3D printing blurs the line between what is hobby and what is industry. Many an Etsy or Ebay shop has been set up based on the capabilities of a desktop 3D printer, but to enter the realm of industry (where 3D printers can tackle all sorts of large projects), you've got to have some serious cash. With a build area of over three feet square, the modestly-priced BigRep is hoping to change that.
Currently, a 3D printer with about one square meter of build space will run you anywhere from $750,000 to over $1,000,000. These are industrial machines, mind you, capable of much more than printing up a plastic Pikachu paperweight. But that price, along with an estimated $40,000 per spool of materials, keeps them well out of reach for anyone whose business isn't already booming. For those of you out there hankering for life-size prints of your bike and side table designs, they're just no good.
Enter the BigRep One: a 3D printer with a massive 1,147 x 1,000 x 1,188mm build volume and a comparatively laughable sticker price of $40,000. That's still a lot for someone hoping to simply print out a prototype design or two, but it's at least in the realm of possibility. Of course, for a price like that, you do sacrifice some bells and whistles. With a max resolution of 100 microns, this printer won't have your designs looking seamless by any means.
The BigRep One does come with two print heads, however, and can print nine different filaments, including Laywood and Laybrick, which allow you to print out wooden and sandstone objects. So if you've got designs on starting up your own 3D printed furniture business, start saving up those nickels and dimes. The BigRep One is slated to begin shipping by this summer.