The world of consumer 3D printing has evolved in a big way. Smaller 3D Printers can now fit on desks at homes or small offices and produce a wider variety of items ranging from sculptures, small knick-knacks, jewellery and even more complex items like replacement parts for toys and hobbies to far more complex creations.
Creating projects from PC’s or smartphones
While talented designers can easily use their PCs or smartphones to find, create or modify any design they can think of, the beauty of the 3D printing experience is that it is a very community-based open source affair with tens of thousands of available templates and projects that can be downloaded, altered and printed out.
There’s also the option of creating designs from the ground up using various 3D design programs or scanning images for replication using products like the HP Sprout
3D printers are now available from Best Buy and come in a range of prices and capabilities. Starting as low as under $1000.00.
A range of 3D printers available today
These printers, like the 3D systems Cube Wireless Printer, can take your creativity to a whole new three-dimensional level by constructing dual-colour objects at resolutions as fine as 70 microns. It’s easy to set up and prints wirelessly from your smartphone or computer using the Cubify app. In most cases, these apps are just like playing with a game on your phone, yet magically create intriguing, complex and useful prints. Accessing the large online libraries like ThingVerse opens up myriad possibilities that will attract and delight tinkerers and anyone intrigued at the possibilites of the maker movement.
One thing to consider is not to underestimate the size capacity of a 3D Printer since creative designs enable one to make larger projects possible simply by creating them in stages or multiple connecting parts.
Just looking through the Internet, I’ve seen a lot of inspiring projects made by creative home users.
These range from small stands for smartphones, cases for iPhones or tablets, model toys, replacement parts for broken gadgets, prosthetic limbs for pet birds and even an Iron Man helmet.
Of course, more advanced 3D Printers like the CubePro Trio 3D printer from 3D Systems are more powerful and detailed tools and eatures a controlled climate chamber for precise printing, bringing your projects to life in large, professional quality, with 3 colour and 3 resolution options.
Ideal for small businesses, this printer offers the ability to create prints at 300 micron draft resolution, 200 micron standard resolution, or 70 micron high resolution.
Smart Cartridges resist clogging
These 3D Systems Cube Wireless Printers use Smart cartridges that can resist clogging and moisture and automatically detect the type of material you’re using to print, saving you the hassle of having to change settings every time.
You can read a more comprehensive hands-on review of the smaller Cube Wireless Printer from Plug-In blog editor Brad Moon.
The beauty of 3D printing is that there is now a range of materials as well as a large selection of colours available and it really is an industry that’s evolving at the consumer level with these models and also in the professional level where everyone from aerospace, exotic car manufacturing and applied sciences and medicine are leapfrogging the technology into never thought of before applications.