3D printer

Apparently this is not new but I saw it for the first time yesterday and was really amazed:


Anybody has one of these? You think it’s worth the price?
I’d imagine stick builders could have some interesting uses for it, like making stick cases with shapes other than square/retangular, maybe adding 3D artwork, etc.

EDIT: another interesting video:


"At last it’s affordable!"

It’s $15K dude. That’s a decent chunk of change.

Possible someone around here works in an industry that uses them though.

Very cool looking product. Although it looks like it’s making everything out of white chocolate (that would kick so much ass).

Thats so funny how it flashes 14,900 and talks about how affordable it is. Only rich people could find 14,900 Affordable.

Only as much as a brand new car!! Get yours today!


If you take into account that those machines costed $30K a few years ago I guess one could say they’re at a decent price now. Still not “affordable,” though.

Another interesting video:


When I saw it on TV last night one person from the company was talking how they use 3D printers for prototypes and stuff like that, and at some point in the interview the guy talks about developing technology so advanced that would allow the machines to use materials other than ABS and even make replicas of themselves (the Terminator comes to mind for some reason).

This is the thing they use at figureprints.com to make the wow characters i believe.

I’ve used those at school (along with a CNC mill). It makes objects layer by layer with very thin lines. It doesn’t leave a smooth finish. The top of the material has a grid-like texture and the multiple layers are noticeable on the side. Another problem is that something the size of an arcade stick would literally take days to print. Along with the cost of the machine itself, the material it uses to print is really expensive.

The good part is they are much easier to use compared to the CNC mill. All you need is a 3d model and load it into the machine. With the CNC mill you would need to use CAM software to generate the G-code to cut out the part or write it by hand.

  • Too bad. I was hoping there was a way to convince my employer how good it would be for PowerPoint presentations. :slight_smile:

I think this is also how the Rock Band figures are made.

I use one at work (same one in the vid) a few times a week for prototypes. It’s a great, quick way to get physical models from CAD files to check for proportion, fit, etc. That’s nothing though, there are printers that create METAL parts.


Here, check it out.


There are MANY different kinds of 3d printers out there. The one shown in the first post will make ABS plastic parts and actually advertises them as being USABLE parts, where usually they’re only good for mock-ups.

The printer above prints by laying down a supporting material underneath the entire part, and below any parts that hang or have under cuts. The part below, when it came from the printer. was probably FILLED with support material (it can’t just print plastic in mid-airm it has to build it ON something, so it does so on a second kind of material. Once this part was removed, it was put into a solution that desolves all of the support material, leaving only the model material, in this case ABS, behind. Magic.

Let’s say you want to build this very basic/dumb part in the 3d printer. Any areas that have an “overhang” need a foundation of material for the printer to build on. The red represents the support material that the printer would lay down before building the discs that that protrude from the cone. This is only for a few types of printers though. Some build the part upside-down. I can’t believe I’m using Solidworks on a weekend…


That’s really cool stuff. Are there 3D printers that use materials other than plastic or metal? Like ceramic materials?
This is all really interesting technology, hopefully it won’t be too long before it becomes accessible to more people.

Yes, there are printers that use a few other materials, but I’m not sure to what extent. As far as printing ceramics, that’s fairly new I believe, but I can’t say I know much about it.

As long as your application isn’t too precise or large, you can use something like a RepRap, MakerBot or Printerbot that run in the ~$1000 range. PLA is a very popular plastic to use in addition to ABS. Powdered metal machining is neat, but powdered metal can be nasty and expensive stuff.

FWIW, 3D printers also use some kind of CAD/CAM for pathing.

Edit: Corrected price.

I believe you mean $1000 range.

We really should bypass this and work on molecular replicators (a la Star Trek: The Next Generation)

What’s a decimal or two between friends :wink: