In the early days of additive manufacturing, 3D printers cost a truckload of money. Heck, even just a couple years ago it was hard to find one for less than $1,000. But a hungry young company by the name of Pocket maker wants to change that and bring 3D printing to the masses. So to help that dream come true, they’ve announced the PocketMaker 3D: a pint-sized 3D printer that’ll allegedly retail for a mere $149 if/when it launches next year.
The team achieved its goal of building an affordable printer by resisting the urge to add a ton of features. They instead focused their time and effort on building a robust custom motor for the printing unit and an easy-to-use smartphone interface for new users. The 3D printer supports PLA, ABS, and other standard 1.75 mm printer filaments. Owners also can bring their filaments or purchase colored pocket PLA filaments (white, cyan, pink and yellow) that are specially designed for the PocketMaker unit. The printer also has replaceable nozzles, so owners don’t have to worry about nozzle clogging, as well as a removable print bed for easy model removal.
On the hardware side, the cube-shaped printer is tiny and lightweight, measuring only 3.1.5-inches per side and weighing in at svelte 1.87 pounds. This printer is miniature when compared to even the small 3D printers like the Ultimaker 2+, which weighs in at a respectable 24 pounds and measures approximately 23 x 20 x 13 inches. Adding to the Owners can connect to the PocketMaker printer using their smartphone via a wireless connection. There also is an option to connect via USB. The printer ships with its printing software and is compatible with the third-party open source software. It prints STL files, the most common 3D printer format.
Early adopters can pre-order the PocketMaker 3D printer via Indiegogo. Pricing for the standard package starts at $99 with an estimated ship date of May 2017. This standard package includes a PcoketMaker printer, a replaceable PocketNozzle, and one white PocketPLA filament roll. A printer box with a set of the colored filament (white, cyan, pink and yellow) is available for $109.