3D printers cost a lot of money in the early days of additive manufacturing. Even a few years back, it required a lot of effort to find a 3D printer for less than $1,000. However, PocketMaker is a young company that wants to change this by bringing 3D printing to the masses. So, in order to do that, they have broadcasted a pint-sized 3D printer, “PocketMaker 3D”, that will supposedly sell for just $149 if/when it launches next year.
In order to make their dream of building an affordable 3D printer come true, the team fought back the desire of adding a ton of features. As an alternative, they dedicated their time and effort on manufacturing a robust custom motor for the printing unit and an easy-to-use smartphone interface for new users. PLA, ABS, and other standard 1.75 mm printer filaments are supported by the 3D printer. Besides, owners can also bring their filaments or purchase colored pocket PLA filaments (white, cyan, pink and yellow) particularly designed for the PocketMaker unit. In addition to a removable print bed for easy model removal, replaceable nozzles are also available in the printer, therefore, owners don’t need to worry about nozzle clogging.
Now, considering the hardware side, the small and light weight printer is cube-shaped and measures merely 3.1.5-inches per side while weighing in at svelte 1.87 pounds. When judged against even the small 3D printers like the Ultimaker 2+ that measures roughly 23 x 20 x 13 inches and weighs in at a respectable 24 pounds, this printer is tiny. Owners can also connect to the PocketMaker printer using their smartphone via a wireless connection. The option of connecting through a USB is also available. The printer is compatible with the third-party open source software and ships with its printing software. It prints the most common 3D printer format, STL files.
The PocketMaker 3D printer can be pre-ordered by early adopters through Indiegogo. The cost of the standard package, that includes a PocketMaker printer, a replaceable PocketNozzle, and one white PocketPLA filament roll, starts at $99 with an estimated ship date of May 2017. A printer box with a set of the colored filament (white, cyan, pink and yellow) is available for $109.