New Report Explains Open-Source 3D Printers

Arlington, MA, July 29, 2010 --( Castle Island Co. announces the availability of the very first report that explores and explains in detail all aspects of open-source 3D printers.

The report is titled, “Everything You Should Know About Open-Source 3D Printers - But Didn’t Know You Should Ask.” It has been written in non-technical language for those thinking about buying one of these inexpensive kits or assembled machines - and anyone else that would like to have a full understanding of these important new developments.

Starting in 2009 it became possible to acquire a 3D printer kit for considerably less than US$1,000, and fully-assembled machines based on these kits for about US$3,000. That’s just one third of the cost of the least expensive professional-level 3D printer available today - and one fifth the cost of the least expensive professional machine based on similar technology. This places additive fabrication within reach of a much wider range of individuals and small companies than ever before. More than 3,000 of these machines have already been sold.

There has been a lot of publicity surrounding these inexpensive machines and their applications. Apparently this decades-old field is being discovered for the first time by a lot of people. The discussion usually centers around a future where every home will have a 3D printer popping out almost anything needed at virtually no cost from plans that are available for free on the Internet. Not only will we be making the plates we eat from using these machines, but generating the food that goes in them, the cooking appliances, and even the roof over our heads with them, too. There’s an implicit assumption that this will all be quite soon now. Maybe not next year, but certainly right around the corner.

This report has been written to place these developments in perspective. How the machines work is explained and the organizations involved are described. The capabilities of these low-cost 3D printers are compared to existing professional-level equipment. The path of their future development using the open-source method is discussed and compared to traditional engineering development. It concludes with predictions about where open-source 3D printers will fit within the entire range of additive fabrication equipment, how their capabilities may change over time - and whose lives they’re most likely to affect.

This unbiased report has been authored by Ed Grenda, a well-known expert in the field of additive fabrication. He brings to the task more than forty years of experience in the design and evaluation of electromechanical systems, ranging from biomedical and industrial instrumentation to computer peripheral equipment.

The pdf formatted report is 29 pages long, includes 24 illustrations, and complete tabulated data on all the available machine choices. It’s available for a limited time at the introductory price of just US$9.95.

A complete table of contents and more information is available by visiting:

Additive Fabrication and Rapid Prototyping
Additive fabrication processes typically known as Rapid Prototyping (RP), Solid Freeform Fabrication (SFF), 3D printing or by the names of the technologies themselves such as stereolithography, have become important tools for mechanical design, manufacturing, surgery, art and architecture and many other fields.

About Castle Island Co.
For the last eleven years, Castle Island Co. has operated the Worldwide Guide to Rapid Prototyping web-site ( It’s the largest public information source in the world in any medium for the field of additive fabrication. The company also publishes several databases, as well as a quarterly newsletter, The Additive Fabrication Spy™, which surveys and explains intellectual property developments in the field.

For more information please visit

Castle Island Co.
James S. Kempner