Monday, April 08, 2013

3D Printers and co.

MAKE | How Many People Will Own 3D Printers?

Today demand is outpacing supply, judging from the long delays in fulfillment on 3D printer sites. However, it’s not just that we need more 3D printers to sell. Makers of 3D printers will have to differentiate themselves in three different ways:

  • Affordability
  • Usability
  • Reliability
... CNC mills and 3D printers are different in many ways, but they also have a lot in common; and looking at the parallels, it’s reasonable to suspect that the prospects of home manufacturing may have relatively little to do with the choice of a particular tool.

Students from MIT's Little Devices lab have managed to package a 3D printer, a CNC milling machine, a vinyl cutter, and a programmable drawing tool inside a standard aluminum attaché case, creating a portable factory for rapid prototyping. Dubbed PopFab, the tool's capabilities are demonstrated in a teaser video, where it quickly produces a model goldfish using extruded yellow plastic.

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