Evolution of Desktop 3D Printers

3D printed FDM prototype handle

I love watching the evolution of 3D printers as they become more available to the consumer. MakerBot popularized an FDM printer priced well under $2,000. Although limited in build volume and resolution, the printers brought digital fabrication to a price level affordable to the individual or startup company.

3D stalwarts, Stratasys und 3D Systems, joined the competition, as have new players like PP3DP (releasing the Up! Mini as the first 3D printer under $1,000).

Meanwhile, individuals like Ilan Moyer & Nadya Peek (check out their video below) and Ben Heck create innovative and cool variations of the concept, fabricating one-off portable 3D printers that fit in a briefcase and setup in minutes.

How long before you consider buying (or making) a 3D printer for your own desktop? I know I’ve been thinking about it…