Pirate 3D launched a crowd funding campaign on Kickstarter only a few days ago for their low cost 3D Printer named the Buccaneer. At $349 its the cheapest fully assembled 3D printer we’ve ever seen. It’s also claiming that its the easiest to use through their intuitive iPad app and is targeted purely at the home user. The Buccaneer only prints in PLA at this stage but they are hinting that a heated bed will be available in the future for printing with ABS. The filament cartridge is mounted above the extruder and feeds from a loose coil. Having experience filament jams when running feed systems like this I am a little concerned that this may cause problems however it does offer the advantage of being able to run just about any 1.75mm material through the machine. I guess we won’t know until people start using them.
The design of the Buccaneer is quiet unique from an industrial and mechanical design perspective. The X/Y axis are based around a CoreXY system. The CoreXY has the perfect balance of speed and space efficiency however it needs to be incredibly rigid, or it will not move correctly. Pirate 3D designing the system around stamped steel parts and claim to have managed to create an XY platform that is extremely rigid yet very economical to produce. Also the Z-Axis has the linear rails fixed to the print bed which move up and down as it print, which is the opposite of most other FDM 3D Printers. From a design stand point the Buccaneer is very minimal and is a contrast to other low cost 3D printers on the market. The only issue I have is that you cannot see the print bed when its laying down the first few layers which is usually fairly critical to make sure you part bonds well to the print bed.
If your interested in pre-ordering a Buccaneer sail on over to their kickstarter campaign, but you’ll be waiting a while to received it as they won’t be shipping for a good 6 months (December 2013). This should give them sufficient time to manufacture the machine but I wonder if they will struggle to keep up with demand given that they have gone 4 times over their funding goal in just a few days.
Video after the jump…