What do you do when your school can’t afford a 3D printer? If you’re Shai Schechter and Andrey Kovalev you build one yourself. Their printer, called Deltaprintr, has just launched on Kickstarter and the pair has already hit $102,000 out of a $195,000 goal. Their goal is to create an inexpensive, extremely usable printer for students and those on a budget. I think they’ve succeeded.
Shai goes to SUNY Purchase and Andrey goes to Cooper Union School of Engineering. Andrey was working on his sculpture homework and realized he could really use a 3D printer. With a $1,000 grant from the school, his small team built a very basic delta-style printer which uses three tall tracks as opposed to a MakerBot-style Cartesian printer. Their first model was hand-made but now they are working hard to make a commercial product, pricing kits as low as $475. In fact, it looks like they’re already oversold for the Kickstarter version of the machine and are scrambling to figure out how to sell more.
The printer automatically calibrates itself – a godsend if you’ve ever used non-self-leveling devices – and it can print PLA at 100 micron resolution. It doesn’t yet print ABS plastic because the bed is not heated.
I sat down with Shai and Andrey and watched their printer in action. It’s an impressive piece of kit, especially when you consider it was built by a team of students. Their intensity and drive is impressive and I’m really excited to see where these guys take their product.