For what is likely the very first time, a 3D printer is being sold by a major outlet for less than USD$100.
iMakr is marketing the ultra-low cost “STARTT” 3D printer at this ridiculously low price that could entice some to try out 3D printing for the first time.
The STARTT is actually a kit that you must assemble yourself. Once done, you’ll find yourself with a functional, but poorly-featured desktop 3D printer with a print volume of 120 x 140 x 130mm, big enough for simple prints, which is probably all that will be attempted on this introductory device.
The STARTT has an unheated print surface, meaning you will be able to attempt 3D printing PLA plastic only, which isn’t such an issue, as many people prefer to print in PLA. There is, obviously, only one print head on this device, but it can reach 275C, hot enough to 3D print ABS plastic if one would want to attempt doing so. It appears to be made from shaky laser-cut acrylic and rudimentary components, but again, that’s what you should expect on a machine at this price level.
It doesn’t have automatic leveling, WiFi networking, cloud services, touch screen or even a spool holder, but it does work. It is a 3D printer. iMakr describes it as: Not the best 3D printer you can buy, but the first 3D printer you will buy. There is one advanced feature, however: interchangeable nozzles in sizes 0.3, 0.4 and 0.5mm for increased speed or higher resolution 3D printing.
Software is the open source CURA, but there doesn’t seem to be a pre-made profile for STARTT. iMakr’s instructions in this video show that you must use the Robo3D profile, then change the build volume and the name to create the STARTT profile. Not as smooth as it could be, but it definitely will work.
Of the 3D printers you can buy that actually work, this is probably not the greatest as they say. But in a family venue, this could be a very interesting item, as it would provide a project for kids and parents to assemble and then actually produce objects – all for USD$99, the price of a couple of fancy coffees. Well, perhaps I’m exaggerating, but it is pretty cheap!
If you’re not sure about this purchase, I recommend you watch this video from iMakr, which shows quite a bit about how to operate the simple device.
For those thinking about trying out 3D printing, this might be your ticket to start. But be warned, it won’t be pretty.