MakeX is taking the portability aspect of their new Migo desktop 3D printer a lot more seriously than we thought.
We wrote previously describing this unique machine: it’s a basic 3D printer available at a very good price, but it’s major feature is its portability. This device actually fully operates on battery power alone. It won’t run for days, but it will run long enough to complete a reasonably sized print.
When we say they are serious about portability, we say so because MakeX has actually created a custom-designed backpack specifically for hauling the Migo around while it prints.
This is an unprecedented product. We’ve seen some experimental 3D printing backpacks, specifically Naomi Wu’s wearable 3D printer concept. That venture was a one-off custom designed system by Wu for a particular 3D printer company.
But MakeX’s backpack is not experimental; it is intended to be an actual product you can purchase!
Here you can see how it works. Note there’s a slot at the top for a spare spool of filament. And of course, there is no power cord!
The backpack includes a ready-to-go power supply for the Migo, so you don’t need to tote along its regular external battery system. You need only place the Migo inside the backpack and you can 3D print.
We’re told the backpack weighs less than 1kg, and will come in the silver color only, at least at first. It’s possible they may offer additional colors, likely to match the colors of the Migo itself, in the future.
Does it work? Apparently so. In this video provided by MakeX, a volunteer wears the backpack on a (long) walk, during which a 3D print job runs.
It’s not clear when the backpack will be available, but the impression we get is that they could begin production of the backpack after their launch orders are fulfilled.
Not everyone will need the portability feature, but certainly some will for unusual 3D printing situations. I can imagine this setup being taken on remote expeditions to enable the production of undetermined replacement parts, for example.
The potential for portable 3D printing has not really been properly investigated. We don’t know the specific use cases that would most benefit from the ability to 3D print on demand in power-less situations.
But we’re going to find out as Migo users step into the world with their portable 3D printer.
Meanwhile, the Migo is still available at launch discount pricing at their Kickstarter page.