Last week I hosted a small, yet very successful meetup in my home, in which I invited friends, family, and colleagues over for a few drinks and some snacks. The purpose of the meetup was to teach them about 3D printing. No, I am not completely altruistic in nature. I actually found it exciting to show off my two 3D printers, and my guests wanted to learn about them, so it worked out well.
They took a lot of knowledge away about the technology, and I took away quite a bit of knowledge about what turned them off and what excited them most about 3D printing. The number one complaint I heard all night, as I printed out a few objects on a my FDM printers, was, “I don’t like how the prints have rough lines all over them.” This was referring to the rough edges that objects printed on FDM printers have, due to the layering of the plastic as it is extruded.
It just so happened that soon after this meetup, I also stumbled upon a Kickstarter project for the MagicBox. The MagicBox is a product created by a Taiwanese company, Sky Tech. It’s a machine that looks relatively similar to a 3D printer, but instead of printing an object, it’s where the objects go to get a nice polishing. The MagicBox uses an acetone vapor bath to smooth the lines of any PLA or ABS printed object. When the process is finished, it leaves a shiny plastic print, one which looks like it wasn’t 3D printed at all.
Forty days still remain on the the Kickstarter project, which has already blown away its stated goal of $20,000. At the time of publishing this article, the Magic Box has raised over $47,000 from 114 different backers.
The specifications of the Magicbox are as follows:
- Total Size: 30cm x 30cm x 29cm
- Chamber Size: 25cm x 25cm x 20cm
- Weight: 5kg
- Power: 100-240V A/C, 50/60HZ
- Works with ABS, PLA
Once the product hits retail shelves, it will sell for $699. Currently backers of the Kickstarter project can pick the device up for only $429. This is clearly something that needs to come to market, as current 3D prints do in fact look “3D printed”. Once a cheap, reliable method of polishing objects can prove itself, in-home 3D printers will all become even more valuable to the end users.
Discuss this polishing system at the MagicBox Forum thread. Also check out the MagicBox Kickstarter video below.
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