3-D printing is finally hitting the mainstream. Hewlett-Packard, maker of many of the ubiquitous inkjet and laser printers adorning office spaces everywhere, plans to broadly market a printer that can turn out three-dimensional models from computer aided design programs. It can be yours at the highly ambiguous price point of somewhere less than $15,000.
3-D printers have long been available to specialized design professionals like architects or industrial designers. NASA is even considering shipping a very special one to the international space station. But the high price of the machines as well as the software that drives them made them all but unobtainable to smaller firms and individual hobbyists. HP's device could bring a fairly good quality of three-dimensional printing to small- and mid-sized design firms, as well as a broad market of mechanical design professionals that need to model their designs precisely.
HP hasn't mentioned an exact price or precise release date for their commercial 3-D printer line, but Stratasys, the company that will build the printers for HP, released a small, consumer-oriented 3-D desktop printer last year for about $15,000, so it's safe to assume HP will retail its hardware for less.
What's less certain is the quality of the printing. A five-figure investment for a device that churns out sub-par product could sour a consumer base largely unfamiliar with 3-D printing, setting back the industry. But technologies like this tend to scale incrementally, and the fact of the matter is an announcement like this has been a long time coming. Professionals that create in three dimensions have for too long had to design in only two.
we have a 3d printer at my school an at first glance it doesnt look like a 15000 dollar machine. It prints slow and only has one color at a time.
but the end product is awesome. we ran a cup i printed out with a truck and it didnt break.
And if your good at the program anything is possible. I made a sneaka toke lol
Cool now I can create models of characters from video games, cheap, and sell them for money (or is that illegal).
Not bad. The cheapest zcorp printer is about 25,000 USD.
There is a cool clip on youtube of a 3D printer that some guy built from an old inkjet printer. It prints water onto layers of plaster powder.
Otherwise, a RepRap costs just over 1,000 USD.
... so there is some small hope for Thumpy's sex life.
Jay Leno has a 3D laser printer from a company called uPrint. He says that they are now less than 15k -- he's had his for a while.
As far as I know he did NOT use it to make a Conan voodoo doll.
Don't be silly, You can make more than that :).
The important question for printing related to items like you listed is what sorts of materials will be available for the printing. If only rigid and hard resins are available then you can use it for prototyping and mold making but not directly making a unit.
Yes that's right I said unit, please queue the Bevis and Buthead laughter.
So what, it makes 3 dimensional objects inside the machine? Or it can print stuff onto 3 dimensional objects inside the machine?
The schematics must be crazy. And the program to utilize that and correctly print on an object must be hard as balls to use.
reply to: beck
It lays down micro cross-sections of the object being made until the whole thing has been formed. the same way a new package of office paper is a three dimensional rectangle.