3D Printers have in recent years come down in price to a point where it is now affordable for someone to own one. A 3D printer goes for around $1300 – $2100 depending on model and the CAD software ranges from free to $50. It’s not far fetched to think many different accessory companies will be affected by the shift to home manufacturing.
One of the obvious barriers to entry is the software for printing. The Cubify 3D Printer offers some basic drag-and-drop tools to build toys but if you were going to design something more complicated, like a pair of glasses, you would need to have a good grasp of CAD software.
BlackBerry, iPhone and PlayBook cases would be very simple projects to undertake. We’d love to see RIM offer the 3D models as open source projects so that anyone with a printer could make their own cases and accessories. If you’re a hobbyist with a 3D printer, you could also grab the device dimensions from BlackBerry.com and try creating your own accessories.