Apparently Objet has reduced the price of their low-end Alaris 30 3D printer to less than USD$25,000. We say "low-end" but this is only a relative term: The Alaris 30 is a much more refined printer than the hobbyist kits we also blog about. Nevertheless, this is a significant development, as it shows how the two forces in 3D printing, commercial and hobbyist manufacturers, are slowly converging. The commercial manufacturers are lowering their prices, while the hobbyists improve their printers.
Consider that last week MakerBot announced a much-improved 3D printer (albeit less capable than the commercial Alaris 30) and slightly raised its price. At this rate we'll see MakerBot competing with low-end commercial devices, perhaps within a few years. Maybe MakerBot should consider selling assembled versions?