Building My First 3D Printer

Just a few years ago, it would have cost thousands of dollars to buy a 3D printer. 3D printers now range in price from a few thousand to a couple hundred dollars making them much more affordable to the masses. The evolution of 3D printers has been quite remarkable and it doesn’t look like adoption will be slowing anytime soon. With the price for a 3D printer finally under a couple thousand, I decided it wouldn’t be breaking the bank to buy my own printer to experiment with. Since getting my printer a little over a month ago, I have had a lot of fun learning how to use the printer and experimenting with different designs. This is the first post of a two-part series on building and using my first 3D printer. Continue reading

Cubify, MakerBot and The Form 1

It is always nice to see a side by side comparison of the different consumer 3D printers currently on the market. This is definitely not a complete list of what is available, but it represents some popular models across a variety of technologies and price ranges.

CubifyCubify MakerBot Replicator 2Replicator 2 The Form 1The Form 1
Price $1,299 $2,199 $3,299
Technology Plastic Jet Printing Fused Filament Fabrication Stereolithography
Build Volume 5″x5″x5″ 11.2″x6″x6.1″ 4.9″x4.9″x6.5″
Print Resolution (microns) 200 100 25*
Print Material ABS & PLA PLA APR (resin)
Replacement Cartridge $48 $48 (1 kg) Not Available
Software Cube software that creates .CUBE files MakerWare software that supports .stl, .obj, .thing PreForm software that supports .stl
Availability Yes Yes July 2013

*Refers to the layer. Other details are printed at 300 microns

Don’t know what some of the terms are, such as Stereolithography or ABS, that are mentioned in this post? Check back in a few days for a description of important 3D printing terminology.

SOURCE: Cubify, MakerBot, Formlabs