Beth, now this is a printer you could justify for home. I wonder when schools will require 3D models as a part of their curriculum. My sons had to do PowerPoint presentations in 4th and 5th grades. This has to be close behind.
It's crazy how early kids learn to master tools like Power Point. My soon-to-be 9th grader is taking a class next year that will show them the basics of CAD and how to apply it to simple design projects. I think 3D printers should and soon will be a staple in the classroom; it's a matter of getting the price point down (like this one) and schools having the budgets to purchase new gear.
I tracked the price point for 3D printers and now they really become a reality for small home design offices and prototype houses. we think of getting one this year for internal use. Beats ordering small part machinning every time we want to see a 3D part.
I like the fact that this 3D printer is pretty quiet compared to the other units that are out there. That and it seems to operate pretty quickly, although that might simply be due to the thin wings. If the Bukobot can come down another one or two hundred I will certainly attempt to pick one up!
It would be nice to see some time numbers based upon larger objects being printed.
I like the comment about how the next generation of kids could learn this just like their PowerPoint presentations.
Because of their low price point, I'm also seeing these types of machines being deployed in 3rd world countries to start micro-factories and to help micro-entrepreneurs build businesses to help lift themselves and their regions out of poverty.
@Greg: That's a great point. A lot of these 3D printer companies talk up the idea of personal manufacturing and how these tools can really overhaul the manufacturing process. I don't think something like Bukobot is robust enough to serve as a tool for a manufacturing company to run their business (meaning serve as the sole source of output for finished goods), but we're certainly moving in that direction and what a boost that will be for small companies, especially in impoverished areas where resources are limited.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.