Desktop Factory begins taking orders for 3D printer

Posted by Mark Raby

Pasadena (CA) - Desktop Factory is inching closer to the release of its first consumer 3D printer, announcing today that customers can place pre-orders for the $5000 device.

It kind of sounds like something from a Ray Bradbury novel.  Create a three-dimensional figure in the form of a specific image format, and the 125ci printer will create a physical representation of the model before your eyes.

"You could go to Mattel.com, download Barbie, scan your Mom’s head, slap the head on Barbie and print it out," Corell University professor Hod Lipson was quoted as saying in an earlier DailyTech story.

3D printing has existed for some years, but they have historically been monstrous machines worth well over $10,000.  Desktop Factory is one of the first to try to bring the same technology to the general public.

"The potential of 3D printing and the vast array of applications for the technology immediately captures people’s imagination," said Desktop Factory CEO Cathy Lewis.  Lewis also said the company has received thousands of inquiries about the printer, causing it to increase sales projections.

The 125ci can build models of up to 5x5x5 inches.  Material for the printer is expected to cost around 50 cents per cubic inch.

Originally planned to be available later this year, Desktop Factory has pushed back the printer's street date to 2008.  The retail price is $4,995.  Customers who wish to pre-order must plunk down a $495 deposit.