Will the explosion of DIY 3D printers as seen at Maker Faire reach the mainstream?
The 3D printer seems to have gone mainstream, at least for the do-it-yourself movement that populates the Maker Faire. But it remains to be seen if some “killer app” will make these printers a must-have item for consumers.
This year’s Maker Faire devoted an entire tent to perhaps a dozen brands of 3D printer, many of them for sale at the faire or for later delivery. While all share the same basic functionality — they build a shape in plastic, layer by layer — they each present slight design variations.
Their proponents are enthusiastic about the printers’ potential. “It’s like a new industrial revolution,” said Siert Wijnia, a founder of Netherlands-based Ultimaker. “[3D printers] are where the microcomputer was 30 years ago.”