Affordable 3D printer developed by Tiko 3D

When
the printing site 3DPrint.com heard of a company planning to promote a printer
affordable to many, “we had flashbacks from last year when a number of
incredibly cheap machines launched crowdfunding campaigns only to close up shop
before their campaigns even got off the ground,” said Brian Krassenstein.
A certain measure of skepticism is healthy when the pricetag is below $200, he
said, because certain components within a 3D printer which are required”
will “put a floor under its production costs.”

Now,
however, a group called Tiko 3D has launched a Kickstarter campaign for a 3D
printer which they said is a worthy printer with a low price made possible
through their cost-saving production techniques. Tiko is a delta 3D printer
with three sets of arms moving in unison to control the movement of the print
head.
“Heavy.
Over-complicated. Unreliable.” These were things that bothered the team
about printers they had seen and they believed they could do better by making
their own, which could cost less. Why, they asked, do 3D printers have to be so
expensive?

They
key to their cost-saving formula is in the word “Unibody.” They call
Tiko the “Unibody printer.” They said, “In most 3D printers, the
most expensive (by far) item is the frame. That’s because most 3D printers have
a frame built from multiple beams that are fastened together. In delta
printers, this frame is often made from three vertical extruded-aluminum beams.
We had a simple thought… what if we extruded all three rails together?”

“Instead
of relying on several rails which enable movement of the extruder head,”
said Krassenstein, “this machine builds the rails into the chassis,
creating one solid piece which according to the company results in more
reliable and accurate printing, while at the same time, reducing costs.”
Timi Cantisano in Neowin called out the technical advantages in using the
unibody frame design with a direct-drive printer head module. “That means
unlike traditional 3D with rails, Tiko will offer better stability resulting in
less calibration. This will also promote less misalignments during the printing
process resulting in more accurate prints.”

The
team listed the features of the printer including an internal filament tray,
large print volume, flexible base, wireless connectivity, and cloud-based
software, so you can print from almost anywhere, they said, on any
Internet-friendly device. They also said you can print large objects and remove
them easily. “Tiko’s print bed is flexible, so once your print is done,
you simply lift the printer off the bed, then twist to pop off your
print.”

What
is more, Tiko uses nonproprietary 1.75mm filament on a standard 1kg 165mm (6.5
in.) diameter spool, so you can experiment with different materials. An onboard
accelerometer automatically shuts the printer down if it’s disturbed. The
printer weighs 3.7 pounds.

Krassenstein
said the printer was “foreign to anything we have seen on the market in
the past.”

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