Skip to comments.A 3D Printer for the Rest of Us: New Matter Builds $199 Device
Posted on 05/28/2014 9:45:50 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
MakerBot arguably put 3D printing on the map, but it could be New Matter that ultimately puts it average peoples hands.
Backed by Idealab, the startup launched a Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign on Wednesday and hopes to deliver an end-to-end 3D printing solution for less than $200 by early 2015. Aside from DIY 3D printer kits, its an unheard of price point for 3D printing technology and it comes with quite a pedigree.
New Matter is working with and backed by Frog Design, the legendary design firm that has worked with everyone from Apple and Microsoft to GE and Sony, and the result is MOD-t, an austere and attractive 16-inch by 12-inch by 15-inch tall 3D printer encased in a translucent, removable cover. The company is also helping New Matter build a suite of companion apps.
When we started working on this project, we gave ourselves this provocation: What if you could send a 3D print to someone like you send them a text message? says Frog Designer Christin Todorovich in the launch video.
Stephen Schell, who cofounded New Matter along with Idea Labs CEO Bill Gross, has been working in the 3D printing space for a decade, and originally started by building sub $2,000 3D printers for small businesses. Now, with this new venture, the New Matter president and CTO is targeting consumers, and Schell believes he knows the ingredients necessary for consumer 3D printing success.
The cost has to be something consumers can bear. If you charge $500-to-several thousand dollars, you only get people who are really enthusiastic and passionate about 3D printing.
The software must be simple and easy to use. Consumers dont want to understand and set temperature set points on an extruder.
Offer access to great 3D designs.
With Frog Designs help, theyve created an online store and application that allows consumers to download and share 3D creations, and because New Matters MOD-t 3D Printer is Wi-Fi enabled, the 3D designs can go straight from the site or app to the printer.
The MOD-t is a good-looking device, a rarity for a 3D printer, but at a $149 introductory price (it will eventually be $199 and include a spool of print material), its not really designed to compete with, for instance, MarkerBot's $2,000 Replicator 2. Speed wise, Schell estimates the MOD-t, which prints at 80mm per seconds, is in the middle of the pack. Print times can take anywhere from a half an hour to six hours depending on object size (up to 150 mm x 100 mm x 125 mm) Beyond that, though, MOD-t stacks up fairly well against the competition. Like MakerBots $1,375 Replicator Mini and 3D Systems Cube, New Matters MOD-t prints from a spool of biodegradable PLA, with a minimum layer height of 200 microns. This is essentially a measure of print resolution: the higher the number here, the greater the smoothness of printed objects.
In addition to software and overall design, the MOD-t may stand apart in another way: its print plate. According to Schell, the MOD-ts build plate, which moves while the print head only moves up and down, uses a patent-pending design. Its rack and pinion mechanism lowers both the number of components and overall cost of the printer.
Why would I?
Even with a sexy Frog design and magical price point, why would consumers want a 3D printer? Schell says hed tell consumers that 3D printers let you customize the world around you. He contends that when we shop for decorations or even toys for our children, were often constrained by whats on the shelf. 3D printers let you design and print out your ideas.
Of course, most consumers are not designers so theyll still rely on the template designs offered on New Matters apps and web site. According to the campaign video, though, theyll be able to easily modify the designs. It shows people manipulating the virtual 3D models on their iPad via touch, including previewing how different color PLA might look, and then sharing the prints via the app so that someone else with a New Matter MOD-t can print out the same 3D object.
Its 3D printing for the rest of us, said Schell.
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BONUS: How Does 3D Printing Work?
Two videos at source.
Some day her prints will come
While I understand the desire to have an inexpensive 3D printer, I believe that there is a growing market for small industrial printers that could not only print but also mill and router.
A modular system that allows for frame upgrades, a swapable head to hold lasers, hot ends, food extruders, routers, laser heads and even dremels. Essentially a CNC machine that could both subtract (router) as well as add (FDM plastics). The XYZ positioning is the same so this should not be a major challenge. The slicer software will need some adaptation, but this should be very doable.
Let the buyer beware, it's not necessarily for everyone! I just bought a 3D printer a couple weeks ago. As a computer tinkerer, I'm familiar with tech giving me headaches, and having to figure out how to fix the darn things.
The average non-techy person will have problems, and the advertisers of these machines should not sugar-coat them as a piece-of-cake to use. I figured out how to set up the software, level the build plate and even up the dual extruders. Also how to unclog a clogged extruder nozzle. Then there's the process of creating print files and debugging problem prints. Makerbot costs more, but at least they're more honest in advertising (their 2X is advertised as experimental and for the experts). I got a CTC with dual extruders for a third of the cost of a Makerbot, at $660, and it's working out great at making tools and items I can't find elsewhere. But it's not quick and easy!
I think the 3D printer will be a god send for those that are modelmakers, I can easily make plastic scale replicas of locomotive items like marker lamps, bells and fittings. Or to make molds for lost wax casting.
I thought that’s why Snow White took so long at the photo lab?!
I’m contemplating one of these for my company’s use.
But it was cheap...
Nice size for < $200 - “16-inch by 12-inch by 15-inch tall 3D printer”. Looks like it can do hand-sized items.
“older, wiser and crankier...” from a punch -line on a birthday card my son gave to me yesterday.
(he graduates next week from HS!...I’ll get even with him then! ;})
Print size of 100 mm X 125 mm X 150 mm, or roughly 4” X 5” X 6”. That is a pretty respectable build volume.
That cup has been printing for 5 months now?