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Affordable 3D printer from high street retailer

There's been a huge amount of focus on 3D printers recently, not just as a rapid prototyping tool but also as something that's capable of turning out a finished product. You might have thought that would mean something cost thousands of pounds, or even tens of thousands of pounds, but the Velleman K8200 is now available in the UK from high street retailer Maplin for just £699.99.

There's a 20x20x20cm size limit, but within that window you can print pretty much anything you want. Enter your 3D model, and the printer builds up the model layer by layer. Nominal mechanical resolution is 0.015mm in the X and Y axes and 0.781µm in the Z axis. Wall thickness (X, Y) is 0.5mm and layer thickness (Z) is 0.20-0.25mm.

The printer comes in kit form, and Maplin says it takes up to 10 hours to assemble. But once put together, you have an affordable means of producing short run products, prototypes, replacement parts, etc. Cartridges are available in black, green, orange, pink, red, blue, white and yellow. You can only print in one colour per product (you can't change cartridge in the middle or a print), but if you wanted several colours then you could always build the product out of several pieces and assemble them afterwards.
 
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