Oct 20, 2015 | By Alec

Startups are popping up all over the 3D printing community, but unfortunately not all our successful. Sometimes, we never hear anything about them again, but others just need a bit more time. We first reported on the promising educational Tinyboy 3D printer way back in 2013, an interesting machine aimed at students and designed in Hong Kong. While the machine already looked good at the time, we heard very little from them since then. But Tinyboy is now ready for action, as the Tinyboy 2 3D printer is currently causing an uproar over at Indiegogo, where the machine has already raised $10,000 in funds in less than a day.

The Tinyboy has been under development for some time, having been founded by Hong Kong teacher Parker Leung way back in 2011 as the Makeomnia startup. Teaching design and technology in secondary school, Leung became convinced that students are the future of the making community and industry, but felt that the equipment necessary for them to become acquainted was lacking. First showing his prototype in public in 2013, the Tinyboy 3D printer has since been steadily improving for a student audience, in part with the help of the Hong Kong Cyberport Incubation Programme.

And that is, essentially, what this final iteration has become. ‘The new Tinyboy 2 3D printer is designed for learning. To encourage the learners not just to consume, but to become Makers. Tinyboy can be assembled by students using a few simple tools. Students can operate and maintain their own machines by themselves, so they can understand the Maker culture through making,’ Leung explains. And with a size of just 15 x 15 x 22 cm, this 3D printer is smaller than most regular 3D printers, and is in every way an entry-level educational device that can help anyone get familiar with 3D printing.

As Leung explains, the 3D printer has a clear place in the schools of tomorrow, and can do a lot more than just get children hooked on 3D printing. ‘3D printers are relevant to a number of subjects, not limited to 3D design, 3D applications, [and even]. reproducing ancient artifact for history lessons,’ he says. ‘Without TinyBoy, a teacher wanting to encourage students to print their designs into reality, would require excessive amount to be invested in multiple conventional 3D printers, not to mention the space required to house these machines.’ This machine, instead, can easily fit next to any pc in any classroom and only requires Windows and a 12V power supply to run (incidentally also making it a good first model for home users).

What’s more, the 3D printer’s characteristics seems to prove this. The Tinyboy 2 3D printer comes in two formats, the L10 and the larger L16. The first has a build volume of just 10 x 10 x 10 cm, with the L16 featuring a higher 16 cm area. A compact extrusion design also saves a lot of space, though a number of different hotends can be used, depending on your own preference. The TinyBoy 2 uses 35BYGH steppers, which bring a decent printing speed and reliability. And yet, despite its size, the Tinyboy doesn’t seem to have compromised on 3D printing quality either, as the regular settings 3D prints 0.2 mm layers, with the fine option working at 0.1 mm – not at all bad for the size and price of this machine.

But aside from being a perfect starting option for beginners, the Tinyboy’s most remarkable feature is its price. Costing just $279 on Indiegogo, it is a perfectly affordable option for both schools and home users. In short, it seems that the Tinyboy 2 has all the features necessary to achieve its goals: bringing 3D printing to formal and informal educational environments. If the Indiegogo campaign is successful – which the Tinyboy will probably be within days at this rate – shipping will begin in the summer of 2016. Perfect for the new school year?

 

 

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Bone Chiba wrote at 1/30/2016 11:09:06 AM:

This is great , I am based in Africa/Botswana where technology awareness is very slow but I believe this can revolutionize that sector.I want to know more and even tap on to that industry , business wise,!



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