impresora 3D: el próximo electrodoméstico del hogar (

Imagine being able to print a cup and saucer on a machine that sells for the price of a toaster. Such is the promise of 3-D Printers in the home (or at least at local Hackerspaces).

3-D printers are older than you may think. They have been around for more than 20 years. Hobbyists are printing their own action figures, doctors have used the systems to print artificial organs, and chefs are testing out ways to print gourmet meals.

The cheapest printers five years ago ranged from $25,000 to $50,000. Now, they're available for as little as $1,000. Read more at CNN Money.

The 3D printing "industry" grew 24% last year. Wohlers Associates conservatively forecasts industry-wide growth to be $3.1 billion by 2016 and $5.2 billion by 2020. Thus, according to John Robb at Global Guerrillas, 3D printing is breaking out of the hobbyist market.

Illustrative of the movement of 3D printers into the mainstream, there is now an iPhone app that allows users to scan and print models of their faces on home fabrication machines.

A 3D printer that makes edible food

Because it's an academic project, the 3D food printer isn't yet commercially available. The Fab@Home project has the blueprints for free online, and dedicated hobbyists can use them to build their own. One retailer,, offers an assembled version for sale starting at a mere $3,300.

Essential Dynamics is working on a version that can be sold to pastry chefs and tech early adopters. The technology could become a household staple within a decade.

This YouTube video demonstrates a 3D food printer making dessert.

Home based small business opportunities for 3-D Printer Designers

3D printing is a form of additive manufacturing technology where a three dimensional object is created by laying down successive layers of material.

Early adapters are using 3D printers in their home to make flowerpots, cell phone cases, jewelry, and a wide variety of other objects. Simply send a design for a product to a 3-D printer and out pops a real 3-D object.

Some people are turning this into a business where, for instance, they make historically accurate hats for Lego figures.

Shapeways manufactures items with its 3-D printers and sells and distributes them through its website.

About 10% of the 2,000 designers selling through Shapeways are making decent money -- with the most popular bringing in excess of thousands of dollars a month, says CEO Peter Weijmarshausen. He concedes that's not really a lot of money yet, "but I see this year, the more successful designers will make a living at it."

What used to be extremely expensive to model and work through design changes in terms of both price and time is now easy and inexpensive.

This YouTube video features a few home objects made from a 3-D printer including a tiny teapot.

A Vision for 3D Printing

In the late 1990s, 3D printing technology was barely known. It was mainly being used to make medical and auto parts. The vision was to introduce a means whereby people could design products themselves and sell them strictly over the Internet. Production would be fast, design would be key, and individual customization would be easy.

This YouTube video shows a cool looking business card holder created on a 3-D Printer. You could use such a printer to make household objects or to start a small home based business.
Implementing the Vision

With 3D printing, the custom nature of products has gone further than ever before. The printers can produce models based on nearly any 3D model fed into them, almost regardless of complexity, meaning that what comes out of the machines is limited mainly by the imagination of those using them.
  • Read 3D printing changing prosthetics forever.
  • This YouTube video demonstrates types of household products you can make with a 3D printer including an iPhone case, a filter mechanism, a salt shaker, a cup, a fully functional wrench, etc.
  • World's first 3D chocolate printer - 4:08 video
  • Things People Have Made from Thingiverse
  • Manufacturers turn to 3D printing. Last May, General Electric announced it would “intensify focus” on additive manufacturing to develop a variety of products, from aircraft engine components to parts for ultrasound machines, that can be printed using 3-D printers. (Source: Technology Review — Jul 18, 2011)
Keywords for 3D Printing

product manufacturing, storage, distribution methods, home accessory, resilient home, hackerspaces,Nanotechnology, Materials Science

External Links for 3D Printing

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