The Micro Gets Affordable 3D Printing RightBy: Zach Walton - April 7, 2014
Making 3D printers more affordable has been an arduous task to say the least. The manufacturer of these devices either has to make them smaller, build them out of low quality components or even ship them in a kit that the buyer has to build themselves. Now a new 3D printer has arrived on Kickstarter that wants to solve most of these problems.
The Micro, a new 3D printer from M3D LLC in Bethesda, Maryland, arrived on Kickstarter over the weekend to unprecedented excitement. The $200 3D printer that’s ready to use out of the box was asking for only $50,000, but has so far raised over $271,000 in a day. The team was only offering the $200 version of The Micro to 250 backers and they’re all gone. The next tier raised the price to $249 and those are all gone as well.
So, what does The Micro do differently that has everybody so excited? As far as the technology goes, nothing much. It’s a small 3D printer with 50 to 350 micro resolution, support for numerous types of material and a 4.6-inch print height. The reason everybody is so excited is due to the price. A similar mini-3D printer – the MakerBot Replicator Mini – costs $1,375. On Kickstarter, M3D was offering a similar 3D printer for only $200. Sure, it might not have MakerBot’s new smart extruder, but even beginners don’t need technology like that to fully grasp the potential of 3D printing.
M3D also boasts that The Micro sports 15 innovations:
1. Most space-efficient 3D printer ever made.
2. Light-weight, portable design fits nicely on your desk.
3. Micro motion chip provides completely automatic leveling and calibration.
4. Most quiet 3D printer ever made.
5. Lowest power consumption 3D printer ever made.
6. Carbon fiber rods: light, sturdy, self-lubricating and long-lasting
7. Ceramic heater for rapid heat-up, power efficiency, reliability and safety.
8. Bold colors. Choose from Silver, Black, Blue, RedOrange, and Green.
9. New filament materials like Chameleon PLA.
10. Inspirational Micro filament spools.
11. Modernized touch-capable software.
12. Replaceable print beds for alternative materials.
13. Replaceable nozzles for experimenters.
14. Designed for fast assembly in the US for quality control.
15. An ABS-based print bed allows you to print larger ABS parts.
While some of these “innovations” aren’t exactly what I’d call innovative, it’s still impressive to see all of the above in a sub-$500 3D printer.
Now, if you’re still not sold, here’s their pitch video:
If you want to get your hands on The Micro, it now costs $299. There are over 2,000 3D printers in this tier left, but you may want to jump on it fast before it jumps to the $599 tier.
Image via M3D LLC/Kickstarter