Kickstarter, etc

$100 3D printer SparkMaker SLA reaches Kickstarter goal in 20 minutes

After launching on Kickstarter 27 July 2017 the SparkMaker desktop SLA 3D printer exceeded its $20,000 goal.

As of the time of writing this article, the project has a total of 749 backers, a pledge fund of $145,732, and still 44 days to go.

So what’s with all the fuss?

3D printing on the SparkMaker. Graphic clip via SparkMaker WOW! on Kickstarter.
3D printing on the SparkMaker. Graphic clip via SparkMaker WOW! on Kickstarter.

A sub $100 desktop SLA 3D printer

The main selling point of the SparkMaker is its price point. 200 super early bird backers on Kickstarter got one of the 3D printers and a 100g sample resin for just $99. A further 500 got the same package for $129.

“we knew that people were discouraged by the high price of the hardware and the complexity of the process”

The Kickstarter price has since risen to $159. After the campaign, the SparkMaker will retail at $249, which is an exciting prospect considering most desktop SLAs are priced within the thousands.

A range of prints, with supports, as made on the SparkMaker SLA. Photo via SparkMaker WOW! on Kickstarter
A range of prints, with supports, as made on the SparkMaker SLA. Photo via SparkMaker WOW! on Kickstarter

As discussed by SparkerMaker co-founder and CEO Martin Cao,

“We recognized that many people would love to explore the fun and creativity of 3D printing but from our years of experience in the industry, we knew that people were discouraged by the high price of the hardware and the complexity of the process.”

“Our goal was to eliminate both and with SparkMaker we have done so.”

Specifications

Total build volume of the SparkMaker 3D printer is 102 mm x 56 mm x 125 mm (L x W x H). With the casing, machine dimensions are just 170 mm x 170 mm x 254 mm (L x W x H), a snug fit for the corner of any desktop.

SparkMaker dimensions. Image via SparkMaker WOW! on Kickstarter.
SparkMaker dimensions. Image via SparkMaker WOW! on Kickstarter.

Though the makers recommend using the 3D printer with specially made SparkMaker colored resins, the machine does have third party compatibility, so it can be tried with any 405nm-410nm UV-light curing materials too.

Minimum XY resolution on the SparkMaker is 100 μm, and layer thickness on the Z axis is 20 μm.

To buy or not to buy?

Development of the SparkMaker 3D printer started in April 2015. At that time, the WOW! team, who are based in Shenzhen, China, were using a digital light source to cure the resin.

By December of the same year, the team had upgraded the technology to use other materials.

Multi-colored 3D prints from SparkeMaker. Photo via SparkMaker WOW! on Kickstarter
Multi-colored 3D prints from SparkeMaker. Photo via SparkMaker WOW! on Kickstarter

In February 2016, WOW! installed an LCD into the SparkMaker which is one of the key components bringing down the cost of the machine.

Since then the 3D printer has gone through four other iterations and debugging stages, before reaching the model that is now available on Kickstarter.

The campaign is set to finish on 10 September 2017. Throughout August, WOW! are scheduled to start ‘tooling and factory preparation’, with packaging completed in November, and shipping to begin December 2017.

From funding to delivery. Image via SparkMaker WOW! on Kickstarter.
From funding to delivery. Image via SparkMaker WOW! on Kickstarter.

For size and availability, the SparkMaker ticks all the boxes, and we’d love to put it to the test.

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Featured image: The sub $100 SparkMaker desktop SLA 3D printer from WOW! Photo via SparkMaker WOW! on Kickstarter

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