Hobby 3D printers

There are quite a number of hobby 3D printers on the market nowadays. In this post, I will make an overview of what is available today!

RepRap ($1,065)

The goal of the RepRap project is to build a printer which print itself. The project was founded in 2005 by Adrian Bowyer and is run as an open source project.
The project does not sell printers themselves, but various vendors offer RepRap kits starting from $1,065.
For more information see RepRap project page

MakerBot ($1,299)
This printer is build on top of the design of the RepRap project. You can either order a self-assembly kit ($1,299) or preassembled ($2,500). The company MakerBot Industries is delivering Makerbots since 2009 from Brooklyn, NY and so far has sold 3,500 MakerBots (March 2011).
For more information see Makerbot.

Fab@Home ($1,950)
This is another open source project headed by Hod Lipson and Evan Malone. The first beta version came out in 2006. Model 1 is available in kits, and they are currently working on Model 2. Unique to Fab@Home it can use two syringes to deposit material making it possible to print multiple materials at the same time. Model 2 is a cheaper and easier to build version of Model 1.
For more information see Fab@Home.

Up! ($2,690)
This is another commercial printer manufactured by Delta Micro Factory Corporation based in China. It is another RepRap derivative and is highly professional build and designed. It is delivered fully assembled.
For more information see PP3DP homepage.

Bits From Bytes (From $1,295)
This company is owned by 3D Systems – one of the largest 3D printer equipment manufacturer in the world. They have two models RepMan 3.1 kit ($1,295) and BfB-3000 Plus (from $3,250). The 3000 comes in a single and dual head version. It arrives fully assembled.
For more information see Bits For Bytes.

Ultimaker ($1,650)
The Ultimaker is the new kid on the block and is another RepRap derivative. It is build in The Netherlands, and it comes as a self-assembly kit.
For more information see Ultimaker.

It is Interesting to note that all these printers – with the exception of the Fab@Home printer – use the same 3D printing technology which is Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM). That is because this technology is extremely straightforward, and it can use cheap plastics to print.