$750 well spent: MakerBot 'Cupcake' DIY 3D printer

The MakerBot CupCake CNC 3D printer caught my eye from all the way across the room, and MakerBot founder Bre Pettis didn't seem all that surprised that his seemingly cobbled-together DIY Frankenmachine made from wood, acrylic plastic, PCB and messy wires was drawing a crowd. After all, it was artfully melting lumps of ABS plastic into 3D marvels. For $750, it could do the same for you.

The machine gets its name since you really won't be able to make anything larger than a cupcake. But, oh, what you can make. Pettis showed us a replica of the Empire State Building (sans antenna — thanks Matt Buchanan) made from images found on Google, which was rendered with impressive detail. Pettis also showed a more practical use for the 3D printer, when he made a working lens cap for a camera.

If you're squeamish about building it yourself, you can also buy a pre-assembled CupCake for $2,500. There are also plans at MakerBot to develop a 3D scanner, so you can faithfully replicate complex objects.

Get a closer look at the MakerBot CupCake down below, or click Continue to see a high-res image of that model building. It's also worth the trip over to Gizmodo, where you can see it in action.

Just check out that detail (click it to make it big):MakerBot-Cupcake-CNC-detail.jpg

Via MakerBot