A Maryland startup company has officially unveiled a fully assembled 3d printer for less than $300. The kickstarter project has already garnered over $445,000 in its first day. The company, called M3D, is less than a year old but has developed a small, easy to use printer that can match the capabilities of printers costing thousands of dollars. Although numerous 3d printer projects have been successfully funded on kickstarter, other low-cost printers generally require assembly. The printer contains a number of innovations which allow for quiet, low-maintenance operation. This printer is appropriate for a variety of educational and personal markets, and can use either PLA or ABS filament. The company already has plans to mass-produce the machines in the U.S. later this year.
In 1977, the first low-cost, fully-assembled PCs became available. The Apple 2 and the TRS-80 became the first mass-produced PCs, ushering in the age of the PC. If M3D is sufficiently successful, the year 2014 could be as important a year for 3d printing as 1977 was for personal computing.