Re: [rp-ml] Desktop Factory

From: steve <>
Date: Wed Aug 30 2006 - 13:47:30 EEST

Ian Gibson wrote:

> Third is the competition. I would say that there are at least 5 machines
> on the market that can quite easily be manufactured to a retail cost of
> $5000. Looking at the number of moving parts, I would say that ZCorp,
> Stratasys, Autostrade, and a number of other machines can all be made at
> a lower cost to this machine. I imagine that all the companies involved
> in the low-cost RP market have strategies for reducing their machine
> costs when the time comes. If the company is just looking to set up an
> operation with a hope to be bought out by a large company like Epson,
> HP, etc. then they should be prepared to join a queue and to be
> disappointed.

The key point here is that ONE company has to break out of line and drop
the cost of their machines to the $5k range - and (as you say), the
others can follow - and therefore WILL follow.

Maybe the RepRap project will make the whole matter moot by providing
the means for people to make their own machines for a couple of hundred
dollars - maybe a printer manufacturer will see the light and come
up with something for a few thousand bucks a pop.

But sooner or later, someone will break the log-jam and once that
happens, the flood gates will surely open and consumer-grade 3D printers
for less than the prices of a decent TV set will be in Best-Buy within
2 years.

That can't happen so long as all of the 3D printer manufacturers can
sell a machine that costs them less than $5k to make for $20k. Life
is easier for them the way things are now and they won't change without
someone pushing them. I'm kinda hoping this will be the right push.

That being the case, it may not be necessary for this to be the greatest
3D printer in history - it can be a pretty poor machine and still serve
the purpose of breaking up the log jam.

> We have been waiting a long time for one of the big companies to surface
> with plans to make a low-cost machine. Unless Desktop Factory Inc. has
> very deep pockets, I can't see how they can manage. Maybe someone closer
> to this company can shed some light on this?

It would sure be nice to know.
Received on Wed Aug 30 12:46:06 2006

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