London-based 3D printing megastore iMakr joins the budget game with its STARTT 3D printer kit for beginners.
But we’ve seen sub-$100 printers before. Differentiating iMakr’s stab at this low-end of the 3D printer kit market is the heavy targeting at complete novices and the curious. The STARTT printer kit was formed over 3 years of consultation with makers, engineers, and designers.
What you get with iMakr’s STARTT
For starters, once assembled the STARTT is an FDM machine, accepting 1.75mm PLA filament. Interchangeable nozzles — 0.3, 0.4 & 0.5mm — give some control over print resolution. iMakr claims the STARTT can print objects up to 14 x 12 x 13cm on its non-heatable plastic print bed.
Other details for the iMakr STARTT 3D printer kit include:
- Layer thickness of 100 – 300 microns
- Nozzle temperature range of 170 – 275°C
- Manual platform leveling
- SD card and USB connections
- Accepts STL and OBJ files
- 34 x 31 x 32cm dimensions
Glancing over the assembly instructions they provide online it certainly seems a straightforward process. The same impression goes for calibration, which iMakr runs through with a video on their YouTube channel.
Whether the STARTT prints well for its price point — we don’t know. When positioned as an introductory machine, perhaps print quality isn’t the point.
Other Budget 3D Printers & Kits
Truthfully, we currently wouldn’t really recommend a 3D printer kit that costs under $100. The inhuman patience required and frustrations alone are not worth the cut-price when a decent Prusa i3 or a Monoprice Select Mini cost little more.
However, while not an endorsement since we haven’t seen or tested this machine, the claim on iMakr’s website that the more technical elements of this kit come pre-assembled could make this more approachable than others.
Tapping this ease-of-assembly thread, the product page for the STARTT suggests the kit as a “great family activity”. We’re not so sure the inherently complicated processes of printer building and calibration — and inevitable unforeseen problems — is the ideal introduction to 3D printing for children. Were you to do it though, the company estimated a 5-hour build time following the provided instructions.
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