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I want to print people's bodies scanned (or get 'minimes', see the Figure 1). And I watched that the printer 'project 660' is very good to do this (Figure 1). But, the price of that printer is really expensive, roughly $60'000. And If you want to get a 'minime' printed by that printer, the cost is $230 for a model of 10cm. For me that price is expensive too.

Does anyone know what printer I could use in order to print 'minimes' with:

  • Good resolution, or details of the person's face (for a model of 10cm) and a good smooth surface of the model printed (Figure 1).
  • Ability to print complex models such as bodies (Figure 1) without problem.
  • Inexpensive: less than $150 per 'minime'.
  • An option to print in color.


Figure 1: Models printed

Mimes printed:

1 Answer 1

I do not think there exists a printer that meets your requirements. "Cheap"/hobbyist printers roughly fall into two categories:

  • FDM: does not meet your requirement for sufficient detail and smooth surfaces in the face (and can not print in color).

  • SLA: meets your requirement for detail in the face but can not print in color. If you are willing to drop the color requirement, this would be a good choice.

There are some hobbyist projects to do full color printing, but they are in a rather early stage. One option is colorpod that can be used to convert an FDM printer (such as the Ultimaker, but the principle works with any printer) however it is in a rather early stage of development and not very reliable yet. Another option is Plan B but that is a DIY project and not available for purchase (and is not very mature either).

That leaves you with the commercial color options. You've already ruled out the 3D systems/projet machines. Another (slightly cheaper) commercial option is MCOR IRIS but it also runs in the tens of thousands. While researching this question I stumbled upon 3D Pandoras but it seems a relatively new company so it may turn out to be a literal Pandora's box (they mention "most affordable filaments" as one of the advantages of their printer even though it doesn't use filament at all) - and prices are not listed on their website.