Say hello to the Printrbot, a small portable 3D printer that can be assembled in an hour and costs just $499. I’ve mentioned before how cost plays a huge role in disruptive technologies like 3D printing. This technology is not extremely new but companies like Makerbot have brought it mainstream by making consumer-grade devices at an acceptable price point. Printrbot is changing the game by removing both the cost barrier and the large undertaking of assembly.

Imagine getting a grant to buy a few of these and having your students spend an hour assembling them in groups. Putting together a 3D printer would normally be a semester-long project. Now it can take just one period and you can spend the rest of the time exploring ways of utilizing the technology.

The inventor, Brook Drumm, released his concept as a Kickstarter project┬áto huge success and not only funded the project but exceeded funding by over $800,000! What’s even cooler is that just today he has released all of the source files for the design of the project on Thingiverse for anyone to print and build their own. With the purchase of a few motors, rods, and circuitry and printing the rest of the parts on an existing printer, you can build your own Printrbot. It’s an exciting project and I hope to see him open up sales on his website for the public sometime soon so those who didn’t get in on the Kickstarter campaign can buy their own.

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