3D Printing Enters the Consumer Realmon August 26, 2013 at 3:49 pm
Posted In: 3D Printing
3D printing from the comfort of your own home took a step closer to reality this week, as the creative team at MakerBot began taking orders for their innovative ‘Digitizer’ product. A desktop 3D scanner that can create accurate three-dimensional digital schematics of small items up to around 6.5lbs, the device is shipping now at a $1,400 price point.
If you have a hard time imagining how such a machine might work, you can see it in action below in this announcement video. With reportedly almost a quarter of the global market share in the 3D printing sector at last count, this next step from the Brooklyn-based start-up should cement its position in the industry for years to come.
Contrary to what you might expect, the scanning element of 3D printing is perhaps the most crucial factor in bringing the technology to the masses. The ability of various projects to replicate physical objects has hit the headlines throughout the last decade, which is understandable given that it is the most alluring part of the story for reporters and users alike. The promise of the technology is undoubtedly exciting. Without the ability to easily create a blueprint for the object in question, though, the output of tangible items is limited to the research lab and wealthy entrepreneurs.
As that bottleneck is widened by companies like Makerbot, Mcor and many more developing their own take on the technology, the ability of individuals to create their own 3D models is greatly increased. Aligning the modeling and printing elements has long been a challenge, especially at a relatively affordable price point, hence the excitement that Makerbot’s announcement is generating as you read this.
Of course the buzz around the subject of 3D printing has been building for many months, as we highlighted back in May. The technology is still very much in the early adopter phase – perhaps only just entering it – but the opportunity for individuals and small businesses to get their hands on the tools of production is a significant step forward.
We’re excited to see where the Digitizer and similar products lead creators and expect to be writing a great deal more about the fruits of their labor in the months ahead.