Even better, there are interesting-looking printers soon to be released that will cost $500 or less. One of the more promising ones in the offing was announced in January at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas: XYZprinting's da Vinci printer. Due out later this year, it looks like a high-quality product, with an enclosed printing area and LCD touchscreen displays. The entry-level da Vinci 1.0 model will retail for just $499.
What I took away from learning to use a 3D printer is that the model you buy does matter. Read reviews, check specifications and ask how intuitive a machine is to use.
Whether you're an engineer in a startup, an entrepreneur looking to develop your own products or just someone who loves to make stuff for your home, 3D printers are a blast. And the more time you spend with them, the better you get at building intricate objects -- even stuff you can really use.
This article, Hands on: Trying a 3D printer -- a beginner's tale, was originally published at Computerworld.com.
Lucas Mearian covers consumer data storage, consumerization of IT, mobile device management, renewable energy, telematics/car tech and entertainment tech for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more about hardware in Computerworld's Hardware Topic Center.
This story, "Hands on: Trying a 3D printer -- a beginner's tale" was originally published by Computerworld.