Last week we reported on a rather huge 3D printer. This week we’re shocked by what it could mean.
The BigRep One is a huge 3D printer, with XYZ dimensions each exceeding one meter! As we reported, it prints only PLA plastic at the moment, and it costs around USD$40,000 for one unit.
That would seem to be a big cost. It would be if you’re interested in buying a personal 3D printer, which typically cost between USD$1,000 to USD$3,000. But if you’re looking for a large volume 3D printer, say 1 meter on a side like the BigRep, your options are quite limited. Really, the competition would be Stratasys’ Objet 1000.
The Objet 1000 costs over USD$500,000.
That’s correct. You could buy TEN or more BigRep One’s instead of an Objet 1000. Even more important is the cost of materials. The Objet consumes only expensive resin that’s priced well over USD$100 per pound, but the BigRep One uses inexpensive PLA plastic that’s priced around USD$10 per pound at the volume required. The price of plastic to 3D print the table above, for example, is only USD$165, whereas the corresponding Objet materials would cost many thousands.
With those price differences you could set up a small factory, turning out giant 3D prints pretty quickly at reasonable cost.
Could the BigRep One open up a new type of 3D print manufacturing business?