Recently, while purchasing a new computer, a customer asked if he could simply buy a computer with all the programs he wanted already installed. Both parties, the customer and store attendant, expressed their side of the situation and betrayed growing signs of exasperation. Yes, technology has made leaps and bounds and a few clusters of people familiar with tech industries understand the language and how to navigate the “new thing”. However, a large portion of the populace still remain at the service end but would still like to use the technology. For instance, most people like to drive their new car off the lot instead of assembling the engine, doors etc before cruising on the highway. Asterid hopes to deliver the new car experience with a fully assembled 3D printer with open source capabilities and priced under $500.
The printer is set to arrive with backers ready to plug in and print. It promises to be open source allowing for optimum compatibility. Users would simply install the filament and software then begin printing. Asterid plans to utilize Plastic Scribbler for assembly so that it arrives with you ready to layer. Plastic Scribbler promotes the extruder for Asterid’s 3D printer by noting that it comes with an all-metal hot-end tied to a filament drive wheel driven by a backlash-free timing belt. With an 8” x 8” x 8” build volume and Plastic Scribbler assembly, Asterid claims the $500 price tag is a bargain and posits its quality against high-end market printers.
Addressing the use of Kickstarter, Tim Manasterski states the following:
“We need your help to get our product off the ground. Our prototype printer is working and complete and we’ll use the funds from our Kickstarter campaign to purchase raw materials in bulk and create tooling to mass produce them.
We’ve focused our attention on producing a great printer at the lowest price point for fully assembled printers. Your support will help the maker community by continuing the trend of low cost and reliable 3D printers.
Please, help us to help you change the world.”
This is a step in the right direction for broader consumer appeal and use. It is vital to see 3D printing education and application on the frontiers and in the classroom, yet it is also imperative that an accessible proliferation of 3D printing sprouts in our domestic markets. Asterid has a blueprint and we will see if it receives the financial backing for production.