If you’ve been checking the posts here at Top 4 3D over the last week, you will have noticed a bit of a trend. A tonne of 3D print companies and device manufacturers are tripping over each other in the race to get a truly portable high performance 3D printer on the shelves first. It’s not hard to see why. If there is a home or personal market for 3D printing, it stands to reason that the first company to really crack the accessibility/portability/cost side of the equation will have a license to print money (note the very big ‘if’ at the beginning of that sentence).
After the crowd-funding launches of the foldable, briefcase-ready LumiFold and the teeny-weeny Peachy Printer, now we have an official-ish release date for Deezmaker’s Bukito, a device that takes the concept of portable 3D printing to the next level.
What makes the Bukito so special?
Not only do designers Diego Porqueras and Rich Cameron promise customers the ability to carry the Bukito everywhere, they also claim it is capable of printing while in transit. In fact, they reckon it can even print upside-down. While the LumiFold and the Peachy are both still in the crowd-funding stage, Deezmaker’s creation has already been through Kickstarter (it made about 2 and a half times its goal) and can be pre-ordered directly from the Deezmaker website, with shipping set for late-March.
If you want to snap it up, it’ll set you back $699, which is more than the projected price of the two other aforementioned models , but for that you get a 3D printer that weighs in at no more than 6 lbs, prints in PLA and ABS and can run on a mere 12 – 16 volt battery. For those doubting its ability to print-on-the-go, check out this video from the New York Maker Faire from last week, where Porqueras wowed the crowd by turning the Bukito mid-job.
So why is that helpful?
The ability to turn a 3D printer, very carefully, upside-down doesn’t have much of a practical purpose, though it does demonstrate that the Bukito will stay accurate while on the move and that is crucial. Deezmaker sees one of its big target markets as workmen such as electricians and plumbers. Rather than lugging around boxes full of spare parts and replaceable tools from job to job, they can simply fire off the correct item for the task in the back of their van while they speed down the motorway.
The build volume is 5 inches x 6 inches x 5 inches, while the estimated speed runs between 150 and 300 mm per second. Resolution-wise it is capable of 50 microns horizontally and 100 microns vertically, meaning visible layers and rough edges – O.K. for home use and small parts but not so good for fine details and attractive objects.
Undoubtedly, the Bukito is a hype-worthy machine and, of all the compact, portable models we’ve been covering this week, it might just be the most truly workable.