3-D Printing at Home
Although it's still not commonplace 3-D printers are showing up in more homes, libraries, schools and makerspaces.
Prices for these machines have also declined as the technology matures. For example, as of 2019, a MakerBot Replicator Mini+ starts at $1,299 [source: MakerBot]. The company sells small spools of its PLA material in 12 standard colors starting at $18, and limited-edition colors (glow-in-the-dark, anyone?) for an extra charge.
If you don't want to splurge on a machine for home use, you could always build one yourself. For example, physicist and blogger Windell Oskay built his own 3-D printer in 2007 that fabricates objects from sugar using a sintering approach. The project, called CandyFab, has a dedicated website at CandyFab.org. Although the project has shut down, you can still read about it and how he made it work.
For a more professional approach, you can purchase 3-D printing services instead. These services allow you to send in your own CAD files and get back a high-quality production of your object or objects created by an industrial 3-D printer. Online companies that offer 3-D printing services include Shapeways and Ponoko. These sites also give you the option of setting up an online store, allowing you to make money when others purchase 3-D prints of your design. [source: Shapeways, Ponoko]
3-D printing continues to improve as its cost comes down. Perhaps in the future these machines will be commonplace tools used to remedy everyday problems like printing out school projects or printing a new housekey instead of driving to the hardware store for a replacement.
Last editorial update on Sep 25, 2019 05:01:14 pm.
More Great Links
- 3D Systems. "Safety Data Sheet: LaserForm A6 Metal." Jan. 25, 2006. (Sept. 18, 2019) http://infocenter.3dsystems.com/materials/sites/default/files/sds-files/production/sls/Laser_Form_A6_Metal/24123-S12-00-B%2CSDS%2CEU%2CEnglish%2CA6%2C042406.pdf
- 3D Systems. "ProJet CPX 3000: 100% Real Wax Pattern Production System." 2009. (Sept. 18, 2019) https://web.archive.org/web/20100331113449/http://www.3dsystems.com/products/datafiles/projet/ProJet_CPX_3000.pdf
- Amputee Coalition. "3=D Printed Prosthetics: Where We Are Today." Feb. 8, 2019 (Sept. 18, 2019) https://www.amputee-coalition.org/3d-printed-prosthetics/
- Bardwell, Thomas. "ObJet30 Pro 3D Printer Review." 3D Beginners. March 20, 2019 (Sept. 17, 2019) https://www.3dbeginners.com/objet30-pro-3d-printer-review/
- BasTech. "3D Systems Multijet Plastic Printers." BasTech. (Sept. 16, 2019) http://bastech.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/3D-Systems_MJP-Printers-Brochure_201705_BasTech.pdf
- Economist, The. "3D printing: The printed world." The Economist Newspaper Limited. Feb. 10, 2011. (Sept. 18, 2019) https://www.economist.com/briefing/2011/02/10/the-printed-world
- Esslinger and Company. "Solidscape Rapid Prototype." 2008. (Sept. 18, 2019) https://web.archive.org/web/20140413152446/http://www.esslinger.com/solidscaperapidprototype.aspx
- Freedom of Creation (FOC). "About." 2011. (Sept. 18, 2019) https://www.3dsystems.com/blog/foc
- Gibson, Ian, Rosen, David W., and Stucker, Brent. "Additive Manufacturing Technologies: Rapid Prototyping to Direct Digital Manufacturing." Springer Science+Business Media. 2010. (Sept. 19, 2019) https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1120-9
- Gordon, Leslie. "Designing and 3D Printing a New Kind of Turboprop." Machine Design. Feb. 17, 2010 (Sept. 18, 2019) https://www.machinedesign.com/archive/designing-and-3d-printing-new-kind-turboprop
- Grimm, Todd. "Fused Deposition Modelling: A Technology Evaluation." T.A. Grimm & Associates. April 2003. (Sept. 18, 2019) http://www.trosol.com/fortus/downloads/WPGrimm.pdf
- G.W.P. Manufacturing Services AG. "Multi-jet Modeling (MJM)." 2011. (Sept. 18, 2019) https://www.gwp-ag.com/services/prototyping/rapid-prototyping/multijet-modeling/index.html
- Houser, Franklin. "3D Printed Food: A Culinary Guide to 3D Printing Food." All3DP. (Sept. 16, 2019) https://all3dp.com/1/3d-printed-food-3d-printing-food/
- Jotero GbR. "Gallery." 2008. (Sept. 18, 2019)http://www.evolution-of-genius.de/gallery/default.htm
- King, Rachael. "Printing in 3D Gets Practical." Bloomberg Businessweek. Bloomberg L.P.October 6, 2008. (Sept. 18, 2019) https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2008-10-06/printing-in-3d-gets-practicalbusinessweek-business-news-stock-market-and-financial-advice
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). "Licensees of 3D Printing Technology." (Sept. 18, 2019) http://web.mit.edu/tdp/www/licensees.html
- Ooi, Tian. "Chocolate 3D Printer – All You Need to Know in 2019." All3DP. Jan. 25, 2019 (Sept. 16, 2019) https://all3dp.com/2/chocolate-3d-printer-all-you-need-to-know/
- Oskay, Windell H. "Sneak Preview: The Evil Mad Scientist 3-D Printer Project." Feb. 24, 2007. (Sept. 18, 2019) http://www.evilmadscientist.com/article.php/3printerpreview
- Ponoko. "How it works." 2019. (Sept. 18, 2019) http://www.ponoko.com/make-and-sell/how-it-works
- RapidToday.com. "STL 2.0 May Replace Old, Limited File Format." Rapid Publishing, LLC. 2009. (Sept. 18, 2019) http://www.rapidtoday.com/stl-file-format.html
- Sauermann, Torolf. "YouTube Channel: Math Art of Torolf Sauermann." (Sept. 18, 2019) http://www.youtube.com/user/torolf44
- Shapeways. "Shapeways Custom 3D Printing Service." (Sept. 18, 2019) https://www.shapeways.com/create
- Solidscape. " 3D Printers." (Sept. 17,, 2019) https://www.solidscape.com/products/3d-printers/
- Stevenson, Kerry. "Solidscape's New S390 High-Rez Jewelry 3D Printer." Fabbaloo. March 14, 2018 (Sept. 17, 2019) https://www.fabbaloo.com/blog/2018/3/14/solidscapes-new-s390-high-rez-jewelry-3d-printer
- Stratasys, Inc. "PolyJet 3D Printers Systems and Materials." 2018. (Sept. 17, 2019) https://www.stratasys.com/-/media/files/printer-spec-sheets/polyjet-systems-and-materials-overview-en-a4.pdf
- Whitwell, Tom. "Microtrends: Printing in 3D." Times Online. Times Newspapers, Ltd.. (Sept. 18, 2019)https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/microtrends-printing-in-3d-zqp736c76kl
- Wohlers, Terry. "Additive Manufacturing 101: Part I." Time Compression. Gardner Publication, Inc. January/February 2010. (Sept. 17, 2019) http://www.wohlersassociates.com/JanFeb10TC.htm