By David Ponce
3D printing at home is a hot segment, but it’s one that’s consistently been light on growth mostly due to the high costs. The MakerBot Replicator we covered during CES was a step in the right direction, cost-wise, but it’s still $2,000 or so. Well it turns out that the company’s COO, Samuel Cervantes, went off on his own and made the Solidoodle you see above. It’s a 3D printer that costs $500. All you need to do is add a computer and you’ll be off printing almost any object that comes to mind. That’s the kind of price point that could see this tech take off. It does its printing much like the MakerBot did: by melting some plastic and extruding a fine line which it then uses to build the object, layer upon layer.
For an extra $50 you can get the Pro model, which allows you to print objects up to 6″ on all sides. It also has an “upgraded power supply, a spool holder to hold filament (which makes unattended printing much easier), and interior lighting.” The resolution of the printed objects depends on the height of each layer. Typical prints have a resolution of 0.3mm, but it’s possible to make 0.1mm layers, resulting in “top-notch looking prints.”
There’s a 6 to 8 week lead time for your orders, which you’re free to place right now.