If you’ve been looking for an inexpensive 3D printer, you’ll want to hurry up and take a look over at a Kickstarter project that is wrapping up this week. The printrbot (lowercase spelling is correct) is the creation of Brook Drumm. And while Brook was originally hopeful to get 50 or so units backed before production began, let’s just say that raising almost half a million dollars (as I currently write this — it may break half a million before you read this) is probably not what Brook was expecting when he created the Kickstarter project.
Just about every question you can imagine has been asked and answered either in the project’s writeup or in the hundreds of comments posted by backers and many of them answered by Brook himself. The basic machine offered will print within a 5x5x5 inch area, but Brook received so many backers that he was able to negotiate for better motors and parts that have allowed him to offer an additional machine called the printrbot+ that will print inside an 8x8x8 inch area.
I’ve signed up and can’t wait to get my printrbot+ in March 2012 — and I’ll be writing up a full post covering its assembly hopefully just after I get it. And based on the over 700 backers who will be getting either the printrbot or printrbot+ between February and March 2012, I’m betting 3D printer fans will be hearing a lot more about this machine in the months to come, especially as Brook has stated that he intends to sell (via an online store) upgrades, replacement parts, and more, all sure to bump this machine up in popularity among the DIY crowd.
For me, it’s the pure portability of the machine that grabbed me. I have a larger 3D printer in my basement (designed by my co-author, Patrick Hood-Daniel, and documented in our book, Build Your Own 3D Printer) but it’s the prototype that was built as we wrote the book and it definitely needs some tender care and tightening down after all the taking apart, photographing and handling and measuring, and re-assembly and testing. Nope… I need something new, smaller, and easier to carry to various meet ups and tech gatherings.
Like I said… time is short to grab one. So take a jump over to the Printrbot Kickstarter page to check out all the news and details and, if you’re ready to commit, a nice big Back This Project button.
I reached out to Brook with some questions about the printrbot, some of his goals, and his geek dad status and I’d like to thank him for taking the time to respond; you can read his responses on the next page.