Crowd Funding

Kickstarter launch for compact, hackable 3D printer

The Cetus 3D printer is about to go live on Kickstarter and its small footprint means you can find a place for this diminutive creation on most workbenches.

It’s also completely portable and you can hack it, so for the engineers among you it’s the start point that could get you building your own fully equipped 3D printer. That’s the main target market.

Cetus 3D believes there is a solid niche for creative makers and engineers who want to learn about 3D printing with a machine that just does the job, before they start to get ambitious and boost the hardware.

It’s small, but offers a big bay

Despite measuring just 265x265x275mm, the Cetus 3D comes with a solid print bay volume of 180x180x180mm. At a time when consumer-grade 3D printers are getting bulkier, this slimline unit has a lot to offer and could easily find a place in a toolbox, home fashion studio and more.

It’s clearly simple, yet very strong, which is surprisingly reassuring in the modern age. Complexity tends to mean trouble and the straightforward design of the Cetus 3D could be a good thing. It’s essentially two rails, a printer head and a bay. There isn’t much more, but what else do you really need?

High quality components

All three axes are controlled with high-quality linear bearings that the start-up maintains provides excellent print quality. It comes with a self-levelling bed and it’s also virtually silent.

The company Facebook page has a selection of intricate prints in PLA, ranging from a classy looking vase through to intricate jewelry.

The Cetus 3D comes with a number of different nozzle options, including 0.2mm HD, 0.4mm Standard and 0.6mm Fast to give you a variety of printing options depending on the resolution and printing speed you need.

A $299 price tag

The Cetus starts at $299 and it works right out the box. But of course one of the biggest attractions is its simplicity and the fact that you can get at all the working parts. So we expect to see some seriously modified Cetus 3Ds before too long.

Some people just aren’t ready to build a 3D printer from scratch, even with all the help on offer from the RepRap community and other online platforms. This is a simple way to get started with a 3D printer, while allowing you access to each and every part so that your printer can evolve along with your growing needs.

That’s why the print head comes with an additional dc output, so that you can incorporate additional electronics. You can easily attach accessories and additional tools to the aluminum extrusion body, too.

So this is more than a simple printer, it’s the start point for your own mini-factory. It could appeal, then, to those with a more creative attitude to the printer itself who don’t want to build a printer from scratch.

Is there a market for this?

How big is that market? Time will tell, but we’re not sure. Hardcore makers take as much pleasure from building the printer as they do from creating a perfect model. There’s definitely a niche with fashion designers and other home hobbyists that haven’t truly got to grips with 3D printing, though.

So giving them the basis of a printer they can hack and tune might seem like a good idea, but we’ll only know what the public think when the Kickstarter campaign goes live.

It looks like a simple, strong and relatively near 3D printer. Hopefully that’s enough to start a tidal wave of interest and get the makers of this world switched on to additive manufacturing.