... Not sure why this is suddenly getting so popular but I suspect because the price is dropping. The SLA process has been around for 15 years. We'd send mechanical drawings out and 2 days later, a composite part was returned. They were strong enough for assembly and prototyping. We eventually purchased our own "printer" and this was 7 years ago at a cost of 190 grand.
Allibre makes them too. I think they're in the few-thousand $ range or less.
The extrusion 3d printers are very feasible for a home build. I've been following a couple of builds on another forum and they are getting pretty good results using an already built xyz cnc platform such as a cnc plasma table or router table.
The resolution is far better on the powder resin systems as depicted in the first video. It seems that the powder/resin formulas are highly proprietary which is probably why we're not seeing any home builds yet. That cat will be out of the bag eventually.
X2 What Ray said. It far from new.
I am glad tho because AM/RP technology is soooo so cool. The home priced machines are definitely getting better. I have been looking to get the mac-daddy 36" sq Stratasys machine to do pattern making for our foundry. @ $300k + $20K/yr maint contract its still unfeasible for our business model. Unfortunately the patent situation is keeping prices high and mfgrs balkanized.
The day is coming when we'll all have a little "printer" on the desk.!!
Cool. Ear cartilage has traditionally been difficult to repair and is one of the reasons I hated ground work so much. Some of my training partners had "couliflower ear" so bad, they looked like cartoon characters. They went to doctors and plastic surgeons and they all pretty much said "tough luck, all we can do is thin the scar tissue". Of course, the problem persists even after you quit wrestling because the blood-flow in the cartilage is shot.
Do a search on hossmachine on youtube. He just got into the 3d printing about a year or so ago. He shows how hes used other printers to make new ones. Some of the videos are long, some are short, but its amazing nonetheless.
This is a Z Corp 3D printer http://www.zcorp.com/en/home.aspx. It works by depositing a thin layer of powder (typically corn starch or plaster 10 years ago, maybe other materials now) on a platen, then using an inkjet print head to print an image of the lowest layer right on the powder. The ink causes the powder to stick together where it's wetted. Then the platen is lowered a small amount (maybe .004" or so), a new layer of powder deposited, and the next layer printed, etc. etc.
Once the part is completely printed, and as shown on the video, you pull the object out of the powder and blow off excess powder.
What they don't show is that the part is not very strong at this point. So you either saturate it with cyanoacrylate (super glue) or lower it into molten wax. This adds strength. Then you can safely handle the part and sort-of use it ... but the part will never be as strong as metal! You'll notice that they don't really reef down too hard on the nut they're using as a "test" in the video. Also, if you carefully compare the printed wrench to the original, you'll note that they've made some changes to the shape of the worm - giving it more strength and allowing it to will work more smoothly with the rough surfaces involved. Impressive, nonetheless.
One of Z Corp's big claims to fame, of course, is that you can produce authentically colored objects. This can be very valuable when evaluating the "look and feel" of something like a new shampoo bottle. You can even give the appearance of the label! And I believe the 0.004" resolution of their top-of-the-line printer is better than that of melt-and-squeeze 3D printers. IIRC, the laser hardening/liquid based machines have the best resolution.
I was able to use a Z Corp 3D printer about 10 years ago, while an engineer at HP's inkjet production/R&D division in Corvallis, OR. At the time, Z Corp was using HP's inkjet print heads, and HP was working with them on optimization, etc. We were encouraged to do "G-job" projects, as well as work related stuff on the printer, so that a wide variety of capabilities could be thoroughly tested. My own "G-job" was a section of bathroom cabinetry I was rebuilding for a friend. Good, clean fun!
Of course, Z Corp's products have continued to advance since I worked with them (~2002) and since the video was produced (~2011 or a bit earlier).