May 9, 2017 | By David

We reported last year on a landmark 3D printer from Kodama, which was the first all-metal 3D printer to dip below $500. Following the huge success of the Trinus, the San Francisco-based startup is poised to break new ground yet again with its latest offering. The Kodama Obsidian will be one of the most affordable 3D printers ever released, as the first professional quality machine available for under $100.

Kodama is named after Hideo Kodama, the Japanese engineer who created the world’s first 3D printed prototype back in the early 80s, and the company was founded by ex-Apple employee Michael Husmann. Husmann is enthusiastic about the potential of the Obsidian, which is only the second product Kodama has ever released. "We wanted to create a 3D printer that defies what’s on the market," he says. "A sleek design, high quality printing, and customizable, all starting at under $100.”

The Obsidian’s impressively low price will open up the world of 3D printing to individuals, small businesses, and educational institutions that may have previously considered the technology's cost prohibitive. Kodama is particularly excited about getting people involved with art and design to make use of their product, potentially breathing new creative life into the 3D printing hobbyist market. While 3D printers do already exist at a similarly low price point, the quality of the prints are not always up to par. After the triumph of the Kodama Trinus, however, this will hopefully not be the case with the Obsidian, as the company claims that the machine’s features and functionality are comparable to 3D printers that cost 10 times its price.

The 3D printer's design is definitely impressive, with an aesthetically pleasing body available in Obsidian Black or Agate White. The strength of the chassis will provide a stable printing process, and a high level of accuracy is promised with layer thicknesses of between 50 and 350 microns. The maximum print volume of the FDM machine is 120 x 120 x 120 mm, and it can print at around 70mm/s. The Obsidian’s configuration is user-friendly and suited to beginners, as the 3D printer’s built-in display was designed for Kodama by automobile UX designers, who are used to balancing usability with advanced features and customization possibilities.

The Pro version of the machine, an upgrade that will presumably be a little more expensive, also boasts Android compatibility, making it easier to manage and monitor prints remotely. Another feature offered as an upgrade is a heated print bed, which greatly expands the range of materials that can be printed for FDM 3D printers. Kodama’s own Obsidian PLA is an exclusive filament containing real crushed Obsidian powder, made from volcanic crystals. Obsidian Pro users will also be able to 3D print models and prototypes out of ABS and PETG filament.

Those wanting to get a sneak peek of the Obsidian in action should check out the Bay Area Maker Fair from May 19-21, where Kodama will be showcasing its capabilities and some pre-made prototypes. The Kickstarter campaign is due to start in June. (Early bird backers have the chance to receive their own basic version of the Obsidian 3D printer for the obscenely low price of $49.)



Posted in 3D Printer



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William Renquist wrote at 5/11/2017 9:22:30 PM:

Interesting - but how about a video of it actually printing? It looks like a vaporware rendering at this point. Aren't they refusing to support their first printer for all the backers that were missing parts or didn't even get it yet?

Bojan wrote at 5/9/2017 9:52:10 PM:

Obsidian website: Trailer:

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