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The Next Production Model

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makerbot_finished As many of you know I do reviews of software or products that might be cheap or free. Today I am going to break the routine and review something that exists but I haven’t had the chance to actually use. Needless to say, I am seriously interested in this and fully predict that this will be making its way into the homes of millions of people around the world. As of this moment, it is starting to become practical and affordable, within 5 years I expect this to cost under $100 a machine and be about as cheap as the printer you have next to your computer.

What is this miracle product that I am referring to: 3-D Printing. Just look at the video to see what I mean. It is cheap, it is in an industry where costs are falling, and I want one!


gears The potential benefits: imagine the future of this machine being able to create 3D reproductions of car parts for immediate installation, or being able to repair or recreate antiques within a day or less. Imagine a doctor being able to scan your body and create a perfectly fitting replacement for a part of your skull that you broke during a car accident (and having it actually inserted at the same time you are in the emergency room being treated for that accident!). Want to buy a product that is overseas and heavy or too bulky to ship? Well a bigger version of this machine in the future would allow you to buy the 3D plans and replicate the whole object (minus any electronic components, which could be inserted later in a delux model) from your garage at a fraction of the cost of buying one, shipping it and waiting.


The drawbacks: well resolution is pretty poor (think about it like owning a really expensive 3D Dot Matrix printer), the objects are still very small and really only suited to making scale models of prototypes that would be sent to a factory. Color schemes seem limited at the moment. The objects are only made from plastics like those you would find in a weed wacker. The designs are pretty limited and the pieces might not be strong enough currently for replacement parts on anything. The worst case is that you know if you buy this, within a year or two someone will make a much nicer version of it for half the price (thank you R&D.. I still owned an MP3 CDR player when the IPOD came out).

For those of you with the money, you can buy the MakerBot.


Written by Josecito

January 4, 2011 at 10:46 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. Just when I think they’ve invented everything, they come up with something else. I can’t even imagine that something like this would ever be a household item… but people probably never thought they’d take pictures with their telephones either :)


    January 4, 2011 at 11:33 pm

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