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Desktop Factory to offer up $5,000 3D printer


While they're still a long ways from sharing shelf space with cut-rate inkjet printers, it looks like three dimensional printers are slowly inching towards the consumer space, with Idealab company Desktop Factory set to sell its first 3D printer for not entirely unreasonable price of $4,995 sometime this year. According to The New York Times, some 200 customers have already signed up to buy the printer, which will make up the entirety of the initial test run. They may be feeling a bit a buyer's remorse before too long, however, as the company says the price of the printers will come down to $1,000 in four years. Eventually, Idealab foresees companies selling 3D designs of products on the Internet, which people could then simply print out at home. For now, however, the printers would seem to have somewhat limited applications, relying on nylon mixed with aluminum and glass that results in gray objects that have somewhat jagged edges and a sandy finish.

Don is a writer and journalist with a longstanding interest in technology, culture and the future. In addition to Engadget, he has written for a variety of other publications including The Globe & Mail, and he founded the online magazine Mindjack in 1998, which covered the emerging digital culture for the better part of a decade. A denizen of Canada’s east coast, he's also an avid film geek, and generally enjoys spending time outdoors whenever he can -- usually with his dog.