The first 3D printer was invented in 1984 by a company called 3D Systems Corporation. The reason you never heard of them until recently is because they weren’t as commercially available as they are now. Mostly used in industries like architecture, civil and mechanical engineering, aerospace design and of course art. The 3D printers available today for private use pale in comparison to the power and sheer ability of the industrial printers. The Big Rep One hopes to bridge that gap.
The Big Rep One markets itself as a tool to make “your big ideas” come to life. It has a build capacity of 1,147 x 1,000 x 1,188mm, making it a beast of a machine. Sand, brick, wood and sandstone sculptures materialise fully formed in front of your eyes. Whole pieces of furniture can be shaped out of this machine. Its cost however, is almost as high as its achievements. At $40,000 the printer’s price is much less than industrial printers but it will still put a dent in any non industrial enthusiasts pocket, but compared to the whopping $750k to 1 million one has to pay for the industrial printers its a welcome change in the market.
The capability of 3D printers is increasing day by day and so is their accuracy. The Big Rep is accurate to a 100 microns and further on, printers accurate to the micron will be produced to manufacture seamless designs.
With the arrival of the Big Rep expected this summer, competition will try to out do it and will no doubt come up with a better model sooner or later.