March 28, 2012
3D Printing Technology Blog - Finnovation Product Development
The word cheap has a double meaning in our modern terminology. Everyone wants cheap, but also wants to maintain the high quality we have become accustomed to via modern manufacturing and quality control methods. Just because something costs less does not mean it is of poor quality, right?
As the battle lines are now, the "cheap" 3D Printing solution lies in Rep Rap, or Maker Bot Designs. These open source 3D printing solution's make great editions in the workshops of home inventors and diabolical genius'. These kit's can be built for under $1000 and provide pretty good results. In comparison to a professional grade 3D Printer they are too cheap! It is difficult to get consistent results from a sampling of Maker Bots. This is not to say it is impossible to get good results, it is just that they will vary greatly in quality and consistency from machine to machine. This is not an acceptable solution for manufacturing or the casual user.
3D Systems (DDD) has just unveiled their "Cubify" line of 3D Printers. The Cubify is designed specifically for the home and caters to the casual user and is priced at $1,299. The Cubify offers a 5"x5"x5" printing volume and allows for simple, multicolored designs to be downloaded and printed in a matter of hours. It has a very straightforward and simple design that is easy to maintain. Cubify has an open design similar to the Maker Bot Design that makes watching the process fun and easy, but keep your fingers out of there! Cubify is more than just an affordable 3D Printer for the home, it is a new concept to encourage design and creativity amongst the masses.
3D Systems has created an interesting opportunity with Cubify. Similar to the way digital designers created virtual products for sale in games like Second Life, designers can create 3D models using 3D Design Apps and upload them to the Cubify website. The designs are then offered for sale (usually between $5 and $10, pretty cheap!) via an online store. This creates the possibility for designers to market their ideas quickly and easily and maybe even make a little extra dough. Additionally, you can design your own ideas and print them out right in your home. Dog ate your favorite iPhone case? Don't worry. Simply design and print! Want to spice up your custom chopper with some custom emblems? Design and print! This is a pioneering step to introduce what 3D Printing can do at all levels of creativity and production.
Today, if you want to get into the world of 3D Printing there are "cheap" options that don't necessarily mean cheap results. If you are an engineer or just a clever kid, you can start to create your ideas and share them with the world. With Maker Bot, and the more user friendly Cubify, you can make your ideas real overnight. When put into the right hands, this technology will change the world.