3-D printing was created to allow anyone to design and manufacture the things they need from the comfort of their homes and businesses. For this reason, the technology has been called the start of the next industrial revolution. By eliminating the need for factories — and a whole lot of pollution and labor exploitation — 3-D printing is poised to change mass production as we know it. Of course, it’s hard to say how such a revolution would affect the global economy, but we probably wouldn’t need to purchase as much stuff as we do now.
In order for that to happen, 3-D printers will have to start becoming more affordable without sacrificing too much quality. A decade ago, the cheapest 3-D printers cost tens of thousands of dollars. Now, you can buy one for less than $100! While low-cost 3-D printers are usually less accurate than their high-end counterparts, one new model claims to deliver professional-quality results for an ultra-low price.
The Obsidian 3-D printer by Kodama will allow independent inventors and small businesses everywhere to manufacture their own small, detailed 3-D models, potentially revolutionizing the design process by making early prototypes more advanced than ever before. The compact plug-and-play machine comes fully assembled and is ready to turn your great ideas into great products within moments of being unboxed.
The printer’s creators explain: “We felt there was too much of a gap between cheap, unsightly printers that are complicated to assemble and use, and overpriced 3-D printers. We knew there had to be a better way to make 3-D printing accessible to everyone. We want everyone in the world with an idea in their head to be able to hold it in their hand.”
Most professional 3-D printers still cost well over $1,000, and a lot of models at the lower end of the market end up being difficult to assemble and use. Kodama’s Obsidian aims to provide the best of both worlds. The $99 model performs a few basic functions that every designer needs: it can print layer thicknesses between 50 and 350 microns, features an easy-to-use display, and is compatible with a variety of 3-D printing filaments. The $149 “Obsidian Plus” includes the added bonuses of a smart touch-screen display and a “power outage recovery” option. Last but certainly not least, the $249 “Obsidian Deluxe” has been equipped with a heated bed, an iOS/Android app that lets you remotely monitor and adjust your print settings, and a camera.
“Obsidian’s high quality prints are made possible by its custom-made extruder head. A dual fan set allows efficient temperature control of the heat block and printed model, ensuring consistent extrusion. Obsidian’s nozzle and PTFE tube are connected, allowing you to change nozzles by just loosening one screw. Swap nozzles effortlessly!”
Kodama just wrapped up the Obsidian’s extraordinarily successful Kickstarter campaign, which raised over $1.5 million dollars and easily surpassed its initial goal of $100,000. Kickstarter backers will start receiving their printers in December 2017, when the company is expected to start making their products available to the general public as well.