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yeremia
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I saw this printer on a computer exhibition in my country. And this is amazing, you can create 3D models with this printer.

View this video http://youtu.be/SmkQCUJNooA?hd=1

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Crakken
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Speechless…

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matt5409
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these have actually been around for some time now. obv they’re not consumer products though… yet.

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sightsignal
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You can buy one actually:

http://store.makerbot.com/replicator-404.html

But there are many online companies that take your 3d model, print it in the material of your choice and mail it for you.

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Parallelus
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We used these for model making in college. You can use a CAD drawing of a product to get a rough model, depending on the quality. It’s amazingly cheaper than a CNC machine and can produce a good result. Some of the ones I worked with used either a type of wax or a dry “glue” to produce the models.

The “dry glue” machine was interesting to watch. It essentially had a pan of very fine powder (looked like a kitty litter tray) then the print head would make pass after pass as a thin layer of the powder was spread across the top after each pass. The tray would slowly lower itself a tiny bit after each pass and you had to dig out the model when it was done. This didn’t produce a perfectly accurate result as the effect of bleeding would attract a little more of the material than you wanted. It was impossible to get a sharp corner but a little sanding could fix that. Still easier and more accurate than carving the entire thing from a block of balsa foam.

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yeremia
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We used these for model making in college. You can use a CAD drawing of a product to get a rough model, depending on the quality. It’s amazingly cheaper than a CNC machine and can produce a good result. Some of the ones I worked with used either a type of wax or a dry “glue” to produce the models. The “dry glue” machine was interesting to watch. It essentially had a pan of very fine powder (looked like a kitty litter tray) then the print head would make pass after pass as a thin layer of the powder was spread across the top after each pass. The tray would slowly lower itself a tiny bit after each pass and you had to dig out the model when it was done. This didn’t produce a perfectly accurate result as the effect of bleeding would attract a little more of the material than you wanted. It was impossible to get a sharp corner but a little sanding could fix that. Still easier and more accurate than carving the entire thing from a block of balsa foam.

My friends also use it to create 3D models for her clients.

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dtbaker
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We built a RepRap 3D printer down the road at our local hackerspace ( http://gctechspace.org/ )

We’re currently printing the parts for the 2nd and 3rd RepRap printer. You can’t print the entire printer again, still have to buy some of the metal parts, but each “revision” of the printer has more and more printed parts than the last, so one day you will be able to “replicate” most of the printer from another printer. Pretty cool!

The RepRap we built is this one: http://reprap.org/wiki/Prusa

Here’s a video of our printer printing some clips to hold the “filament” that gets fed into the printer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJOKjSFrzKY Yep. it’s printing it’s own spare parts :)

If you’re interested in looking at one check if your area has a local hackerspace, most hackerspaces have a 3D printer: http://hackerspaces.org

Here’s an example of what can be achieved with a really good multi-color 3D printer: http://realtimerendering.com/erich/minecraft/public/mineways/

Here is a website that you can upload your own 3D designs (or buy other designs) and get them printed then delivered to your door: http://www.shapeways.com/

Here is the database of things that can be printed on a RepRap 3D printer: http://www.thingiverse.com/ this is a great website because you can see the quality that you are likely to get out of a cheap printer that is built yourself (like the reprap).

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