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  • Kickstarter: M3D Pro Desktop 3D Printer

    Posted on November 22nd, 2016 admin No comments
    f_auto, h_240,w_320/v1479254103/txvhqtzabk01jpm8p6jp.jpg" alt="https://c1.iggcdn.com/indiegogo-media-prod-cld/image/upload/c_fill,f_auto,h_240,w_320/v1479254103/txvhqtzabk01jpm8p6jp.jpg" width="320" height="240" /> M3D PRO 3D printer in action

    I have been talking with my local library about their Makerspace.  I had offered them my old Cupcake 3D printer, which they politely declined, saying that many of the local libraries had phased out their 3D printing section because of repeated problems with print settings and quality.  They were also reluctant to have people  using the library computers to download files, or bringing files in on USB keys, because of security risks.

    Anyway, after I backed the Trinus 3D Printer on Kickstarter,  I found the M3D Pro  which promises "intelligent sensor feedback" to catch and correct various printing errors.   Like the Trinus, it is a Cartesion (XYZ) printer, a little bit slower in print speed and looking not nearly as solid as the Trinus but with a larger build volume.

    Built by the same folks who brought out the successful M3D Micro a few years ago -- where almost 12,000 backers raised over $3.4 million -- the Pro version claims superior energy efficiency (45W compared to 60W for the Trinus) and superior features.  For the Pro, just over 1000 backers have invested just under $500,00 (plus a few more backers and bucks on Indiegogo pre-orders), and early backers got the unit for $399 USD plus shipping.  Dang!  I came in late and had to pay $549 USD with shipping -- less than the Trinus.

    What caught my eye, though, was that the M3D Pro

    • Claims to offer auto-leveling and auto-calibration.  No messing about with settings.
    • Doesn't need a computer tether: people can bring their project on an SD card and plug it in to print.
    • Offers "embedded recovery mode" to recover from power failures, pauses, nozzle jams, or filament outages
    • Uses an "advanced sensor network" of two dozen sensors to ensure reliability and consistency of prints

    These characteristics made me think it might be suitable as a loaner to the library.  On specified dates, I'd bring the printer in to the library and patrons could try it out, perhaps leaving it there for projects to finish printing under staff supervision. I'd expect the library to provide filament.  Details still to be worked out with the library's program director.

    Because of M3D LLC's previous experience with the Micro, they may have a smoother transition from R&D to Production than some other crowdfunded campaigns.  The M3D Pro is scheduled to ship in March, 2017.

    Which means I can hope to get it for Christmas 2017.  The library will just have to wait.

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