Previously we have covered 3D printer manufacturers who have taken size to an extreme and created machines capable of taking up an entire room of a house. These printers are used to print out large objects, some as large as cars (as in the case of local motors), and others as large as houses. Bigger can certainly be better in cases where those using the 3D printers need to fabricate large objects.
What if you don’t need to print extremely large objects though? What if you merely need to print out small items such as dental molds, rings, and other jewelry? Then you probably want as small of a 3D printer as you can get, while still being able to fabricate these things you need in high resolution. No one wants a large, unsightly machine sitting around their home, when all they want to print out are tiny little objects. This is where a new 3D printer comes into play. The LumiPocket is “the smallest portable high quality 3D printer”, according to the company.
“Last year we developed the first foldable and portable 3d printer, the LumiFold,” Marin Davide, one of the developers of the LumiPocket tells 3DPrint.com. “Now we are a startup and we just launched a new improved version, the Lumipocket, more precise, easier to use and with a design made in collaboration with design experts. It is designed to be low cost and easy to use.”
To raise money for this new “mini” 3D printer, Davide and his team (Manuela Pipino, Marco Salatin, and Dario Boscaratto) have launched an Indiegogo campaign, looking to raise $50,000 by November 18. As an added bonus to those who backed their LumiFold 3D printer previously, they will all get a free LumiPocket.
The LumiPocket is a direct laser processing (DLP) 3D printer that uses a UV light from a projector in order to cure a light sensitive resin. When this happens, the resin is hardened, and layer-by-layer an object is fabricated. There are many DLP based 3D printers on the market already, but none as small and compact as this one. Another feature that is so unique about the LumiPocket is the fact that it can be used to create up to three different objects in their own individual VATs at once. These objects may all use a different color resin, and can be completely independent of one another.
The printer does not come with the needed DLP projector, but you can buy these at many different locations. Here are some specifications of this machine:
- Z resolution of 50/100 micron
- 50 / 100 x and y resolution depending on the projector used
- 100mm diameter and 100mm tall building area
- Tested with SpotGP and FunToDo resins
- Ideal layer times 3000ms-8000ms
LumiPocket promises to make the 3D printing process extremely easy. All you have to do is load a 3D printable STL file into their software, and then click “print”. The software will take care of slicing, Gcode creation and everything else. Also included are 3D printable templates that anyone can easily use and modify. On top of this, the software allows you to design your own objects and is even compatible with Leap Motion.
There are several backer levels to choose from on Indiegogo, ranging from $25 to $799. If you wish to get your hands on the 3D printer, the first 20 backers will be able to purchase it, sans projector, for $379, fully assembled. Once those 20 sell out the price jumps up to $399 for the assembled version, while the unassembled version can be purchased for $379. For $429, you can get your own customized LumiPocket, which includes your name/logo printed on the body of the machine.
It should be interesting to see if they can garner enough interest to raise the $50,000 that they are looking for. Without a doubt, there are plenty of people out there looking for a DLP 3D printer that can easily be transported with them, as well as hidden from sight when not in use.
What do you think? Have you backed the LumiPocket? Discuss in the LumiPocket forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the video introduction by the LumiPocket team below.