The SLA printer was Charles Hull invented in1987 and it would cost around $300k around that time.
The average cost of a 3D printer was around the $50k until 5 years ago. Now with ease of availability and an increase in demand you can now purchase a 3D printer for the cost of $1800. A cheaper version at $49 for a 3D printer is available for pre-order on Kickstarter.
The reason for this reduction in cost is the increase in demand for 3D printing which can be used for a variety of production processes.
Presently, more and more schools are teaching children the art of 3D printing and business organizations are adopting this technology to grow their business, increase production, and reduce production time and cost.
In 2004 and 2005, the Chinese company WinSun developed a 3D printing spray nozzle and automatic material feeding system. In 2008, they used 3D printing to build an actual wall for a building.
Last year WinSun printed a five-storey residential building. And they also built a 3D printed 1,100 square meter villa which was 3D printed with interiors and external finishing.
MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) have developed a 3D printing technique that facilitates the simultaneous printing of both solid and liquid materials.
They recently 3D printed an almost fully-functional robot in a single printing session.
They printed this robot with a modified, off-the-shelf printer. So, with the right knowledge, this technique of printing could be achieved at home.
Once it’s printed, a battery has to be installed in the robot before it can operate. Therefore, it is a two-stage printing process to a versatile robot.
3D printing will definitely speed up the process of getting products to market faster and for less money. For example, you could test the exact fit of your cell phone case before getting it printed.