3D printing may be the future, but it's generally a relatively expensive one, something startup M3D hopes to change with its compact The Micro model. Fresh to Kickstarter today - and already more than quadrupling its target of $50,000 in under an hour - The Micro is scaled to produce jewelry, custom toys, and other small objects, hooking up via USB to Windows, Mac, or Linux.
In fact, the cuboid printer can produce objects up to 4.6 inches tall, with 50-350 micron layer resolution. X/Y positioning accuracy is 15 microns, M3D says.
That's thanks to what M3D is calling Micro Motion Technology, effectively a movement feedback system that's integrated into the print head and which auto-calibrates and auto-levels it. Combined with a custom software app to actually control the printer, with a library of online 3D models to download, the goal is to shift 3D printing out from the realm of experts and into something consumers can readily use.
That certainly seems to have struck a chord with Kickstarter backers. M3D was looking for $50,000 to begin producing The Micro this year, but passed that goal in eleven minutes. As of writing, the two entry-level tiers that get a printer - $199 and $249 - are both full up, with the only first-batch option left being the $299 tier.
Standard 3D printing materials like ABS, PLA, nylon, and chameleon will be supported, in 1.75mm size, though M3D will also offer its own micro-filament spools. There'll also be support for open-source software.
The Micro was originally expected to go into production for shipping in February 2015, but M3D tells us that thanks to the lightning funding that's now going to happen this year.