That’s probably too optimistic to think that 3D printer will be in every american’s household by the end of the year. However, in a couple of years it my be available under $400. The 3D printing technology clearly going into two directions. The high end printers which can print in various materials and can print various working parts in multi color.
At the other end of the market, home 3D printers becoming cheaper and smaller. These printers can use only one type of the material in monochrome colors.
Recently a new design for a home 3D printer named RepRap was announced. It’s not only cheap itself but the operation cost is very reasonable. The printer’s creator Dr Bowyer from the University of Bath says that the plastic used as a raw material only costs around $50, per kilogram, much cheaper than inks then. The open source printer should cost you around $800.
The printer material is cheap and can be ideal for printing models and peaces of art but not for making everyday usable objects.
Perhaps the multicolor process will be the first to be added to low end home 3D printers which would increase their uses for making models. This would also see them used by small 3D printing services, serving consumers with models for home use and with small businesses using these printers for prototyping. The current niche rapid prototyping market that uses 3D printing services would probably change then and it would be fully working prototypes they would specialize in and maybe eventually large scale 3D printing services with 3D printing done at much faster speeds and bigger sizes than will be possible on smaller home machines.
Source: Wall Street Journal