If you recall, earlier this year the desktop 3D printing market found itself in a race to the bottom, price wise. Company after company emerged, usually on Kickstarter or Indiegogo, offering a cheaper product, in hopes of attracting the herd of 3D printing enthusiasts over to their campaign. This race ended after a couple companies had to pull their campaigns due to the infeasibility of manufacturing at these prices while still turning a profit.
After a lull that started this summer and lasted several months, it appears as if this race may have just been restarted. A little under a month ago, a Florida-based company called iBox Printers announced what is likely the smallest, most portable 3D printer to ever come to market, the iBox Nano. Starting at just $189, this machine has brought in more than its $300,000 goal on Kickstarter with a couple days remaining on its funding campaign (ending November 14). This may be just the start of yet another wave of innovative, affordable machines.
Today another new company has launched a Kickstarter camapign for a printer they call the SmartBox. Based in Arcadia, California, Smartbox Lab has set out to create an affordable FFF 3D printer capable of a build envelope of 200 x 200 x 180mm. The machine, which starts at just $199 for the kit, or $299 for the fully assembled version (first 200 backers), certainly packs a punch for its price. Below you will find some of the Smartbox’s general specifications:
- Printer Technology: FFF
- Printer Size: 430 x 500 x 380mm
- Build Envelope: 200 x 200 x 180mm
- Nozzle Diameter: 0.4mm
- Layer Height: 0.1 – 0.4mm
- Print Material/Size: PLA/ABS at 1.75mm
- Software: Printrun / Repetier-Host
- Features: Heated build platform, SD card, LCD screen interface
The SmartBox also includes a convenient battery to eliminate any worry of the printer shutting down due to a power outage in the middle of a 20 hour project. Additionally, the easy-to-use LCD screen box allows for the insertion of an SD card, making printing possible even when a computer connection is lacking.
The company is looking to raise a modest $6,000 by December 26, in order to bring their printer to market. If funded, they intend to start shipping the DIY kits in March 2015 and ship all machines by June. Let us know if you have backed this new 3D printer. Discuss in the SmartBox 3D printer forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the Kickstarter pitch video provided below: