A bargain

The cheapest commercially available 3d printer on the market is the Dimension uPrint Personal 3D Printer, clocking in at $14,900.  The media cartridges run $250 – and consist of coiled ABS in a plastic box.  I can’t tell from their website how much plastic is in each cartridge, so I don’t know how cost effective it is.  I’m not positive exactly how their cartridges operate – but I would not be surprised if they were tamper resistant, not able to be refilled, and contained special chips which authenticated them as being untampered and coming direct from the manufacturer.

Am I jaded by inkjets?  Probably.  I’m tired of buying printers with 1/3 full cartridges and expensive refills.  The warranties are so much worse:

“Expensive manufacturer refills only!  Only use paper made from unicorn tears and the hopes and dreams of orphans!  Only power your machine with live baby seals.  Using reasonably priced alternative supplies, making disparaging remarks, failure to properly maintain your machine, or printing will destroy your machine and void your warranty.”

My MakerBot came with more plastic than I can print in two years runs just barely over $1,000 with shipping.  If something were to happen to MakerBot Industries, I can always find new filament elsewhere, adapt my ‘bot to a new source, or even a new material entirely.  Or, I could just toss in a Dremel and have a mini-CNC/drill press.

4 Responses to “A bargain”

  1. Tony Buser says:

    I agree with everything except the “more plastic than I can print in 2 years”. I’ve printed almost 2 mendels and a few misc things and I’m nearly through 5 pounds of PLA in about 2 months. :)

  2. MakerBlock says:

    I knew *someone* was going to take exception with that part. However, it is quite accurate for me. It’s more plastic than *I* can print in two years. Of course, YMMV. I figure, at my current rate of printing it will probably take me two years to use up my initial 6 pounds of ABS (1 natural + 5 ABS with the deluxe kit).

    Really what it means is that I’m just not printing enough. ;)

  3. Mycroftxxx says:

    The worst part about the dimension cartridges? If you’re a Dimension owner, it’s that they read empty with about 10% left. If you’re a Makerbot owner, it’s that the 2mm filament does not work in the stock extruder. The local hackerspace has a lot of these cartridges from a local college. We’ve been pawning them off on the only local with a RepStrap. Fortunately for everyone, that local is Frank Davies, of “printed Sarrus linkage” fame.

  4. MakerBlock says:

    Wow! See with that kind of extra free material lying around, I would be tempted to make a 2mm extruder. All it would really take is a custom barrel, nozzle, and insulator. Totally worth the effort for unlimited free plastic.