There’s a big, mad rush right now to get 3D printers to a point where they can be in people’s homes. Meanwhile, on the industrial side of that coin — which is often undercovered as we focus on the price drops and accessibility of 3D printing — companies are building dining room table-sized 3D printers like the Objet1000.Home 3D printers are great, and will continue to get smaller, faster, easier to use, and more accurate. Right now, if you have a couple thousand dollars and really want to make your own dice they are amazing machines that fit on your desk. While these are really cool, most people forget that these are the descendants of giants. Industrial 3D printers are built to make massive 1:1 scale objects out of a variety of materials simultaneously. It will be a long time before anyone gets a machine like the Objet1000 in their home, and not just because the printer is 9-feet wide and nearly 6 feet tall.Connex 3D printers are capable of printing more than 120 different materials, and they are able to switch back and forth as needed without interrupting the print job. This allows prototypes to have different surface for more realistic end result, right down to a transparent material to simulate glass and a flexible rubber-like material if necessary. This is accomplished with 8 extruders on the print head, so it can switch back and forth and not risk the project shifting as it cools. The sides of the Printer can hold six different hot swappable cartridges, each weighing nearly 40 pounds. The Objet1000 gets its name by having a 1000mm printing base, meaning a single print can occupy a 1000 x 800 x 500 space.The print quality for the Objet1000 is great as well. If you compare the 100 micron resolution print of the new Makerbot Replicator 2 to the 30 micron resolution of the Objet1000, you begin to understand the difference between an industrial grade 3D printer and a consumer grade model. 100 micros is fantastic for most users, and certainly better than many of the consumer grade printers out there, but pales in comparison to what is being used for 3D printing prototypes on an industrial level.Looking at machines like the Objet1000 paints a great picture for where the consumer space is going to be headed. Right now, companies like Makerbot are working to increase the print resolution and make the machines small enough to fit in homes. We will see printers with multiple extruders for printing different materials and hot swappable cartridges to go with that in time as well.