3-D printers have been used in industry for the better part of a decade now and have really taken off. The actual prices itself is called stereo-laser lithography. It a process by where a laser light will trace out the shape/pattern of a part, layer by layer, using the laser light to solidify a vicious liquid polymer (liquid plastics), building a part from multiple layers of this liquid plastic. Industry uses stereo laser lithography to prototype parts before moving onto production. And if you really want, you can buy one of these machines for $15,000 - $100,000 bucks.
But what if anyone could buy one for, I dunno, let's say $5000 bills? That would be sweet! I could use it to make a bunch of plastic army men, and then slaughter them with a magnifying glass under the sun.
Desktop Factory (founded by Idea Lab) had just rolled out their consumer based 3-D desktop printer. With a price tag of $4,995 USD, the system employs a mixture of powered nylon, glass, and aluminum. Heat will then fuse the materials together into whatever shape you've loaded into it via a CAD and or model design program. "We are Easy-Bake Ovening a 3-D model," said Idea Lab chairman Bill Gross. Unfortunately, the ingredients for this system will cost about 50 cents per cubic inch. The Desktop Factory #-D printer will be of laser-jet printer size, measuring in at roughly 25" x 20" x 20" and weighs less than 90 pounds. It will be able to produce 3-D models up yo 5" x 5" x 5" constructed in layers .010" thick.
"In the future, everyone will have a printer like this at home," Cornell University Professor Hod Lipson. "You can imagine printing a toothbrush, a fork, a shoe. Who knows where it will go from here?"
Desktop Factory director of sales Joe Shenberger added, "You could go to Mattel.com, download Barbie, scan your Mom’s head, slap the head on Barbie and print it out," said Shenberger. "You could have a true custom one-off toy."
"When laser printers cost more than $5,000, nobody knew they needed desktop publishing," A. Michael Berman, CTO for Pasadena's Art Center College of Design. "The market for 3-D printing isn’t as big as for laser printers, but I do believe it is huge."
I WANT ONE!!! I'm gonna program it to build Lego, cause I'm always losing pieces. I could make that helical gear that I need to fix my paper shredder. And I could even program a Desktop Factory to build another Desktop Factory.