One Toronto based company aims to bring 3D printing to households everywhere.
Over the past 9 months Panda Robotics has been designing and building a prototype 3D printer, a prototype they hope will make 3D printing as easy and accessible as plain old 2D printing — and at the prices they’re offering on their Kickstarter campaign they just might do it.
“We wanted something that looked really good on our desks, that just worked — like a regular 2D printer.” -Liav Koren, Lead Designer, Panda Robotics
If you’re not familiar with 3D printing, it’s a process used to make three dimensional solid objects. A 3D printer creates the desired physical object by adding layer upon layer of liquid, powder, or sheet material. You can think of 3D printing in LEGO terms, the difference being that it’s a robotic device creating and placing the bricks, or layers in this case, in order to create the finished object — incidentally, printing small simple objects, like LEGO bricks, on a 3D printer is quite possible too.
Since the start of the twenty-first century 3D printing has been growing in popularity, being used in the fields of jewelry, footwear, industrial design, architecture, engineering and construction, automotive, aerospace, dental and medical industries, education, geographic information systems, civil engineering, and many others. Here at Sync we’ve been watching closely as 3D printing has been employed recently to aid a young girl with a rare congenital disorder, provide an injured eagle with a replacement beak, create replicas of unborn children and to tackle printing precise and dangerous parts for devices such as firearms.
Unfortunately the price of 3D printers has kept the entire process out of reach for most households. The last few years have seen costs drop and accessibility go up dramatically. But due to calibration complexities, an imposing learning curve and costs that have remained high when compared to other consumer electronics, 3D printers haven’t yet made the transition from industry factory and enthusiast workshop to the common household desktop.
Panda Robotics has designed their PandaBot with the goals of eliminating the need for any time-consuming calibration process and reducing the cost of the printer, while at the same time providing a stable, robust, quiet and great looking machine that will feel at home on anyone’s desk. They believe they’ve met these ambitious goals with their prototype PandaBot and are ready to take the next step with the financial help of a Kickstarter campaign.
Kickstarter is a popular crowd-funding site where anyone can offer their financial support to creative projects in return for reward levels allowing them to become venture capitalists of sorts from the comfort of their own home. Each project sets a financial goal and if through pledges this goal is reached the project is considered funded, backers are charged their pledge amount and are rewarded based on their pledge level. In the case of Panda Robotics, they’ve set a goal of $50,000 which they require to place component orders at scale, set-up tooling, and establish strong relationships with manufacturing partners. In order to reach this goal Panda Robotics is offering a number of reward levels — the sweet spot being at $800 where backers will “Get a PandaBot! – One first-edition PandaBot in Fur White, along with a Panda Robotics logo t-shirt and logo sticker.”
Currently the Toronto-based company is well on their way to reaching their $50,000 goal, having raised over $30,000 in the first week of the campaign. If you’re interested in supporting the project, perhaps even securing yourself a PandaBot by February next year, head on over to their Kickstarter page before November 23rd when the funding ends. For more information check out the video below of Lead Designer, Liav Koren discussing the PandaBot project.