Baby 3D prints in your hand, gets put away in a shoebox.
Whereas a vast majority of companies are constantly looking for new ways to increase the build volume of their 3D printers, one group of Long Island-based Makers have set out to do just the opposite. Their goal? To put a 3D printer right in the palm of your hand.
While it may sound like a crazy idea, think about it: Measuring just 6.3” x 5” x 8″ in size, you can bring the aptly named Baby 3D anywhere you want to go. And sure, it may not produce the most high-res objects known to man, it is still capable of extruding objects in less than six minutes. This makes it ideal for those working on a quick project at home, inside the classroom or even while enjoying a cup ‘o joe at the coffee shop.
“The purpose is to bring 3D printing to people who can’t fit a large 3D printer into their lives, or would like a small 3D printer for learning, or as a spare 3D printer, or simply for the novelty of it,” its creators explain.
If Baby 3D looks vaguely familiar, it’s because the printer is a miniaturized clone of the Printrbot Simple 1405 Edition. The uber mini and lightweight (only 2.5 pounds) machine can comfortably rest in your hand as it prints, while taking up no more table space than a sheet of paper.
Designed with the education community in mind, Baby 3D comes in DIY kit form and due to its small form factor, 10 printers can be easily stored inside one case — that’s perfect for classroom storage! What’s more, it is entirely open source, which enables Makers and students alike to duplicate and customize their own.
One of its most notable features, however, is its newly unveiled nozzle: the Baby 3D Thermal Barrier, which is about an inch long and will take the hassle out of tiny print jobs.
“The PTFE-lined filament path provides smooth transfer and has been tested for over a year and on multiple platforms. The thermal barrier is compatible with several mainstream heat blocks and nozzles,” the team writes. “This very small, lightweight part provides a great solution for small and miniature printer design. Source artwork for the thermal barrier will be released along with all other Baby 3D source materials, so that schools and individuals can manufacture their own.”
Sound like a handheld 3D printer you’ve always dreamed of? Head over to Baby 3D’s Kickstarter campaign, where it is currently seeking $40,000. Delivery is slated for June 2016.