This past summer when we were putting together our Ultimate Guide to 3D Printing we sought to test a representative sample of available consumer-class 3D printers. Given the dynamic nature of the market, we were sure many new printers would start popping up. And that’s definitely what’s happening. So it’s cool to see Engadget has come out with its own 3D printer buyer’s guide: The Shape of Things to Come.
These nascent days are an exciting time, with a diverse array of companies and organizations vying to be the first to bring the technology to our homes. In a sense, many roads lead back to RepRap, the open-source, community-fueled project aimed at creating a self-replicating machine. As such, the same basic technology underlies many of these devices. At their core, these 3D printers are not unlike their 2D counterparts, offering a way to translate images on computer screens into real-world analogs — only in this case they’re objects you can hold in your hand.
Engadget’s reviews offer a good summary of some of the more prominent printers available in this quickly changing marketplace. In the meantime, look for more 3D printer reviews from us in the near future.