3D printing. Sure, that's pretty neat, but there are other ways to make three dimensional objects at home. Roland's new iModela, for example, is an "affordable" ($899) digital hobby mill that can carve 3D shapes, jewelry, textures and prototypes out of balsa wood, foam, modelling wax and plastics. Projects definitely need to be more on the petite side, but the 3.39inch x 2.17inch x 1.02inch milling area should be good for a wide range of small craft creations. The iModela comes with all the cutting tools, software and materials you need to get started, but if you've already been tinkering with ideas, there's also compatibility with other "popular" CAD software. Want to get making right away? Tap the source, or hit the PR after the break for more info.
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Roland's New 3D Hobby Milling Machine Provides an Affordable Production Tool for Craft and Hobby Enthusiasts

iModela Produces Miniatures, Models, Jewelry, Accessories and Craft Embellishments from Modeling Wax, Foam, Balsa Wood and Plastic

Irvine, Calif., Feb. 2, 2012 - Roland DGA Corp. has introduced the iModela hobby milling machine, providing hobbyists with easy and affordable access to 3D milling technology.

"iModela is a completely new concept – a digital hobby mill designed to support a range of unique creative pursuits, from miniatures and model railroading to jewelry design and craft projects," said Brian Brooks, product manager for Roland DGA Corp. "The applications for this innovative technology are endless, and we can't wait to see what our customers will produce with it."

With iModela, 3D modelers and hobby enthusiasts can easily and accurately create and embellish a wide range of projects by producing 3D shapes, reliefs, textures and patterns from modeling wax, foam, balsa wood and plastic materials. With a milling area of 3.39 inches wide by 2.17 inches in length and 1.02 inches in height, iModela is the perfect tool for small-scale creative projects.

Based on 25 years of proven Roland milling technology, iModela is a complete solution, with a cutting tool, sample materials and software. To build on this starter kit, Roland offers a variety of optional tools and materials that can be purchased conveniently online. Designed for ease of use, iModela comes equipped with a virtual panel that allows users to operate the machine right from a personal computer.

Included with the hobby milling machine is iModela Creator design software, which includes free hand drawing tools for sketching out designs and ideas. Intuitive menus and icons guide the user through the design process. Once designs are completed, they are easy to output on iModela using the included Windows driver. More advanced CAM software is available for download as well at http://icreate.rolanddg.com, allowing users to mill 3D files from other popular CAD applications.

iModela "iCreate" Community

To help iModela artists further their creative goals, Roland has established an online iModela community at http://icreate.rolanddg.com. The site serves as a collaborative forum for sharing design ideas, production workflows and technical tips. In addition, users can download free software and sample projects for production on iModela.

Priced at $899, iModela can be purchased online at www.rolanddgastore.com, and is available for delivery anywhere throughout North and South America (except Brazil). To purchase iModela outside this region, please visit http://icreate.rolanddg.com.

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Roland's iModela 3D milling machine: it's a crafty tool