|K8400 Vertex 3D printer from Velleman|
You've probably already heard of 3D printing. Professional companies have printed numerous objects with large printers. In China a company printed a building of five stories high, fully printed with a 3D printer. 3D printers actually already exist from the 80's, they were very big and slow machines and there were still too many obstacles to produce a perfect object.
Now a days the 3D printers are much better equipped because of the latest technologies, they are getting faster and faster (read: it now takes only 30 hours to produce a small object such as a wrench of 15 cm long).
3D printer in your home
Besides professional 3D printers, there are now even 3D printers for in your home. For the price of an iPhone (600 euro) you can get them in house. They come with a toolkit from over 100 steps but with very detailed explanations. The Velleman K8400 Vertex is such a model for the living room.
You can print almost any object with from the computer. So you can design stuff by yourself. There are already plenty of items available on the Internet that can be download for free. After downloading, you can personalize them with the CAD program on the PC or laptop. It's now possible to write your name on a cup for instance.
The machine has a high-tech looking, and only serves to create objects that are no larger than the machine itself, for it is 36 cm long, 38 cm high and 39,5 cm deep.
The material from which the object is made is PLA (polylactic acid). This is a material that is not heat resistant. So it is still waiting for better materials. The material takes you back in the form of rolled wires that are attached to the unit by bobbins.
We also do not know yet if the machine releases harmful substances during the making process of the object. Here we are just looking in the dark.
Creating an object also takes many time. So you need to have an average of almost half a day of patience to make an object. Making an object because you need it immediate isn't an option.
In our view there's still need some work to do on the design so that it is a pearl within the interior instead of a complex high-tech machine with lots of wires.
Single-handed people probably don't won't such device, because there's a name roadmap to this unit and you should already have some understanding and knowledge of CAD programs.
So it is still waiting for a plug and play device that can be purchased in the better electro stores, unpacking it at home and start using it.
All this probably scares many people off to have such a device in their house now.
If the 3D printers get some work done faster, getting a slicker design and can be bought as a plug and play machine in the store, than it will be the best invention of these decades. We believe this is the invention that will boom in the coming years. Everyone will want to have such a 3D printer for in his home. Just like a GSM, the Smart Phone, Tablet, microwave, washing machine and the Internet, the 3D printer will be an essential part of our lives. We are certainly very excited and expect a lot of the following 3D printer models.