Wait, what? Did you say a fully functional 3D printer for only AU$499! Yes indeed. At that price, if you have the cash on hand, get it. Read on….
Aldi, it would seem, has decided to step into the Maker scene with a bold step to offer a 3D printer at a reduced price. No indication exactly what the real RRP is, but at AU$499 you would be hard pressed to DIY a 3D printer at the same price. If you want it, queue up with all the other thousands of people tomorrow morning at your nearest Aldi store.
So what does AU$499 really get you?
Firstly, the important aspect: Print size.
The printer measures 400mm x 410mm x 400mm and is capable of printing any object to a maximum of 200mm x 200mm x 180mm. Almost 200mm cubed is a generous size for any Maker project.
Secondly, what filaments does it support?
All PLA, ABS, PVA and HIPS filaments. OK. Essentially does the lot. This is getting better..
Thirdly, how fast does it print? What is the quality?
Cocoon claims that it can print at 10-70mm per second depending on the filament used at a resolution of 100 to 400 microns. A fairly decent speed for that resolution.
Fourthly, what software/interface is supported?
There is a microSD card slot which allows direct printing using standard 3D files, (stl, obj, dae, and amf). This is the only method of printing to the 3D printer. Files can be generated with a 3D package called Cura which is supplied. This is probably one of the major drawbacks.
So, what’s the catch? There are two issues I see with this 3D printer:
1. It’s a new product from a relatively new vendor. Only time will tell whether it will prove itself.
2. Only capable of printing direct via microSD card.
Both issues will potentially sway a buyer, but at the AU$499 price point it might make these two points redundant. If it turns out to be a poor performer, then at the very least it could be used as a prototype rig prior to printing on a better 3D printer.
Bear in mind that there are a number of other cheap 3D printers with almost similar specs than this and have been out on the market for a while.
Peachy Printer for US$100
MakiBox for US$100 to US$300
Printrbot for US$259 to US$999.
Phoenix 3D Printer for US$375 to US$500.
Romscraj for US$375 to US$500.
The Buccaneer for US$399 to US$999.
Solidoodle for US$499 to US$799
RigidBot for US$499 to US$959.
RoBo for US$599 to US$699.
Deezmaker Bukito Mini for US$699.