My colleagues? No, what I will miss is the Shapeways Makerbot. We got a beautiful Makerbot Industries Cupcake CNC some weeks ago. Our Makerbot is quite noisy but we love it. Hans put it together for us and he is trying to add things to it all the time. We really wanted a 3D printer around the office and we're very happy to have this now.
The entire process of getting a Makerbot and putting it together is a lot of fun.
Assembling a Makerbot is not difficult if you're a Dremel owning techie type of person.
Your Makerbot will not work all the time so you have to keep at it.
You will get stuck but there is a great Makerbotting community out there to help you.
Owning a Makerbot will make you feel like you came from the future.
Watch the rather noisy video of our Makerbot below (and I was kidding I'll miss my colleagues a tonne!) .
True, you don't use makerbot for printing "pretty" things.
But it is wonderful for functional mechanical parts or for other 3d printers/robot parts.
I find the price for producing those using other means a bit too high.
And it is a wonderful toy for hobbyist, always something to tweak and tinker about it
Wish I could afford one.
But somewhere in the future I will have finished my own color 3d printer using (infused) plaster and parts of an inktjet (see my blog for details)
Which would be nice for decorative objects.
Even so, I need money and more parts first
Well, insofar as 'detail' and 'quality' coming out of these things: It really depends on what you're after. If you want to prototype, or generate prototypes for clients, it will do the job. It will also help to get a quick idea of how it will 'feel' when complete, as well as the suitability of some materials to the end product.
Remember Airfix kits? The parts, in general, were detailed: You still had to trim off a few bits (where it attached to the framework) as well as adapt others that didn't quite match up (due to process failure or personal adaptation).
So a little work on the finished item seems to be part of it's design...
A more 'pro' option is here: http://www.bitsfrombytes.com (I'm not affiliated with them) The BFB 3000, for under £2,000. Although I haven't handled any samples from its output.
Both present further adaptations, I suppose it depends on how far you want to make a mess of things...! I believe there's a Chocolate nozzle in the works for the BFB 3000.