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3D Printing History, Costs and Types of 3D Printers8 min read

3d printer cost
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3D Printing History

Do you think that 3d printers are a new invention? Actually, it is not as the 3d printers’ first patent was filed as early as the 1980s.

3D printing gained its famous in 2009 when the FDM patents expired, and it became a hot trend.

However, the first 3D printing technique was not FDM, it was SlA and was filed as early as the 1980s.

Yes it changed a lot from the first machines of the 1980s to today’s printers with its great softwares and many applications.

Let’s check the history of the 3d Printers:

The 1980s:

The birth of the 3 main 3D Printing Techniques was in the 1980s, as the first 3D printing attempts are granted to Dr Kodama who developed a rapid prototyping technique describing a layer by layer approach for manufacturing and creating an ancestor for SLA, but he failed to file the patent requirement before the deadline.

Four years later:

A team of engineers in France was interested by the stereolithography, but due to a lack of business perspective they neglected the project.

In 1986:

Charles Hull deposited a first patent for stereolithography (SLA) and founded the 3D Systems Corporation.

Then he released the SLA-1 in the next year.

In 1988:

Carl Deckard brought another 3D printing technique at the University of Texas.

His invention fused powder grains together by a laser.

A co-founder of Stratasys Inc. called Scott Crump also filed a patent for Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM).

The 1990s:

It was the decade of the first application of 3D printing by medical researchers.

They worked on combining medicines and 3D printing which opened the path to many uses.

Many achievements took place in the 1990s including:

  1. The first EOS Stereos system
  2. FDM patent to Stratasys
  3. Solidscape was founded
  4. Z Corporation obtained an brought license from the MIT
  5. Engineered organs bring new advances to medicine

The 2000s:

The 2000s witnessed a remarkable accomplishments regarding the 3d printers including:

  1. A 3D printed working kidney is created
  2. MCP Technologies (an established vacuum casting OEM) introduced the SLM technology
  3. Z Corp.  launched Spectrum Z510, the initiation of an open source project
  4. The first 3D printed prosthetic leg
  5. FDM patents in the public domain and creating Sculpteo

The 2010s:

These years were the best so they were called the years of visibility and innovation for 3D Printing.

They began with creating Urbee ( the first 3D printed prototype car), building 3D food printer, printing and implanting the first prosthetic

jaw m, the announcement of Daniel Kelly’s lab about creating the 3D print bone took place and many other achievements as well.

Few years ago, when they invented the first 3D printers, it was not less than everyone’s dream.

Almost everyone wanted to have one of them, but the problem was that it was so expensive and still is.

3d Printer Cost according to Types of 3d Printers

3d printing history

Today, 3D printing is still pretty expensive, but with some researches, we found some good deals for you, so check this list of the 10 affordable 3D printers that you can buy without paying more than $1000

  • Peachy Printer

Have you ever seen how the 3D printer works? Peachy Printer will provide you with a whole new different approach.

This printer creates things with a liquid light-sensitive resin, then this liquid solidifies when it is introduced to light from a laser beam.

The laser cures and solidifies the liquid while it is dripping slowly and change it into a solid object.

Sounds amazing, right?

It is also not expensive at all, as this amazing printer costs only $100.

  • Deezmaker Bukito Mini

Deezmaker Bukito Mini is so comfortable for transport and storage as it is very light and portable.

It weighs approximately 6 pounds with  a 5″ x 6″ x 5″ printing area, but it is very steady and accurate.

You will be amazed if you just watch its video while printing an object when it is moving around or flipping upside down without any error.

Deezmaker Bukito Mini costs only $699.

  • Printr bot

You need a small 3D printer or a big one?

Actually, the size is not a problem anymore as Printrbot has 4 different variants of 3D printers of different sizes and features.

These printers are very customizable, so they meet all your needs; furthermore, you can buy add-on parts when necessary.

Wanna more good news?

This printer works with both ABS and PLA filaments, so you don’t have any excuses for beginning your 3D creations.

It costs between $259 – $999

  • MakiBox

The MakiBox is another distinctive 3d printer which is affordable and reliable at the same time.

If you are using the 3d printer for the first time, then MakiBox is the best choice.

However, it only has a printing dimension of 150mm wide x 110mm deep x 90mm tall; therefore, it can only print small things.

It comes in pieces, so you need to do some gathering for its parts and other minor configurations, then you will get your MakiBox ready and for only $200 – $300.

  • Romscraj

This is a new company, but it is expected to be a leading one soon.

It is based in Singapore, and works in building and selling two different scales of printers.

They offer:

  • Portabee Go: it is a portable printer, which is foldable for convenient transport or storage
  • Desktop printer: it is made from aluminum and stainless steel

Their costs range between $375 – $500

  • Phoenix 3D Printer

I really liked this offer as it saves good money.

If you purchase the unique Phoenix 3D printer  software, you will get  a fully functional basic printer as this software is really amazing.

If anything went wrong during printing, you can just ‘pause’ in the middle of a print then ‘rewind’ the software to the correct point and continue from there.

Can you imagine how much wastage of print material you will save?

This unique printer costs $375 – $500

  • Solidoodle

Solidoodle is a superb 3D printer which can be used out of the box.

The 2 models of no-fuss printer by Solidoodle come at a reasonable price, since the 2nd Generation has a dimension of 6″ x 6″ x 6″ and cost

$499 while the 3rd Generation has a dimension of 8″ x 8″ x 8″ and cost at $799.

The two models differ in size and price only as the third generation is bigger, cost more and allow you to print larger objects.

  • RigidBot

RigidBot sells 3D printers as a kit or fully assembled which allow the buyers to save some money and customize the printer to fit their needs.

So you can expand the printing space too by buying longer X, Y which are available at most DIY stores.

It costs between $499 – $959

  • The Buccaneer

The Buccaneer is Wi-Fi enabled which allows the user to communicate with it via an iOS/Android app.

The application of this fully assembled 3D printer allows you to browse for things to print based on category.

As a result,you can adjust the shape and customize the size using the app before sending the blueprints to the printer.

You can also use this printer to print bowls or plates, since it uses a plastic material which is food safe.

The Buccaneer costs $399 – $999.

  • RoBo

The RoBo printer is popular for being open sourced, so you can find all its details online.

Moreover, you can simply build your own RoBo from 3D printed parts with the help of the online information.

Therefore, this professional 3D printer is sold at $599 – $699.

10 Wonderful Benefits of 3D Printing

benefits of 3d printing

3D printings are the result of the progress in technology

This machine is really superb as it  produces three-dimensional objects giving the user and exciting, funny and useful experience.

3D printing is used in many industries including the packaging industry, automotive industry, aircraft and health care and many others as well.

So let’s check some of the benefits of 3D printing

  • 3d printing is less expensive than other traditional ways of prototyping injection mold tools
  • It saves time, efforts and money as traditional prototype manufacturing needs purchasing expensive tools and hiring people to work on it.
    On the other hand, 3D printing needs making the design, converting it to a readable file then printing it
  • It is easy to customize your tool according to your needs as all 3d printers use the same mold, make similar shapes and designs and help you to personalize anything without additional cost
  • It can minimize the work as you can use it to prototype first before investing in an expensive molding tool
  • Unlike traditional industrial manufacturing which need time, labor and cost to produce tools, 3D printing saves cost, time and labor especially for small projects
  • Adding holes that change direction, unrealistic overhangs, square interior cavities and many details which are difficult to be achieved by traditional industrial manufacturing are easy tasks for 3D printing
  • 3D printing can easily mix raw materials and combine the physical and chemical properties with low costs
  • 3D printing gives the better quality since you have full control on its appearance and you can easily get rid of any mass manufacturing faults
  • 3D printers are environment friendly
  • Day by day, the users of 3D printing are increasing, and now they are working on 3d printing pens which can give the same results

Eventually, 3D printing is very useful and powerful as it can create food, clothing, houses, organ tissues, cells and almost everything.

Moreover, this technology is much better, cheaper, faster and sustainable than many others.

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