$400,000 is been raised in 11 minutes to build an ultra-compact 3D printer that, for a brief period, cost a mere $199. Called the Micro, the printer smashed its Kickstarter goal of $50,000 and now it’s the most exciting project on the site.
Created by a team in Bethesda, MD, the Micro originally sold for $199 for early birds and his since risen by $100. It’s a tiny printer, to be sure, with a 4.5 cubic-inch build volume and a special internal spool that holds the filament inside the printer’s case. It can build objects 4.5-inches high, which isn’t much but it’s enough to have a bit of fun.
The founders, Michael Armani and David Jones, have done something quite intelligent: they’re building a very bare-bones printer with some very interesting software. If this image is any indication, you’ll be able to search for an open-source object and print it right from the app. The app resizes the object and prepares it for printing and the wee printer does the rest. It also has a self-leveling print bed, an amazing addition at the price.
Do you think will M3D Printer pull this off? The case for the printer itself should cost a little less than $20 and the extruder, pieced out separately, probably costs about $100 or so. A very simple extruder costs $65 retail, so you could reduce that price slightly. Shipping will cost a few dollars – probably $12-$20 – depending on where it’s manufactured, so the $199 model was definitely a loss leader. That said, $299 is an entirely feasible price for a mini 3D printer.
Watch the video of M3D Printer below: