The Trouble With 3D Printers

You're so intensely interested in 3D printing that you bought yourself a 3D printer. Great! You can design and print objects right in your own home. 
 
But then what? The problem then starts. The problem of renewal. 
 
Yes, your 3D printer still produces objects for you on demand, but you're now suddenly aware of a new MakerBot / BFB / BotMill / RepRap / TangiBot / Form 1 / Up! / Ultimaker / miscellaneous / Kickstarter project that is just so much better in some important way than your current device. 
 
You really, really want to get the <other> printer. But it costs USD$1000 / USD$2000 / USD$3000 and you just spent that six months ago on your current printer. You just don't have the funds to match the announcement speed of new 3D printers. You have the same problem with mobile phones, but they're a lot less expensive and you can mostly keep up with technological developments and stay within your budget. 
 
What can you do? 
 
Not a lot. If you truly don't have the cash to get a new model when announced (or have the time to build a new model) then you're stuck with the old one. 
 
We suggest you think about it differently. Instead of obsessively drooling over the latest developments, focus more on what you have. Schedule an "upgrade" for a specific future time - perhaps next year, or better yet, two or three years out, depending on your needs and budget. Watch the technology carefully during that time and let the anticipation grow. Finally when your time arrives, pick the best 3D printer you can buy and get it on your desk. 
 
And remember that it's going to be a lot better than the one you would have impulsively bought six months earlier.

General Fabb

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has been writing Fabbaloo posts since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!

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