Need to Know

Mass Production Goes DIY

FYI: Gadget


Three-dimensional printers are designed to lay down a thin film of plastic, layer by layer, to form a 3-D object such as a figurine. Product engineers and architects have used the technology for more than 25 years to build proof-of-concept prototypes and scale models. But with a starting cost of US$20,000, 3-D printers have remained out of reach for most people. That could be changing, however—and 3-D printers may start appearing in home offices—thanks to the Switzerland-based Geneva Engineering School. If your do-it-yourself spirit includes a fearless approach to complex product assembly (and a price tag of around US$1,099), you can buy one of the school’s 3-D printer kits.

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