By this point there is no way that you have not heard about 3D printers being the next big thing. The technology is quickly moving from being something that we could only dream about to slowly creeping the construction industry out, and threatening to become the new home servant.
So why don’t you have one yet?
They are damn expensive is why. 3D printers usually run in the thousands of dollars, leaving them out of reach for the passive consumer, or even struggling entrepreneur.
But today, thanks to an announcement from XYZ Printing, we can have hope that these things can actually become a household item some day. The da Vinci printers that they unveiled at the Consumer Electronic Show are priced at $499, which should be well within the reach of many who might be interested.
Competitor MakerBot also released a series of three new printers, including the entry level "Repplicator Mini" which carries a price tag of $1,375.
For comparison sake, regular inkjet printers broke into the home consumer market when prices dropped down to $1000— in 1988.
According to the release, the da Vinci printers is a “plug and play printer” that uses fused filament fabrication to print items up to 7.8” x 7.8” x 7.8”.
You can fill it up with 12 colors of cartridges, and load designs with an open-source cloud database, which already comes loaded with “thousands of free 3D models consumers can customize as desired.”
Which means you can now home-print bongs in 12 different colors. Just kidding! Unless you are in Colorado.
If other industries are indicators of what is to come, expect the cost of 3D printing to continue to drop over time.
Daniel Rivero is a producer/reporter for Fusion who focuses on police and justice issues. He also skateboards, does a bunch of arts related things on his off time, and likes Cuban coffee.