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viennaa

3D Printers

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I was wondering if anyone had any knowledge of where things are in terms of 3D printing. I know quite a few colleges and universities are now exploring this new technology and I can see numerous opportunities for using 3D printing for things such as sculpture, millinery, product design etc.

 

Can anyone help with what is out there, prices, technical capabilities, support costs etc?

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Look up MakerBot, I know someone who bought one for 2000$ (USD) roughly, had a few problems with the earlier injection nozzle but other than that is quite happily printing 3D models of game character designs.

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AFAIK staples and Home Depot are in line to start selling retail models, in the USA at least, but they are tiny. like 8x8x4cm max prints. To me they are too dinky yet. I don't want to print off tiny wastes of plastic, I want something that can print useful things... more than a necklace charm or dog tags. Printing is only half the equation though. Unless you can do 3D design and get a workflow to turn that design into something printable, or can afford the fancy laser 3D scanners to model an existing piece from, you're stuck printing off the useless crap someone else designed.

 

So start learning the software, then go to staples and get them to print it off using their rent-able printer at a slightly inflated price. I'm also sure you can order every part you need to make one from dx.com very cheaply. PSU, steppers, nozzle, plastics, controllers, cabling.. Hell theres even a reprap that does 20x20x10cm for $540.http://www.dx.com/p/heacent-3dp02-3d-printer-assembly-kit-238922

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Next gen 3D printers are about to be released.  Ones with self-leveling platforms, and the ability to weave multiple fiber (different colors) - but it is still very much in its infancy.

The makerbot2 is still around $2200 - dont even bother with the ones that are less than $1500 - they are junk.

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As of right now they're interesting but nothing I'd pay for, to expensive and their resolution is crap. 

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