In a move that could revolutionize 3D design, Z Corporation is developing a low-cost printer capable of "printing" 3D models and prototypes.

This high-end technology already used by large companies and organizations, including Sony, Fisher-Price, Canon, Porsche and NASA.

The machines use a powder-binder technology invented patented by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to create solid parts directly from digital data.

First, the printer spreads a thin layer of powder, before an ink-jet print head prints a binding agent in the cross-section of the part being created. The machine repeats the process to create the next strata of the model.

Company spokesman Andy DeHart told the BBC that the technology could soon emerge on the high street: "We don't feel our technology is expensive. Our entry level system starts at $30,000."