Pirate3D’s low-cost 3D printer is now on the cusp of being Kickstarted into existence. The company announced today that its affordable, sub-$400 Buccaneer 3D printer will be launching on the funding site tomorrow, at 11am EST.
If the campaign is successful, then the Buccaneer will give artists, hobbyists and technophiles access for less than the cost of many full-size tablets. And even though it’s a budget option compared to the likes of Makerbot’s $2,200 Replicator 2, this brushed aluminum and steel device boasts a compact footprint and sleek looks that users will be proud to display in their homes — especially if you loved the design of the PowerMac Cube G4. This printer is dead ringer for it, which is not by accident. Co-founder/designer Tsang You Jun is reportedly a huge Apple/Steve Jobs fan.
So what’s the catch? As far as we can tell, there isn’t any, at least not yet. In addition to creative manufacturing using off-the-shelf parts, Pirate3D seems to be taking Amazon’s cue by underpricing the hardware so it can make up the profit later. In Amazon’s case, the company is betting that Kindle and Kindle Fire users will buy plenty of Amazon products and content. For Pirate3D, that could mean later sales of pre-designed blueprints, a marketplace of printed objects or software extras.
To show how simple (and mobile) designing 3D objects can be, the company also posted a new video offering a sneak peek at its new Smart Objects beta application.
An online browser demo is available here. (You’ll need STL Object and OBJ Object.) There’s no sign of the iOS app just yet, but based on the marketing materials showing an iPad in use, there should be one in the works. Android users can download the app here.
For more information on the printer itself, check out our previous article on the Buccaneer, or to get a jump on the Kickstarter campaign, go here to bookmark this page. It will redirect to Pirate3D’s Kickstarter when it begins tomorrow morning.