June 19, 2014

Kickstarter has given birth to many affordable 3D printers. Today another 3D printer has appeared on Kickstarter, the Tekma3D TM1 3D printer by Goleta, CA based Michael Everman and Bill Spracher. As there have been many such startups emerge in this manner, What makes the Tekma3D TM1 different?

Claiming to be capable of printing 0.002-in (0.05mm) layers at 200 mm/sec with no loss of dimensional accuracy, the TM1 may take fused thermoplastic 3D printing to a new level.

Tekma3D printers feature an entirely new motion control architecture with a moving build platform. Its extruder translates only in Z-direction but remains stationary in the X- and Y-axes.

The key to driving the build platform accurately and quickly is it new patent-pending motion stage technology called ServoSpline. The ServoSpline consists of two independently-driven pinions that engage with elastomeric racks on the underside of the build plate. The splines guide, support and drive the build plate.

Free of the backlash found in most rack-and-pinion motion, the new design allows the printer to achieve positioning accuracies better than 0.005-inches at highest build speed, says the team. The new build platform also keeps the number of moving parts to minimum, keeping the cost low.

The Tekma3D TM1 is open source and designed for makers and engineers. Pre-production models of the Tekma3D have been outfitted with inexpensive Arduino-based controllers and stepper motors. But the team says that they are also looking into ARM controllers as they move intro production.

Features and Specifications:

  • Maximum build size: 130x130x130mm (5x5x5")
  • Layer height: 0.05 ~ 0.3 mm
  • Nozzle diameter: 0.45mm
  • Print speed: 150mm/sec at 0.1mm height, 200mm/sec with controls upgrade
  • Acceleration: 0.3G (3000 mm/sec2), 0.5G with controls upgrade
  • Machine dimensions: 380x380x380mm (15x15x15")
  • Bed type: Magnetically-secured acrylic
  • Bed leveling: Not required
  • Material: PLA filament, 3mm diameter
  • Material storage: Standard filament spool, internally stored
  • Control: Arduino MEGA 2560 Rev 3/RAMPS, Smart LCD
  • Part program storage: SD card slot
  • Z height: Adjustable while running
  • Filament change: Change while running
  • AC power: 115/230 VAC, 50/60Hz, 75W

The team is aiming to raise $25,000 on Kickstarter to scale up to high-volume production. The first 20 backers will get the Tekma3D TM1 for $1,199, coming with acrylic build plate. The retail price of the printer will be $1499.

Posted in 3D Printers

Maybe you also like:


Suti wrote at 6/22/2014 10:23:34 PM:

If you express accuracy in thousands of inches you are doing it wrong.

Notafan wrote at 6/22/2014 7:21:56 PM:

For that price I'd expect dual print heads, a heated bed and a larger print area. That level of accuracy is the norm in that price range, too, and you can find some that are accurate to 0.01mm for little to no additional cost. Nevermind the obvious problems with tiny scraps of plastic getting caught in the X axis (the Y axis is still prone but less so than X). The "failing" of rack and pinion or belt drive is called "backlash" and is easily compensated. I hope these bozos fail to get their patent. What a scam.

Sam wrote at 6/21/2014 3:46:18 AM:

@ Thatguy - not sure what you're printing but I've never printed anything that even comes close to the mass of a stepper. Moving the bedplate is a non issue and probably has actually less moving mass than the extruder.

ThatGuy wrote at 6/20/2014 6:14:46 AM:

The issue I see with all of these moving platform printers is that eventually, the size and mass of the printed item has to affect the speed or quality, or the energy to move the platform. Why not use this to move the head instead?

nona wrote at 6/20/2014 4:34:14 AM:

I, too think patents are stupid, but as Elon Musk / Tesla have shown quite impressively, you can use patents more wisely, i.e. defensively. Hope other companies also begin to realize that. Ideal case would be no patents, though.

lassi wrote at 6/20/2014 4:24:29 AM:

that's a really, really horrible price for a new matter clone. the whole point of the splinethingy is to move cost down, there's no point in it from other point of view. printrbot simple is cheaper and already available and more robust.

bobc wrote at 6/19/2014 11:36:21 PM:

And Tekma3D love open source so much that they are repaying the compliment by trying to prevent anyone else using "their" technology! Hope they do get sued, tbh. "If you lie with dogs, expect to catch fleas"

tomas wrote at 6/19/2014 9:10:32 PM:

The elephant they printed looks really bad...

Sum-Ting Wong wrote at 6/19/2014 2:18:52 PM:

Shut up and take my money!

Feign wrote at 6/19/2014 2:08:08 PM:

New Matter already had a patent pending on this crossed-rack and pinion method of x-y motion... And their printer is $249 on Indiegogo. In theory there's subtle difference, the MOD+T has a plate that can lift off the pinions, while this one is screwed down, but the patent they have pending seems pretty robust. I wonder which company will be awarded the patent and which will have to settle for liscencing.

anon wrote at 6/19/2014 1:39:06 PM:

So the drive system is just as entirely new as the one in the MOD-t?

Arquit wrote at 6/19/2014 12:17:00 PM:

They are selling the same technology that NewMatter with their MOD-t printer in Indiegogo, but almost 5x the price... Incredible (aka shameful) people trying to earn a lot of money with the 3d printing market instead of funding a business. Almost the same happened a few months ago with the Mamba 3d printer in kickstarter, which barely achieved it's funding goal. I hope people don't invest 1.2K $ in a 5" cube build volume.

Bilgis wrote at 6/19/2014 10:15:16 AM:

@Bogdan, if you buy QU-BD you will get nothing, they never deliver

Bogdan wrote at 6/19/2014 9:47:15 AM:

These guys are really incredible. Selling printers that are a little better than Printrbots for double the price ! You could buy 5 QU-BD ones for the price of this one !

Leave a comment:

Your Name:


Subscribe us to

3ders.org Feeds 3ders.org twitter 3ders.org facebook   

About 3Ders.org

3Ders.org provides the latest news about 3D printing technology and 3D printers. We are now seven years old and have around 1.5 million unique visitors per month.

News Archive