3D printing has struck the mainstream, but with the prices of many 3D printers stuck firmly in the four-digit range, many of us can't afford one of our own. But there is hope. With 27 days still to go, the low-cost Peachy Printer has shattered its $50,000 crowdfunding goal and will soon be delivering dirt-cheap 3D printing and scanning to almost anyone.
The Peachy Printer is both a 3D printer and scanner, and it'll only cost you 100 bucks. It's also one of the smallest 3D printers that we've ever seen, capable of being taken with you wherever you might need it. Of course, all this functionality does come with a drawback or two, but thankfully these caveats don't seem prohibitive when it comes to owning or using the Peachy printer.
First of all there's the 3D scanner: it's not actually included unless you spring for the $350 version of the Peachy printer rig. That doesn't mean you can't get the same functionality out of the printer, though. All you need to start 3D scanning objects is an HD camera of your own, and you're in business. Simply place the object you want to scan into your Peachy, plug in your camera and begin shooting video of the object while the Peachy draws a laser across the surface. Once this is complete, you'll have a scan which can then be used to print copies.
The Peachy also prints differently than most other 3D printers out there, so if you're experienced with printers like the MakerBot Replicator 2, you're in for a bit of an adjustment. The resin which the Peachy uses floats on saltwater, and it's the floating nature of the resin which gives Peachy its unique printing style. Starting with a layer of resin at the bottom of the print area, the Peachy slowly feeds in saltwater, effectively raising the plane upon which the resin sits. A laser is then fired at the resin in the areas which your object is being printed, cooking the resin in place as it rises. This is what's called a photolithographic process.
For those wishing to have a sturdy, no-nonsense 3D printer at home, the Peachy might not be the perfect printer for you. Resembling something more akin to a chemistry set than a traditional inkjet, rest assured the Peachy will need a bit of attention to get those prints and scans to come out just right. But that's a small price to pay — both figuratively and literally — for a 3D printer and scanner accessible to the masses. Check out the project's Kickstarter video below to see the Peachy in action, and head on over to the project page itself, here, to grab up a Peachy Printer of your own. As of this article's writing there were still plenty of $100 Peachy kits to go around.