In early 2009 a handful of interested parties were creating kits that could be assembled into 3D printers. RepRap, the original organization, was a non-profit group that met to discuss and advance the interests of it’s members. Not unlike the groups in silicon valley that met to dicuss personal computing, the groups that ultimately led to Apple, a few RepRap members ultimately saw a great market opportunity. It was and is unlikely to think that there will be mainstream adoption of a home assembly kit. As time progressed the company, MakerBot, has become increasingly more sophisticated. Marketing material for MakerBot claims that they control 25% market share in the additive manufacturing/3D printing industry. That is certainly an enviable position if the technology does lead to a new industrial revolution and printers start showing up in homes.
Replicator2X uses an ABS filament and costs just over $2000. MakerBot even has a retail store front where you can see and purchase the machine. Though not as advanced as some other printers, that are capable of printing tungsten or titanium, the MakerBot is a leading candidate to make the jump from hacker/hobbyist to broad scale adoption by untrained but enthusiastic consumers.
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