The Oddball Tiko 3D Printer Unveiled for $179 at SXSW

The Oddball Tiko 3D Printer Unveiled for $179 at SXSW

At SXSW, Matt Gajkowski, the CEO of Tiko 3D, showed off the company’s ready-for-Kickstarter 3D printer and talked about his team’s engineering and designing process.   He said that he built the Tiko 3D printer with mass production as the end goal, in order to bring the price point way down south.

You can tell just by the pictures, that this is an odd-looking 3D printer.  It looks like another delta-style FDM printer, right?  Well the first differentiating factor is that it is way more inexpensive than most 3D printers, regardless of the design architecture.

Another striking feature is its weight.  It’s meant to be picked up after each print and, with no USB connection, it’s wireless only.  TIKO is cloud-based, accessible by any browser, and users can prepare and monitor their prints from desktops, laptops and mobile devices.  The printer is outfitted to use non-proprietary filament, and its filament tray holds a standard roll (1kg) of filament. The print bed is unattached to the machine, and, according to the company, is made of a great material that does not need to be prepped or taped as with most other 3D printers.  When your 3D print is done, you can actually just bend the print bed until the object pops off, which is a new feature to the whole industry or, at least,  I definitely haven’t seen it before.

Another interesting design move is that the extruder nozzle is not accompanied by a cooling fan, so it’s quieter than most 3D printers.  Instead of a cooling fan, Tiko 3D’s machine features specially designed vents that are a part of the liquefier/hotend itself. Gajkowski tells me that the vents “optimize convection and heat management to reach [Tiko’s] thermal performance requirements.”

More eye-catching than the design, though, may be the Tiko 3D’s price point.  This is one of the least expensive machines ever, clocking in at $179.  They are making all of the right moves to ensure that their Kickstarter campaign is a successful one, and all we know about the campaign is that it’s coming soon and that Gajkowski expects to start shipping the 3D printers as early as fall of 2015.

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