It looks as if the crowdfunding sphere’s appetite for ultra-low cost 3D printers has not faded: M3D’s Micro, a sub-$300 printer, debuted on Kickstarter today. There, it passed its funding goal of $50,000 in 11 minutes and has now surpassed $400,000.
Backers snapped up 750 units priced at $199 and $249 within hours, and the 2,500 printers being offered at $299 are going fast. Backers can pay up to $10,000 to receive a printer early. The first units are scheduled to ship this August, while backers who paid $199 will have to wait until February 2015.
Beyond its price, the Micro has appeal because it’s supposed to be easy to use — a common promise for 3D printer makers. But the Micro has some promising features that would make the printer easier to use if they actually work as promised, such as automatic leveling and calibration. Users will be able to choose between beginner and expert settings and can replace the Micro’s nozzle and print bed for different printing applications
M3D has some other interesting claims about the Micro, including that it is quieter and uses less power than any other [3D?] printer. What is obvious is that this is a very tiny machine. The Micro weighs just 2.2 pounds and measures 7.3 cubic inches. The build space is roughly 4.5 cubic inches, so users will still be limited to fairly small objects.
So far, the Micro’s campaign echoes Pirate3D‘s Buccaneer–a beautiful brushed steel printer that went for $247 or $347 on Kickstarter. It went on to raise $1,438,765 in 30 days. A year later, Pirate3D is offering Buccaneers for $497. A M3D representative said a post-Kickstarter price has not yet been set for the Micro, but the company would like to keep it within the same price range.