You wait ages for an affordable 3D printer and then two come along at once… Yesterday we covered Mota 3D‘s Kickstarter campaign to raise $100,000 to get a fully featured, high-res RRP $600 3D printer to market. Today meet CraftBot 3D, whose makers are seeking $40,000 via Indiegogo to make an “easy to use affordable” 3D printer.
How affordable? It starts at $399 for early pledgers, but is stepping up thereafter. It will rise to $699 RRP, which is a little more expensive than Mota 3D at full price, but the printer is a little more flexible in terms of filament so running costs may be lower.
(It’s worth noting that a few very early Kickstarter backers were able to bag a Mota 3D for much less than RRP, including a few units offered at a $99 steal.)
The CraftBot 3D has been designed to include a large build area (circa 10in x 8in x 8in) — larger than Mota 3D’s, and (they claim) generally one of the largest in its class.
Like Mota 3D, the CraftBot includes a heated build platform to reduce warping and help yield better prints. And a 100-micron layer print resolution (again, like Mota 3D). So, unlike many ‘cheap’ 3D printers we’ve seen in recent years, it’s aiming to maintain a decent print standard, rather than fob the buyer off with low-res junk.
CraftBot’s makers are also avoiding any hassle associated with requiring proprietary filament — an issue causing some Mota 3D backers to complain about that printer’s use of non-refillable cartridges — by letting users use any 1.75mm PLA or ABS filament.
CraftBot’s makers have also built their own (free) 3D-slicing software to help smooth the path from 3D model to printed object. The software, called Craftware, can be used to turn a 3D model into something the CraftBot can squeeze out of its nozzle by adding things like support bars.
Another “ease of use” feature is a 2.8″ touchscreen for controlling the printer.
Again, as with the Mota 3D, it’s unclear exactly how easy to use this printer will be for a mainstream user. The Craftware software clearly helps simplify the process of turning a digital 3D file into a physical object, but it still evidently needs some 3D chops to use.
Still, on the price side, CraftUnique, the Hungarian company behind CraftBot, is clearly helping to drive 3D printer costs down — which opens the market up to more users. The similarly featured Makerbot Replicator 2, for instance, costs circa $1,999.
If the CraftBot 3D hits its funding goal of $40,000, the company is aiming to ship its printers to backers starting from this August.