Awesome tech you can’t buy yet: Liquid plastic welders and cheap 3D printers

At any given moment there are approximately a zillion different crowdfunding campaigns happening on the Web. Take a stroll through Kickstarter or Indiegogo and you’ll find no shortage of weird, useless, and downright stupid projects out there – alongside some real gems. We’ve cut through the Pebble clones and janky iPhone cases to round up the most unusual, ambitious, and exciting new crowdfunding projects out there this week. That said, keep in mind that any crowdfunding project — even the best intentioned — can fail, so do your homework before cutting a check for the gadget of your dreams.

Obsidian — $99 3D printer

3D printers are getting cheaper. Drastically cheaper, in fact. In the early days, it wasn’t uncommon for even the most basic printer to carry a price tag upwards of $3,000, but in just a few years’ time the average price has plummeted. Nowadays, there are dozens of printers you can get for under 500 bucks, and some are even cheaper than that. Obsidian is the latest addition to this sub-$200 club. Priced at just $99 on Kickstarter, it’s easily one of the most affordable printers we’ve ever laid eyes on.

Aside from its promise of VR-integrated design and ridiculously low price tag, the big selling points of the Obsidian 3D printer are its out-of-the-box, assembly-free ease of use and attractive appearance.

Starting at $99 for your choice of either a black or white model, it aims to spit out objects that are a comparable quality to printers with a considerably higher price tag. A higher tier $249 “Obsidian Deluxe” model comes with additional features such as a Smart LCD screen, heated bed, built-in camera, and more.

Cero One — Front-loading electric cargo bike

Be it a big or small basket, a simple platform, or a few tie down straps on the rear rack, the Cero One has the ability to undertake some serious hauling. Touting up to 12 different combinations, Cero Bikes specifically constructed the bicycle differently from much of what’s currently on the market. Featuring a smaller front wheel to assist with bigger front cargo, it also relies on a lower center of gravity to achieve excellent stability. The company also outfitted the bike with wide balloon tires to increase the balance and smoothness of the ride

Outside of its construction, the Cero One also offers several pedal-assisted drive modes. Capable of cruising at speeds of up to 20 miles per hour, buyers can expect to get 44 miles out of its High drive mode, 62 when switched to Normal, and an astounding 93 miles when set to Eco mode. For most people who want a commuter bike, these ranges are more than capable of serving them on a day-to-day basis.

MummyPod — hammock-focused sleeping bag

As hammock camping continues to grow in popularity, the available gear has continued to evolve over the past few years. Case in point? A company called Outdoor Vitals recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to help crowdfund a new product called the MummyPod, an all-in-one sleep system designed from the ground up with hammock campers in mind.

The complete MummyPod system consists of three individual parts: a sleeping bag, hammock, and a rain tarp. All those elements were designed to work together to create a lightweight yet highly versatile option that can be used virtually anywhere. The entire system weighs just 4.4 pounds and packs down to an incredibly small footprint, taking up less room in a backpack than a traditional sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and tent.

When deployed, the MummyPod acts as a cocoon, wrapping around the exterior of your hammock to provide warmth and protection from the elements. This is unlike traditional sleeping bags that sit inside the sling itself.

Smart Buckle — smart wristwatch band

Why buy a new smartwatch when you can just smarten up your old watch? That’s the question Gooseberry answers with its Smart Buckle, a little device that goes a long way with your existing accessories. It’s heralded as the first device that “intelligently upgrades classic timepieces with advanced step, calorie, activity, and sleep monitoring capabilities.”

So if you don’t want to give up the feel of your familiar watch but want some innovative technology, this could be the solution for you.

“Many of us have worn our watches for years, sometimes as a tradition and other times as a personal fashion choice,” Alexei Levene, co-founder of Gooseberry said. “We wanted to create a product that allows people to wear their favorite timepieces while also being able to have access to smartwatch capabilities, such as fitness tracking, making use of current technology trends.”

All you have to do to breathe new life into your existing watch is replace the buckle — from there, you can track how many calories you’ve burned, the distance you’ve traveled, your pace, and even your sleep habits.

Bondic Evo — liquid plastic welding

Glue is incredibly useful, but it’s not exactly the most user-friendly stuff in the world. It’s messy, unwieldy, and difficult to apply with any degree of precision. But now, thanks to dentist-turned-inventor Dr. Thomas Offermann, there might a better alternative. Instead of haphazardly squeezing some adhesive out of a tube, Offerman’s Bondic system allows you to join two materials together with liquid plastic that hardens under UV light. You know those little UV glue guns that dentists use to fill minor cavities before they get too serious? It’s basically the exact same adhesive technology, just tweaked a little and redesigned for a different purpose.

To use Bondic — or more specifically, the new-and-improved Bondic Evo — you simply apply the desired amount of liquid plastic to whatever you’re hoping to repair. The goop can bond practically anything (plastic, metal, fiberglass, wood, fabric, etc.), and the high-precision extrusion tip allows you to apply exactly as much adhesive as you need.

This adhesive will remain in liquid form until you hit it with a blast of UV light, so you’re free to fiddle with it and make adjustments before you commit to hardening. After about four seconds of direct UV exposure, the plastic becomes hard as a rock but not so hard that it resists sanding and finishing. You can file it down and smooth it out when you’re done or add extra layers for additional strength.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Smart Home

GHSP makes a (back)splash with its touchscreen concept kitchen

One of the coolest concept kitchens from CES 2019 came from GHSP. It created a backsplash entirely made of touchscreens. That means the control panel for your kitchen is accessible no matter where you are.
Emerging Tech

Researchers discover a way to make 3D printing 100 times faster using light

Researchers at the University of Michigan have invented a new method of 3D printing which is up to 100 times faster than conventional 3D-printing processes. Here's how it works and why it could prove a game-changer for 3D printing.
Emerging Tech

The best 3D printers for 2019

On the hunt for a new 3D printer? We've got your back. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned veteran, this list of the best 3D printers has what you're looking for.
Computing

Don't spend a fortune on a PC. These are the best laptops under $300

Buying a laptop needn't mean spending a fortune. If you're just looking to browse the internet, answer emails, and watch Netflix, you can pick up a great laptop at a great price. These are the best laptops under $300.
Computing

Dell XPS 13 vs. Asus Zenbook 13: In battle of champions, who will be the victor?

The ZenBook 13 UX333 continues Asus's tradition of offering great budget-oriented 13-inch laptop offerings. Does this affordable machine offer enough value to compete with the excellent Dell XPS 13?
Product Review

LG Gram 14 proves 2-in-1 laptops don’t need to sacrifice battery for light weight

The LG Gram 14 2-in-1 aims to be very light for a laptop that converts to a tablet. And it is. But it doesn’t skimp on the battery, and so it lasts a very long time on a charge.
Gaming

Take a trip to a new virtual world with one of these awesome HTC Vive games

So you’re considering an HTC Vive, but don't know which games to get? Our list of 25 of the best HTC Vive games will help you out, whether you're into rhythm-based gaming, interstellar dogfights, or something else entirely.
Computing

The Asus ZenBook 13 offers more value and performance than Apple's MacBook Air

The Asus ZenBook 13 UX333 is the latest in that company's excellent "budget" laptop line, and it looks and feels better than ever. How does it compare to Apple's latest MacBook Air?
Computing

AMD Radeon VII will support DLSS-like upscaling developed by Microsoft

AMD's Radeon VII has shown promise with early tests of an open DLSS-like technology developed by Microsoft called DirectML. It would provide similar upscale features, but none of the locks on hardware choice.
Computing

You could be gaming on AMD’s Navi graphics card before the end of the summer

If you're waiting for a new graphics card from AMD that doesn't cost $700, you may have to wait for Navi. But that card may not be far away, with new rumors suggesting we could see a July launch.
Computing

Is AMD's Navi back on track for 2019? Here's everything you need to know

With a reported launch in 2019, AMD is focusing on the mid-range market with its next-generation Navi GPU. Billed as a successor to Polaris, Navi promises to deliver better performance to consoles, like Sony's PlayStation 5.
Computing

Cortana wants to be friends with Alexa and Google Assistant

Microsoft no longer wants to compete against Amazon's Alexa and Google's Assistant in the digital assistant space. Instead, it wants to transform Cortana into a skill that can be integrated into other digital assistants.
Computing

Microsoft leans on A.I. to resume safe delivery of Windows 10 Update

Microsoft is leaning on artificial intelligence as it resumes the automatic rollout of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update. You should start seeing the update soon now that Microsoft has resolved problems with the initial software.