Sep 20, 2017 | By Tess

Taiwan-based 3D printer startup T3D has launched its first product, the T3D mobile 3D printer, via a Kickstarter campaign. The low-cost 3D printer, which prints directly using your smartphone or tablet, still has early bird deals available for as little as $219.

If you’re thinking that a low-cost smartphone 3D printer is already on the market, you’re right. But the well known ONO smartphone 3D printer (which boasted the very low-cost of $99) seems a bit more rudimentary than the recently unveiled T3D.

For instance, the T3D printer offers a number of extra features, such as multi-color 3D printing, and 360-degree scanning capabilities. What’s more, the T3D developers say users can operate the portable 3D printer in lit areas thanks to its patented “daylight resin.” (The ONO requires a dark enclosure to keep light away from the print.)

In other ways, the two 3D printers are similar: both are compact and portable, and both use the light from mobile devices (T3D can accommodate tablets as well as smartphones) to cure a resin material, layer by layer, printing in a bottom-up fashion.

To use the T3D printer, users simply have to open the T3D app on their smartphone or tablet (Android or iOS), choose the 3D model they want to print (the app holds over 5,800 ready-to-print models), set some printing parameters, and then place their device, screen-up, under the printer’s resin vat.

Once the printing starts, the smart device will essentially display different light patterns, which will cure the photopolymer resin, one layer at a time, in a given structure, not unlike standard DLP printing.

T3D’s patented resins, which come in a variety of colors (including amber, red, green, blue, black, white, and clear), have a curing speed of 15 seconds and react to specific light wavelengths (the ones emitted from your device) so that printing in natural light is not a problem. (T3D does advise not to place the printer in direct light, however.)

Another bonus for the T3D’s usability is that the printer can connect to smartphones or tablets through Bluetooth, meaning that users don’t need to worry about any cables or even internet connection.

In terms of build volume, the compact DLP printer has a range of 106 x 76 x 85 mm for smartphones and 160 x 76 x 85 mm for tablets. Other specs include a build volume speed of 15 seconds per layer, with a layer thickness of 100 microns.

Other notable features include a modular and open source construction that allows for the 3D printer to be easily transformed into a multi-color printer or even a 360 scanner. That is, by installing a rotating build platform (called the M-cube), users can benefit from a three-resin platform that can easily be transformed into a solid rotating surface, perfect for 360 scanning.

T3D has already surpassed its Kickstarter goal of $35,000 by nearly double and has exhausted its super early bird special, which offered the 3D printer kit for only $169. Backers can still nab the early bird price of $219, which includes the 3D printer and 100 ml of the visible-light resin in amber.

The retail cost of the mobile 3D printer is slated as $299, and expected deliveries for the T3D printer are to begin in March 2018. The Taiwan startup has even partnered with XYZPrinting to ensure that their production will be achievable.

If you’re interested in the low-cost 3D printer or simply want to see what other backer rewards T3D is offering, you can check out the Kickstarter campaign here.



Posted in 3D Printer



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Joe D wrote at 9/20/2017 5:24:29 PM:

That guy in the video, putting up the tent sure took his time. For the native born U.S. folks, who don't really know metric, the build time is 0.0158" per minute. That is 0.95" per hour. So, they must be carrying a pretty hefty power pack to keep the smart phone with its display on for the time needed. When a company engages in this advertising nonsense, it makes you wonder what else is nonsense.

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