I can’t deny that I love a fancy 3D printer, with LCD screens and filters and built-in scanners and all sorts of other fun stuff. But when it comes down to it, simplicity is probably the aspect that most often draws my interest, and I think that’s the case for a lot of people, particularly hobbyists and casual makers – and certainly for educators. A simple, reliable and easy-to-use desktop 3D printer, one that lives up to its name and can actually fit on your desktop, is very appealing, and it doesn’t get much simpler or more compact than the Cetus 3D Printer, soon to be launching on Kickstarter.
With dimensions of 265 x 275 x 265 mm, Cetus is a tiny little guy that can easily share your desktop or workstation with your computer and other supplies. Thanks to its minimalist design, however, the printer is pretty much all build platform, so it offers a good-sized print volume of 180 x 180 x 180 mm. Print quality is excellent, according to its developers, with high-quality linear bearings on all three axes, and it’s all aluminum including the build platform, so it’s definitely going to be durable despite its featherweight 3.7 kg (6.6 lbs).
Despite its minimalism, there’s a lot that the Cetus can do. It offers three different fast-change nozzle size options of 0.2, 0.4 and 0.6 mm, and a specially designed adhesive coating allows for good first layer adhesion along with easy print removal. It’s pre-calibrated and can be used right out of the box via either USB or Wi-Fi, and its bundled Cetus Software (also available as an iOS app) offers 2D to 3D conversion, blackout recovery and automatic support generation.
A quick overview of specifications:
- Printer dimensions: 265 x 275 x 265 mm
- Print volume: 180 x 180 x 180 mm
- Layer thickness: 0.05 – 0.35 mm
- Platform leveling: Manual alignment, software-assisted leveling
- Operating systems: Windows 7/8/10, Mac
- Print technology: Melted extrusion modeling (MEM)
- Material: Designed for PLA but open to other materials
The print head has an extra DC head for additional electronics, and the printer body is designed for the easy attachment of accessories, so it’s ideal for makers considering getting into building their own printers, or for newbies who expect that they’ll want something more complex as their skills evolve.
A silent printer, Cetus could likely be a good choice for libraries or classrooms. It’s highly affordable, too, with a price that starts at $299 – although it’s unclear if that’s going to be the retail price or a special Kickstarter offer. It’s possible that early bird pledges might be able to see even lower costs. We’ll find out in a few weeks – Cetus is planning to launch their Kickstarter campaign on August 20. Stay tuned, and in the meantime, check out a brief preview of the Cetus 3D Printer in action below. Looks impressive: if it can print a detailed, high-resolution Iron Throne, I have a lot of confidence in its capabilities.