Self-reproducing 3D printer for $500

Jmgiacalone sez, "The future is 3D printing, and it has never been more accessible. For less than $500 you can get your very own desktop 3D printer, capable of printing in a range of plastics and different colours. These machines can be assembled in a weekend, and are a great way to get into 3D printing and access this exciting technology. eMAKER are offering a limited run of 100 eMAKER Huxley RepRap 3D printers, for a limited time, for the promotional price of $475."

eMAKER Huxley 3D printer kits (Thanks, Jmgiacalone!)


  1. damn this is getting into the seductive zone! help me resist the temptation by telling us how much that large coil of “plastic wire” costs. (i’m guessing it’s like 666 bitcoins)

    1. If I had the money I would order 1.

      It’s self-reproducing. If you had the money, you would order ∞.

  2. Are we at the point yet where I can get excited about realistically printing my own letterpress plates? That’s what I am waiting on.

  3. How is this “self-reproducing?” It looks like it can’t fabricate all its constituent parts, let alone assemble them. Sure, the plastic parts are easy but what about the metal and other stuff?

  4. This is pretty cool, and the $500 price tag is less than the Epson FX-80 printer was when it first came out lo these many years ago (IIRC the first sub-$1000 printer that was worth the effort it took to look it over, and it had an easily replaceable print head). But “self reproducing”, as kmoser says, is a bit of a stretch. And if it really is self producing, I want the add-on that prints and populates the circuit boards for whatever electronics are inside it. I have uses for that sort of thing. Mwahahaha.

  5. The device itself is $500, but how much does the giant roll of plastic cost and how long does it last. (This doesn’t take into consideration the cost to the environment. Not sure the planet needs another excuse for humans to create more plastic that will eventually be discarded.)

    1. Purchasing new plastic costs around €8/kg or $5/lbs. The plastic used can be biodrgradable or recyclable. Shred a milk jug, reform into wire, and you’re good to go. Also consider that a part that comes out of one of these printers has NO packaging.

      I just ordered mine.

  6. I wonder how this compares to MakerBot’s printer in terms of build quality and performance. Competition is good!

  7. This is typically called a “rapid prototyping machine” and you can find them all over industry and my mechanical engineering department at a university.

  8. You should be able to use PLA plastic that is biodegradable. It costs around $15-30 a pound.

    You can also build a machine to grind down existing plastic items to reuse in the printer.

    Imagine if every house had the ability to print and reuse plastic and only needed to create exactly what they needed.

  9. I just contributed for a kit. Kind of a no-brainer, heheh. Now I can design and print my own kaiju! YES!!!

  10. I just ordered mine.

    Having done the research on this project months past, $500 is an outrageous price to have one of these things in your home — even if you do have to assemble it yourself.

    The way I see it, the future’s here and if nobody’s going to hand me a jetpack or skycar, I’d best get set about printing them myself.

  11. I agree with kmoser above. 3D printing is cool, but “self-reproducing” should be removed from the title of this post.

  12. The fun I would have if I wasn’t so broke!!! Making useful little things to ridiculous little “works of art”… so want LOL

  13. As someone who owns a 3d printer, let me give you a heads up. They do and can work but getting them together and tweaking them to print well is a long and frustrating process. The one in the photo looks like it would be very frustrating to tweak.
    If you think 3d printers are what you want to learn get one. If you think you just want to print stuff out, hold off. We are not there yet!

  14. Call me when it can “self-reproduce” power supplies and circuit boards. Otherwise: there isn’t enough plastic shit in the world?

    1. Thirded. Calling this ‘self-reproducing’ amounts to false advertising. For the article, which is a big disappointment after that, never mind the machine itself.

  15. Only a matter of time before the coppers come through the door with truncheons swinging, one of them reciting the terms of the warrant through a bullhorn.

    I hope fully self-replicating printers come down in price and go up in usability before they’re eventually made illegal.

    More information can be found at

  16. The spool looks like a relatively un-jam-prone way of feeding the plastic. Now how about a machine to form your own plastic wire from your snipped up jugs, bottles, clamshell packages, and failed parts?

  17. yayayay! I am getting one! I’ve been shopping around for one and I think this is fantastic. Great kit, great price, and at the time I ordered, they had raised $29,000 of the $30,000 they needed!!!!

  18. It’s like Satan’s own erector set.


    I wonder if it can take over the world before Google Will Eat Itself.

  19. The big players must be sniffing around this market by now, I wonder how long it will be until the HP Thing-Maker(TM) appears?

      1. With all due respect, at $17,000, they are not yet sniffing around this market, which requires a sub-$1000 product to get much traction.

  20. Is there a Moore’s law type of regularity to the decreasing costs of 3D printer? If so, any snazzy charts around. I don’t have $500 over for this so I’d like to estimate when I’ll be able to afford one of them machines.

  21. its cool but make sure you realize how small a build bed you’re getting, compared to the makerbot build bed this is smaller and the Makerbot one is already tiny.

  22. This looks good, but because they’ve been so popular people won’t get their printers until the end of the year, or perhaps in early 2012, depending on when you look at this comment. That is a LOOOONG time to wait!

    I went ahead and put in a contribution to a related project, the SUMPOD, mentioned above:

    As I commented there, “Big fan of the design aesthetic. The clean appearance will make the device much more accessible (largely on an unconscious level) when introducing it to people unfamiliar with the DIY/maker scene.” This is a device that I can demo to my 8-year old daughter’s friends (and their parents) without scaring anyone off with how “raw” it appears. Maybe you don’t think that should be an issue, but for penetrating a larger and less familiar community, it is very important.

  23. Who the hell would want this in their home? Doesn’t everyone know the hazards of messing with heated and melting plastics? Ugh, I’d only want it in a well ventilated work space since I prefer my reproduction untainted and my nervous system functioning normally, I for one have had plenty of formaldehyde exposure then the benzene rings and oh my, DMSO, methylating agents, intercalating agents….

    1. You should read about PLA plastic (specifically what it is made from) before you jump to conclusions

  24. I’ve seen the resulting parts these machines make and I have to say, the resolution isn’t quite ready for prime time. Even the ones that people have modified and tweaked to produce better quality output still require major finishing work. I’d hesitate to even call it prototyping, given the lack of detail.

    At best it’s a toy.

  25. I was very excited by this stuff a couple years ago when it first started showing up in the press. But once i realized how far it still had to come I decided to look into desktop cnc milling. The only real difference is milling is a subtractive process instead of additive. The resolution on a mill is measured in ten thousandths and can make things in many more materials than a 3D printer kit. Though you still can’t get into desktop cnc milling for less than $2500 really. still cheaper than a commercial grade 3D printer. Best send off your ideas to shapeways.

  26. They opened it back up folks, so if you missed the first round, for $550 you can get on the list!

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