Remember back in January when HP announced it would bring a tabletop 3-D printer to market, at a place and time to be named later? That place and time just became a quite a bit less ambiguous. Today Stratasys, the company that is manufacturing the device for HP, announced that it has shipped the first units of the HP-branded Designjet 3D fabrication machines, which will be available in May -- but only in Europe.
The Designjet 3D is based on Stratasys's Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) technology, which turns three-dimensional CAD drawings into tangible prototypes by extruding partially molten ABS plastic in extremely fine layers one atop the other, forming the entire 3-D model in a single piece from the ground up. Designjet 3D will print in ivory-colored plastic only while Designjet Color 3D will print single-color parts in up to eight different colors (we're not sure why you can't just put a different hue of ABS plastic in the Designjet 3D).
Aimed at businesses large and small as well as educational institutions and individual inventors, the idea is to offer a point of entry into 3-D printing for those who want to prototype in-house directly from their computers. That kind of convenience can save a lot of time and money on product development, but it also comes with a sizeable up-front cost.
In our earlier coverage to speculated that the price of HP's printer would come in under $15,000 -- the price of a similar printer recently released by Stratasys. But HP today announced that the Designjet 3D would retail starting at less than €13,000, or just under $17,500. Which means the price of entry into the 3-D club may still sit somewhere between unfeasible and pie-in-the-sky for many garage-shop hobbyists.
But the HP printer, by all appearances, seems to have one thing going for it that many commercially scaled systems do not -- ease of use. A Designjet in the corner of the office would allow architects, engineers, product developers and the like to carry an idea through from concept to prototype without leaving their desks, culminating in a plastic 3-D model that they can put in the hands of higher-ups or prospective clients. It beats the alternative method of producing up various detailed drawings that are carefully crafted into a prototype by a skilled (and expensive) machinist, a process that can be a suck on time and budgets, especially if designers don't get it exactly right the first time.
And, lest ye forget, while $17,000 is a big chunk of cash, Designjet 3D is still among the most affordable rapid prototyping systems out there for its size and capability. There are other options – the open-source, DIY MakerBot kit costs less than $1,000 and prints in the same material – but you have to build it. As far as something off-the-shelf is concerned, you're not likely to do a whole lot better.
What's really going to define whether the Designjet is a big step forward for 3-D printing is the quality of the prototypes, which we'll surely hear much more about in coming weeks as the product hits desktops in the UK, Spain, France, Italy and Germany. For those of you not lucky enough to be in those inaugural markets, worry not; rest assured Designjet will be prototyping globally soon enough.
*sigh* there is a market for hobbyists, they just choose to ignore us.
Awesome! This would be especially useful in designing kinematics in assemblies. Even going as far as making die's for castings in the office for analysis
I want one. This would be so cool to have in a design class right at your fingertips. I assume it takes a few hours to make one, but you could either have the design put in during the morning and have it by the afternoon, or start it at closing time and have it ready upon arrival in the a.m. Very cool. Hope they decrease in price for private use or small businesses.
custom model trains, hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
This could be quite an investment for a print shop.
This will be great when my architecture/civil engineering/mechanical engineering degree(s) are earned. All in good time. By then, this will probably be half price. Maybe?
Couple this with a 3D scanner like the one from nextengine and a copy of SolidWorks and you could start a business reproducing or replicating vintage car and machine parts.
Does anyone know the workable area (X,Y,Z) of this printer?
ok got it. (203 x 152 x 152 mm (8 x 6 x 6 in))
Good and well for HP to introduce this fancy printer for design experts and all. But the real bottom line concern is that HP like all these printer / computer manufacturing hierarchy year after year keep churning new models and luring consumers to buy things they do not need and cannot afford. The worst of it is that old models are being phased out and with deliberation junked so HP and others can meet their bottom line of the fundamentally flawed economic system while junk yard heaps keep in getting bigger and bigger. The name of the game is not fix but lure the consumer to buy and buy with all this stuff made in China , Thailand, Tiwan etc at sweat shop labour rates.
I'm trying to think of what makes it cost $17,500??? the concept of the machine is not that complicated.
But these aren't made in China. They're made in the USA...
This machine is in partnership with Stratasys, located in Minnesota. Check it out: uprintsource.com
Any one have any pictures of Kelly LeBrock?????? :) Anthony Michael Hall could have used this...
American company and it is making this product only available in Europe. Maybe to see how much more Americans will have to pay for it then Europeans.... like the drug companies. Will it be more junk like most HP equipment? Almost every HP computer or printer I have used screwed up soon after I bought it.
Made in the USA but only available in Europe? HP sucks
I agree, it's not much more than a 3 axis cnc structure with a sort of hot injection nozzle and all the circuitry to command it. Ehi, don't get me wrong... Surely the design is attractive and I also guess HP made it user-friendly enough so that whoever is into designing a little would easily get a piece out of it as if you were printing out a PDF. but 17000 USD.
I guess the price is at that range because HP is the first "well known" company to start proposing such a device (which actually is nothing new) to the mass (or better whoever can afford it....) advertising it in such a great way that if you like this kind of stuff....you would drool all over your keyboard when watching it, thus making it seems like something that you can't stand living without.
So far, these kind of printers have been mainly used by professional companies (RP companies) which were more than happy to spend 20-30K USD for such machines that they would pay back in 1 or 2 years thanks to the money they could get out of it.
But now HP started and given the right amount of time, companies like Canon, Epson, and all the others will come out with their own 3d printers (at least I hope so) and the price will surely drop to a more affordable range.
In the meantime, I will keep paying hundreds of $$$ to my RP supplier every time I need a sample.
I'm curios to know how much a roll of ABS will cost for this printer. Does anyone know anything about it???
Another free open-source alternative like MakerBot would be RepRap. It costs about half as much to build... and they give away the plans for free.
This printer is sold in the US as a uPrint. I looked at uprintsource for some info.
The price starts at $14,900 USD. Much less than the $17,500 HP is selling it in Europe.
Now this is an interesting idea...
I wonder if I can sell it to them.
HP did nothing to develope this. This is nothing but a rebadged Dimension machine. Don't for a second think you will be making great awesome things from this machine. It is an FDM machine which makes parts from real plastic but it has horrible resolution, tech support from Stratasys sucks (HP can't be any better), and for $17,500 you could get a whole host of better used machines. Speaking from experience.
There are a few hidden costs here. Hmm. I thought ink was expensive.
This seems like it would be a great product for many types of of profession such as an architect or mechanical engineer. I'm neither of those but I would mind having one of these bad boys if it became cost affective. There has been a big boom in the world of printing weird materials as of late. I just recently saw an video about how military scientists are using the common household ink jet printer to print skin! They intent to use this mostly to treat burn victims but they are working on all kinds of different wounds. It's pretty hard to believe but check it out for yourself and you'll be amazed how simple the process looks. I'll post a link so you can check it out yourself.
So, basically, it is a 17,000 dollar makerbot?
Search for 3D printers on youtube. There is a great demo of a home-made 3D printer that some guy built from an old inkjet printer.
As an employee of a reseller for Stratasys machines (Dimension and Fortus), I feel the need to reply to this comment. Not necessarily in defense of them, but to try to explain why he is wrong.
I'm not entirely sure why you think the resolution sucks. FDM isn't the same technology used by Objet (trust me, their machines are NOT better), and zCorp is a joke anyway. Objet might have better resolution, but that comes at a huge expense of time, and the parts are not even close to as strong. This machine is the exact same technology as the larger machines, with just as good a print resolution as much more expensive machines.
The purchaser of this machine won't be dealing directly with Stratasys anyway, so what do they care? I deal with Stratasys directly almost every day, I can tell you they aren't any worse than any other manufacturing company's customer service.
You might be able to find a larger used printer for $17500, but it sure won't be in as good shape as this thing. The only larger printers I've seen sold for that price have been in such horrible shape that you have to spend thousands more just to get them working properly.
And no, this is not just a $17000 makerbot. Those things print with horrible resolution compared to this machine and have a horrible finish. And you CAN print quality parts with these machines, we have plenty of customers who print parts for production using Dimension printers.
And ABS+ for this machine would probably run you somewhere around $5-6 per cubic inch.
Sorry for the rant, I'm not entirely sure why I took so much time responding to these comments.
Just think what this could do for the mom-and-pop sex toy shop down the street...
So this is what the predecessor to the replicator (think Star Trek) looks like... Neato!
There is a more affordable printer with much better surface quality and faster: it's the Vflash made by 3D Systems and it costs less than 10 grands.
I wonder why HP did not pick up the Vflash?