pirate3d-buccaneer-3d-printer-09

I’ve long argued that one of the biggest things standing in the way of 3D printing’s mainstream potential was the price point. After all, not everyone has a couple of grand to plunk down on an emerging technology.

So when news of an upcoming Kickstarter campaign for a cheap 3D printer came out, I was incredibly excited. That Pirate3D’s proposed Buccaneer printer would only cost $347 is simply jaw-dropping. (And strangely specific. Why not $350?) Makerbot’s latest Replicator 2 is $2,200. Of course, the R2 offers twice the work area of the compact Buccaneer, which clocks in at 5.8×3.9×4.7 inches. But that may not be a bad thing. When it comes to desktop manufacturing, sleek and compact could work in its favor.

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Pirate3D says the stamped-steel Buccaneer can print at a max of 100 microns and 50mm/s, and it easily connects to devices via Wi-Fi. Apparently the outputs can’t quite hold a candle to Makerbot’s printed objects, which are more refined and polished, but who would expect them to, given their price? Clearly artists, architects and other design professionals will go for the high-end machine, but penny pinchers at least have another option. That is, assuming this gets Kickstarted off the ground.

Interested? Then be sure to sign up for updates at Pirate3D online, to find out when the fundraising campaign starts.