$100 3D Peachy Printer is a Canadian Kickstarter Project

3D printing is a little like Hansen: so hot right now. (That's a Zoolander reference, for those of you who are a little lost right now.) As they become more popular, prices for 3D printers are dropping but still range anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, which means that they still aren't all available to all demographics. Thankfully, there are some (Canadian!) groups working on making them more accessible and affordable for all.

A few months ago I told you about a local Indiegogo campaign raising funds to purchase community 3D printers that could be brought to schools and community centres, particularly in lower income areas in order to teach students and youth about the technology. (They were successful, BTW.)

And now there is a Canadian KickStarter campaign (based in Saskatchewan) aiming to produce Peachy, an affordable easy-to-use 3D printer.
We want to lower the cost and difficulty of 3D Printing to a point where it's accessible to the masses. We want the 3D Printer to become a household item. We want 3D printing to become a common part of life. We want you to have the choice: Should I buy it or should I make it?

With a Peachy Printer (scanner) on your desk, you can choose to make it. This is the world's most affordable 3D printer!
Aw, that's nice. Right? Just think: the possibility of printing custom Lego pieces is even closer... ;)

Now, look at this thing. Here's the main mechanism:

(Credit: Peachy Printer How It Works video)

And the fully assembled printer:
(Credit: Peachy Printer How It Works video)

It doesn't look like any other 3D printer I've seen. Turns out, it's actually a feat of engineering: 
  • First of all, the mechanism is really small and the resulting printer has a pretty small footprint. 
  • Secondly, it's programmed using Blender such that some of the functions work off the headphone jack of your computer! Check this out: the data from your 3D model is translated into an audio file (WAV file). This audio is then played to the printer via your headphone jack in order to control a couple of mirrors which control the laser beam that melts the resin. 
  • Thirdly, the resin sits atop salt water, and a flow system increases the level of water, pushing up the resin until the item being printed is full height. The flow is also controlled using audio.
I have yet to see another water-based 3D printer. Let alone audio controlled. The whole concept is pretty incredible, IMHO.

And apparently, scalable. According to the product description:
The Peachy Printer currently has no set limit on build volume, however we haven't given this adequate testing. Like the beam of a flashlight, the print volume gets larger over distance. We plan to push the boundaries of the Peachy to see just how big we can print... One of our goals is to print a full size (16') canoe!
Check out the video below to find out more. The campaign is only a few days old and has already more than doubled its initial goal of $50,000. With 4 weeks to go, I wonder how much they'll raise in total? (Interestingly, they also have an Indiegogo campaign which launched on the same day, but it hasn't taken off.)

Take a look at how it works, and then head over to the Peachy Printer Kickstarter page or official website for more info. I really hope they manage to produce them.

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