|Home » Best Printers » Best 3-D Printers 2014|
3-D Printers in 2014
December 13, 2014
Once something designed seemingly for wealthy hobbyists, or even just a niche market, 3-D printing has burst onto the technology scene in a big way, and is certainly not going anywhere. While many models are still very expensive, some companies have made or are making a concerted effort to develop models affordable even for home users around the $500 mark (and in some cases, below that) . The thing to keep in mind with this technology, because it is evolving so quickly, that new printers are popping up all the time, which can impact the prices units are sold at.
For the purposes of this piece, we are going to focus on printers already available, and not in production:
As you can see from the variety of information above, 3-D printing offers a broad range of options from the novice on up. Of the units above, probably the most simplistic, if you will, is the final printer in the list from PrintrBot. Users will have some assembly on their hands, though it was not reported online to be difficult to do. Alternatively, for $100 more, users have the option to purchase one pre-assembled. Speaking of this pre-assembled vs. DIY, with a lot of the newer printers which are being developed and funding through crowdsourcing platforms such as Kickstarter, the level of funding someone provides for a new printer will impact whether they receive it fully or partially assembled.
With the other three units, assembly is not required, nor was an unassembled unit readily available. That said, they are also somewhat more expensive with the exception of the XYZ at $399.99. The MakerBot unit, one of the least expensive that company sells, retails for close to $1,400 which may be too high of an investment for those beginning to explore 3-D printing. The Cubify unit, while not the newest of their models, has more of a low-end price at $599, is still a solid choice (and $400 less than the latest generation). As the technology continues forward and new players enter the market, just as what happened with paper and ink/toner printing, prices will respond accordingly. Our best advice is to, at least initially, find a model that you can try in a store, at least initially, so you can test it out and get a sense of what it does and how it could work for your home or office. Happy printing! If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us via Twitter @castle_ink.