According to this source, the latest front-runner in the race to the most inexpensive desktop 3D printer is MakiBOX, weighing in at around $200. They have also made great efforts to make this model very fast to assemble as well. Via hackedgadgets.com:
Who would have thought that we would see a $200 printer this early! Looks like the MakiBOX by Jonathan Buford is currently the cheapest 3D printer around (please correct me in the comments if there is something cheaper). Now that Makerbot has gone through some drastic changes and is no longer open source are we going to see lots of low cost entry level machines fill the void? The current MakiBOX uses a 0.4mm nozzle can print 0.1mm layers. You can lots of their previous pre-production versions on their Youtube site. Looks like there has been lots of refining over the months but just like any new machine there is sure to be some more fine tuning needed by the builder. Tweaking the printer to work just right might be half of the build fun though.
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!
Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!
The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!