3D Printing Update

Given the mention of sub $10K announcements in the recent dialog about Ponoko(thanks csven), I decided to take a quick spin around the web to take the pulse of the 3D printersphere. I found out that Desktop Factory‘s $4,995 3D printer is now in external customer beta. They are estimating that the price will drop to $1,000 in 4 years. Their blog has a number of worthwhile links. The V-Flash Desktop Modeler is expected to come in before the end of the year at $9,900. I wonder if these products will cause Z-Corp to come down from the $19,000 entry level product I mentioned about a year ago. Along the way I also found this nice illustrated walk-thru of how the $40K Z-Corp Z406 works. Here are a few other interesting links I revisited or encountered:

3D Printer Users Blog

The Fab At Home Project

Bruce Sterling’s Spime Watch

3D Printing With Mathmatica

3D Printer replicates bones



  1. csven said

    fwiw, right now I see the opportunity not in fabbing the final product, but in creating low-volume tooling at the pro-sumer level.

  2. Tver said

    You get what you pay for. You would be better off getting a small CNC

  3. Tver said

    The 406 from Z Corp has been replaced by the 510 over a year and a half ago. Why would Z Corp drop the price to compete with the expected poor part quality of a $5k box? Also I am curious how much tha material wil cost? Razor and the blade scenario?

  4. Tver said

    What is the material cost? Is this a here’s the razor now buy the blade scenario?

  5. lr said

    Thanks Tver. I wondered about the quality comparisons, but a very quick look didn’t turn up anything. Do you have any links/references?

    @CNC I suppose it depends on the target market. Things like safety, noise, waste, footprint, and perceived ease of operation could be significant factors for some markets.

    @406 hopefully folks who shelled out $40K still have a useable machine or got a sweet upgrade deal 🙂

    @material costs – great questions! I’d been wondering about that too.

  6. csven said

    I wouldn’t be better off with a CNC (but I will have a Bridgeport available for personal use in two weeks).

  7. Tver said


    The part quality and material costs are what I am most interested in. I know there are a few colleagues that either still run the 406 or were able to take advantage of a trade in program. Z Corporation seems to be pretty good that way.
    I am also looking for comments on the new 450 from Z Corporation. I hope to see it at a show sooner or later. Nice to get some informed feedback. Thanks.

  8. […] in their hands” and providing engineers with insights into new forms of fabrication. With 3D printer prices dropping into the consumer electronics range, the number of people and organizations able to […]

  9. Interesting the price is going from $5,000 to $1,000 over a few years. Good for open source fab at home.


  10. Molly said

    It is true, you do get what you pay for. It does suck to pay so much though. But in the long run it pays for itself.

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