OK, we're sure you've heard all about 3D printers — and how they're totally not affordable.
Before you go off on a rant, take a second and scope out this Kickstarter campaign from Palo Alto-based Pirate 3D. These swashbuckling innovators are attempting to bring the 3D revolution into everyone's home with The Buccaneer, a sleek-looking, self-contained, cloud-based printer
"It just gets really frustrating when you want to use a 3D printer as a 3D printer," explained Chief Art and Design Pirate You Jun, who notes complications behind many printing kits' assembly, setup and calibration. "We know your pain, and that's why we built The Buccaneer to be as intuitive and accessible to the everyday consumer as possible."
The elegant, closed-box system (shown above) uses biodegradable plastic. The people at Pirate 3D have provided users with a library of pre-constructed objects as well as tools for customizable "smart objects" — so you can think outside the box, if you're so inclined. Not only that, but The Buccaneer is environmentally friendly and food-safe — so, yes, you can eat out of what you print. And perhaps best of all, as a fully assembled product, it's easy to use: Simply take the materials cartridge, pop it in the top and print wirelessly via Apple or Android devices.
With these perks, Pirate 3D has struck crowdfunding gold. At time of writing, The Buccaneer had dug up more than $760,000. (Pirate 3D pegged its initial funding goal for $100,000.) And for roughly 20 more days, potential backers can nab one of the printers with a $397 pledge.
"Most industrial leaders believe that 3D printing is not ready for the home," says Chief Executive Pirate Roger Chang. "We disagree. Everyone is focused only on the technical aspects of the 3D printers; however, we understand that the key to mass adoption lies in having an insanely great user experience."