents prints from warping.
A great feature on this printer is the built-in camera which allows you to monitor your prints from a mobile device.
The Replicator Mini+ is a compact desktop 3D printer making it a great choice for hobbyists. The printer is lightweight and portable whilst remaining robust and durable.
MakerBot printers can be controlled using the control panel, or remotely using the free MakerBot Print software. MakerBot 3D printers are compatible with Windows and Mac operating systems. Files can be sent to the Replicator Mini+ via Wi-Fi or USB and the Replicator+ has an ethernet port.
FormLabs is a technology manufacturer and developer based in massachusetts in the United States.
FormLabs manufacture industrial and desktop 3D printers and their Form 1 was released in 2012. The new Form 2 desktop printer is an upgraded version of the Form 1 and it’s a great choice for a home printer. FormLabs printers produce high quality prints with an excellent finish.
FormLabs printers use laser technology to cure the prints made from liquid photopolymer resin. The resin is contained in cartridges which are quick and easy to change when necessary.
The Form 2 features a touch screen display, a handy peeling mechanism and wireless controls. FormLabs printers are controlled by their PreForm software which can be downloaded for Windows or Mac. Files are sent to FormLabs printers via Wi-FI, USB or the ethernet connection.
Aleph Objects Incorporated
Aleph Objects Incorporated is a US company based in Loveland, Colorado.
Aleph Objects make a range of 3D printers and the Lulzbot Mini, Mini 2 and Taz 6 are compact desktop printers aimed at the enthusiast. In June 2018 Aleph Objects released the LulzBot Mini 2 which is an upgraded version of the original. LulzBot printers produce good quality prints with a clean finish.
LulzBot 3D printers support a variety of printing material making them more versatile than other printers that are available. Nylon, polycarbonate and t-glase, which is a transparent material, can all be used by LulzBot machines.
One of the downsides with LulzBot 3D printers is that they have to be tethered to a laptop or desktop computer whilst printing. The Cura software needed to control the printer is a free download compatible with Windows and Mac.
iMakr is a UK-based company with stores in London and New York.
iMakr make a number of desktop 3D printers including the FlashForge Finder, Creator Pro and the Dreamer. FlashForge printers are a good choice for newcomers to the world of 3D printing as they’re easy to use. The compact printers made by iMakr produce quality prints at an affordable price.
iMakr FlashForge printers can be loaded with a variety of materials to create prints apart from the Finder which only uses polylactic acid. The Dreamer and Creator Pro are capable of printing with metals which makes them a good choice for engineers.
iMakr FlashForge 3D printers are compatible with Windows and Mac operating systems and can be controlled with software including Flashprint and Cura. All of the desktop printers made by iMakr have a display screen and designs are sent via Wi-Fi or USB.
Ultimaker is a dutch company and they have offices and manufacturing facilities in the United States.
Ultimaker manufacture a number of 3D printers for industrial uses and for hobbyists. The Ultimaker 2+ is their desktop model and it’s a good choice for the more experienced designer and printer. Ultimaker 3D printers are not the cheapest but they’re very well made and produce high-quality prints.
Ultimaker 3D printers work with a range of materials including plastics and nylon, making them versatile. The nozzles are interchangeable to allow for different print qualities and varying print speed.
Ultimaker printers are controlled with Ultimakers own Cura software via a USB port and there’s an SD card slot. The printers are compatible with Windows and Mac operating systems.
The fascinating world of 3D printing awaits you and if you’re looking for a well made 3D desktop printer there’s a huge choice. The brands that we’ve looked at in this article are all a good choice when you plan to make a purchase. There are 3D printers suitable for beginners and experts alike, and there are machines to suit all budgets.
For those of you looking to create in 3D, you not only need good skills but also great software to support your talent. What an individual is looking for in 3D software varies for a number of reasons. There are two main kinds of 3D software available on the market. Here we give you the lowdown on both kinds and what they do, and then share our favorite options.
No matter what you are looking for in 3D software, there is definitely a compatible program out there for you and we are here to help you find it. Before we get into our top five choices let's take a closer look at some key things to consider when it comes to selecting the perfect software for you.
Things to Consider When Choosing 3D Software
There is no ‘one size fits all’ 3D software when it comes to addressing and supporting specific professional needs and capabilities. What an expert may be looking for in software can be very different to what a beginner needs. That said, there are a few main things everyone should consider before selecting a 3D software, regardless of ability and experience.
Depending on the particular desired outcome, you may find that you need to use both kinds of 3D software. Both CAD and modeling software can contribute in their own right to different parts of various projects. So, first consider what you wish to print and this will help you decide what kind of software you need, or if you may need both.
The most important thing to consider when choosing a 3D software is what your desired outcome is. CAD software and modeling software are both great but for different things. CAD is used for more industrial purposes. It is great for designing mechanical and industrial objects. Whereas 3D modeling software is used when making films or video games and special effects.
Another important thing to consider is how much disk space your computer will need to support the setup and installation of 3D software. As a general rule of thumb most 3D work will require at least 16 GB RAM but preferably more. So, before you take the plunge and start trying to download some great new software, check that your computer has a good amount of memory.
You will need memory, not only to support the initial installation but also any work that you do and want to save. Generally speaking, the installation of 3D modeling software requires around 5 GB of disk space. So be sure to consider that prior to download and installation.
For those of you who are past the beginner’s stage and are starting to take your 3D art quite seriously, another important thing to consider is a graphics card. If you do not already have one, it is definitely worth investing in. A graphics card will improve the quality of images on the screen, allowing for even better 3D image design and production.
A fast processor is great for a number of reasons. In terms of how it will help when using 3D modeling software, it really will ease your 3D art design and production. As 3D modeling software can be so big, a faster processor will help to ensure the software is able to work well.
Now we have covered some of the basics, let's get in to the main reason you are here. Read on to take a closer look at our top 5 choices of 3D software.
5 Best 3D Software
We have found the best of both CAD and modeling software, dependent on what you are looking for as a user.
This book is the most comprehensive book you will find on AutoCAD 2019 – 2D Drafting. Covering all of the 2D concepts, it uses both metric and imperial units to illustrate the myriad drawing and editing tools for this popular application. Use the companion disc to set up drawing exercises and projects and see all of the book’s figures in color. AutoCAD 2019 Beginning and Intermediate includes over 100 exercises or “mini-workshops,” that complete small projects from concept through actual plotting. Solving all of the workshops will simulate the creation of three projects (architectural and mechanical) from beginning to end, without overlooking any of the basic commands and functions in AutoCAD 2019.
This mid-range software is great for both beginners and those with experience. This is definitely aimed at intermediate users though. While it does have a wide variety of different tools, it is most likely not the best pick if you’re a heavily seasoned professional looking for advanced features.
The choice of tools and features is perfect for beginners and those looking to extend their skill set further. AutoCAD 2019 is also easy to learn how to use for new users and has excellent rendering capabilities that are photorealistic.
AutoCAD is available for both Microsoft and Mac OS X users but is only available via paid subscription. If you are interested in getting AutoCAD 2019, you can access a free trial.
TurboCAD Deluxe 2018 is another great CAD option. It comes with a variety of different tools and is also really user-friendly, especially for beginners. This powerful piece of software works well to create both 2D and 3D designs.
Compared to AutoCAD 2019, this is also a cheaper option. TurboCAD requires a one-off payment and once it’s yours, you are entitled to unlimited free support from the creators. TurboCAD is available on both Microsoft and Mac OS X operating systems. If you are interested in giving it a go you, can download it here.
Here is an option that works as both CAD and 3D modeling Software
A practical guide to SketchUp addressing the specific needs of interior designers
This is a program which gives you the best of both worlds, SketchUpis one of the most popular, free, 3D modeling and CAD software out there. Not only is it free, SketchUp is also one of the most user-friendly and easy to use 3D software packages available. If you are just starting out in the world of 3D modeling and design, this is a great choice.
Not only can you access this program with no financial investment, the easy and user-friendly interface is great for beginners. The most common use for SketchUp is for 3D architectural models, but this software has a wide variety of features to support other 3D projects too.
SketchUp comes with the ability to add on various plugins. This allows your software to adapt and evolve to support whatever 3D art or project you are working on. For example, one plug-in allows the user to convert their 3D creations into STL or OBJ format, which will make it printable on a 3D printer.
3D Modeling Software
3D Modeling Software is used for more artistic and freeform work. This kind of software is mainly used by animators, game developers and filmmakers. Users may choose 3D modeling software over CAD because it gives them more control. 3D modeling software allows more direct input to individual surfaces and vertices that make up the shape being worked on. This allows creators to achieve more organic-looking final products as they have more ways to manipulate and mold the shape.
3D modeling software is incredibly diverse and complex and allows creators to work on a variety of 3D projects. 3D modeling software is used for 3D printing, 3D animation and 3D gaming, as well as architectural and industrial design. With the ability to create so much using 3D modeling software, it is important to make the right choice. Here are some of our top picks for 3D modeling software:
Deliver professional-level 3D content in no time with this comprehensive guide to 3D animation with Maya. With over 12 years of training experience, plus several award winning students under his belt, author Adam Watkins is the ideal mentor to get you up to speed with 3D in Maya.
This incredibly powerful softwarehas an extremely high-end toolset. That said, it is no surprise that this is the program of choice for many of the top VFX and animation studios, such as Pixar. However, we suggest that, if you are a beginner to the world of 3D software or creating 3D art, this might not be the best program to start with.
This extremely advanced and complex 3D modeling software definitely takes time to get your head around. With such an array of advanced and technical features, you really do need to have a good grounding in 3D art before working on Maya. For those who have the skill and time to master this incredible program, it is most certainly worth the money and will have you producing incredible 3D art.
With great power and a complex tool set comes a hefty price tag. This is one of the more expensive 3D modeling software programs out there but is definitely worth it if your experience and skill set is good enough to get your money's worth.
If you are interested in downloading Maya, it is available for Windows, Apple OS X and Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Maya is only available through monthly subscription and will only be financially realistic for those regularly using the software.
ZBrush is leading the revolution on a different approach to 3D modeling software. While most 3D modeling software combines different objects to create the final product, ZBrush allows users to carve and sculpt their images. Basically, just like a sculpture or statue would be carved out of a slab of marble, users can work the same way but on their computers.
Due to this different approach, much smoother lines and more complex shapes are easily created. That said, it is not surprising that this particular 3D modeling software is very popular among toy designers, especially when developing toys that have intricate details like action figures.
ZBrush stands out from the crowd, not only in its different approach for design and production but arguably it has one of the most complex selection of tools and features. With such a complex set of components available at the user's fingertips, it is no surprise that this is not an easy program to get your head around.
This is definitely not a program for the beginner and will be better suited for experts or those with good experience looking to develop their skills. ZBrush does not come cheap either, which is another thing to consider when making your final choice. Make sure you will be able to get back what you have invested.
All in all, there is a great deal of variety available when it comes to selecting the best 3D software for you. It all depends on your own specific set of criteria. The level of experience and skills you have, as well as how much you are prepared to spend and what your final outcome will be, will all influence your decision.
If you already have a great deal of 3D art background under your belt and are looking to develop your skills to a new level, a more complex software could be a great option. However, the best complex software also comes at a high price. With that in mind, it is probably best to ensure that what you produce with the 3D software will get you your money back.
Whatever software you decide is perfect for you, all of our suggestions are truly great in their own right. All offer a great variety of tools and features that support a number of different 3D projects. The more complex programs, however, do take longer to learn in order to use them to their full potential.
If it were up to us we would go with SketchUp, for two main reasons. First and foremost, it is free, so you don’t have much to lose if you change your mind. Secondly, it is used for both CAD and 3D modeling. SketchUp gives you the best of both worlds.
A 3D food printer is a highly specialized machine which is capable of creating three-dimensional items of food. It works by pushing out pureed foods through a variety of nozzles, and it follows pre-loaded or online digital recipes to develop items or complete meals.
Top 3D Food Printer Brands
What Are the Origins of 3D Food Printers?
The origins of 3D printers date back as far as the early 1980s, and these machines were initially used for numerous applications, including for making medical prostheses.
The first 3D printer specifically for use with food was developed in 2011 by Cornell University.
Early 3D food printers were reasonably specialized towards intricate designs made from sugar, up until about 2014. At this time, companies began looking to produce a 3D food printer which was capable of producing an entire meal.
How Do I Use a 3D Food Printer?
Different models of 3D food printers will have slightly varying instructions. Generally speaking, you need to puree the required ingredients and load them into the syringe components of the device. It has a nozzle to print the ingredients out of.
Then you need to select the recipe that you wish to use, which may need uploading it first, and away it goes! Be aware that printing larger dishes takes a considerable amount of time.
The key quality in any ingredient for a 3D food printer is that it must be able to be pureed. This is so that the ingredients can push through the syringe component of the machine to create your food.
What Food Can Be Used in a 3D Food Printer?
3D food printers are capable of using fruits, vegetables, and meats, as well as doughs for bread, pasta and pastry, and sweet ingredients such as sugar and chocolate.
How Much Does a 3D Food Printer Cost?
3D food printers are high tech devices, which unfortunately do not come cheaply. Most models range in price from $3500 to $4500, although some products with fewer functions can cost as little as $300.
What Are the Features and Benefits of a 3D Food Printer?
While a 3D food printer may seem like a very expensive investment to make, it has numerous features and benefits which no other kitchen appliance can provide you with.
Using a 3D food printer means you can create food items that were not possible before this invention. It is possible to produce new food designs, shapes, and textures, and create new meals and customized dishes of food.
A 3D printer is extremely useful for performing intricate tasks like sugar or chocolate shapes for decorating cakes and pastries. It eliminates the need for expensive molds, as well as the need for a continual steady hand!
There is no doubt that a 3D is extremely convenient. It can automatically create an entire meal at the touch of a button, it can mass produce numerous items, and it can even be programmed to create specialized or personalized meals which contain important nutrients which are beneficial to your health.
In a professional restaurant setting, a 3D food printer can save you both time and money by performing any repetitive and intricate tasks automatically and eliminating the need for using custom molds to produce food items.
The innovative technology of a 3D food printer also allows you to stand out from competitors and attract new customers and publicity.
The final benefit of 3D food printing is that the different nozzle sizes available can effectively process different textures without requiring additional unhealthy additives, such as maltodextrin, to ensure the finished product can hold its shape.
What Are the Drawbacks of 3D Food Printers?
While 3D food printers are good for mass producing a certain item so that each is identical, they have limitations. And that is on the possible textures that can be produced from pureed ingredients.
But these machines are a very recent invention. They will be evolving with upgrades, so a greater variety of textures is possible shortly. The second drawback of 3D food printers is the speed at which these machines work.
Printing an entire meal is extremely time-consuming. It would take longer than acceptable time in a restaurant setting.
Although they are effective for mass producing items. This will be helpful in a situation where the items can be made ahead of time. The wait would be too long if they were to be produced to order.
Cost is another drawback to 3D food printers. While they have unique benefits, there is no doubt that a 3D food printer is an expensive appliance. It is important to weigh up the potential benefits.
Is 3D Printed Food Safe to Eat?
It is perfectly safe to eat 3D printed food, provided the machine and all the parts used are food safe and cleaned correctly. 3D food is made up of ordinary foodstuffs which have been pureed. This is so that they can be pushed out through a nozzle to create the product of your choice. It is important when using a 3D food printer to keep both the printer and your kitchen clean.
What Are the Top 5 3D Food Printer Brands?
While there's a limited number of 3D food printers for the general public, let’s take a look at some of the top brands currently available.
Natural Machines are a pioneering company in the 3D food printer industry. They are the creators of the Foodini, one of the first products available to buyers from the general public.
As a company, Natural Machines aim is to take on the trickier parts of producing food. Their goals include streamlining more tedious food production tasks. They are for example producing breadsticks or filled ravioli, to encourage and inspired to eat more healthy foods.
Foodini is an open capsule model that the user places freshly prepared ingredients inside it to produce 3D printed meals. It allows you to prepare food in an easy and fun way, which aids you in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
A Foodini is easy to clean as the interior can be wiped down by hand. The capsule and glass plate can be placed in a dishwasher or washed by hand. A Foodini comes ready with Foodini Creator software, it requires a Wi-Fi connection.
After purchasing a Foodini product, Natural Machines will ensure that you receive free support directly, as well as guidance on how to create your recipes and prints with fresh ingredients.
The CEO of BeeHex, Anjan Contractor, is responsible for inventing NASA’s first 3D food printer which was used to produce food for missions into deep space.
He believes 3D food printing will soon have a considerable impact on the production of food in the supply chain. BeeHex as a company was founded to change the way we produce food through the modern technology in food production.
3D food printers produced by BeeHex can produce a high volume of output. It boosts operational capabilities in either a restaurant or in a private home.
It gives you creative control over your food. Watching it create new food can attract new interest and new customers to your business.
The 3D dessert decorators can provide a consistent level of quality and performance. It is fully customizable to suit any of your decorating requirements.
The small footprint, dispenses toppings and dry ingredients, to help with your production of food. The BeeHex 3D food printers also feature personalized nutrition technology.
Usable in the production of your food to meet all dietary needs based on your lifestyle and body type.
The Dutch company By Flow has specialized in 3D printing products since 2009. Believing that they could change the way food is made and experienced, they developed the ‘Focus,’ in 2015.
It is one of the first 3D food printers. By Flow has gone on to become a partner for many leading multinational companies. It also finds specific solutions to their needs and challenges with 3D food printing.
By Flow 3D food printer products are easy to use with a simple and clear control interface; you do not require any technical background to use one of these machines.
The 3D food printers feature reusable cartridges which you can fill and use with your own choice of ingredients. They are portable to fold down into a suitcase for easy transportation.
By Flow 3D food printers come with an array of 10 different refillable cartridges, and four differently sized nozzles. The package also includes five pre-prepared food designs.
You can start printing immediately, as well as upgradeable printheads. It also has a software, and access to many designs and recipes to use with the 3D food printer.
The Pancake Bot is a 3D food printer which is designed for creating and customizing pancakes in any shape or style you wish. While this product may not be as multi-purpose as other 3D food printers currently available,
It is a fun and easy. Not to mention the cheaper way of trying out 3D food printing at home.
Creator of the Pancakebot, Miguel Valenzuela, is an artist, inventor, and civil engineer. He got the inspiration to make this product after reading about a LEGO machine that stamped pancakes.
His daughter Lily, aged three, found this idea fascinating. She then requested that her father invent the pancake machine of his own.
After six months of trialing and developing his prototype, Miguel Valenzuela began successfully producing pancakes.
They unveiled the Pancake Bot at the World Maker Faire in New York. This received a fantastic initial response from the public. With this reaction, Valenzuela decided to make a more advanced model.
In 2014, Valenzuela finished and debuted an acrylic model of the Pancake Bot at both the White House Maker Faire and the San Mateo Maker Faire.
After another great positive response from the public, he went on to partner with StoreBound. They are able to refine the product and bring it to the market, and it can now be found all over the world.
3D Systems is one of the original 3D printing companies. Founded in 1983 by Charles Hull, the man who invented 3D printing, 3D Systems then developed into a global company.
They aim to link customers with expertise and the digital manufacturing technology. Which is crucial to solving engineering, business or design problems.
The Culinary Lab is an initiative of 3D Systems for mixologists, chefs, and other food innovators to learn and collaborate.
It also a way to explore how their skills and 3D printing technology can intersect.This unique gathering is like a testing ground for innovation within the food industry. It allows participants to find new ways to use 3D printed food technology.
Whether you are looking to experiment at home, or mass produces quality food in a restaurant, 3D food printers are an exciting and innovative new product that is only going to become more commonplace shortly.
In 2010 there was a revolution in TV manufacture when the first 3D TV’s hit the market. It was hailed as the future of broadcasting with all the major brands battling for a slice of this seemingly profitable boom.
However, it was to be short-lived. Just a few years later and virtually all manufacture of 3D TVs has ceased.
But this does not mean that 3D TV should be dismissed. With retail outlets carrying the substantial stock of these sets, and the active pre-loved market, it’s an opportunistic time to obtain a 3D TV at an extremely reasonable price.
This article will provide some background on 3D TV, the issues it faced and why you should still consider owning one. Furthermore, I will give you a rundown of the top 8 3D TV brands you should look at when searching for a 3D TV.
Why Did 3D TV Brands Cease Production?
In short, as with most business decisions, it came down to demand.
Back in 2009, the director James Cameron released the 3D movie ‘Avatar’ in theaters. A great storyline with incredible 3D effects led many people to claim it would be the future of cinema viewing.
TV brands believed that this appetite for 3D would be mirrored in-home viewing, especially when ‘Avatar’ was promised to be released on 3D Blu-ray. So production of 3D TV sets began with the first releases coming from Samsung.
All the major brands followed suit, rushing to get their products on the market. This was continued with 3rd party content providers such as Vudu, Sky, Netflix and the Blu-ray industry all producing titles. However, the demand never reached the heights that the 3D TV brands anticipated.
Here are 3 possible reasons that 3D TV failed:
To view 3D TV, specialized glasses had to be worn.
3D TV brands could not agree on what format these glasses should take. This meant that many glasses were not interchangeable between TV sets. They might work fine on your main TV, but move to another room or your friend’s house and they could be rendered unusable.
In 2009, both the UK and USA ceased analog TV transmissions and moved to digital. This meant many customers purchased a digital TV in time for this transition. Having so recently invested in new technology, they were reluctant to then buy a 3D TV in addition.
More New Technology
To view in 3D you required a new 3D Blu-ray player and cable or satellite box which involved more expense.
Although there was some initial interest in this new medium, it soon dwindled. By the beginning of 2017, all the major 3D TV brands ceased production.
Why Buy A 3D TV?
3D TV sets are still available. Companies still hold stock and they can still provide a unique and enjoyable experience.
Here’s why purchasing a 3D TV is still a consideration:
What Are the Top 8 3D TV Brands?
There are still many new 3D TVs available, despite new production virtually stopped.
Here are the top brands that lead the market in the best 3D TVs.
This South Korean brand has led the world in technology advancement since its inception. Currently, they own more US patents than any other company.
This attention to innovation has meant that their 3D TVs are considered some of the best available today.
Samsung’s dominance in the TV world has been through their industry changing LED technology. They created the world's first edge-lit LED TV in 2009, which was followed in 2010 by the only 3D LED TV.
Today, their JU7100 series could be considered the best 3D TVs available.
These TVs are primarily 4K Ultra HD, however, can still provide impressive 3D performance and have the important quality of being able to convert 2D to 3D.
In addition, Samsung’s background in smartphone technology is carried through to their 3D TV lines. A ‘mirroring’ option is available in many of their 3D TVs, enabling the user to broadcast to their TV from their smartphone.
Furthermore, many of their 3D TVs have a smart touch remote meaning the TV can be voice activated and controlled.
Another South Korean brand. Originally, it was formed in 1995 by the merger of Lucky Chemical and the electronics firm Goldstar.
The ethos behind LG is bringing innovative technology to the market but at a price cheaper than their main rivals - and with a humanitarian spin.
This was most noticeable in 2016 when they produced a TV for Indian consumers which repelled mosquitoes through ultrasonic waves.
LG's 3D TVs are distinctive through 4K OLED displays and their proprietary LG Cinema 3D technology. This avoids the ‘dim’ appearance of many 3D TVs.
They include 2 pairs of glasses with their sets, which use the ‘passive polarized’ method. This adheres to the LGs mindset of value, as they are significantly cheaper than the ‘active shutter’ standard.
Probably the best of their lines is the LG C6 which offers 2D-3D conversion, 65” screen and split screen for video gaming.
Starting with a department store electronics shop in 1946, the Sony brand has become one of the world's leading TV manufacturers.
Their TV product lines, Trinitron, WEGA, and BRAVIA have all become household names and this quality continues in their 3D TV models.
Using their bespoke Triluminos Display, Sony 3D TVs claim to provide improved contrast, incredible clarity and most importantly enhanced the depth of field.
The Sony brand has also emphasized interactivity in their 3D TVs. Most come with built-in Wi-Fi and access to Google’s Android TV.
For the dedicated gamer, as long as you have a controller, PlayStation Now is available for online game streaming.
Probably the only negative is that their 3D TVs glasses use the ‘active shutter’ standard, which can only be obtained as an additional purchase - they are not included.
Products to look out for are the X930 series.
From humble beginnings in 1918 as a light bulb manufacturer, this Japanese company has become one of the largest electronics suppliers in the world.
All of Panasonic's most recent 3D TVs are edge-lit LCD. These TVs are used by Hollywood for post-production which emphasizes their quality.
An interesting angle on these TVs is that they come with a ‘swivel and lift’ feature. This enables the user to adjust the height and angle of the 3D TV screen - which is unusual.
Using a Studio Color HCX2 processor, the 3D TVs offer bold colors and clear, crisp brightness levels.
Prices are on the more expensive side. In addition, Panasonic, like Sony, use the costly ‘active shutter’ glasses which are not included.
For an older model, the best choice is the DT60 series, and for newer models, the EX750.
One of the newest 3D TV brands available. Vizio was formed in the US in 2012. Just 5 years later, they became the largest LCD TV seller in North America.
Their name has become synonymous with low pricing compared to their rivals.
However, low cost does not mean low quality. Their 3D TVs come with super thin borders, crisp Razor LED displays and a 60 Hz refresh rate.
The Vizio brand also includes an impressive amount of user tech within their 3D TVs. The M-series has built-in Wi-Fi and access to the most commonly used apps such as Amazon, YouTube, and Netflix.
If you are able to obtain a ‘new’ boxed version of the M Series (as, like many, it has been discontinued) it comes with 8 pairs of glasses included. When you consider some ‘active shutter’ glasses cost up to $100, that’s a worthwhile saving.
On the downside, in 2015 Vizio was found to be collecting customers information and reselling to advertisers - which concluded in a $2 million payout.
A state-owned Chinese brand emerging from the 1969 company Qingdao No.2 Radio Factory.
Like Vizio, it is a budget brand aiming to offer no-frills products but performs visually as well as their competitors.
Although their 3D TV manufacturer has ceased, I have been able to find many new TVs still available online. The best Hisense branded 3D TVs to look out for are the 55K680UWD-DT and 65XT910.
With screen sizes over 55”, LED backlighting and Ultra 4K HD they provide clear and sharp imaging.
The 3D TVs use ‘active shutter’ technology with one pair of glasses is included. However, many users have complained that these glasses are somewhat on the small side. This may be an issue if you need to wear prescription glasses underneath.
Founded in 1939, this electronics brand really has tried to push the boundaries of 3D TV.
Back in 2010, Toshiba proudly displayed to the world their new product, the Regza GL1. The unique aspect about this 3D TV was that it could be viewed without wearing glasses.
It was initially hailed as a revolution. But sadly, it failed.
The issue with this model and their subsequent attempts was that it was not user-friendly. For the best 3D effect, it had to be viewed no more than a meter away, in dim lighting and with the viewer-centered directly in front of the TV.
Happily, after this failure, Toshiba continued in 3D TV production (with glasses) and made some impressive sets.
Using ‘active shutter’ technology (and with 2 glasses included with most TVs) their best product was probably the Toshiba 58L7365. Many customer reviews claim that the depth of field created within their 3D TVs remains to this day one of the best on the market.
One minor issue is that Toshiba 3D TVs are not very sleek and look a little ‘clunky’. For users who like the appearance of 21st-century aesthetics, they may appear somewhat dated.
However, for incredible 3D imaging and at a reasonable price, Toshiba is worth considering.
Taking its name from their first invention, the ‘ever sharp’ mechanical pencil, this Japanese brand now produces electronic products from TVs through to cell phones.
This brand has a mixed reputation for its 3D TVs. Their first models back in 2010 and 2011 were very well received. Sold under the AQUOS banner, their 3D TVs were praised for vivid colors, impressive 2D to 3D conversion and crisp contrasts.
However, their later models, such as the LC-60UD20 were a disappointment. Customers complained of frequent ‘ghosting’ in the image, humans looking like cardboard cutouts and ‘active standard’ glasses working like sunglasses. Everything appeared dark and dull.
The Sharp brand is included in this list as their original and best 3D TVs can be purchased very cheaply. If you are looking for powerful 3D TV at a fraction of the price of a ‘new’ TV, then the Sharp Aquos Quattron is worthy of consideration.
With the demise of 3D TV production, it’s easy to confine this technology to the vaults. But that would be a shame.
With impressive visuals, a wide range of games and Blu-rays available, and the possibility of converting 2D to 3D they still have their place.
The attraction of cheap pricing compared to other TVs on the market make them a very credible proposition.
For budget 3D TVs with remarkable quality, look at the later Vizio or the early Sharp products. But for the most up to date 4K 3D TV’s, Samsung may prove the sensible choice.