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The State the Art of 3D Printers

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Ralf Maximus:
The Z Corporation ZPrinter 450 represents a middle-of-the-road solution to your 3D printing needs.

What is 3D printing?  Imagine working with your favorite 3D modelling software, and when you hit the "Print" button, instead of getting a piece of paper with a picture of your creation, you get an actual 3D plastic model in full color. 

It's here, today, now.  For a cool $39,999 USD you can have the 3D printer of your dreams.  Oh sure, a cheaper monochrome model exists, as well as a top-end ultra-high resolution edition, but for everyday fantasies the Z450 can't be beat.  Like I'd know -- if I had $40K to drop on a printer the damn thing better come with beer taps and print real money.

But patience is your friend.  Remember when color laser printers cost as much as a car?  Now you can have one for the same price as a week's car rental.  I expect the same thing to happen with 3D printing.

But until that day comes, you'll have to do things oldschool.

That's the heck of a finger-nail clipper that guy's using, Ralf!

Meanwhile, where can I print my own doughnuts?

I used to do 3D modeling designing industrial fans.  This was all done in 3D and was such a cool job while I did it.  I got a demo of a 3D printer and was able to get a 3D color model (looks like an FEA analysis) of a turbine blade. Pretty amazing for rapid prototyping...

There's a fellow at a university in the UK who's put the plans for a homemade version of a 3D printer on the net - apparently, once you build it you can use it to print off the components to build another, and so on, and so on... I heard about it on the CBC - I think the programme was Spark - so I'll go over to their website and try to come up with a name and a link.

Cool find, Ralf. $39,000? Chump change!

OK found it. Here's the Spark interview with Adrian Bowyer of the University of Bath and here is the home page of the printer itself. The instructions to build your own are here.

The State the Art of 3D Printers



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