The Buccaneer, A Cheap, Simple & Beautiful 3D Printer for everyone.

Jun 4, 2013 | Tech News

So 3D Printing….Everyone’s talking about it, but in many ways it feels a little like the early days of ‘Virtual Reality’ where there was a lot of hype but the promise of it never quite fulfilled (at least in the short term) in the impactful, mass market way that everyone thought it would. It’s clear however that you’ve got to start somewhere and even in just a few short years there’s been some massive strides.

If you’re not familiar it’s basically exactly what it says. Using software you design, or download a 3D model and feed it to the printer. The printer will use a material (often extruded plastic) in order to output a physical object layer by layer. The resolution of these printers is becoming increasingly detailed allowing for highly complex, beautiful and practical shapes to be printed on demand. Prices for the printers have until recently been in the ~$1000-$2000 range such as the ‘Makerbot’.

Still a fair amount of money for the average hobbyist, but with the advent of The Buccaneer, things have gotten very interesting. At a price point of ~$350 you get everything you need to start creating and printing plastic objects of quite impressive detail from your computer or mobile device. The printer itself is very Apple-esque and futuristic looking with an emphasis on simple to use software vs. the more professional and flexible higher end solutions.

While the true practicality of such a device is probably still a little questionable, I think there’s a lot to be said for experimentation and play, whether you’re an adult or a child. Creating your own puzzles, models, or caricatures of your friends should be a breeze and I can imagine that in the hands of a creative kid, there’s a lot of both knowledge and fun to be had. As the technology improves and becomes more pervasive, the same skills will be relevant and what better way to get someone involved in the intersection of craft, technology and engineering. Maybe a few years from now kids will be printing their own custom lego blocks or even trading them amongst each other.

From a marketing perspective, if you have a ubiquity of devices you can imagine starting to offer custom figurines of sports players or musicians, Episodic content in the form of pieces of a new model car that you might construct over time or even clothing, jewelry, cellphone cases, accessories, etc. A space to watch and we plan on getting one to play with at the lab here soon.


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