3D printers are pretty amazing, but they have one weakness - the cost. A decent 3D printer is going to run you anywhere between $1,750 to $10,000. One of the best 3D printers on the market in terms of value is the Makerbot, but it's still pretty expensive. A new Kickstarter aims to fix that.
Matt Strong of Pleasant Grove, UT, wants to start a company that makes TangiBot. He's not ashamed to call it a Makerbot clone, but he says that his 3D printer will cost 33 percent less. He started a Kickstarter to raise the funds necessary to start a company that can begin selling the Tangibot.
Here's how Strong describes the Tangibot:
The TangiBot is a Makerbot Replicator clone. It offers the same great performance and features of the Makerbot Replicator but it costs roughly 2/3 what Makerbot charges you for it. Depending on the model you buy that is anywhere from $550-700 off! TangiBot is 100% compatible with all Makerbot Replicator firmware upgrades, parts and accessories. The only difference between the TangiBot and the Makerbot Replicator is that the TangiBot is NOT made by Makerbot.
Strong says that the similarity between the two 3D printers will give the TangiBot a thriving community at launch. Since it can do everything that Makerbot can, it has the advantage of being able to pull from the preexisting Makerbot community for ideas, parts and models.
So how much is Strong wanting for this project? He estimates that he'll need $500,000 to start the company. Since the company will only be making 3D printers, the rewards for backers are 3D printers. If you want to back the company, you're going to need at least $1,200 for the first 3D printer reward tier.
If you find yourself not wanting to part with that much, you can still donate anywhere between $10 to $50 to become a donor. There are three levels for donors from bronze to gold. The silver and gold donors will have a 3D printed TangiBot medallion delivered to them. It's not much in the way of consolation, but 3D printers are expensive. At $1,200, the Plywood TangiBot is a bargain.
If you want to get your very own cheap 3D printer or just help support the cause, you can head on over to the TangiBot Kickstarter. He only has 30 backers and has only managed to raise $15,400 since starting, but the project still has 25 days to go. If enough people show interest, he can easily raise the amount needed.