3D printing is in the news everywhere nowadays. There are printers that can now print fruit, houses, and a human heart.
But there are several factors that are barriers to entry. According to a recent article from theverge.com, 3D printing “has remained a niche hobby that requires expensive and ugly hardware.” Several companies like New Matter are hoping to break the mold and bring functional, beautiful design into every home at a price that is 1/10th of the cost of the majority of the printers that dominate the market. In addition to the cost barrier, the article explains that New Matter hopes to further expand on Makerbot’s Thingiverse, an online repository of thousands of pre-designed models that you can simply download and print.
There is also a large technical barrier to designing a 3D model, exporting the model for your printing, and configuring it to slice and print at certain temperatures, settings, and speeds. Cost of materials is still high, with spools of materials that act as “ink” ranging from $20 – $60 for a spool of ABS, PLA, and several other materials. Startups like Strooder aim to cut the price of materials and spools down by taking raw pellets designed for 3D printers.
Safety is also a concern, which is why UL is on the ball when it comes to testing and certification, as well as offering technical datasheets for 3D printing materials.
Are you using 3D printers in your business? Are your customers asking for cheaper material alternatives? Leave your comments below!
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4 Responses to “It’s 2014, why don’t we have a 3D printer in every home?”
A very good article. It is a very informative, good explanation about 3D printers. It is very important to know about the printer we are going to use. Thanks for sharing a good article.
Thank you for explaining that there is a big technical obstacle to developing a 3D model. My friend mentioned that their current project requires 3D printing. I will inform him to turn to a 3D printing service since they are experts in it.
You can check for relevant printer on major e-commerce stores like Amazon, eBay and Walmart.
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