(3D) Print Your Own Adventure
Finding the 3D printer that’s right for you
by Alberta Venture Staff
|The Good Life||3D Printing||Fashion Statement||Dear Andy|
Mark it down: 2014 will be the year of the 3D printer.
And while you could wait until competitive pressures drive down the cost of owning one, well, where’s the fun in that? And make no mistake – notwithstanding the geekery that surrounds them, these things are fun. They’re also downright handy. Missing a drill bit? Print it. Lost a piece from your chess set? Print it. You get the idea.
But where to start – and, more importantly, which 3D printer to buy? You don’t want to drop the equivalent of a mortgage payment on it only to be left with the 3D printing equivalent of a Betamax player, after all. To find out which 3D printers are most likely to have staying power, we asked Jon MacDonald of the appropriately named Magic Maker, a Calgary company that specializes in 3D printing. He sees two machines that stand out above the rest. “For personal use, you have two options right now in the 3D printer world. One would be the Makerbot Replicator 2. It’s a printer that we use quite often, and one we sell as well. And there’s a fairly new printer called the Form 1. Both of them are great.” The Makerbot, which uses a plastic layering technology, retails for around $2,600, while the Form 1, which uses resin base and laser sintering, will set you back $4,000.
And if you’re worried about the cost, well, think of how much money you’ll save on Christmas presents, birthday gifts and other similar occasions. Heck, you can even use it to make a replica of a person’s face. Can you really put a price tag on that?