For all the things it can create in its bosom, your average 3D printer is a lot of work.
The best 3D printers are huge, expensive, and require more space than a young professional’s apartment can afford. On the flip side, cheaper printers are usually unreliable and are about as appealing to the eye as the carcass of a dead rat.
It’s a problem that not many people recognize, but one that San Francisco-based company Kodama wishes to address. They have been solving all sorts of issues in the 3D printing world with their unique designs (such as their Trinus 3D printer that doubles as a laser engraver), and now they’re upping the ante by creating a printer that is reliable, elegant, and most importantly, cheaper than a dad who works at a coupon shop.
Obsidian is a series of 3D printers that seeks to eliminate the notion that more money equals better printing. Featuring a design like a portable ice cube, the project has already been funded on Kickstarter, cracking the $1 Million USD mark, and is turning out to be one of the more accessible printers on the market.
It comes in 3 flavors:
The Obsidian is $99 and is a pretty solid 3D printer in its own right.
The Obsidian Plus is $149 and comes with 400g roll of Obsidian filament for printing, an LCD touchscreen for easy programming and control, and a USB/SD card slot to manually input your designs.
The Obsidian Deluxe is $249 and comes with all Obsidian Plus features but replaces the LCD screen with a SMART LCD touchscreen. It even adds a heated bed for higher quality printing, is compatible with an iOS/ Android app that lets you remotely control your prints, and a camera to watch the process while on your commute home. The camera also allows you to record the whole thing and share it on social media for friends and complete strangers to enjoy.
Despite the different features introduced in each version, the 3D printing process stays the same. Each Obsidian prints at a minimum XY resolution of 50 microns, a printing speed of 70 mm/s, and can build objects in a space of 4.72×4.72×5.72 inches (120x120x120 mm). In addition to standard PLA, it can even print using complex materials such as Nylon, ABS, PETG, and more. It supports the major slicers and has an open firmware based on Marlin.
But if you think it’s still too basic, worry not! The Obsidian designed for a quick start: just plug in the printer, feed in your filament, and print… you know, after you find an incredible 3D model to print. The Obsidian Plus and Obsidian Deluxe also come with a power outage recovery feature that allows you to resume printing even if you accidentally forgot to pay your electric bill (again).
With all these features, a compact design, AND an affordable price, the Obsidian might just be what the world needs to get 3D printing to a wider audience. The Kickstarter project end soon though with all versions still available and an expected ship date of December 2017. Sample print below. Once these ship, let us know about the experience and how the prints turn out for you.