It’s been a while since we had any decent 3D printing news to cover, which is a shame, because beyond all of the fuss over the perils of printing guns it is a really exciting prospect that could open up whole new areas. Happily, Maplin have announced that they have launched what is the first high street 3D printer to date. While it has its limitations, its price isn’t as astronomical as we expected and it could prove useful.
The Velleman K8200 is the printer in question and it will print items up to 20cm³ in size. Simple items like batteries and lost chess pieces will be easy to make and with some imagination and the printing of connections as well, it will be possible to create and craft considerably larger items.
3D printing enables you to create a three dimensional map of an item and then print it using layers of plastic. It can take some time for the finished item but 30 minutes to print a chess piece is probably quicker and more convenient than having to find a toy shop that sells the pieces you need.
The printer costs £700 so it is more expensive than an all in one printer but it does do an awful lot more than print home photos and scan driver’s licenses.
Prime Minister David Cameron recently unveiled the latest curriculum which includes 3D printing as one of the skills that schoolchildren will have to learn. The technology has masses of potential and by getting kids involved this technology will continue to advance and we will see an increasing number of ways in which it can be used.
Velleman K8200 3D Pritner