The dropping cost of 3D printers has been a driving force behind the technology's explosion into the mainstream. While companies like Makerbot are committed to bringing 3D printers into homes, the most inexpensive ones still cost more than $2,000, preventing them from really becoming a commercially viable product.
A new project on Kickstarter hopes to change all that with the Peachy Printer, a 3D printer and scanner that will retail for just $100.
“We want to lower the cost and difficulty of 3D printing to a point where it’s accessible to the masses,” Rinnovated Design wrote on the Kickstarter page. “We want the 3D printer to become a household item. We want 3D printing to become a common part of life.”
In just three days, Peachy Printer soared past its $50,000 goal. At the time of writing, the project has attracted $288,002 of funding on Kickstarter.
Peachy Printer relies on software that translates 3D models in an audio wave, and then plays the audio file through a computer’s headphone jack. Peachy Printer uses the audio wave to drive a pair of electromagnetic mirrors to reflect a laser beam that shapes a hard object out of resin. The method significantly cuts down on the cost of the hardware.
Users can also combine a digital camera to turn Peachy Printer into an effective 3D scanner. Peachy Printer repeats a laser pattern that illuminates the profile of an object while a user rotates it 360 degrees in front of a webcam, video camera or DSLR. Customized software searches each pixel in every frame of the video to identify where the laser hits the object and uses this to create a 3D model.
“We're even working on a feature that creates a texture map from the footage and applies it to the 3D models mesh automatically,” Rinnovated Design said. “This gives you [an] even more realistic looking 3D model.”
Peachy Printer still has 27 days left in its Kickstarter campaign. It will use the money to finalize the software, hardware and design of the Peachy Printer and begin manufacturing.
Originally from Northern California, Ryan W. Neal came to New York to earn his master's in journalism from Columbia University. He joined IB Times April 2013, and is a writer...