Low-cost 3D printer for smartphones launched on Kickstarter

September 29, 2017 //By Rich Pell
A Kickstarter campaign for a smartphone-based 3D printer has seen its funding goal reached in two hours.

Offered as the world's first mobile multifunction 3D printer, the T3D printer from startup T3D (Taipei City, Taiwan) uses the light from a smartphone or tablet to harden a specially engineered resin to enable 3D printing in the open air. The printer works by using patterns of light generated on the mobile device's screen to solidify a layer of an object in the resin below, building up the object layer by layer.

Weighing 32 ounces, the T3D printer has a maximum print volume of 1033.6 cm 3 for tablets and 684.7 cm 3 for smartphones. It does need to be used away from direct light and is slower than standard printers, with a reported curing time of about 15 seconds per 100-micron layer.

“T3D will definitely be a game-changer to the 3D printing industry.” says Dr. Jeng, founder of T3D. “Whether it is speed or precision, T3D packs a lot of punch considering its small form factor. At an estimated retail price of $299, you are not going to find anything comparable out in the market, plus it is truly mobile because it works with all your mobile devices."

Other key features of the printer include a multi-color kit, a 360-degree 3D scanning module, certified 3D models, and open source design. The device works with both Andoid and iOS devices and uses Bluetooth for connectivity.

The T3D Kickstarter campaign's goal of $35,000 has already been exceeded, with almost $118,000 being pledged with 29 days still to go.

T3D is a spin-off from National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (Taiwan Tech). It says it is currently working with XYZPrinting (San Diego, CA) to produce the T3D, and that early backers should expect to receive their printer by the end of the year, and the rest starting March of 2018.

T3D Kickstarter campaign