Kickstarter-backed Micro looks to bring 3D printing to the masses

It's like a license to (3D) print money...

While most gadget fans would confess to a sense of intrigue when it comes to 3D printers, the financial reality of acquiring one has ensured that eventuality remains a distant dream for some ... until now.

A Kickstarter project offering a compact 3D printer for just US$299 (about AU$322) has smashed its modest US$50,000 goal (AU$54,000) just minutes after going live on the crowd-funding site.

The Micro, which its creators at MD3 say is "the first truly consumer 3D printer," is just 7-inches tall and can print items 4.6-inches in size, making it ideal for printing jewellery, figurines and other small objects.

The plug-and-print device will come with its own custom design software, which the firm say is ideal for beginners and experts alike. It also offers auto-levelling and auto-calibration tools.

Filament spools can be snapped up at the pledge stage for US$12 (about AU$12) a pop, making this an entirely affordable endeavour altogether.

Early birds

The company had been offering an early bird special printer US$199 (AU$214) for the those lucky 250 punters who spotted the listing in time. All told, backers have kicked in over US$460,000 (AU$496,000) on day one alone.

At the time of writing, there are around 1,600 left available at $299, which appears to be the RRP for the production version of the device.

Once they run out, Kickstarter backers will only be able to jump on board by chipping in US$599 (about AU$645) or more to secure a 3D printer from the initial batch.

Via CNET