The 3-D printing phenomenon is inching closer to the mass market.
It was a year ago when Boise Weekly sat down with teams of staff members from rural Idaho libraries who had convened in Boise to learn how to master 3-D printing and share that knowledge with residents in every corner of the Gem State. The librarians were even granted their own 3-D printers that had been built or repurposed with, get this, parts printed by previous incarnations of 3-D printers.
And it turns out that the Treasure Valley has had a robust 3-D printing community
“Absolutely; there are a lot of us building 3-D printers in Boise,” said Davis Ultis, general manager of Boise Reuseum, who hosts something called Open Lab Idaho at the Boise facility billed as a “community hackerspace and makerspace … for hackers, computer geeks, engineers, circuit benders, crafters, tinkerers, programmers and artists.”
Enter Hewlett-Packard, which obviously smells a major business opportunity. HP has unveiled it first commercial 3-D printer, dubbed “Multi Jet Fusion,” for about $10,000. HP revealed its device at a New York trade show. But don’t expect one under the Christmas tree. HP says its Multi Jet Fusion printer will hit store shelves in 2016. By the way, it’s as big as an office copy machine.