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3D printer prices drop, food printers arrive at CES

Lucas Mearian | Jan. 10, 2014
The number of 3D printer vendors rose from five last year to more than 20 this year, and prices for their machines have come down dramatically.

The fifth generation of the MakerBot Replicator 3D printer.

The Replicator Z18 is the largest of MakerBot's desktop 3D printers. It has a build area of 12 in. x 12 in. x 18 in. The printer will sell for $6,499.

The largest of the 3D printer makers, industrial manufacturer Stratasys, didn't announce new machines, but said it launched a new, tougher filament with which to print.

The filament, Nylon 12, can withstand more than 16,700 pounds per square inch of pressure and yet is more pliable than any previous material used for 3D printing, according to Jon Cobb, vice president of global marketing of Stratasys.

"This nylon has very good impact strength," he said. "You could see it being used for working hinges or for a covering over components, like car interior doors or dashboards."

A Stratasys employee demonstrates Nylon 12's flexibility and strength. The new 3D printing material can withstand tremendous amounts of pressure and wear.


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