We're bouncing back and forth between high tech and low tech, from 5 axis milling machines to hands on clay mockups for body kits, today it's back to high tech with this brand new 3D printer for the desktop from HP, the HP Designjet 3D Printer. It's now on sale in Europe starting around $17,500, still a bit high for the home do it yourself designer, but pretty amazing, nevertheless.
Engineers can model their parts in 3D software and instead of using some very expensive milling machines and needing a highly skilled machinist to see what the part looks like in real life, they just hit the print button.
The HP printer uses ABS plastic to form the parts. The printer weighs 130 pounds and is 30 by 26 by 26 inches. It will literally fit on a sturdy desktop. One version is capable of printing in multiple colors so you can color each piece differently to show how they fit together.
Obviously, these parts cannot be used in the actual product, they're models only, but think about how far we've come in the last few years. Not long ago, this was the stuff of science fiction, then only something available to the biggest companies, now it's something small design firms can put to work. Is a home version in the future? Bet on it.