Watch out Printrbot there’s a new budget printer on the scene by the name of Tiko, showing some impressive stats for such a low priced machine. These daring entrepreneurs have set their sight on making sure anyone can afford 3D printing. While the price after the kickstarter is not listed, those donating a staggeringly low 179 dollars will receive a Tiko and a Spool of filament. Ridiculously low even compared to the most competitively priced 3D printing options and it still manages to offer incredible features at that price range.
The creators, named after their creation, have certainly caught the attention of the populace their goal for the kickstarter was 100,000 USD and they absolutely blew their goal out of the water raising over 2.9 million dollars. Though with all the hype surrounding this product there comes the problem of delivering the products which the last batch has been pushed all the way through March of 2016, and what are you getting for this wait?
The specs are pretty astounding for the price. With a titanium alloy print head, large enough print area at 138 cubic inches, compact filament holder in the top of the unit. The print head also has a unique heatsink to prevent the heat melting the filament before it reaches the nozzle making sure the inner working stay at an optimal operating temperature, maintaining a healthy printer throughout it’s life span. The main cost saving feature they advertise is the unibody design having a very stable platform to print from because it’s all one piece and with the wobble you’d potentially get from frame pieces secured with screws or bolts. The thing most people will notice first is that it uses a delta style mechanism to move the printhead and therefore its build area is triangular instead of the standard square or rectangle. With this appears to be an extreme drawback it’s also good to note that often prints aren’t overly large rectangles most of the time, so you can almost always find an orientation that suits your model.
It’s easy to immediately write off this as another Kickstarter project that ends up going nowhere, At some point we need to believe a claim. Though they offer more in the ways of showing them actually functioning and hopefully will live to being a good essentials only printer and a lot of the high end features you’d like are of course not present like a heated bed and a LCD for navigating files from an SD card or something similar. Though you really don’t require these for 3D printing and I’m sure after this successful run of products for the public they’ll be open to features requested and feedback probably with a few tiers of printers for beginner, hobbyist, and enthusiast. Personally I hope that they’ll take this next year as a crash course in production and learning how’ll they’ll function as a company rather than just the rag tag team that they are currently.
Luckily the company Sparke Centre has assisted them as they have with several startups, as a sort of business backbone bringing them from plucky young entrepreneurs to be able to actually handle the weight of a company and good business practices and networking. So unlike many of the Kickstarters Tiko has a very promising background that with a little luck and level headedness will turn into a very respected and trusted company, the best any kickstarter can really hope for. It’s easy to see how it can south though between the pressures of assembling all these units and growing as a business it will be taxing in aspects of development and that stage is where many promising projects turn sour and fall apart. I know I for one am excited for the future of cheaper and more accessible printing.