Tim covers the pros and cons of everything from your $600 Reprap to your $50,000 ZCorp 510 (his fave – clearly got institutional backing!). Not being in the market for one myself, one nugget I gleaned was that “when anyone makes a RepRap machine – the first item they make is this shotglass, so they can toast the machine using something that it itself has made”(pictured above). Strangely, the author doesn’t say anything about Candyfab, which you could toast with its first build and then eat the glass.
Tim references Castle Island’s guide on 3D printers which also holds a lot of good info. Their nutshell summary:
“What is the difference between an RP machine and a 3D printer? The flippant answer is, “about $45,000.” 3D printers are really just lower-cost, somewhat less-capable, rapid prototyping machines.”
Incidentally their rapid prototyping technologies comparison chart is a godsend.
Its good to see a buyers’ guide like these as technologies are becoming more affordable – with the budget options, its conceivable that smaller design practices, indie designers and even makers or fabricators might be looking to buy a rapid prototyper (hence it’s appearance on Make).
For is part, Tim is involved in digital art at Camberwell College of Arts, his aim being “to produce traditional art pieces (photographs, video and sculpture) using non traditional (programming) techniques.” Hence 3D printing, curiously.