Shenzen, China-based 101Hero says it can bring 3D printing to the masses for less than the price of a fancy steak dinner, and is asking help from Kickstarter backers to make it a reality. While all the $49 “early bird” spots to get an actual working model of the 3D printer are gone, there are still several spots available to get it for $74, which includes two filaments.
The printer will ship 90% assembled, with a power supply compatible to your country’s power system. 101Hero does say you’ll “need to turn a few screws.” but at such a low cost, especially for a fully working 3D printer, it just might be worth the extra effort.
101Hero had initially planned to launch its product in December 2014, but issues surrounding the prototyping phase delayed launch until now. The Kickstarter is fully funded (nearly $59,000 raised, almost three times the goal), so barring any big hiccups in manufacturing, the first 3D printers should begin shipping sometime around October 2016.
Now in all fairness, after seeing the snafu that happened with the Peachy Printer, some Kickstarter backers might be understandably leery of yet another sub-$100 3D printer. It’s worth noting, however, that the Peachy team was actually well on its way to making the printer a reality, and the project was only derailed because one of the company’s co-founders secretly embezzled over $300,000 CAD from company funds.
Low-level backers will get a version of the 101Hero that requires the 3D print files to be loaded onto an SD card in order to print. Those who pledge their support with larger donations will get USB functionality, allowing the 101Hero printer to be used just like a conventional one.
As for filament options, it’s pretty much wide open. 101Hero will produce its own filaments, but the company says you can use just about any standard 1.75 millimeter PLA, HIPS, and ABS filament available on the market. Pledge $99 and you don’t only get the printer, but 10 different colors of filament.
For those of us leery of high-flying, sounds-too-good-to-be-true crowdfunding campaigns, there’s no immediate word as to when 101Hero plans to make its printer available commercially. If/when that happens though, the company reportedly plans to set a retail price of $99 for printer, which will include two spools of filament in the package.