Startup Promises 3D Printer for $520
With RoBo 3D, you'll be able to print cheaply your own toys and models at home.
CREDIT: RoBo 3D
The promise of desktop 3D printing — making your own toys, parts, models and more — faces one big barrier: existing 3D printers sure cost a lot.
RoBo 3D, a new project raising funds through Kickstarter, could make owning a personal 3D printer affordable. And based on the response, more than a few hobbyists are eager to start creating their own objects at home.
RoBo 3D has raised more than $96,000 — well beyond its goal of $49,000, since launching on Dec. 18.
You can reserve yours now for $520. By comparison, MakerBot's Replicator 2, generally considered the best desktop 3D printer, costs $2,200. (The Replica Single sells for $1,750.)
The group behind the printer says the RoBo 3D features one of the largest printing areas (10 x 10 x 8 inches) of available desktop 3D printers to allow you to create bigger objects. Printing layers as thin as 100 microns (1-10th of a millimeter), RoBo 3D should produce fairly smooth surfaces.
Most 3D printers use plastic to build three-dimensional objects that have been designed on a computer. The printer builds an object one layer at a time. The devices have a following among "maker" hobbyists, but lower prices should bring them within reach of more people. [See also: 3D Printer Store Sheds Light on New Tech]
In the tradition of RepRap, one of the first desktop 3D printer projects, the RoBo 3D is open source, which means that once you buy one, you can use it to create copies of itself to share the 3D printing experience with others by printing the parts you'd need to build a RoBo 3D yourself.
The RoBo 3D is open to investors through Feb. 1, with $475 plus $48 shipping getting you the pieces to build your own printer, or you can get an assembled model for $520, plus $48 shipping.