Why One Startup Might Finally Be Changing the 3D-Printing Game
MOD-t (New Matter)
You may be wondering: How much longer am I going to hear talk about 3D printing before it actually matters to me in my regular, everyday consumer life?
Maybe about now-ish: A new and inexpensive 3D printer for the home hit the crowdfunding site Indiegogo this week. The MOD-t, as it’s called, promises to make fine-tuning designs and printing them out “as easy as Instagramming a photo.”
Not only does the MOD-t’s price ($249) break new ground for domestic 3D printing; but with its set x- and y-axis printing head and moving print platform, so do its mechanics.
Like traditional paper printers, most 3D printers feature a head that moves across the printing area. But unlike paper printers, most 3D printer heads have to travel more than just from side to side, and instead are built to move up/down (z-axis), forward/backward (y-axis), and left/right (x-axis). All these moving parts become costly to mass produce and assemble, which is why plenty of the quality 3D printers today carry price tags well into the $1,000 range.
The print head on the MOD-t, however, moves only up and down, while the print platform itself travels forward, back, left, and right. The engineering behind these moving parts has also been rethought, to do away with the need for tons of gears and dropping the cost of the device.
The patent-pending engineering design makes the MOD-t’s price affordable. And the team says its software and forthcoming marketplace of designs will make it easy and convenient to use.
MOD-t app. (New Matter)
Packaged with each unit will be an original suite of apps that allow MOD-t owners to not only send color- and size-modified designs from the online marketplace to your printer, but also to friends. Since not everyone is an expert in the AutoCAD 3D modeling software, facilitating a vibrant online store, which the company has hopes of becoming something like “Etsy-meets-iTunes,” will be paramount for “normal” people’s access to the device.
With that being said, the MOD-t will also play nicely with third-party design tools, and the company will encourage independent designers to upload their own creations to the marketplace to sell.
The MOD-t is also WiFi-ready, weights about 11 pounds, and comes in either black or white to match the other appliances or electronics in your home.