Article by Martin Gibson – Twitter – 03.05.2010
Bits From Bytes has developed a super cheat 3D printer that costs a mere $3000 US. The development questions whether 3D printing services in the near future will be undertaken not by professionals but rather inside design studios around the world. It is incredible that Bits for Bytes was able to make such precision instruments and machinery at such an affordable price. With the addition of a couple of hundred pounds one can purchase the printer with up to 3 colour heads so mutlicoloured parts can be constructed. The 0.1mm tolerance of the machine is surprisingly accurate even when compared to competing devices made by HP. The maximum printable volume is 320mm x 300mm x 200mm which is very reasonable when compared to larger machines which tend to only print maximum sizes of 400mm(3). The draw back of the machine is it’s slower speed at 15mm(3) per a second, but its selling price is so attractive one would rather compromise speed for cost efficiencies.
After observing the results of the machine the finish is not suitable to be transformed into a presentation model. However for rapid ergonomic testing this product proposes a compelling alternative to hand made foam models. For industrial design consultancies, smaller colleges and universities this rapid prototyping machine could dramatically reduce the turn around time and administrative work to receive real 3d data.