Last year was the year in which desktop 3D printers saw staggering price declines. Spurred on by the open source community, we saw printer after printer emerge on crowdfunding platforms such as Indiegogo and Kickstarter, many of which were trying to undercut one another on price. Throughout the course of the year, we saw 3D printers drop to as low as a couple hundred bucks before two companies had to cancel their crowdfunding campaigns once realizing that it was impossible to fulfill such promises.
Here we are in 2015, and although many new printers have come to market, the price wars have slowed down somewhat. There is no doubt that if an affordable, reliable sub-$200 3D printer comes to market, that this market would grow substantially and mainstream adoption within the consumer space would pick up steam.
A new startup, based out of Ontario, Canada, called Tiko3D wants to do just this. The company has been working for months on a 3D printer, and in November of last year won the Ignite Startup Competition, providing them with $25,000 in cash to continue developing their low-cost machine.
Founded by CEO Matt Gajkowski, Business Analyst Sharon Charitar and Mike Zhang, Tiko3D has just unveiled their 3D Printer at SXSW in Austin, Texas this week. They’ve also revealed that they will be turning to Kickstarter for additional funding sometime in the next week, pricing the printer at just $179. If that isn’t exciting enough, the company also has stated that early bird Kickstarter backers will get the opportunity to pre-order the Tiko3D printer for an even cheaper price.
The printer relies on a delta-style setup instead of the typical Cartesian setup we are all used to seeing. Although the exact specifications have yet to be announced, the printer will be capable of utilizing a very large portion of the build platform for printing.
“We set out to make the end effector as small as possible, which allows the users to utilize a large print area,” explained Sharon Charitar to 3DPrint.com
The company has been able to reduce the price of this new machine by making design tweaks, as well as removing some key components you may be used to finding in a typical 3D printer. For instance, the Tiko3D printer does not have a fan built into, or along side the extruder. Instead it relies on an innovative new design where open tubes run up to the print head, which act as vents, taking heat away from the extruder, making sure it does not overheat. The design of the printer is incredibly simple, but at the same time very sleek and easy on the eye. As for print material, the Tiko3D printer can use non-proprietary filament and the filament tray fits a standard sized 1kg spool.
Innovation doesn’t just end with the hardware, however. The company has also been working diligently on cloud-based software, which enables a user to access their library and printer prep screen all through a typical web browser. Because of its simplicity, the printer does not have a USB port, instead relying on a WiFi connection.
As long as this new printer is able to reliably print items without any major hassles, it certainly should be a hit on Kickstarter, once launched. For additional information and to be notified when this machine launches on Kickstarter you may sign up for the company’s newsletter at Tiko3D.com. Let us know your thoughts on this new machine in the Tiko3D forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the video below: