The possibilities are endless for 3D printing. With your very own 3D printer, you can make spare parts, circuit boards, inflatable balloons, duplicate keys, Minecraft cities, and even tiny replicas of your face. From a more artsy standpoint, you can make complex sculptures, like this cool mathematical sculpture of thirty interwoven hexagons by Francesco De Comite:
But getting your hands on a home 3D printer isn't easy, since the price tag is generally pretty steep, running around the same cost of laptop computer. There are plenty of options to choose from, including the Cube ($1,300), UP! Start Plus ($1,500), and MakerBot's Replicator ($1,750) and Thing-O-Matic (not offered right now). But who wants to spend over $1,000 bucks?
Now, former COO of MakerBot, Sam Cervantes, has designed an affordable 3D printer for tech geeks on a budget. It's called the Solidoodle and can print up to 6 inches cubed for just $500! Well, actually it's $499.
Now, you can finally start experimenting with 3D printing at home, without breaking the bank. You can pre-order a basic one for $500 without a door or case, which are merely aesthetic qualities. There are two other models (Pro and Expert) that will give you more options for $50 or $100 more, which still isn't bad. Check them out here. You can learn more about how the project came to be here.
Here's a few videos of the Solidoodle in action.
If you get a 3D printer (or already have one), we want to see your creations! Post up some pics on our corkboard for all to see!