Full colour 3D printer £6k ($8995 US)
Of all the shiny new tech being displayed at CES in Jan 2016, this has us (well, Jed) the most excited for its potential for animators. ICC-profiled colour accuracy, inkjet printed onto paper rather than plastic, this eco-friendly colour 3D printer uses water-based glues, promises no harmful fumes and even the final products are recyclable.
We would love to use it for scenery and for 'replacement head' style stop-mo animation where you have all the different mouth shapes pre-made and swap them frame by frame to lip-synch. Imagine not having to paint all the variations for each character! A series of wings for the terrorsoars in Imps would be useful to get a flight-cycle (rather than a walk-cycle).
An enduring problem with stop-motion is the need to create the puppets to be strong but light. The underlying skull for King Kong was made of aluminium, onto which the animated eyes, lips etc were added. Using paper-based 3D printing will make model skulls lighter reducing the risk of the puppet falling over or sagging during animation.
If this could help you let us know - if we get enough response perhaps we'll invest in one ourselves...
Technical stuff: It is fed from rolls of perforated paper and works with Mac OS Yosemite and up, Windows 64bit 7, 8 + 10. File formats include STL, OBJ, VRML, DAE, 3MF (Adobe Photoshop is very happy with OBJ). 8GB of RAM and a 1GB graphics card recommended.
To learn more see the manufacturer's page about the Mcor ARKe
More examples of the potential for this technology can be seen in the gallery for Mcor's current model, the Iris.
There are some impressive videos about the technology too.
Tested have posted this interesting interview with Mcor's CEO, Dr. Conor MacCormack: