3D Printing Verges On Pro-Hobby Pricing

11Jan11

Back in May 2007 I wrote about a breakthrough 3D printer that was bringing the technology into the reach of universities and design businesses (read: Here). The technology lets you fabricate parts in 3D, printing whatever you design in 3D software.

The technology has moved on again, bringing Fab Lab style 3D printing into the reach of hobbyists. This self assembly printer from MakerBot produces detailed 3D raw shapes, suitable for simple design prototyping. The MakerBot printer is priced at just US$1,225.00 plus shipping (the previous unit I reviewed was just under US$5,000).

The level of intricacy possible is much better too. It’s like working with more polygons, or at a hgher resolution, in terms of the fine detail possible in the 3D printed shape. Printed items no longer look like panels, blocks, nuts or bolts.

Thanks to Richard Darrell at BitRebel for providing more details and pics on this: HERE

Last year I worked on a simple prototype design project for work, making a silicone mold to manufacture a resin figure. The result turned out fine. But it sure would have been easier to to create the item in 3D software and then press print – leaving the machine to produce the physical 3D model.

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