As the Micro 3D printer by M3D went down in Kickstarter history amassing hundreds of thousands of dollars within its first hour of launching, many users were able to take part in history–and take advantage of putting their money down for a great piece of equipment at an incredible price. Offering compact size, quality, and a turnkey 3D printer great for the novice or any level, the Micro is touted as the “first consumer 3D printer.”
You can’t have it all though, and especially at only $199 on Kickstarter. When it comes to getting what you pay for though–and receiving a quality product–there can’t be many complaints. Others might just be inspired to innovate further and add on what they need, participating in the overall concept of the making community–as well as the venue of the Kickstarter campaign.
For Chase Wichert, it all started with his purchase of the Micro. While the price and quality level were perfect, he began to dream of having a heated print bed for the budget 3D printer, which isn’t really too much of a surprise considering the benefits and conveniences offered. Users get tired of dealing with inferior 3D prints, warping, and often all-out disaster due to the lack of heated and malleable filament.
Wichert discovered that others, in finding specific 3D printing requirements and needs not being currently fulfilled by the Micro, had made their own additions with hacks as well as off-the-shelf parts. It occurred to Wichert that others might enjoy his innovation combined with the Micro as it stands, so he went back to where all the magic happened for the Micro M3D printer and has just launched a Kickstarter campaign for a heated print bed to accompany it, with hopes to fund $16,000 by August 19th.
“From day one the backers noticed that it would be a much more functional printer if we were able to have a heated print bed,” states Wichert on his Kickstarter page. “Several people bought existing parts off the shelf and created [their] own and they worked well.”
Wichert had a custom heated print bed made for him. Along with that, for a functional prototype, he added:
- A custom circuit board
- Sourced electrical components
- Custom programming using PWM to control the board
Wichert states that although he has a working prototype, he would like to perform some little tweaks like having the connector soldered on in an area that doesn’t affect the space needed for–or performance of–the heat bed. He also desires higher quality circuit boards, with plans to machine those out.
For installing the heated print bed to the M3D itself, Wichert has conveniently made use of the holes in its base. After squeezing the silicone tubing about, one just inserts the mount, tightens the screw, and puts the bed on top, screwing it down. Wichert plans for all parts to be made out of high-temperature material like nylon or high-temperature polyurethane.
Like its inspiration, the Micro, the price for this product is incentive enough to try it out, without even going over $90, no matter which option you choose. Beginning at $35, the heated bed only is available with the 100k thermistor installed. For $70, supporters receive ‘The Tinker’s Kit,” which requires assembly of everything needed for the complete heat bed, to cables with crimped on ends. Soldering is required. At the $80-90 mark, supporters receive a turnkey heated print bed, ready to plug in and go.
Will you be supporting this campaign? Discuss in the Heated Print Bed for Micro M3D 3D Printer forum thread over at 3DPB.com.