Solidoodle, which is based in Brooklyn, NY, is introducing what looks to be the world’s most affordable 3D printer, the Solidoodle 2, which lists at $499, putting 3D printing within easy reach of home enthusiasts. Previously, the lowest-priced 3D printer was Makerbot Industries’ MakerBot Replicator, which lists at $1,749.
As with MakerBot’s 3D printers, the Solidoodle 2 uses 3D computer applications, additive printing technology, 1.75mm white and colored plastic filament (ABS is recommended) to produce three-dimensional objects up to 6″x6″x6″. With 3D additive printing, the printer heats the plastic filament, melting it, then deposits it drop-by-drop to form a 3D object.
Solidoodle is marketing three configurations, all of which ship fully assembled:
The Base Model lists at $499, has an acrylic build platform and open design (no outer cover/door)
The Pro Model lists at $549. has a heated build platform (enables users to build objects without bottom warping), 1/8″ aluminum plate, upgraded power supply, spool holder to hold filament (making unattended printing easier), interior lighting, and open design (no outer cover/door)
The Expert Model lists at $599, and has all of the Pro’s features, plus an outer cover and front acrylic door.
The printers are Windows, Mac and Linux compatible. Software accepts 3D files in STL format (almost all 3D Design Packages can save/export to STL format). The printers’ open-source software can be downloaded at Solidoodle’s Web site – see How To Install Software. You can see the printer in action here.