Tag Archives: cost

$200 MakiBox 3D Printer Competes at the Low End Market

MakiBox 3D Printer

$200 MakiBox 3D Printer is the Cheapest on the Market

The MakiBox 3D printer is the creation of 37-year-old Jon Buford, founder of Hong Kong-based startup Makible. Buford launched the company with $50,000 in seed funding and a round of pre-orders from a crowdfunding campaign. Makible’s 2013 goal is to hit $2 to $3 million in revenue.

Targeting Cost over Scale

MakiBox is attacking the low end of the market. While leading desktop 3D printers from MakerBot and 3D Systems range from $1,700 to $2,200, there has been a price war at the low end among dozens of Kickstarter projects and RepRap innovations. Makible is possibly the lowest priced 3D printer in the market.

To reduce the cost, the MakiBox is a smaller 3D printer. But it can still print objects as large as 14 iPhone 5s stacked in two columns.

A Visit to Makible in Hong Kong

Our friends at Hack Things are traveling in China this week, and paid a visit to the team building the MakiBox, a $200 3D printer.

Yesterday we dropped in on Elliot and Jon of Makible at their lab in Kwai Hing, Hong Kong, where a team is hard at work making what will likely be the world’s most affordable 3D Printer, the MakiBox. It will launch later this year for just $200 (as a kit).

Why does price matter? To get an idea of cost, at the moment Shapeways charges roughly $3 per cubic centimeter when the plastic itself costs less than $0.05. It wouldn’t take much printing before the Makibox pays itself off. However when you factor in shipping and turnaround time, you see the real advantage of having a desktop printer nearby. Not only that, but low cost itself enables new applications and markets such as in education and makes small batch production more affordable (e.g. it’s more practical to run a farm of 3D printers if the fixed costs are low.)

The video below shows a profile of Buford and Makible.


CC Image by cloneofsnake

GE 3D Printing Initiative Named Top 10 Breakthrough Technology by MIT Technology Review

GE 3D Printing Breakthrough

GE 3D Printing Initiative Considered a Breakthrough

“General Electric is making a radical departure from the way it has traditionally manufactured things.” MIT Technology Review

GE is embracing 3D printing. Starting with its aviation division, some complex parts will be created through additive manufacturing rather than conventional methods. This innovation could carry over into other divisions as well.

The MIT Technology Review referred to GE’s move as one of the top 10 breakthrough technologies this year, and provided more background on how GE got here.

Last fall, GE purchased a pair of companies with know-how in automated precision manufacturing of metals and then folded the technology into the operations of GE Aviation. That group doesn’t have much time to demonstrate that its new technology can work at scale. CFM International, GE’s joint venture with France’s Snecma, will use the 3D printed nozzles in its LEAP jet engine, due to go into planes in late 2015 or early 2016 (CFM says it already has commitments of $22 billion). Each engine will use 10 to 20 nozzles; GE needs to make 25,000 of the nozzles annually within three years.

3D printing is a cost advantage

It is widely believed the 3D printing is more expensive than conventional methods of manufacturing, but GE has found a way to make 3D printing a cost advantage, as the MIT Technology Review explains.

GE chose the additive process for manufacturing the nozzles because it uses less material than conventional techniques. That reduces GE’s production costs and, because it makes the parts lighter, yields significant fuel savings for airlines.


Via MIT Technology Review.

Image from GE Global Research.