There is a story doing the rounds at the moment regarding a promotional puzzle cube that was available at RAPID 2012 last week in Atlanta. I was lucky enough to be able to visit all the relevant booths and collect the pieces neeed for the full cube.
Objet has been promoting its piece of the puzzle on its blog — and with good cause, it's a fabulous looking part, as the image shows, that encapsulates (literally) the properties that make Objet machines desirable.
A few blogs and newsfeeds are picking up on this with some interesting results. Some are marvelling at the part and comparing it to prints they have seen come from something like a MakerBot or RepRap — which is a bit odd. The machine that made the part, the Objet Connex500, is the flagship product for a company that makes machines for professional users. If you wanted one (and let's face it, if you could you would) you could expect to pay north of $200k... or 100 assembled extrusion-based maker machines!
Comparing one with the other is therefore like comparing a Tata Nano (the world's cheapest production car) to a Rolls Royce Phantom (not the world's cheapest car!). Yes, they are both examples of great engineering, yes they are designed to get people from one place to the next, but they're not comparable on any other level.
The level of engineering, the complexity, the market and the users are very very different. They're both good within their niches, but they're not the same.
So when reading around about 3D printing (especially if you're new to the game) it's a good idea to take things with a pinch of salt (including what I say and what you see on prsnlz.me too!). It's a fantastic and diverse set of technologies to get invoved with, with opportunities for creativity beyond the wildest dreams of designers, engineers, makers, fabbers, geeks, fashionistas and manufacturers just 20 years ago — but take time to ensure you're comparing apples with apples and it's a much easier topic to naviagte.