Back when it first launched on Kickstarter in 2014, M3D’s Micro 3D printer was an instant hit. The campaign gathered more than $3.4 million from backers and secured M3D a spot in the crowdfunding record books — but like many crowdfunded contraptions, the final product didn’t quite live up to the lofty, high-flying promises of the company’s campaign. Much to our disappointment, the printer was slow, unreliable, and difficult to maintain.
But M3D is determined to turn things around. Ever since the Micro hit the market, the company has been gathering feedback from users — and actually listening to it. Today at CE week 2016 in New York City, the company unveiled a new printer — dubbed the M3D Pro — that addresses all the flaws and shortcomings of the M3D Micro.
“The M3D Pro represents a new benchmark in product development in our industry,” said M3D co-founder and CEO Michael Armani. “We’ve designed the Pro to have all of the capabilities of a commercial printer at a cost consumers want. It’s the natural next step for the industry, transcending the limitations of casual use and allowing users to create more practical, everyday objects — whether it’s a customized print to add that finishing touch to a cosplay outfit, printing out a difficult-to-source part for a budding DIY project, or everyday household goods.”
As per user requests, the new-and-improved M3D printer features a range of advanced features and specs that were notably absent from the Micro. First and foremost, the Pro model is equipped with a tempered-glass heated bed, which improves adhesion and helps prevent warping, two things that the Micro tends to struggle with. The Pro also boasts a larger build envelope, and allows users to print objects up to 7.8 inches tall and 7.2 inches wide — a considerable improvement over the Micro’s 4.29 inches by 4.45 inches. And best of all, the new printer is much quicker than its predecessor, boasting a travel speed of up to 120 mm/s.
M3D also stuffed this device full of sensors and internal memory, which makes it more reliable than ever before. Thanks to these additions, the M3D Pro doesn’t need to stay plugged into your computer, and can also recover from print failures. If the power goes out, or your print stalls in the middle of a job due to a filament jam, the printer can pick up where it left off when you’re ready to start printing again.
The M3D Pro will be available for pre-order by August 2016, at which point you’ll be able to get your paws on one for $500.
updated on 7/7/2016: added video interview from CE Week.