We've seen some 3D printers described as consumer-oriented, but most of them ship for between one and three thousand dollars/euro, so the common man is never going to be a fan. The Micro 3D Printer is ready to blow them all out of the water though.
We'll get this out of the way first: the product doesn't exist yet. Well, it does, but it's not being commercialized for now.
Fortunately, that only means you have to wait until, say, late 2014 or early 2015 for them to start shipping, because we can guarantee they will.
After all, if word on the net is true, the project reached its funding goal of $50,000 / €36,400 in a matter of minutes after it went online.
We're not sure if it really happened that way, but we can say that the pledges have accumulated to just a bit under one million dollars, and there are still 29 days to go.
M3D LLC, the new startup company that posted the invention, might have bitten off more than they can chew, with how popular their idea is.
And what is the idea, you might ask? Why, the micro 3D printer of course, which is about as large as a laptop and costs just $199 / €145.
That's the minimum pledge that will earn you one anyhow, once shipments start near the end of the year or in early 2015.
The actual retail price will be higher, but no doubt still below $500 / €363. Considering that consumer 3D printers ship for $1,500 / €1,500 to $3,000 / €3,000 at the moment, that's still a very low sum of money.
And we can safely say that the Micro 3D doesn't cut corners despite the price. Well, true, it is very, very small (a cube with a width of 7.3 inches / 185 mm), but that's the only “drawback.”
The product has a build area of 109 mm x 113 mm (4.3 x 4.4 inches) and can create objects at a resolution of 50 to 350 microns per layer, with a 15-micron positioning accuracy.
To provide some perspective, “normal” 3D printers work with a resolution of 100 microns or so. We could say that the print quality is higher than on standard, multi-grand-priced models.
According to the inventors, the Micro 3D Printer is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux systems, since it connects via USB and is compatible with M3D software (which happens to support touch control).
If you're willing to pay $249 / €180, you can get the printer and one filament spool. Or, well, you could, but unfortunately the printer has been “sold out.” You can still get one if you pledge $299 / €217. It's probably what the retail price will be anyway, although it is the same offer as the $249 / €180 one.