With its ability to let you fabricate real-world objects at the push of a button, it’s easy to imagine 3D printing setting the world on fire. In reality, though, 3D printing remains a relatively small niche, with most desktop units finding their ways into offices, workshops, and schools rather than your average home. With their latest 3D printer, Obsidian, Kodama is hoping to help change that.
According to Kodama, they found most cheap printers on the market a little too complicated to use, making them quite difficult to work with for novice users. Expensive 3D printers, on the other hand, required too much of an initial investment, especially for something that most people wouldn’t consider a must-have in their day-to-day lives. This one, on the other hand, combines accessibility with a very low price.
Despite being a budget 3D printer, the Kodama Obsidian comes fully assembled, so there’s no kit that you’ll have to put together piece by piece. That means, there’s no building process that you’ll most likely mess up, so you get a rig that’s ready to go out of the box. Seriously, just plug the it to an outlet, load the filament, hook it up to a PC, and get cracking. It comes with a build area measuring 4.7 inches on all sides, so you can fabricate reasonably big objects with this thing, while LEDs inside the build area allow you to clearly see what’s going on at any time.
Of course, to get the price down really low, they had to remove plenty of the usual accoutrements of desktop 3D printers. That includes a heated bed, which is essential for printing ABS, nylon, and other types of plastics. As such, you’re stuck with printing using PLA, which, if you’re getting into 3D printing for the first time, should be just perfectly fine. Do note, you can buy a heated build area from Kodama separately, so it’s something you can upgrade to if you ever decide to take your 3D printing projects to the next level.
Aside from the lack of a heated bed, there’s also no onboard touchscreen, so you’ll have to operate the machine via less straightforward means. There’s also no webcam inside the build area, so you won’t be able to check in on your fabrication sessions remotely. Lastly, there’s no way to recover fabrication projects after a power outage, so you’ll have to discard what’s already been created and start out anew. If you can live with those omissions, then this just might be the perfect starter 3D printer for your setup.
As for build quality, Kodama claims their erstwhile affordable printer can crank out objects with the same precision as most $1,000 3D printers. It’s quite the lofty claim, so we’ll have to see a unit in action to actually decide. The printer itself measures 10.6 x 11.4 x 12.2 inches, with a weight of 12.1 pounds.
A Kickstarter campaign is currently running for the Kodama Obsidian. You can reserve a unit for pledges starting at $99.