Chris J Powell

Is 3D Printing Ready to Hit the Main Stream?

The promise of 3D Printing to democratize the world of manufacturing has been around for a few years.  Anyone with a few bucks and a CAD-CAM software program could potential build just about anything.  I have been toying with the idea since I first saw the hint of them on the interwebz but at the time I could not in good conscience justify the price that went along with them.


I did some digging and found that the price of the printers themselves have dropped dramatically and even Staples is selling them online…but are we at a tipping point that we could potentially see these devices in “every home”?

I think that the concept of every home is a bit much but with an entry point of $200-300 for some of these printers…I could see them being an option for people like me that would want to experiment with the idea…but if the printer is that cheap…what is the real cost of becoming a “Maker”?

The image used above is the MakiBox.  It can be purchased online for just $300 for the A6 HT Model and the filament that fuels this beast comes in 12 colours and to get all 12…it is just $180…so in theory you could get to designing and building your own toys, nicknacks and plastic parts for under $700 (plus international duty which would likely cost around $25-50 CAD).

It would be a rather expensive hobby…but my imagination is more than running wild with the things that I could build with it…and with a very active 3D community out there…getting started with your own business would be possible.

Now that being said…this is an entry level machine and the larger commercial Printers like the Stratasys Fortus 900mc comes in at close $400,000 and that is well outside of my price range but these machines are able build objects 36″ x 24″ x 36″ and the machine itself weighs in at over 6000 lbs so probably would not fit in my small apartment.

Well happy Monday everyone!



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