3D printing has been around for years, but just recently has the consumer market really begun to take off. Like all new technologies, there are many limitations. One of the biggest limiting factors of consumer level 3D printing today, would probably be the restrictions we face in terms of printable materials.
Those of us who own FDM based 3D printers have very few choices to make when it comes to printing materials. Basically our choices include PLA plastic, ABS plastic, or some sort of other modified plastic. So, our choices are basically plastic, plastic and more plastic. What happens if we simply don’t want to print in plastic? Unfortunately there aren’t too many products out there that allow us another option.
Another problem with being limited to only printing with traditional 3D printing materials, is that we have become bound to huge pricing markups. 3D printer filament is quite expensive, at $20-$50 per 1KG spools. To print out a small toy could cost as much as $15. This just isn’t feasible for individuals that wish to experiment with designs, or print on a consistent basis. … (Read more)