Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Everything You Always Wanted to Know . . . Desktop Manufacturing

Desktop 3D Printers

Welcome to part 2 of this topic- Desktop 3D Printers

Like 3D scanners, 3D printers have already reached the small business market and are now just entering the individual consumer marketplace. Their build envelopes are limited but what could be cooler than printing your own action figures, robot parts, or 3D portraits?

* The RepRap project is an open-source project aimed at creating self replication rapid manufacturing machines. Based out of Bath University, the project shares its plans and the RepRap community can build as is or make their own improvements, which they can then share.

* At the other end of the Desktop 3D printer spectrum comes the V Flash from 3D Systems. Rather than making your 3D printer from scratch you can buy this smaller version of traditional additive manufacturing technology. It is priced for small businesses and schools.

* In the same market space as the V Flash, Solido bills their SolidPro300 as the “world's most cost efficient and flexible 3D printer”. In the US the SolidPro300 is distributed by Enser.

* Between RepRap, the V Flash, and SolidPro300 comes the Makerbot Cupcake CNC. Makerbot sells a kit for the Cupcake CNC but the customer puts it together. Like RepRap, they also host a community called Thingverse. Though their community revolves more around the 3D models than the machine itself. They are also working on a 3D scanning kit.

* HP has also recently announced that they are entering the market in an agreement with Stratysis who will produce mainstream 3D printers using Fused Deposition Modeling technology.

The above examples are just a small selection from a quickly developing marketplace, but they are a good indication of what home scanning technologies are just around the corner. Thanks for reading “Everything you always wanted to know about 3D scanning”, we hope it is has been an informative series!

If you have any questions feel free to contact us at info@dirdim.com.