Dave sent this video and also found that 3D wax printers are about $45K. There printers only print one material. They are however, ideal for create a lost-wax casting mold, which is great for making jewelry. In fact, the main attraction to this technology is the appeal of solidifying one jewelry design and then casting dozens in bulk. This takes the costs down from about $50 (outsourced from shapeways) to about $2 per piece, plus the cost of metal materials.
For examples of cad to jewelry, see the rpwax site.
It makes for a great resale business from the perspective of a home custom metal or jewelry maker. This is especially true because never-before-possible 3D designs can be mad in a free program like Sketchup, and then once a design is finalized it can be saved and printed over and over again – allowing the artist to focus on what he or she does best – innovating new designs instead of building replicas.
There is no question that wax printers have a lot of potential, and there is no real low-end competition. Today’s inexpensive UV printers like the B9Creator ($2000) make it possible to print 50 micron resolution 3D prints, however, these can not be used in lost-material casting. On the other hand, inexpensive 3D printers like the soliddoodle ($500) make it possible to print PLA, which has been used for lost-material casting. However, the inexpensive PLA/ABS printers, which use filament deposition modeling leaves behind ugly lines or gaps between layers, that would not be ideal for jewelry making. Therefore, there is a need for this new product, an inexpensive wax 3D printer.
At ArmaniCreations, we are considering the design of three low-cost 3D wax printer models. One would print straight wax and would cost around $600. One would print wax and support structures and would cost around $900. And one would print full color (CYMKW) and having a full mixing nozzle. Since this hasn’t been done before and is more of a niche, it would cost around $2500.