A desktop-sized 3D printer marketed at 'average consumers' has blasted through its Kickstarter goal, raising $1m (£600,000) in a little more than a day.
The team behind the Micro 3D printer claim that the device (a sleek-looking cube measuring 7.3-inches across) will be the first easy-to-use 3D printer that will let users “just plug it in and hit print”.
The Micro will hopefully go on sale for just $300 (£179), which will include the cost of a single spool of plastic filament that acts as the printer’s ink.
Although this is not the sort of pricetag that will encourage impulse buys it's certainly significantly cheaper than other 'compact' 3D printers on the market - such as Makerbot's Replicator Mini, currently on sale for $1,375.
The Micro will only be able to print items no taller than 4.6-inches with a base of 4.3 x 4.5-inches. As with any commercial 3D printer though, the key question is: What will I be able to print that's actually useful?
In a promotional video for the Micro, the designers suggest a number of example uses, including printing small trinkets such as toys and vases as well as functional objects for the home like a replacement hook for a shower curtain.
“That’s just scratching the surface of what 3D printers are capable of,” says M3D, the group responsible for the device. “We need a 3D printer like the Micro, something that’s ultra-affordable, to get lots of printers out there so people can nurture the technology and figure out where it’s going to go.”
It certainly seems that this vision is shared online, with the project currently funded to the tune of $1,5m (thirty times more than the original goal of just $50,000).
However, without a bigger range of useful parts to be printed (how often do you really need a new hook for your shower curtain?) it's unlikely that even the Micro will take off outside of the enthusiasts already sold on the idea.Reuse content