Low-Priced 3D Printers Are On the Way

Two new 3D printers are already crossing the price barrier, dropping to prices comparable to consumer-grade printers. One, the M3D Micro, is tagged at $349, and the other, the MOD-t, at $149.

A Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for a company called M3D concluded three weeks ago, with more than $3.4 million raised through the sale of more than 11,000 printers at prices ranging from $199 to $299. When it's launched, the company's Micro 3D printer will sell for $349 retail.

The Micro uses an auto-leveling and auto-calibration system that M3D says are designed to maintain the printer's reliability and longevity. Additionally, the company is claiming that its Micro is the most space-efficient 3D printer yet, and one of the most power-efficient.

'Accessible to Everyone'

But that may be the higher end of consumer 3D printers. Another company called New Matter has launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, offering their MOD-t 3D printer for $149 to the first 500 contributors. This will be followed with the next 1,000 sold at $199, and an eventual retail price of $249.

The MOD-t uses a fused filament fabrication process, and can create objects up to 6x4x5 inches. A two-axis motion system is used, limiting the way an object is built to up and down movements, which also limits the price. It has built-in Wi-Fi, and the industrial design was by the well-known design firm Frog Design. New Matter intends to offer designing software and a curated marketplace for sharing built objects made by artists.

Steve Schell, co-founder and president of New Matter, said in a statement that, "to truly make 3D printing accessible to everyone, we had to create a unified hardware and software experience that encourages people to explore and share their creations."

The 3D printing space is heating up in other ways beyond cheap printers. Earlier this month, for instance,...

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