Right now, the cost of a desktop 3D printer is out of reach for many consumers, which prevents the technology from reaching widespread saturation. But for those waiting on the sidelines for 3D printers to become more affordable, the wait may soon be over. Pirate 3D just launched a Kickstarter campaign for The Buccaneer, a new 3D printer that will retail with a price point of just $347 when it hits the market in December.
The beauty of The Buccaneer is that it costs just a little bit more than an inkjet printer, and it’s very easy to use. Pirate 3D’s aim is to provide a 3D printing solution for home consumers, and it looks like they’ve borrowed from Apple’s design philosophy. The software that comes with the printer makes it easy for users to hook it up to a computer and create unique designs.
As a sign of how much demand there is for a 3D printer like the Buccaneer, Pirate 3D was able to raise $1.4 million in a recently Kickstarter campaign — about 10 times its original goal. On the campaign site, Pirate 3D compares the Buccaneer with the MakerBot Replicator 2 — the closest competitor currently on the market — which retails for $2,199, more than six times the price. And unlike the Replicator, the Buccaneer is mobile enabled, and it doesn’t require cable hookups because it’s also wifi enabled.
Speaking to Co.Design, Pirate 3D founder Roger Chang described the current moment in the evolution of 3D printing as being similar to the early personal computer era. “People would ask why you would want a computer at home. But then developers jumped on board and built useful software.” The Buccaneer is clearly modeled after Apple products, but it remains to be seen whether it will enjoy the same market appeal as Apple’s personal computers.