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3D Printing at Home or Office: Access vs. Quality


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I don't think home 3D printer will replace services like Shapeways.

I see them as complementary. The economics of home printing will never work out for most due to the high capital cost of the printer (Even a MakerBot is expensive), and that most people don't really print that much.

I have just printed a model using the Up! printer as shown in this video , but I plan to print this model using Shapeways too in a much smaller scale for the 'accuracy' you mention :-) Super micro pump hehehe :-)
#1 Madox (Homepage) on 2010-11-16 13:35 (Reply)
Wow, that is really cool.

Did you buy an Up! printer or had a chance to use someones?

How did it perform, noise, smell, etc?

#1.1 Duann on 2010-11-16 13:43 (Reply)
Mine :-)

Nice, had a bit of a problem initially but their service/support were very good/quick.

Minimal smell/fumes, I deliberately close the window to avoid temperature differentials across the model [near a window].

Very nice for the price :-) Still ordering off Shapeways though, hoping for a return/permanency of the silver.

Now printing 'useless models' i couldn't justify paying Shapeways for like this one
#1.1.1 Madox (Homepage) on 2010-11-16 13:50 (Reply)
Agreed re: UP! Printer. Virtually no smell, low noise, really convenient. The resolution, cleanness and accuracy of the UP does not compare to the picture shown above from what I assume to be the Shapeways Makerbot.

If you check out what I'm doing with my gnomes (hmm, I'm relectant to post the url to my Etsy shop for ettiquette sake), you'll see that they look pretty good. I definately like this material a lot.

Now, Shapeways offers metal, glass, colour, WSF, alumide, and more. The properties of metal and WSF are defiantely not available to me at home. So this machine doesn't replace Shapeways, but it certainly allows me to spend a lot less on prototyping. And, in some cases, I can produce my own things for sale.

I don't think Shapeways folks should spend a lot of time rebelling and debating the inevitable impending popularity of the home 3d printer. It's here. Period. It fills the need for instant "now" models. The quality is becoming excellent. If anything, rather than debate the validity of home printing, Shapeways should capitalize on it by tailoring it's service to cater to those who have 3d printers (ie. allowing designers to offer files for sale that a 3d printer owner can buy and print). Maybe there are other things that 3d printer owners will want from Shapeways... compatable materials (ie. spools of abs) ... tools for finishing ... useful paints ... that sort of thing.

#2 T. Shawn Johnson on 2010-11-17 04:52 (Reply)
Thanks for your take on it Whystler,

We are really quite excited about the 3D printers that are hitting the market, the innovative items that are being printed, and the increasing quality and complexity of designs we will see on Shapeways because of them.
Bre and the team at Makerbot are fantastic ambassadors spreading the word to independent makers, as are the Shapeways community who promote their designs like you do on sites such as Etsy, Deviant Art and etc.. (cool voodoo dolls).

After all, "a rising tide lifts all boats"

Oh, and personally I would LOVE to have a 3D printer at home to experiment with. (envy)


#3 Duann on 2010-11-17 05:14 (Reply)

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