The Peachy was billed as the first sub-USD$100 3D printer - in 2013! Tt still hasn’t shipped, but it may do so very soon.
One of the bigger stories in 3D printing in late 2013 was the announcement of the first sub-USD$100 3D printer by a previously unknown Saskatchewan-based startup. At that time the typical price of 3D printer kit was still in the USD$800 range, and assembled 3D printers cost over USD$2,000. So this USD$100 device seemed remarkable.
This remarkability resulted in a massive crowdfunding round of over USD$700,000 and got the company going to develop the machine fully.
However, as happens to many crowdfunding ventures, the product didn’t ship.
One might suspect that the company simply failed or gave up, but that’s definitely not the case with the Peachy. Their team has actually been working continuously on the project since 2013, and now they’re nearing shipment of their first units.
But first, a refresher on the nature of this radically different 3D printing approach. It’s of very low cost because there’s almost nothing to it, based on their ingenious design:
- A PC running a Blender plug-in slices the model and literally plays tones over the audio output jack
- The “printer” is simply a device that listens to the tones and wobbles a mirror appropriately to deflect a laser beam at the liquid resin
- The tank of liquid resin underneath the “printer” is gravity drip fed and automatically synchronizes with the software to match layer height
It’s quite a good design, but it turned out that the Peachy team found some bugs and endeavored to fix them. While some projects might have shipped shoddy equipment with known problems, the Peachy team did not. They decided simply to delay until the machine worked. After many months of product development, they’ve got a device that works reliably.
However, then they started working on production, and discovered they had to ALSO design methods of efficiently producing and packaging the units, which resulted in further delays.
Now they say they’re ready:
This month we’ve been working long and hard to smooth out the kinks on our production line. We'd produce a kit, build and test it, make a list of known issues, implement solutions, and then repeat. Over the month of December we went through this cycle about 5 times. We implemented hundreds of small but important changes to the hardware, production tools, documentation, and organization of our system. As a result we can happily say we produced a batch of kits that require no changes!
The first official V1 kits off the line! The first official V1 kits off the line!
We will be sending one to our shipping partner, and the remaining 10 will go to a selection of beta testers. These first 10 will provide valuable feedback on the instructions, and help the support community scale smoothly as more people receive their printers over the coming months. These first printers will likely be sent out over the next week as we receive address confirmations.
And best of all:
We are now ready to start scaling up production runs. We are confident that all of the beta testers and most of the early birds will have kits in their hands by the end of January!
Good things come to those who wait.
Via Peachy Printer