The Buccaneer: Home 3D Printing for Under $500

by Matthew Wellington on June 30, 2013

The Kickstarter Buccaneer Low Cost 3D PrinterThe ability of 3D printing technology to create beautiful models and real objects such as toys, violins, guitars, cups and even a gun (The Liberator); has sparked worldwide interest in the technology.

Not forgetting that 3D printing is often far better than mass production of products particularly in the economic front.

These among other potential benefits of the technology have triggered great anxiety from households longing for the conversion of 3D printing into a mainstream technology, which can be used by the overall consumer population.

Despite the widespread knowledge and interests in 3D printing nonetheless, one thing has managed to hinder efforts of bringing 3D printing technology to households: Sky-High Prices of 3D Printers. 3D printers have for quite some time been generally way too expensive for small businesses, let alone household consumers, to afford.

Although prices have been significantly dropping over the years, until recently the cheapest printers were still over $1000, which in today’s economy is rather expensive for a majority of the buyers to willingly part with.

However, the Kickstarter Buccaneer Project may finally provide the world with the cheapest 3D printer to ever exist. If the project successfully goes through, the Buccaneer will be one of the first home 3D printers to be sold for under $500.

A California based company called Pirates3D is the brain behind the mechanics and design of creating the Buccaneer. According to Pirates3D, the company wants to be the one of the first to provide the masses with an efficient easy to use 3D printer that is affordable to all household consumers. Through Kickstarter funding, Pirates3D aims at providing the much awaited 3D printing solution for home users.

So far, the idea of the Buccaneer has been well received by the public. Pirates3D’s $100,000 goal was met in just 10 minutes after the campaign began.

Advantages of the Buccaneer over Regular Printers

First of all, its frugal price is definitely a huge benefit that sets the Buccaneer far apart from conventional 3D printers. With a new Buccaneer selling for under $500, a large segment of household consumers will be able to afford to purchase their own 3D printers ‘without the need to break a bank’.

The amazing thing though is that the Buccaneer has many other advantages over regular printers besides just its affordable pricing.

Aesthetic Appeal

To start with, the Buccaneer is designed with a stunning visual appeal. Unlike many of the typical 3D printers which do not give much attention to aesthetics, the Buccaneer looks slick and modern instantly attracting anybody who cares to look at it. Its casing is smooth and eye-catching similar to those of the famous Apple products. As a result, it is a printer that you’ll be proud to have on your desk or will have no problem showing off to your friends.

Moreover, the Buccaneer is compact and size efficient, with all wires fitted inside the exterior casing. What’s more, the 3D printing materials that it uses are uniquely spooled in the form of cartridges so you won’t have to bear with filaments spread all over your table. This makes it quite a decent machine to acquire regardless of whether you are using it at the office or at home.

Ease of Use

The Buccaneer has a 3D Design Software plus an inbuilt ‘Smart Objects Program’ that make it exceptionally easy to use. The smart objects program has templates of many designs and objects.

When using the printer, one needs to drag or click on the template that matches the object you would like to print. This will allow you to customize it then finally print whatever model or product that you had in mind. You therefore do not necessarily need to know how to use 3D modeling software to use the Buccaneer.

Cloud and Wi-Fi Printing

The cloud printing feature of the Buccaneer is one of the coolest benefits of investing in this 3D printing machine. This feature makes the Buccaneer to be not only compatible with PCs but a Mac laptop and mobile devices as well.

Currently there is no other 3D printer that can be connected to a mobile device other than the Buccaneer. Cloud printing means that you can use your Buccaneer to print digital designs on your mobile phone remotely. Basically, you are not only limited to using the printer from your PC like is the case with most of the other classical 3D printers.

How the Buccaneer Works

Given its unique capabilities, the Buccaneer works a bit different from the way an ordinary 3D printer does. The first thing before getting to use the printer is making the right setup. Once you plug the Buccaneer to power, a red light will be visible which is expected to inform you that you need to complete the setup steps for it to connect to the PC, laptop or mobile device you are using. Remember the final step of the setup should be to load the printing filament through the top of the printer.

Successful completion of the setup will be evident once the red light turns to blue. The blue light will mean that your Buccaneer is ready for 3D printing. At this point you can either use the modeling software on your PC to design the object you want to print or you can take advantage of the ‘Smart Objects Program’ if you don’t know how to use 3D modeling software.

When Will the Buccaneer Hit the Market?

Due to the promising support by the public, the Kickstarter fundraising campaign of the Buccaneer is likely to help take the project through the production stage as planned. The project had raised over half a million dollars the first four days since it was launched. At that time, more than 1400 backers had already made their pledges.

The pledge was $397 plus a $50 shipping charge making the overall cost $447. Each printer will be sold together with 5 cartridges.

If everything goes on according to plan, Pirates3D will start delivering the produced units by December. The Buccaneer is however anticipated to fully hit the market by April 2014. Well, the Buccaneer is certainly a dream come true and it will undoubtedly bring 3D printing to the household level.

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