3D printing has made quite a splash in such a short time span over the years. This new form of technology seemed restricted to the realm of sci-fi; now 3D printing has the potential to become a three billion dollar industry by 2016.
And this stellar form of printing has permeated multiple industries. Shoe makers Nike (NYSE: NKE) and Timberland have been able to save millions in prototype costs by simply printing new shoe models, and 3D modeling allows companies to craft a more precise shoe model that supports the feet of athletes. We’ll eventually see 3D printing catering to those with foot problems.
Companies like Mattel (NASDAQ: MAT) have used 3D printing to churn out more toys like the Monster High Dolls.
Ford (NYSE: F) is using 3D printing to make auto parts. There will come a day when a customer can simply bring a print-out of a certain auto part to a 3D printing shop.
GE (NYSE: GE) has been able to make more efficient turbine engines for airplanes using highly-advanced 3D printing. Were it not for this new form of printing, these lightweight and fuel efficient jet engines would have been impossible.
And 3D printing has even penetrated the medical community, with futuristic exoskeleton limb technology that could potentially help soldiers on the field or disabled veterans. 3D printers can craft custom-made splints for children suffering from immobility and rare diseases.
There is even talk of 3D printing being the solution to solving world hunger and serving the nutritional needs of astronauts in space.
While 3D printing has proven its benefit to humanity, there are also drawbacks. There is concern that criminals can use 3D printers to make car and house keys, and there have been cases where criminals have replicated ATM keys and other keys to private property. Some have even been able to print guns using these devices, but there are proposed safety measures, such as setting up restrictions in the software that can prevent the printing of firing pins or other components.
Despite all of these significant advances, one thing innovators of the 3D printer have yet to come up with is a cheap model.
A conventional 3D printer could cost tens of thousands of dollars, and many of these printers remain within the commercial sector.
But that could change very soon with the Peachy Printer. This is a fully functional 3D printer that will cost just $100 Canadian, or roughly $97. The project is being sponsored Rinnovated Design of Canada, created by Rylan Grayston and David Boe.
Many believe mainstream consumer 3D printers are years away, but they may come sooner than expected if the project turns out to be a success.
Where the Peach Printer departs from its higher-end competitors is the method of printing objects. While other printers rely on expensive nozzles and microcontrollers, the Peachy Printers simply uses lasers, resin, and water.
It comes in the form of a cube-shaped structure that contains a pair of mirrors and a laser. This laser bounces off of the mirrors to form a pattern of resin, which floats on a layer of salt water sitting below the enclosure of the printer. Slow drips of water come from a container, which raise the resin levels. The laser then draws out the shape, and the resin hardens into a plastic. From there, you can simply take out the printed object with your hands.
The software behind this ingenious contraption is Bender, and all data that goes through machine can be converted into wavelengths and transferred to a sound card. Furthermore, you can convert the Peachy Printer into a 3D scanner.
Investors and consumers have been promoting the Peachy Printer by contributing massive amounts of funds to the project.
There is no traditional way you can invest in the Peachy Printer currently, but the project is being supported through a quick infusion of direct cash.
The project went on Kickstarter on September 20 with a set goal of $50,000, but after just a few days, the Peachy Printer raised over $300,000. The funding drive is still going strong.
Here’s how it works.
You can invest in the Peachy Printer for as little as $2, but if you want the printer itself when it is completed, you would need to give a minimum of $90 or above. Early bidding for the printer is not available, but $400 will get you a printer that is completely built with resin included.
Keep in mind, however, that Kickstarter projects are not the same as investing. While you could invest to receive your own printer, you will not be purchasing a stake in the company.
3D Consumer Market
It goes without saying that this market will be huge. Big companies like Mattel (NASDAQ: MAT) are aware of cheaper 3D printers, and they have already gone on a campaign to caution parents about using these new devices to make toys.
Big industry types are nervous about the wider availability of the 3D printer, which is a potential goldmine for you as an investor. Just think of the parents out there that will be able to print just about any type of toy out there for little Johnny’s birthday.
“Looking for that special toy for your child? Simply print it out from your home 3D printer.” You can imagine the 3D infomercials selling this type of message.
If you believe the Peachy Printer has enough investment capital going forward, there are other cheaper printers out there that are already on the market and cost $2000 from makers like MakerBot. The UP! 3D printer goes for just under $2000. Other cheap printers to keep your eye on are the Printrbot HQ and the RepRap.
But if you’re looking to invest in the cheap 3D printer arena, the Peachy Printer technology is something to keep your eye on. If any printer is going to make the strongest impact on the market, it will be the Peachy Printer. And who knows? Bigger companies may be looking to purchase that technology.
The price may sound gimmicky, but this is the lowest price within this new market. Competing companies will have a hard time beating this price point.
This project will certainly not be starved for cash, and it is a great venture to get in on while the Peachy Printer is in its development stage.
If you liked this article, you may also enjoy: