Imagine having a printer that prints actual 3d objects, now imagine having it at your university/institute, imagine the possibility of having it at home – now see the price tag: See the PRICE. Now you have probably lost any hope of even imagining about getting in this life-time. BUT some 3D printer projects are here to get the price down to the ground (and even below it).
Here are some of the 3D printers that I know are under 1000$ price tag most are even under 500$ – these are fully open source projects(most are) meaning you can build the whole printer yourself if you are experienced a bit in electronics and mechanical stuff.
A comprehensive open source 3D printer project which has evolved over the years and has several models to fit everyone’s needs, with the promise of being able to print another printer from one that you already have. So if you have one, you can print one for your friend (electronics are to be made separately).
A simpler take on the RepRap project, cheaper, smaller and easier to build. Though the promise of self-replication still holds.
Maker-bot is the commercial variant of the RepRap project being sold by Maker-Bot store for around 1,299$, though I agree not cheap for a hobbyist but still a bargain considering the other commercial alternatives.
Although you cannot replicate a Thing-o-Matic with a Thing-o-Matic otherwise what would Makr-Bot sell…. :)
Fab@Home takes the promises a completely universal printer, able to print just about anything made out of anything, from tools to the circuits inside the tools to the food that you eat. Although that promise might take a decade or more to realize their prototype printer is ready, able to print in a variety of materials. There is a store link somehwre on their site which will let you even buy the printer if you don’t fancy making it yourslelf.
Have I missed a project that you know of, put in comments and I will put it up here along the rest.
On a side note, I would love to make one, anyone out there wanting to team up with me to make one, please speak up…
Website: http://www.thingiverse.com/ [NOT A 3D Printer]
An online community to share your 3D objects and check out what others are making with their 3D printers. Most of the files are able to run on all 3D printers. So you might find what you need to make and save the time designing, cause these printers are SLOW….