Jul 3, 2017 | By David

Last year, we reported on the breakthrough that 3D printer manufacturer Kodama achieved with its Trinus 3D printer. The first all-metal 3D printer available for under $500, it was the San Francisco-based startup’s first product on the market, and its success led to the announcement of an even more affordable machine. The Kodama Obsidian will be available for $99 in its basic version, and after the 3D printer was demonstrated at the Bay Area Maker Fair last month, a Kickstarter campaign was launched this week.

Intended to bridge the gap between the basic machines at the lower end of the market that are difficult to put together and use, and the overpriced professional 3D printers, the affordable Kodama Obsidian offers great build quality, easy operation and excellent printing results. Unlike with most of the cheaper 3D printers on the market, no assembly is required whatsoever—just take the machine out of the box, plug it in, load your filament and you’re ready to print.

The Obsidian has been in development since 2015, and was designed in collaboration with various industry experts. The electronics were done in consultation with a Singapore-based electrical engineer with 30 years of experience, as was the quality control process. The 3D printer‘s UI/UX designer works for a major automobile manufacturer, and assembly line bids are being discussed with major manufacturers Flextronics (who assembled the original Trinus) and Foxconn.

While the $99 basic version of the Obsidian is the real attention-grabber as one of the first 3D printers to dip below the $100 mark, the $149 Obsidian Plus boasts some slightly improved features. For instance, it features a touch-screen LED display for better control over the 3D printing process, and has a potentially life-saving Power Outage Recovery option. This will allow you to pick up where you left off if there is any power failure during a print job—regardless of how far into printing you were.

The Obsidian Deluxe is the most advanced version of the machine and will be available for $249, which still makes it a highly affordable desktop 3D printer. Its main improvement over the Plus is the heated print bed. This upgrade expands the range of different materials that users will be able to 3D print with, allowing for nylon, ABS, and PETG filament all to be used successfully. According to Kodama, good results have even been achieved in tests with carbon fiber and polycarbonate materials.

Kodama also produces its own unique Obsidian FDM material that is compatible with this and other 3D printers. This is the world’s first 3D printing filament to be made with volcanic material—the obsidian powder that gives it its name. A camera is also available with the Deluxe version, so the 3D printing process can be monitored remotely and even recorded for demonstrations or other purposes.

Test versions of the Obsidian have been receiving excellent feedback online and in the real world from various 3D printing pros, including L.A-based artist Vincent Pocsik and renowned designer Jenny Wu, who has incorporated Kodama’s technology into the production of her avant-garde jewellery. Their stories are available to read in depth on the Kickstarter page for the Obsidian 3D printer, where you will be impressed to see that the crowdfunding target of $100,000 has already been reached. With 25 days to go, over $660,000 has been raised from 2,571 backers.

Worldwide shipping for the Obsidian is due to start in December, with Kodama’s reliable distributing partners promising that all orders should be fulfilled by January 2018 at the latest.



Posted in 3D Printer



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