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3D printers are usually bulky devices with a huge price tag. Then, there are also different versions of 3D printers with lesser functionality and small size to make it less expensive. A few examples include Form 1 printing at 300-microns, the Pegasus printing at 250-microns, and the B9 Creator at 50-100 microns.
A new 3D printer called iBox Nano is now available. It is the world’s smallest, cheapest and quietest printer with a high print resolution of 328 microns. iBox Nano is small enough to be held in your hand with a price tag of $299. It uses UV LED lights to firm the resin prints which are plastic filaments for making finer detailed objects.
The 3D printer is powered by a low cost microcomputer Raspberry Pi and enclosed in a laser-cut clear acrylic box. The structure does not need any injection molding which saves manufacturing costs.
Founder, Trent Carter explains in his interview with Tech Crunch, “As you can see it is expensive and slow to print large objects. In contrast the Rook that you see printed in our video and in our close up images measures 30mm x 20mm and took about 2 hours to print and consumed about 50 cents worth of resin!”
The overall cost of printing is then reduced to minimum with maximum output. With reduction in material cost, wait time for the object printing, the energy consumption and operational noise also reduces.
iBox Nano can print items such as small models, jewelry, game pieces, toys, and small replacement parts. However, it is also possible to create smaller parts for larger items which can be assembled afterwards using screws or glue.
A Kickstarter campaign has been initiated to turn the prototype into commercial shipping product. iBox has collected more than 3 million dollars so far with still 10 days left. Check out the printer in action in the video below.