There is so much to say about this incredible design we're not quite sure where to start. Yes, this is, for real, a USD$100 3D printer. But how its price became so low is revolutionary.
Made by Rylan Graston of Rinnovated Design based in Yorkton, Saskatchewan, the Peachy employs not just one but several startling simplifications to the process of 3D printing that significantly reduce its price.
You must understand how this device works. First, it's a resin-based 3D printer, where a laser fuses liquid resin into solid form. That part is not new; many resin 3D printers exist, such as those from 3D Systems and Formlabs. But the mechanical and electronics process used by the Peachy are very different.
The laser is aimed by a movable mirror, controlled by basic electrical circuits. This eliminates the need for (relatively) expensive stepper motors and associated electronics.
But the Peachy goes further. It doesn't employ standard electronic protocols to control the mirror. Instead, and almost unbelievably, it uses an analog tone sequence generated by your PC's audio port, which is heard by a circuit that moves the mirror as the tune proceeds.
There's more. To eliminate virtually all of the movement mechanisms found in almost all other 3d printers, the Peachy leverages plain old gravity. A layer of resin floats on top of salt water in a tank. Above the unit a full reservoir of salt water drips slowly into the lower tank, gradually raising the level of salt water - and consequently the layer of floating resin. Due to gravity, the resin remains perfectly flat, eliminating the need for any leveling procedures. Incredible. You must check the video to see this in action.
The Peachy is not yet available, but it is being offered on a Kickstarter project where you can purchase one of these units for as little as USD$100 - but probably by the time this post publishes, they'll be all gone. You may have to settle for one of the more expensive options, but they're still quite affordable. They've already blown far past their original target of USD$50,000. There's no telling where this raise will end.
Even better, the Peachy adheres to open source policies, meaning you'll likely be able to use similar techniques in your own designs.
The Peachy just changed many things, not the least of which is the price point of 3D printing.